5 Sources for Free Computer Technology Education Online

Free online courses in computer technology are offered by real schools. Learn which computer technology courses are available, what topics they cover and which ones lead to real college credit.

Information on Online Course Requirements

Most often, any work done by students using OpenCourseWare (OCW) can be done at their own pace and will not be considered for academic credit or graded. Some computer science courses may require advanced proficiency in computer language programming and mathematics, while others don't assume any prior computer-related study.

Some courses even provide resources for extra help, such as tutoring and forums. While many OCW courses supply ample course materials, including video, audio, Web content, slides, notes, music, demos and software, often times certain material and facilities can be unavailable to OCW students. Though not required, students may wish to purchase this material to enhance their learning experience.

Free Online Computer Technology Education Sources

Computer Science 61A at the University of California, Berkeley

This course, in the form of several webcasts or lecture videos, allows students to learn introductory computer science and computer programming techniques. The course material covers data-directed programming and message passing, as well as how to use higher-order functions and a von Neumann machine to create solutions for algorithms.

Intensive Introduction to Computer Science at Harvard

Also known as, Computer Science 50, this course has a variety of online materials, including lectures, demos, music, notes, slides and quizzes. Lectures last 12 weeks and cover topics like source code, loops, dynamic memory allocation, pointers, queues and HTML. By the end of the course, students learn the critical-thinking and problem-solving skills used in computer technology.

Introduction to Computer Science at Stanford

This course from Stanford focuses more on software engineering principles. Through assignments and solutions, lecture videos, PDF handouts, exams and downloadable software, students can focus on the topics of Karel commands, Java scripting, variables, information hiding, strings, event-driven programs and encryption. The Stanford School of Engineering offers many other online courses in computer science as well. Additionally, students have access to exams and the solutions.

Learn and Apply HTML at Utah State University

HTML is the language a browser uses to display Web content. This course aims to teach students how to use HTML to create Web pages and insert graphics. After installing the initial plug-ins, learners use PDF and video content to learn to create a form and publish web pages. Some required materials may not be available online to OCW students. Utah State University also has other courses aimed at teaching computer and Internet basics.

Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs at MIT

This is an introductory course in computer science, programming languages and computational system analysis. Through online video lectures, students can self-educate on topics such as compound data, generic operators, computational objects, streams, logic programming and register machines. Other available materials include PDF lecture notes, exams, readings, manuals and an online tutor. MIT offers many other OCW courses that focus on computer technology.

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