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Learn ya some!

Coursera is an online university started by two Stanford alumni that aims to bring classes from elite universities to students around the world for free. Partner universities include Stanford, Princeton, the University of Michigan, and the University of Pennsylvania. NPR has an article on its history and Silicon Valley’s current fascination with education.

The Minerva University is an ambitious project, aiming to be an online university that can compete and compare with Harvard and other Ivy League schools. Slated to open in 2014, they are accepting applications for teaching positions as well as signing up prospective students.

No less ambitious than Coursera and Minerva, Udacity was founded by three roboticists (two of whom work at Google and taught at Stanford) who were inspired by Khan Academy and wanted to do the same with college-level education. Udacity started with two courses, Building a Search Engine (taught by Google employees!) using JavaScript and Introduction to Robotics, and courses are being added as instructors and material are available.

Codecademy is the most different of these virtual institutions. Codecademy is not really a “university” – its sole purpose is to teach you how to code. Also, while they all offer course materials in multiple media, Codecademy teaches you by letting you do all the work. It is simple, straightforward, and easy.

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