Each summer, I treat myself to an online coding course or two so as to make a dent in my "things I should know how to do" list. This summer, I am taking several courses from several different online venues (listed below) and I am already finding them hugely rewarding. Just this morning I learned to map 7 years worth of Wikipedia page-view data using R! I know many of you are familiar with the thrill of making the computer 'do stuff' by typing in some well-constructed code. I thought it might be worthwhile to start - and encourage the HASTAC community to add to - a list of Resources for Free or Inexpensive Summer Coding Courses (and other cool learning opportunities) that might be of interest to our community.
**This list is meant to be a beginning and, as such, it lists only sites I've tried and liked. I could compile a laundry list of available others but I'd rather not endorse those I've not personally tested. Please add your favorite free or inexpensive online sites here too!**
Future Learn hosts a full slate of interesting and provocative courses - covering both STEM and Humanities topics - that are taught by different professionals and researchers at different universities. ALL FREE! Courses are scheduled but self-paced; you are able to catch up on past modules and skip ahead to future sessions.
I am currently taking the Big Data course (which is where I've learned to code tables and graph plots in R!) and I am scheduled to take a course on Creative Computing and one on Cyber Security in the coming months. The interface isn't deeply satisfying but there are live instructors and they are surprisingly interactive. It is almost too good to be free!
The Women's Coding Collective has a pay-per-class model. And, I must say that not only is it worth every penny but the money goes to the instructors and to the upkeep of the webstructure. They are neither controlled by nor feeding into questionable third-party corporations. Using this code, http://thewc.co/pal-tuha, you can get $17 off your first class. The WCC allows you to access your course content AND the forums and instructors for Q&A indefinitely. If you take a course and then continue learning on your own, they'll let you pop back in to review your course content and contribute to the forums. Though their course offerings are fewer than the other sites I have listed here, I eagerly await new topics and will take any and every course they offer.
With Treehouse, you can take a single course (and they have MANY to choose from) or you can follow various learning tracks, like Web Design or Android Development, that prescribe a path for your mastery of any number of related skills. It also provides a weekly video newsletter and career resources.
I'm currently trying the 'How The Web Works' class and several of their coding courses. Treehouse works on a subscription model and has special discounts for students. You can also give it a test run using Treehouse's free trial. With this link, Treehouse Discount, you can get 50% off of your first month. Nota bene: Treehouse seems to have an incredible list of instructors but it does list Google and Kaplan as its investors.
Always great go-tos for self-organized learning. Both read a bit more like how-to guides than like actual courses but I do find myself using them - especially w3schools - to supplement my training and tutorials on the other sites.
My first R plot! Thanks to the Future Learn Big Data course instructors, I can now graph page views using R.
Do come take a class with me! And do please post your favorites!
-Amanda Starling Gould