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    Thread: How to study by myself (not school related)

    1. #1
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      How to study by myself (not school related)

      First of all, I'm not sure if this is the right place.

      I am currently making a break from university, but especially after becoming an oneironaut, my thirst for knowledge has increased to the point of every day I study about lucid dreaming or any other aspect related to psychology.

      But I want more than simply browsing the internet and read (for the 10th time) the books I have at home. I want to study psychology, from perception to memory, from neuroscience to educational psychology. I mean study like you would study a new language: to build a solid knowledge that will help me next year when I go back to university, and that provides me ways of understanding more complex matters of psychology.

      I can't afford buying many books (especially having no clue which ones to buy), and I do worry that if I go to a public library, I won't find the right books. Should I worry about outdated information? Can I find something suitable in the internet?

      Thanks in advance, I really want to throw away the excuse "I have no clue where to start from" and fill the gap between work with productive exploration
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    2. #2
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      One thing you can do for example is take an online course on youtube by finding an education related channel and looking up their playlists. For example here is a link to Stanford University's playlists. I recommend the course in Human Behavioral Biology.

      http://www.youtube.com/user/Stanford...videos?view=pl

      Also for more math oriented people, there's this: http://www.youtube.com/user/khanacademy/videos?view=pl

      There's also many other resources you can stumble upon, for instance I found this blogpost http://www.samspurlin.com/14-links-t...igent-persons/ which provides a few links for free ebook websites and video websites such as PBS video and TED.

      For history, psychology, religion, anthropology and philosophy the best way to go about it is to hunt down online courses which may be on youtube but are more readily available as podcasts. For instance here's a good collection of free history podcasts http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/s...ry/id283605519

      You've also got Open Yales Courses here http://oyc.yale.edu/

      And Berkeley Webcasts http://webcast.berkeley.edu/

      Finally, here's a collection of documentaries http://www.sprword.com/all.html
      Last edited by Omnis Dei; 12-07-2011 at 07:44 PM.
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      I have a couple of ideas for self - studying:

      - First of all, University libraries and public libraries are great resources for free books. I know at the local Universities in Ottawa that they actually lend books to the public as well as students. Usually, university libraries have updated information and will lend books free of charge but require some kind of membership.

      - Take a community college course. Community colleges tend to not be as expensive as University tuition and usually have some great resources and courses for you in an intellectual environment.

      - Ebooks. There are hundreds of sites on the internet where you can pirate ebooks or buy ebooks at cheaper prices than at local book stores. The only problem is the fact that you will probably need an ebook reader unless you want to read all of the content on your computer screen in .pdf format.

      - Discount bookstores. Although, the books sold at these stores are probably somewhat outdated, you can find some books at extremely cheap prices by going to very obscure book stores.

      - Wikibooks. By the same foundation that created wikipedia, they offer some great open-source online textbooks.

      - TED and The Royal Society of Arts (RSA) have some great online videos from the world's most influential speakers.

      - MIT and many other universities have "Open Course Ware" which are free online courses offered by the universities. I believe harvard, Stanford and Yale all have free online courses.

      - Textbook Revolution. A student run website where you download academic textbook for free.

      Good luck!
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      Google is your friend. You really can find a ton of stuff on the internet. I bet if you look you can find books, online groups, forums, news sites and more on the internet. It just takes some looking around. Also don't worry about outdated stuff in libraries. Even if something was outdated, it would still give you insight and background knowledge on the subject.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Omnis Dei View Post
      Also for more math oriented people, there's this: http://www.youtube.com/user/khanacademy/videos?view=pl
      This is very good, thank you.

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      Somebody already mentioned the MIT open courseware (OCW) materials. I should add that they have also recently started an online initiative called OCW Scholar which aims to set up select courses as more complete stand-alone courses, geared toward independent learners. The non-Scholar materials are of highly variable completeness and quality, but the Scholar courses look quite impressive. Link is here: Free Online Course Materials | OCW Scholar | MIT OpenCourseWare

      As of this writing they have:

      Single Variable Calculus
      Multivariable Calculus
      Solid State Chemistry
      Physics I: Classical Mechanics
      Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism

      I have corresponded a little with the OCW team and they tell me that in the very near future (early this year) they are going to also publish:

      Linear Algebra
      Differential Equations
      Intro to Biology
      Principles of Microeconomics
      Intro to Psychology
      Intro to Computer Science and Programming
      Intro to Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

      Notice in particular that they are planning to publish an Intro Psych course. Might be worth keeping an eye out for it.

      And in case anyone else is wondering, they tell me that they "have yet to determine the rest of the courses that will be included as OCW Scholar course."
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