A collection of web sites with thousands of free video lectures and related course materials, including many offerings from major universities.
There are thousands of video-taped course lectures, and many other more complete course offerings, available for free on the Internet today. The quality and quantity of these offerings is growing and improving daily.
How educators and students choose to leverage these types of resources is also evolving. As stated on the Opencast Project web site, “openly accessible course videos help draw attention to a professor’s work, they can keep alumni engaged and informed, and students often supplement their studies with the material.” It should be interesting to see how members of the academic community choose to use this type of resource, in and out of the classroom, in coming years.
General Video Lecture Sites
All of the sites have directories and search tools to facilitate finding content you may desire. Of course, some overlap in these offerings (that is, the same videos on multiple sites) is inevitable.
Academic Earth: This site provides hundreds of free video lectures from professors at leading universities such as Yale, Stanford, Harvard, and more.
The OpenCourseWare Consortium: According to Makeuseof.com, ”Simply put, the OpenCourseWare Consortium is the best place to begin looking for free online video lectures”.
Free Video Lectures: This site’s vision: ”Every body from every nook and corner of the world should be able to access the best Knowledge Resources available.”
Videolectures.net: Almost 7000 video lectures, with a high emphasis on Computer Science. This site makes good use of Web 2.0 tools, having a Facebook Group and Twitter account. This site also introduced me to the interesting “Opencast Project” open courseware initiative.
LearnersTV: ”Video Lectures, Video Courses, Science Animations, Lecture Notes, Online Test, Lecture Presentations. Absolutely Free”
Lecture Fox: This site is a central link respository with a very simple interface (I like the simple way in which they indicate whether each lecture has video, audio, and/or notes available).
YouTube EDU: While not all of these videos are lectures, many of them are. A search for “lecture” in this special YouTube section yields “about 60,000″ results!
Video Lectures Sites from Specific Universities
These universities make lecture content available to the general public (and yes, it is quite likely that many of these videos are featured in some of the more general sites above).
MIT OpenCourseWare: Over 1900 Courses. “Free lecture notes, exams, and videos from MIT. No registration required.”
Open Yale Courses: Not a lot of courses here, but the materials provided are very thorough, with complete sets of lectures and supporting materials.
Princeton’s UChannel: A collection of public affairs lectures, panels, and events from academic institutions all over the world.
Stanford University’s YouTube Channel: features over 800 videos, including many lectures (unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any obvious way to search this content in an organized manner). The example video lecture below, “Einstein’s Theory of Relativity”, by Professor Leonard Susskind in Sept. 2008, is from this channel.
UCLA “BruinCast”: Most of these are ‘restricted’ (to students in those courses, I assume), but there are still many that are not. Note that to view lectures with video available, you’ll need to download Real Player.
[Ed Note: How did I manage to overlook Apple's "iTunes U"? Oh well, it's here now! Apple's vast resource contains over 250,000 lectures, videos, films, and more. Definitely worth being aware of. - KW 2/20/10]
In closing, I’ll mention that there are many other educational video sources on the Internet (for some examples,see the ‘Related Posts’ listing below), but I have chosen to concentrate on college level materials in this post (although a few of these sources do contain K-12 level offerings).
As always, if any readers know of any other similar sources they wish to share, please comment and let us know about them. Thanks!
Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
New Web Site WatchKnow.org (1000’s of Free Educational Videos)
TeacherTube, and other YouTube alternatives for instructional use