For teachers and homeschoolers, finding resources online can prove to be a headache when VPNs go down, or when students don’t have access to at-home VPNs. We’ve tested out each of these sites to make sure you can access them from behind the bricked-in view of the Great Firewall.
Codeacademy – A bright career path awaits you through learning how to code!
Khan Academy – When managing editor Vanessa Jencks needed to pass several Praxis tests, she used Khan Academy to brush up on her long unused Calculus skills.
PBS Kids – Educational games and cartoons for children 3-7.
Zooniverse – enables everyone to take part in real cutting edge research in many fields across the sciences, humanities, and more. The Zooniverse creates opportunities for you to unlock answers and contribute to real discoveries.
Wikipedia – It’s a great starter space for research. Just never use it as a citation, kids!
Art, Culture, Language, Humanities, and Music
Creative Overflow – Get a design crash course in Photoshop through this resource.
Drawspace – Save on in-person art classes and use this site instead.
Academic Earth – Academic Earth was launched on the premise that everyone deserves access to a world-class education. In 2009, we built the first collection of free online college courses from the world’s top universities.
BBC Languages – This extension of BBC remains unblocked.
DuoLingo – Learn a new language for free while helping to translate the web.
JustinGuitar – Hundreds of free guitar lessons as well as some basic music theory.
Planetebook – Free downloads of 80+ classic books.
Yabla – Learn Chinese, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and English.
Technology, Math, and Sciences
Udacity – These project-based online classes, are mainly dealing with computer, data science and mathematics. Good news is that it’s also available in Chinese!
MIT Open CourseWare – “The idea is simple: to publish all of our course materials online and make them widely available to everyone.” Dick K.P. Yue, Professor, MIT School of Engineering
Shodor – “Established in Durham, NC in 1994, Shodor is a nonprofit organization serving students and educators by providing materials and instruction relating to computational science (scientific, interactive computing).”
Scitable – A free science library with resources from genetics to the complexity of organisms.
Open Culture – “brings together high-quality cultural and educational media for the worldwide lifelong learning community.”
Open YALE Courses – “provides lectures and other materials from selected Yale College courses to the public free of charge via the Internet. The courses span the full range of liberal arts disciplines, including humanities, social sciences, and physical and biological sciences. The online courses are designed for a wide range of people around the world, among them self-directed and life-long learners, educators, and high school and college students. The integrated, highly flexible web interface allows users, in effect, to audit Yale undergraduate courses if they wish to. It also gives the user a wide variety of other options for structuring the learning process, for example downloading, redistributing, and remixing course materials.”
How Stuff Works? – If you ever get a hankering to watch the “How It’s Made” TV Show but don’t have access to online streaming, maybe this will satiate your thirst for knowledge.
OEDb – claims to be “the most comprehensive collection of online college rankings and free courses anywhere online.”
Open Learn – Gives you free access to Open University course materials.
edX.org – Free courses designed specifically for interactive study.
VideoLectures.NET – These videos by top scientists and thinkers can be a great conversation starters (or homework) if used well.
TED – Watching one of these during a taxi or subway ride is well worth a bit of your mobile data.
iTunes U – offering many free video courses, books, presentations, and audio lectures.
Udemy – Though you can buy courses, type in “Free” to their search bar to see what’s available at no charge.
unplugthetv – This site curates random educational videos, but the site wasn’t mobile friendly when we tested.
No Excuse List – Their motto: “The best place on the web to learn anything, free.” (We can’t guarantee everything in the sublinks are VPN free.)
My own business – and Kutztown University – both focus on business learning.
Free Computer Books – “Everything in this website is 100% Free. This includes, but not limited to, books, lecture notes, magazines, white papers, and tutorials.”
Lifehacker – Need a DIY shelf, bag, or plastic? You’ll probably find what you need here.
Pinterest – Similar to Lifehacker but includes the areas of art and crafts, and acts more as a research tool.
The University of Reddit – In typical Reddit fashion, a list to many educational resources. (We can’t guarantee everything in the sublinks are VPN free.)