For the autodidact
The Independent Scholar’s Handbook — PDF: The Canadian Academy of Independent Scholars has made The Independent Scholar’s Handbook available as a free download. It’s a full book (322 pages) of information on how to study on your own, as well as tips on finding resources on the topics you want to study.
The Autodidact Project: Ralph Dumain has put together information about … self-education at the Autodidact Project, including a number of study guides.
The LifeHack How-To Wiki: Consider starting your self-education right here with LifeHack. There’s even an article on self-education on the wiki that you might find useful.
Fathom: A number of universities, led by Columbia University, have put together a whole host of free resources at Fathom. The information is arranged into courses, making it possible to take short classes from the American Film Institute, the London School of Economics and other prestigious institutes for free.
Wikiversity: While there are some pretty significant gaps in the do-it-yourself courses Wikiversity offers, I’ve found some great resources on science and business subjects — two areas that my college major just didn’t emphasize.
Mentoring and Interviewing: Just sitting down and talking with someone who is more of an expert on a topic than you are can introduce you to new areas of learning that you hadn’t even considered. You can set up formal interviews with experts or have more casual conversations.
iTunes U: Through iTunes, a huge number of schools offer recordings of lectures in every subject. Currently, I’m working through Stanford’s course on the Future of the Internet, and after that, I’m thinking about listening in on an evolutionary biology class.
Your Local Library: Most libraries offer far more learning resources than simple how-to books. My boyfriend is currently working his way through our local library’s collection of Chinese lessons on CD. And if you aren’t familiar with your local library, I recommend PublicLibraries.com — it’s a huge directory of public libraries, mostly U.S. with some international listings.
TheHomeSchoolMom.com: TheHomeSchoolMom.com, along with thousands of other homeschooling websites offer up all sorts of free educational resources from curriculums to texts. While these sites rarely have advanced coverage of a topic, if you’re looking to start with the basics, you’re likely to find exactly what you need.
Project Gutenberg: While there are a number of websites where you can get free e-books, Project Gutenberg is one of the best known, and seems to have one of the widest selections. You may not be able to find many technical works there, but if you’re interested in the classics or history, Project Gutenberg is the place to go.
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