Photography from Harvard to App Design from MIT: Here are 10 free online tech courses you can take now!

By Adamya Sharma | Published on 18 Jan 2017
Photography from Harvard to App Design from MIT: Here are 10 free online tech courses you can take now!

Here is a list of 10 free, yet highly valuable online tech courses from some of the top international universities and companies around the world.

With the internet on our fingertips, the world is a pool of knowledge. All you need to do is jump in and start swimming. Given that digital skills are increasingly becoming more coveted, it’s about time we leverage the vast ocean of information and educational training available online. But, we don’t want you to dive into the world of online education blindly. So here is a list of 10 free, yet highly valuable online tech courses from some of the top international universities and companies around the world. Are you up for some skill building?

Harvard University’s complete photography course is now online!

Yes, you heard it right, Harvard University’s entire photography course is now available online, free of cost. The course has been uploaded by Alison, one of the many online learning resources available to internet users today. Harvard’s photography course consists of 13 modules including Introduction to Digital Photography, Software, Light, exposure, Digital Cameras, Colour, Artifacts, Histograms, etc. The last module acts as an assessment module for students, based on learnings from the 12 curriculum modules. However, the course has been picked up from Harvard’s 2009 course structure, making software tools outdated. The fundamentals of photography, though, remain the same even now and the course is completely free of cost, making it ideal for those looking to brush up their camera skills this year.

Learn digital skills with Google

Google recently launched the Digital Unlocked programme in India and while users can opt for offline training and certification under the same, they can also leverage the programme online. Great for those looking to learn the basics of growing a business or a startup on the web, the course offers a personalised video lesson plan as per a user’s needs. Those looking to learn can repeatedly watch the course videos and practice each topic. Each video offers a quick and fun lesson in digital marketing and as Google puts it, “you’ll learn from everyday experts.”  After the lessons are completed, users are guided to practice their learnings with bite-sized activities based on real life situations. There is a final quiz at the end of each topic to complete the personalised plan.

MIT will teach you how to design Mobile App Experiences

How do you design a mobile app that can truly change lives? Well, who better to tell you than the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The online course will endeavour to teach students how to create mobile apps, from research to design, usability, implementation and field evaluation. The course is based on a popular MIT class that has been taught since 2006 by Frank Bentley of Yahoo Labs and Ed Barrett, a Senior Lecturer at MIT. It will also explore what makes mobile devices unique. A primary focus will be on studying existing behavior and using key findings for design. While writing the code for an app is a part of the class, majority of the topics will cover designing and evaluating a unique mobile experience.The course will begin on March 7, 2017, but enrollment for the same has already started on edx, another online learning portal. Free of cost, the MIT Mobile App Experiences course will run over 10 weeks, requiring 10-12 hours of the students’ time every week. Great for those looking to make a mark with a well-designed and useful app.

Get an Intensive Introduction to algorithms, software development and computer systems from Harvard

Ever blamed yourself for not taking up Computer Science in school? Want to learn programming languages like HTML, CSS or SQL? Want to know all about algorithms, software development, website development and operating systems? Look no further than this Intensive Introductory course on Computer Science from Harvard University. All of the course material, including video lectures from Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, are available online and completely free of cost. Students will also get access to notes, quizzes, problem sets, seminars, study guides and more as part of the the 11 week online learning curriculum.

Think, create & code with The University of Adelaide

This free course offered by The University of Adelaide is aimed at teaching the basics of coding to the online learner. In this 6 week long online course, students will not only learn the inner workings of the digital world, but also create and manipulate images with code, creating new artworks and interactive animations. User made images and animations will be displayed in an online Art Gallery. Students will also have an opportunity to develop effective computational thinking skills and concepts transferable to other coding environments and programming languages.

Explore alien worlds and exoplanets with the help of Boston University

If you are one for alien theories and want to study planets outside of our solar system (exoplanets), then check out this course from Boston University. In this 9 week course, you will learn how to use basic scientific tools to discover and characterize exoplanets. You will also get the skills you need to understand your place in the universe. It’s an introductory level course, so you can go in a novice and come out with a basic understanding of concepts of astrophysics including, light, gravity, and motion. Check out the course here.

Learn how the Internet works with Stanford University

Stanford University offers a free introductory networking course which will require students to devote 5-10 hours of study every week. This self-paced course focuses on explaining how the internet works, ranging from how bits are modulated on wires and in wireless to application-level protocols like BitTorrent and HTTP. The course also explains the principles of how to design networks and network protocols. Students gain experience in reading and understanding RFCs (Internet protocol specifications) as statements of what a system should do. At Stanford, this course is typically taken by undergraduate seniors and first or second year masters students, hence it will require online learners to have prior knowledge of algebra and an understanding of how computers lay out data in memory.

Build your own IoT devices with help from Qualcomm and UC San Diego

Ok, this one is not exactly free, but costs just Rs 1,292 per course. If you want to learn how the Internet of Things works, then this one is probably the best available online. In this course, students will get the necessary skills to build their own IoT products and services including devices for sensing, actuation, processing, and communication. The entire curriculum is 6 course long, and each course is priced around Rs 1,292. The IoT course has been developed in partnership with chip maker Qualcomm, and in the final project, students will apply their skills using the DragonBoard 410c platform.  

What’s inside your phone? Let Cornell University teach you

What makes a smartphone? How do processors work? How can you design a small working computer? You can learn all this and more in this free online course offered by Cornell University. This course is spread over 10 weeks and will require 6 dedicated hours of effort from online students per week. Here you will gain knowledge on Digital logic, Computer organization, Instruction sets, Application Software, Advanced performance techniques and Actual smartphone processors. Don’t worry, this is an introductory level course, so you can go in with bare minimum knowledge about smartphones.

Learn how to make Apps and Bots with Microsoft

Have a killer app idea but not sure how to execute it? Looking to leverage the growing bot platform? You can now learn from the people who actually build these things. Microsoft offers a free online app and bot development course where students will learn how to create intelligent apps using Microsoft Azure machine learning APIs. In addition, students can also learn how to build autonomous bots and real-time intelligent solutions for IOT/big data scenarios, over a period of 6 weeks.  

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