-1Have you ever wanted to take a course in media studies, international relations or philosophy, only to find that it didn’t fit into your already-packed college schedule? Are you a senior in high school contemplating what to major in, but haven’t fully decided because you have no idea what the classes will be like? Or maybe you just want to experience a class taught my an Ivy League professor.
Academic Earth, an organization that offers thousands of free college video lectures online, is your answer. The lectures cover a variety of disciplines and are taught by popular and distinguished professors. Classes hail from prestigious universities such as Yale, Columbia and Harvard, and lectures cover a range of diverse topics such as architecture, entrepreneurship, math and religious studies.

In addition to offering such a vast spectrum of intellectually stimulating content, the site is also very user-friendly. The company’s mission statement reads, “Our goal is to bring the best content together in one place and create an environment in which that content is remarkably easy to use and where user contributions make existing content increasingly valuable.”

After testing out a few videos myself, I can say I fully agree that the site lives up to its claims. The videos were surprisingly clear in quality, extremely easy to pause and play, and informatively accompanied by a lecture and course description. Each lecture is also given a letter grade based on user ratings, so if you’re only interested in the best, you can choose to simply watch the lectures that were assigned an “A” score.

Academic Earth represents how far websites have come in terms of education innovation and making a positive impact, and it is a resource that we can fully take advantage of. To see more innovative websites, check out Time Magazine’s “Top 50 Websites of 2009,” in which Academic Earth was listed as #9.

Photo courtesy of academicearth.org