Lately I’ve seen a lot of press regarding free learning resources available on the web. I’ve been quite impressed so I thought I’d share two of my favorites.

iTunes U
iTunes U has been around for a while but I’m constantly amazed at the number of people who have never heard of it. My passion is courses related to technology iTunes U - Free Learning Resourcebut iTunes U offers a variety of courses covering everything from auto repair to finance. The five or six courses I’ve had the pleasure to review all contain great content. Some courses have audio, some have video and some are text based PowerPoint presentation. Several of the courses are semester long programs and a lot of them contain links to lecture notes, assignments and additional resources. It really is a wonderful resource for people who enjoy the pursuit of life-long learning.

iTunes U offers courses from top-notch universities including Stanford and Harvard. Did you ever think you would be able to take a course from Harvard? I certainly didn’t. While you can’t earn a degree with iTunes U you can learn subjects that interest you from some of the best professors in the world. If you’re tired of free 1-hour webinars and if you’re interested in high-quality courses from world-class professors, I highly recommend spending some time on iTunes U. You can access these free training courses using an iPhone, an iPad, through iTunes (free download) or on an Apple TV in combination with iTunes.

Harvard & M.I.T.
Now this one blew me away when I saw the original press release. Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are partnering to offer free online courses to anyone in the world. That’s right, anyone! Again, at this time you cannot earn a degree through this program but if you’re interested in learning from the best professors in the world, this is definitely worth looking into. A few months ago M.I.T. released MIT OpenCourseware which provided access to a variety of online course materials for the actual courses presented to MIT students. While this is excellent content, I’ve found that some of the links to the supporting materials are broken or missing. You can still access high level educational content but it takes a little more work than using something like iTunes U.

Yesterday I stumbled across a blog post on CNN which discusses free online courses offered by Harvard and MIT. Harvard and M.I.T. each committed $30 million to form a partnership where both universities will provide free courses online. It’s scheduled to be released in the fall and I’m anxious to see what they have to offer.

The eLearning world is changing and it appears to be changing for the better.