7 Learning Resources to Try This Summer

It’s hot out. If you don’t have a job or class to focus on this summer, it’s pretty easy to let the sun bake your brain into a content, lazy mush. But you’re a hard-working college student nine months of the year, and old habits die hard — you may have started to feel a sense of unshakable panic when you consider your recent lack of productivity. You may just be bored. You know one thing for sure: this can’t go on.

There are plenty of things you can do with your (overwhelmingly) free time. Why not learn something? Here are some learning resources that will help you teach yourself this summer — whether it’s French, trigonometric integrals, art during the Roman Empire, or something else that you choose to add to your arsenal of knowledge.


photo credit: Ed Yourdon via photopin cc

1. Memrise

Memrise’s free course modules range from as short as 20 minutes to longer than a full day. You’ll be guided through your self-instruction of the subject of your choice. They offer courses in a whole bunch of languages, sciences, humanities, Pokémon, and more.

2. iTunes U

iTunes U is a free app for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch. Using this, you can complete courses provided by leading universities — at your own pace. They have video lectures from Yale, Stanford, and loads of other schools.

3. Fora

Fora is basically YouTube but with leading thinkers speaking instead of kids running into walls. The site features video of discussions, lectures, and events related to business, politics, the environment, and more.

4. Boundless

Boundless provides free textbooks in a huge variety of subjects including writing, psychology, and biology. There are also flashcards, quizzes, and easy-to-use study tools. Check it out!


photo credit: TEDx Rotterdam via photopin cc

5. TED-ed

The wonderful people who bring us TED Talks have expanded to education by providing free lessons to watch, quizzes, and resources to dig deeper into the subject of your choice. There are videos in every topic thinkable… including where to go during the zombie apocalypse (better safe than sorry!).

6. Wikiversity

From dentistry to meteorology, Wikiversity allows you to browse subjects and go more in-depth if you please. If you don’t want to dedicate yourself to too much learning (it is summer break, after all), the site has a nifty “Educational Picture of the Day” feature.

7. Sporcle

Be careful: this site’s tagline, “mentally stimulating diversions,” is absolutely accurate. You might find yourself “diverted” for a full day as you take quizzes about the periodic table, Shakespeare, Seinfeld, Harry Potter, island geography…

With these learning resources, you’ll have no problem becoming a Renaissance student this summer. Happy learning!