You don’t have to be Einstein to see that technology is flooding the world. Interconnectivity of peoples is at an all-time high and continues to soar.
Since the birth of the internet, people have been sharing ideas and concepts across continents and oceans. Amongst this exchange, some have sought to profit. Others instead seek a free sharing of information to all people simply for the betterment of the human mind.
For the most part, sharing information is not a free endeavor as any college student will attest, but there are some who want all learning free. What better place to start than with the internet? There’s an app for that and a website too.
Here are some of the best free online resources for college students.
1) Khan Academy. This massive teaching tool is the brainchild of Salman Khan who began making YouTube tutorials in math for his relatives and friends. Their popularity prompted him to make a career out of the institute. The website is entirely free and funded by donation.
A variety of teachers show how to do everything from algebra to post-modern literature to biology and the lessons have been translated into 23 different languages. Download the app today and get this awesome tool to help you stay on track with all of your school or to further your education.
2) Glass Door. College helps train students for professional life. One way to do that is through internships. Paid or otherwise, an internship is a way of getting experience in your chosen field. There are many out there. Some have massive competition while others go completely unfilled, but how do you know the job or internship is good for you?
Enter Glass Door. This website allows people to post anonymous ratings of positions and companies completely free. The site allows you to see what people have said about the internship before you ever even apply. It can also help you narrow your search for internships that help you get where you want to be.
3) Rate My Professor. Getting to know a professor is tough by any account, but sometimes it can help to know them before they know you. Ratemyprofessor.com is a useful tool to do just that.
The site allows students to post reviews of classes, professors, and even school as a whole. You can see exactly how hard the class will be, what to expect in terms of help, and which professors are more concerned about research than teaching.
4) The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL). Communication is key to everything. From relationships to work to schoolwork, communication is paramount to success. However, communicating ideas in writing is not easy as evident by the thousands of papers, books, apps, and websites dedicated to helping people write.
Many claim to be able to teach anyone to write, but few can compare in sheer detail and thoroughness as Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab. The website is free to the public and contains a complete style guide to the Modern Language Association including a perfect complete example paper.
5) Sparknotes. Reading is easy. Understanding is hard. When the professor drones on and on about the Biblical basis of the characters’ dilemma, the Faustian bargain he must make, or how the murder of a side character was actually a rape, some minds might wander.
Others will wonder what drugs the professor’s on to be pulling this stuff from thin air. That’s where Sparknotes comes in. This handy website allows you to get more than just a summary of a book’s chapters. It gives you an invaluable tool for understanding the intricacies of literature.
6) LiveMocha. Parlez-vous français? Sprechen sie Deutsch? Hablas español? It’s all Greek to me.
Learning new languages is certainly a difficult task and making a good grade while doing so is even harder. Here’s where LiveMocha can help. This site is a points-based learning site where experts and the community help each other learn 38 different languages.
This site also offers the experience of having peers review your work to help you learn better and faster.
7) Google Scholar. Google is synonymous with search engines, but for all its amazing power, it has its failings. The engine has been accused of being biased according to who’s paying the most or who’s most popular at the time. So when searching for sources or research, Google’s main engine doesn’t cut it.
Here’s where the scholar function comes in handy. It will search universities, libraries, archives, and repositories for “scholarly articles” or more reliable, more knowledgeable information on a given topic. That will give you some better material than a Google search on the Industrial Revolution.
8) BibMe. Need a bibliography for a paper now? Want to get some feedback on your styling? Don’t want to pay for it? Try BibMe.org. This amazing site has instant bibliography makers for MLA, APA, Chicago, and Turabian styles, feedback generators for essays, a title page generator, and a citation guide to help you make sure authors and artists get their due credit.
9) Project Gutenberg. How much did you spend on books last semester? Answer: too much, especially when you can get your books for free on Project Gutenberg.
This site offers an enormous library of books for free download. Available throughout the country, this site seeks to allow for the free flow of knowledge worldwide. Textbooks are sparse on the site, but for a novel or other book, why waste the money? Kindle, iPad, and plain text versions are available for download.
Have any ideas for other sites? Post them below.