Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How to Go to Harvard for Free: Harvard Online Lectures

As I develop my craft of teaching 9th grade World History, I find myself more and more interested in all the aspects of my subject area.  I read more about world history topics, I always look for connections in everyday life to my history classes and my magazine subscriptions are for the sole purpose of bringing ideas to the classroom.  In other words, I'm a student of my own profession.  Additionally, I want to be able to answer any question a student brings me.

At this point in my life I can't answer every question. (I probably never will be able to answer every question...but at least I can try.) Students are curious and will always ask questions that I can't answer.  I usually then offer them extra credit if they do the research and come back to class with the answer.  Students love to do this.

One way I've been learning more is by listening to many online lectures.  The David Kalivas lectures are amazing, and now I've just found a small gold mine of more through Harvard's Open Learning Initiative.

The Open Learning Initiative is part of Harvard University's Extension School which is basically a series of 650 classes open to the public.  That's right... you don't need a perfect SAT score to learn from Harvard professors.

The Open Learning Initiative offers many of the class lectures from Harvard faculty online to the public for free.

I haven't listened to any in full yet, but am looking forward to it.

Here's the link to all the lectures: http://www.extension.harvard.edu/openlearning/

Important Note: When selecting which type of video/audio to watch/listen to select LAN as it seems like the DSL/Cable Connection was crashing my browser (Safari, Mac OS X 10.5.8)


  1. I'm about half-way through with Yale's Open Courses on the Civil War and on New Testament History. I recommend both. I watch them on YouTube, but they also have downloads. Yale's main course page is here: http://oyc.yale.edu/courselist

  2. Thanks for reading Jude. Another great resource. Looking forward to checking it out.

  3. At the Yale site, Donald Kagan's Ancient Greek History course (linked at end) stands out as superb. Also available through iTunes. http://oyc.yale.edu/classics/introduction-to-ancient-greek-history/

  4. I've yet to get over to the Yale lectures yet... the Harvard stuff on China has me occupied for now.

  5. Thank you for sharing the link about the Open Learning Initiative, it's a great source.