Train Your Brain This Fall with Free Online Courses, eBooks, Audio Books, Language Lessons & More


For years now, the buzz­word “Neu­ro­plas­tic­i­ty” has crossed the lips of many major thinkers in psy­chol­o­gy, neu­rol­o­gy, and edu­ca­tion­al the­o­ry. Maybe, as some allege, it is a “dirty word”—vague and in need of spe­cif­ic clar­i­fi­ca­tion. Maybe. But the con­texts in which it aris­es point to an impor­tant idea: that we are capa­ble of learn­ing new things, all the time, at any stage of life, and that those new learn­ing expe­ri­ences change and renew our brains in ways we can’t pre­dict or imag­ine. So today, for those stu­dents return­ing to school and those life­long learn­ers for whom every sea­son beck­ons with new oppor­tu­ni­ties to acquire new skills and knowl­edge, we present to you our col­lec­tions of free online cours­es, books, films, lan­guage lessons, text­books, and oth­er resources to exer­cise your neu­ro­plas­tic mind.

Free Online Cours­es: This list brings togeth­er over 750 free online cours­es from lead­ing uni­ver­si­ties, includ­ing Stan­ford, Yale, MIT, UC Berke­ley, Oxford and more. These cours­es range across all dis­ci­plines – his­to­ry, physics, phi­los­o­phy, psy­chol­o­gy and beyond. Most all of these cours­es are avail­able in audio, and rough­ly 75% are avail­able in video. In total, you will find over 2o,000 hours of free lec­tures from world-class insti­tu­tions here.

Free MOOCs: What­ev­er you’re into (phi­los­o­phy?, behav­ioral eco­nom­ics?, music his­to­ry?), you’ll like­ly find a MOOC (Mas­sive Open Online Course) to suit you in our list of class­es from lead­ing uni­ver­si­ties. Many MOOCs offer cer­tifi­cates of com­ple­tion (though rarely course cred­its that will actu­al­ly trans­fer to uni­ver­si­ties). 125 MOOCs will be launch­ing between now and the end of Octo­ber. See our com­plete list.

Free Lan­guage Lessons: Per­haps learn­ing a new lan­guage is high on your list this fall. Well, here is a great way to do it. Take your pick of 46 lan­guages includ­ing, Span­ish, French, Ital­ian, Man­darin, Eng­lish, Russ­ian, Dutch, even Finnish, Yid­dish and Esperan­to. The lessons are all free and ready to down­load.

Free Audio Books: What bet­ter way to spend your free time than lis­ten­ing to some of the great­est books ever writ­ten? Our col­lec­tion 1,000 Free Audio Books: Down­load Great Books for Free includes works by Arthur Conan Doyle, James Joyce, Jane Austen, Edgar Allan Poe, George Orwell and more recent writ­ers — Ita­lo Calvi­no, Vladimir Nabokov, Ray­mond Carv­er, etc. You can down­load these clas­sic books straight to your gagdets, then lis­ten as you go.

[Note: If you’re look­ing for a con­tem­po­rary book, you can down­load one free audio book from Find details on Audi­ble’s no-strings-attached deal here.]

Free eBooks: You have always want­ed to read the great works. And now is your chance. When you dive into our col­lec­tion of 800 Free eBooks for iPad, Kin­dle & Oth­er Devices you will find great works by some clas­sic writ­ers (Dick­ens, Dos­to­evsky, Shake­speare and Tol­stoy) and more mod­ern writ­ers (F. Scott Fitzger­ald, Philip K. Dick, Isaac Asi­mov, and Kurt Von­negut). The col­lec­tion also gives you access to the 51-vol­ume Har­vard Clas­sics.

Free Text­books: We have scoured the web and pulled togeth­er a list of 150 Free Text­books. It’s a great resource par­tic­u­lar­ly if you’re look­ing to learn math, com­put­er sci­ence or physics on your own. There might be a dia­mond in the rough here for you.

Free K‑12 Resources: Par­ents, teach­ers, and young stu­dents seek­ing excel­lent free online edu­ca­tion­al resources, look no fur­ther. We’ve gath­ered free apps, qual­i­ty YouTube chan­nels; test prep mate­ri­als; and free web resources in aca­d­e­m­ic sub­jects like lit­er­a­ture, his­to­ry, sci­ence and com­put­ing.

Free Movies: With a click of a mouse, or a tap of your touch screen, you will have access to 500 great movies. The col­lec­tion hosts many clas­sics, west­erns, indies, doc­u­men­taries, silent films and film noir favorites. It fea­tures work by some of our great direc­tors (Alfred Hitch­cock, Orson Welles, Andrei Tarkovsky and David Lynch) and per­for­mances by cin­e­ma leg­ends: John Wayne, Jack Nichol­son, Audrey Hep­burn, Char­lie Chap­lin, and beyond. On this one page, you will find thou­sands of hours of cin­e­ma bliss.

Enjoy stretch­ing your brains in new and inter­est­ing ways this sea­son.

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Comments (4)
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  • This is a real­ly com­pre­hen­sive set of resources, I won­der if I can chime in one of my own on Man­darin learn­ing? I was recent­ly involved with writ­ing a guide to help Man­darin learn­ers under­stand how to “dis­sect” the Man­darin lan­guage to make it eas­i­er for them to under­stand. nnHere’s the link to it: ntnt­nt­ntnnnnnttntnntntnttnttt this helps!nnCheersnBaggio

  • Maria Madalena de Souza Reis says:

    Amei essa opor­tu­nidade, de faz­er alguns cur­sos, grátis, super inter­es­santes, sem sair de casa. Sem­pre é tem­po de apren­der mais coisas, não bas­ta nos­so tem­po vivi­do e as exper­iên­cias que temos. Tudo atu­al­iza e temos tam­bém de nos atu­alizar. Amo computador,mas ten­ho que desen­volver mais no manu­seio dele. Amo psi­colo­gia, pre­ciso apren­der uma out­ra lin­gua, talvez o inglês.Tenho 70 anos e ten­ho uma vida inteira pela frente. Amo viv­er e aproveitar tudo de bom que a vida nos ofer­ece e está aqui então uma bela opor­tu­nidade : inserir novas coisas na min­ha ama­da vida! Obri­ga­da, Madale­na.

  • Ampah K says:

    Inter­est­ed in your pro­gram

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