• 100 Amazing How-To Sites to Teach Yourself Anything

    May 7th, 2009

    Learning new skills and expanding your knowledge doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. There are loads of free resources on the Web that can help you find instructional videos, tutorials and classes to learn a wide variety of skills from fixing basic car problems to speaking another language. With 100 sites to choose from, you’re bound to find something here that will help you learn just about anything you could want.

    General Tutorials

    These sites offer a wide range of tutorials and videos.

    1. Expert Village: One of the biggest how-to sites on the Web, this site is home to hundreds of thousands of videos on an infinitely broad spectrum of topics.
    2. LearnThat.com: With categories like business, finance, home repair, and computers and tech, this site has plenty of classes for avid learners.
    3. Koonji: With tutorials that are extremely easy to follow, this site will make it simple to learn just about anything.
    4. SuTree: Whether you want to learn new skills or share some of your own, you can do both on this video how-to site.
    5. VideoJug: With great videos on topics as diverse as doing well on the SAT and knitting a scarf, you’ll be able to find just what you’re looking for here.
    6. FindTutorials.com: This huge collection of tutorials contains listings for education, hobbies and DIY projects around the house.
    7. TrickLife: Want to make your life better? This site is home to numerous tutorials to help improve your home, your body and your personal well-being.
    8. Instructables: This site offers a wide range of video tutorials where users can showcase all their valuable skills.
    9. MyTutorials: Search through the tutorials on this site to find just what you’re looking to learn.
    10. Tutorial Ninjas: From investing to getting healthy, you’ll find loads of tutorials here.
    11. Hodder Education: Check out this site for a range of self-learning opportunities in sports, music, health and more.
    12. Sofia: Promoting free sharing of intellectual assets, this site offers several free courses in programming, typography and geography.
    13. I Can Learn Anything: Pay this site a visit to get access to a wide range of social learning resources.
    14. Wikiversity: With over 10,000 free learning resources, you’ll find tons of great instructional materials here.

    Around the House

    Want to know how to fix that broken cabinet or hang up some great wallpaper? These sites are all about helping you learn how to fix things around the house, on your car or even learn a new hobby.

    1. Make Magazine: If you’re looking to turn your old laptop into something cool, or find new and inventive ways to spruce up your home, you’ll find loads of ideas on this site.
    2. What the Craft: With a little instruction from this site you can create hand-tailored clothes or great new pillows for your couch.
    3. Skillvids: Save money on costly home repairs by learning how to do them yourself on this site.
    4. Jonko Online Auto Repair: Here, you’ll find some instructional help on fixing all the little things that can go wrong with your car.
    5. DoItYourself.com: Whether you’re trying to sell your home or manage your finances, you’ll find some helpful guidance here.
    6. Fix Expert: Learn some of the basics of car maintenance and repair from this site.
    7. Easy2DIY: Want to know how to lay carpet? Fix your leaky dishwasher? You’ll find that and more here.
    8. Free DIY Tutorials: Visit this site to learn how to construct a range of sewing and crafting projects.
    9. The Bicycle Tutor: Why pay someone to fix your bike when you can do it yourself? This site can teach you how.
    10. Grovetech PC Repair and Maintenance: Check out this site to learn how to do some basic PC repairs like adding additional RAM and cleaning off all those nasty viruses.
    11. ReadyMade: This site can help you learn to build things you never knew you could do on your own.
    12. Hack a Day: Embrace your creative side with these hacks that help you learn to reuse the junk around your house in cool new ways.
    13. Howtopedia: With loads of tips on how to make your DIY projects greener, this site will help you make your home and the earth a little better at the same time.

    Business and Management

    If you feel like you’re seriously lacking on business and management skills at work, no need to worry. These sites can help you learn the basics and get your career on track.

    1. KnowThis?: Boost your marketing skills by taking one of the tutorials offered through this site.
    2. Leadership Training Tutorials: Like the name suggests, these free tutorials are all about helping you bring out your leadership skills.
    3. Laynetworks: Those who want to learn more about great management skills can find tutorials galore here.
    4. Website 101: If you’re an entrepreneur who doesn’t know much about running a business online, this site is home to loads of tutorials that can help you understand what it takes to establish a great web presence.
    5. Business Tutorials: Whether you want to start your own business or need a little guidance once you have, this site will provide all kinds of helpful tutorials.
    6. Passion for Business Learning: Learn more about business skills from management to finance on this site.
    7. Business Balls: While the name might be silly, the site offers some serious advice and information on improving management and business skills.
    8. ComputerWeekly: Those in the IT field should take advantage of this site’s free weekly webinars to stay up-to-date on the latest information and developments.
    9. TechOnline: Designed with electronics professionals in mind, this site has dozens of great tech-focused tutorials.
    10. Change Management: Here you’ll find instructional materials to improve your skills in leadership and management.

    Language and Writing

    Those who want to learn a new language, improve their writing skills or just learn more about literature will be well-served by these instructional sites.

    1. BBC Languages: With numerous languages to choose from, this site offers visitors some really valuable free language learning materials.
    2. Project Gutenberg: Catch up on reading the classics with the free e-books offered here.
    3. Teach Yourself Japanese: Whether you’re learning for business or pleasure, this site offers all kinds of resources for Japanese language learners.
    4. Literature.org: The extensive library of free material on this site makes it cheap and easy to read up on just about any subject.
    5. Bibliomania: With free books and study guides to go along with them, you’ll not only be able to read the classics but get help understanding them as well.
    6. LookLex: Here you’ll be able to learn the basics of the Arabic language with free audio tutorials.
    7. American Sign Language Browser: If you’ve ever wanted to learn ASL you’ll find a number of resources here that can get you started.
    8. Learn Spanish: As one of the most widely-spoken languages in the world, there’s no better time than now to start learning Spanish.
    9. Writer’s Resource Center: This site is home to loads of support and information on writing better fiction.
    10. Paradigm Online Writing Assistant: Need some help writing? You’ll find instructional articles here.

    Technology

    These tech-focused sites offer help to both technophiles and beginners alike.

    1. actDEN: Never learned how to use Microsoft Excel? Now you can with free tutorials on this site, offering education on a number of computer programs.
    2. How-to Geek: From setting up to fixing problems, this site will help you learn to get your gadgets up and running.
    3. W3Schools: Learn just about anything you could want to know about Web design and development from the large number of tutorials on this site.
    4. KillerSites: Here you’ll find loads of free info on web design and hosting.
    5. Productivity Portfolio: Are you really not good with technology? Here you’ll find tutorials designed just for you, with simple 5-minute lessons on the basics of programs like Outlook and Firefox.
    6. Tweako: This site is home to numerous tutorials focused on technology, programming and the net.
    7. Vista4Beginners: Many people find Vista hard to navigate, and if you’re one of them you can find help on this site, filled with great tutorials.
    8. Digital Arts: From tips on using Photoshop to what it takes to make great web designs, this site will help you embrace the creative side of technology.
    9. InPictures: With tutorials that come complete with visual representations of how to do everything, this site is perfect for the visual learner.
    10. N Design Studio: This site is focused on Dreamweaver and Illustrator, providing a wide range of tutorials.
    11. NetTuts: Check out this site if you’re in need of a little help with a web development project or want to learn more about programming on the internet.
    12. Geekpedia: Here you’ll find tutorials on just about every programming language you could want to learn.
    13. MuppetLabs: Programmers and aspiring geeks alike can find numerous tutorials here on languages like C++ and Perl.

    Math

    Many people struggle to understand mathematical concepts. These sites offer help and instruction no matter what level you’re on.

    1. S.O.S. Mathematics: Check out this site to find tutorials and worksheets to help you learn more about math and get a little practice applying it.
    2. MathVids: If you’d rather learn from videos, the instructional ones provided here will be helpful to you, offering explanation of a wide variety of math issues.
    3. Math Cracker: Get a little help on math subjects from the basics of algebra to the intricacies of calculus with a variety of helpful tutorials.
    4. Real World Math: Think your math teacher was full of it when he said you’d actually use the math you’re learning? This site applies all kinds of math to real situations, making it easier for many to see how it might be valuable.
    5. Math for Morons Like Us: Even the smartest people can sometimes forget their multiplication tables, but if you feel especially weak in math you may want to check out this site. It breaks down even complicated ideas into easy to understand lessons.
    6. Math.com: With some great tools and a variety of tutorials on algebra, geometry, trigonometry and more, this site has loads to offer learners.
    7. MathTools: If you’re using MATLAB you can get some information on how to better use the program and understand what’s going on with these free tutorials.
    8. Paul’s Online Math Notes: This professor wants to help you learn math, and offers notes, lessons and more.
    9. Visual Calculus: The modules on this site are designed to help you see visually how calculus works, an easier way to learn for many who struggle to understand abstract concepts without illustration.
    10. PurpleMath: Visit this site to find notes, tutorials and lessons on a variety of math subjects.

    Science

    Learn more about the amazing world around you from its chemical makeup to the processes going on in your own body with these helpful sites.

    1. The Chem Team: Learn the basics of chemistry with the tutorials and lessons provided by this site.
    2. Get Body Smart: With interactive animations and activities, this site makes it fun to learn about how the body works inside and out.
    3. The Physics Zone: You can get a better grasp on concepts like magnetism and motion with this site that offers instruction on the theoretical and mathematical aspects of physics.
    4. The Life Wire: Here you’ll find a number of animations and tutorials that are designed to help you learn more about biology, even the stuff that may have confused you before.
    5. Geology Rocks: The earth may seem like a stable, static entity but it’s always changing and moving. Check out this site to learn more about these processes and the ground under your feet.
    6. NASA: If Earth isn’t your thing, take to the heavens with videos, photos, articles and podcasts all about the stars, planets and what lies beyond.
    7. Inner Body: Check out this site to learn a bit about the circulatory system and find out just how that cheeseburger is clogging your arteries.
    8. Exploratorium: Also called the Museum of Science, Art and Human Perception, you’ll find lessons here on everything from how music works to the effects of global warming.
    9. Science A-Go-Go: This site is a great place to learn about the latest and greatest scientific discoveries. You can take to the discussion forums as well if you’d like to debate any topic.
    10. The Why Files: If you’ve ever wondered why or how a news story about science is true or want to learn more about everyday science, check out this site.

    Creativity

    These lesson-filled sites offer a chance to learn more about art, music and digital creativity.

    1. Berklee Shares: Here you’ll get access to loads of free Strobist: Check out this blog and its tutorials to learn the basics of lighting in photography.
    2. Teoria: On this site you’ll find a number of music-related tutorials and lessons to help you better understand music theory.
    3. Digital Arts: Need a little creative inspiration? This site can help you out and help you better learn to use your digital art tools.
    4. PSDTUTS: Whether you use PhotoShop to touch up your drawings or to make completely digital works of art, you’ll find helpful tutorials here.
    5. Photography Mentor: Join this site to get educational videos for your computer or iPhone to learn more about digital photography.
    6. E-Chords: The video tutorials on this site can help you learn to totally shred on the guitar or bass.
    7. DrumBum: If drums are more your style, these tutorials and lessons will help you master a variety of types of music.
    8. Music Theory: Ricci Adams teaches the basics of music theory and notation with lessons and tutorials on this site.
    9. Computer Music Products: Want to make and distribute music right from your computer? This site can teach you how.
    10. Duey’s Drawings: If you’ve always been envious of those who can draw and paint, give this instructional site a visit for lessons on how you can improve your skills.
    11. Video-Tutes: Learn a number of useful things about shooting and editing videos from the instructional tutorials on this site.

    History

    Expand your knowledge of the past with these history sites that contain info, photos and lessons on numerous topics.

    1. Archive.org: With links to information on the history of music, documents and even the Internet, this site is a one-stop-shop for learning.
    2. Library of Congress: With numerous digitally archived photos, documents and manuscripts, as well as a few wholly online exhibits, you’ll find a wealth of great information on this site to help you learn about American history.
    3. The Rosetta Project: No matter what language you want to learn about, still spoken or long dead, you’ll find its history and loads of information about it here.
    4. Digital History: This online project offers users a wide range of digitized historical information to make learning easy and fun.
    5. U.S. Census Bureau: Get the stats on just about everything you could want to know about Americans on this site.
    6. Biography: Learn a little more about the people who have shaped the world we live in today with the information from Biography.
    7. Artcyclopedia: Wanna know a little more about the history of art? You’ll find information, photos and resources galore here.
    8. History Channel: Even if you don’t have cable you can watch videos, engage in interactive programs and read all about world history on this site.

    50 Awesome Open Courseware Classes on Space & Astronomy

    Mar 17th, 2009

    Whether you want an introduction to astronomy or are experienced in aeronautical engineering but want to learn more about the physics of the galaxy, you can find helpful study materials, lectures and not-for-credit assignments online through open courseware. Schools like MIT and the University of California offer these resources for mastering the mystery of black holes, learning about the history of astronomy, and more.

    Stars and Galaxies

    These courses and lectures will teach you about quasars, active galaxies, star structure and more.

    1. Introduction to Astronomy: Here you’ll learn all about the basics of astronomy, including the galaxy, universe, solar system, stars and more. [MIT]
    2. The Solar System: Learn all about planetary formation, cratering, orbits and more in this course. [MIT]
    3. Introduction to Active Galaxies: Learn about optical and broadband spectra, Seyfert galaxies, Quasars and more. [The Open University]
    4. The evolving universe: Discover what happened to the universe after the Big Bang in terms of structure, inflation, the quark-lepton era, and more. [The Open University]
    5. Comparing Stars: Discover what stars are made of and how they develop and die in this course. [The Open University].
    6. Big Bang: Study this important theory in the creation of our galaxy and planet. [The Open University]
    7. Elementary Astronomy: Topics covered in this course include binary stars, the formation of the solar system, comets, the moon, variable stars, and more. [College of Eastern Utah]
    8. Gene Smith’s Astronomy Tutorial: Supernovae, Neutron Stars and Pulsars: Learn all about supernovae structure in this course. [University of California - San Diego]
    9. The Moon: Here you will learn all about the moon’s rotation and orbit, missions to the moon, the moon’s atmosphere, and more. [The Open University]
    10. The Sun: Lessons in this unit include Beyond visible light, Observing the Sun, Angular size, Inside the sun, and others. [The Open University]
    11. Starbursts and Colliding Galaxies: View images and animations about galaxies and quasars here. [University of California - San Diego]

    Planets

    Learn all about cratering, exoplanets, global warming and planet compilation in this section.

    1. Hands-On Astronomy: Observing Stars and Planets: Learn how to keep an observing notebook in this astronomy course, which also teaches the basics of using telescopes. [MIT]
    2. Basics of Impact Cratering and Geological, Geophysical, Geochemical Environmental Studies of Some Impact Craters of the Earth: Study impact cratering to uncover the mysteries of some of Earth’s 170 identified craters. [MIT]
    3. Extrasolar Planets: Physics and Detection Techniques: Apply fundamental physics processes and principles to the study of exoplanets in this course. [MIT]
    4. Global Warming: Try to uncover the root causes for global warming and atmospheric change in this course. [The Open University]
    5. Jupiter and its Moons: Lessons in this course include Rotation and orbit, Missions to Jupiter, The interior, The atmosphere, Satellites, and others. [The Open University]
    6. The Mars Exploration Rover Mission: Learn about the presence of water on Mars in this lecture. [UC Berkeley]
    7. Introduction to Planets: View images of planets and get a brief history of the solar system here. [Wikiversity]
    8. Weather on Other Planets: Discover what the weather and atmospheric conditions are like on Mercury, Mars, Venus, Neptune and other planets. [Suite 101]

    Physics

    These physics courses can help you better understand the science behind space.

    1. Experimental Physics I and II: This junior lab course can help you experiment with physics properties and laws. [MIT]
    2. Modern Astrophysics: Apply Newtonian, statistical, and quantum mechanics physics "to fundamental processes that occur in celestial objects" in this course. [MIT]
    3. Physics I: Classical Mechanics: Watch videos and review lectures to learn about Newtonian Mechanics, Fluid Mechanics, and Kinetic Gas Theory. [MIT]
    4. Atmospheric and Ocean Circulations: Learn all about the physics that controls ocean circulations. [MIT]
    5. Maths for science: Space, physics and astronomy students can take this refresher mathematics course to review scales of measurement, chance and probability, statistics, and other principles. [The Open University]
    6. Motion under gravity: Learn all the basics of gravity in this course, which also introduces students to gravitational energy and energy conservation. [The Open University]
    7. The restless universe: This course applies physics principles to the evolution of the universe. [The Open University]
    8. Introductory Physics: Review the fundamentals of introductory physics here. [UC Berkeley]
    9. Exploring Black Holes: General Relativity and Astrophysics: The study of black holes is used as a microcosm for understanding astrophysics and relativity. [MIT]
    10. General Relativity and Black Holes: Learn about The Equivalence Principle, The Theory of Special Relativity and more from this course. [University of California - San Diego]

    Technology and Engineering

    Learn about the technology and engineering systems that augment the study of astronomy and missions into space.

    1. Space Systems Engineering: Learn how to design ground and space telescopes in this course. [MIT]
    2. Introduction to Aerospace Engineering and Design: This introductory class will teach you all about the basics of aerospace engineering. [MIT]
    3. Aerodynamics: Learn about wing and body performance in this aerodynamics class. [MIT]
    4. Cognitive Robotics: Design your own robot project in this course. [MIT]
    5. Space Systems Engineering: Here you will learn about designing and maintaining space stations, satellites and more. [MIT]
    6. Space System Architecture and Design: Discover how to design and build a functioning space system [MIT]
    7. Engineering Apollo: The Moon Project as a Complex System: Study the Apollo project from an engineering view point. [MIT]
    8. Satellite Engineering: Learn all about "subsystem design in engineering spacecraft" in this course. [MIT]
    9. Rocket Propulsion: Topics covered in this course include thermochemistry, launch and oribtal systems, interpanetary flight systems, and more. [MIT]
    10. Space Propulsion: Here you will learn about all the systems and physics involved with space propulsion. [MIT]
    11. Telescopes and spectrographs: Learn how telescopes and spectrographs are designed and utilized in astronomy. [The Open University]
    12. Receivers, Anetannas and Signals: Those interested in technical communication systems should review this course, which covers topics like astronomy. [MIT]

    History and Society

    Here you can learn about Galileo and the history of astronomy.

    1. Toward the Scientific Revolution: In this course, you will learn how science, mathematics and astronomy were explored during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. [MIT]
    2. Learning from the Past: Drama, Science Performance: Understand how science and drama evolved in western Europe during the 17th century. [MIT]
    3. Space Policy Seminar: This course takes a look at the administrative, managerial and policy-driven side of space exploration. Learn about national security policy, commercial space policy and more. [MIT]
    4. The History of Astronomy: Learn about the important people who impacted the study of the universe here. [Cornell]

    Miscellaneous

    For more study resources related to space and astronomy, review these courses.

    1. Europa and elsewhere: By studying the potential for life on the icy satellite Europa, students explore extraterrestrial life elsewhere. [The Open University]
    2. Modern Navigation: Study "the concepts and applications of navigation techniques using celestial bodies and satellite positioning systems" in this course. [MIT]
    3. A Brief History of Astronomy: Get an overview of the history of astronomy, from Pythagoras to Aristotle to Eratosthenes to Galileo to Isaac Newton. [University of California - San Diego]
    4. The Galileo Project: This project explains important scientific principles and systems, including the Ptolemaic System, Atomism, and other overviews about telescopes, tides, the planets and more. [Rice]
    5. Facts About Meteors: Get an introductory look at meteors here. [Suite 101] .