As I prepare conclude my eight-year tenure at my first “real job” and move into full-time teaching, I’m grateful to live in such a wonderful time for learning. As transactions costs of sharing information approaches zero (or at least, marginal costs), many universities and seminaries are posting their classes and resources online for free. Over the last eight years, I listened to thousands of hours of teaching from top teachers at top institutions–mostly for free! I am certain that I learned more about the world during this time than in my three undergraduate years at university–and not just because I was attending graduate school during this time. Free audio has been my true post-graduate education, and my three advanced degrees reflect only a fraction of that learning.
Here are some of the most valuable/enjoyable sources of free education for me. Please post links to your favorite educational media in the comments. Enjoy!
- Econtalk: www.econtalk.org – Probably no single “academic” teacher has influenced the way I think about the world than Prof. Russ Roberts, the host of Econtalk. Economics is not about money–it’s about how to get the most out of life. I have listened to every episode at least once, many twice, some multiple times. I live a much richer life because of Econtalk.
- The Cato Institute: www.cato.org/multimedia – Cato is a libertarian think-tank in Washington. Their top-notch scholars always have informative and interesting explanations of current issues. Even if you lean more to the right or to the left, you will find helpful commentary from Cato. Audio includes event podcasts (typically an hour), a daily podcast (10-15 minutes), and clips of Cato scholars’ media appearances (radio and TV).
- Open Yale Courses: http://oyc.yale.edu/history – Top-notch teachers at one of the world’s top universities!
- The Great Courses: The Rise and Fall of the British Empire – http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/courses/course_detail.aspx?cid=8480
- Covenant Theological Seminary: http://www.covenantseminary.edu/resources/
- Reformed Theological Seminary: http://itunes.rts.edu/
- Issues, Etc.: http://issuesetc.org/ – Theology, politics and culture from a confessional Lutheran perspective. While I don’t always agree with everything on the show, I appreciate the analysis. Particularly interesting are the studies of church history–those are the best.
- The N.T. Wright page: http://ntwrightpage.com/
- University of Oxford podcasts: http://podcasts.ox.ac.uk/ – Podcasts by Oxford scholars on various topics
- Audio Bible:
- German: http://www.sermon-online.de/
- English (ESV): http://www.esvbible.org/
- Hebrew: http://www.mechon-mamre.org/p/pt/ptmp3prq.htm
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