Free Paleontology Courses!

Super excited to share that I just found three free and self-paced paleontology courses on Coursera that folk might want to check out. They’re run by the University of Alberta, and I’ve also taken their Paleobiology course before and can vouch for quality. 

I’m definitely going to do all three, and though followers might want to check them out!

There may be no such thing as free lunch, but there are free online courses.

These aren’t the only resources available, but they are a good start for anything ranging from university level courses to tutorials on how to make your own infinity table. 

  1. Perfect for learning something new
  2. Open Culture Provides free online courses from a range of top universities, as well as eBooks, Textbooks, and even Language Lessons.
  3. Boundless Cloud Powered Education, with a wide variety of subjects, quizzes, powerpoints, and textbooks included.
  4. Stanford ONLINE Brilliant online courses offered by Stanford University.
  5. Codecademy Learn all sorts of coding languages to build beautiful webpages with HTML & CSS, jQuery, PHP, or develop an application through Python or Ruby.
  6. Khan Academy When things don’t quite make sense, and you just need another perspective to help you out.
  7. duolingo Lets you learn a language for free, and as you would learn it naturally.
  8. Spreeder Teaches you how to read faster and more efficiently
  9. How Stuff Works A resource for explanations of questions that might keep you up at night.  
  10. Instructables A DIY-buffet of tutorials. 

This was my final assignment for my Coursera Class Learning How To Learn, and I thought I’d share it here. It’s about general study/memorization tips, and a few tips specific to language learning. 

#Coursera #LearningHowToLearn #UCSanDiego #Study tips #Studying #Learning #Languages


Ask photography curator Sarah Meister about her job today on Quora Sessions!

If you’re interested in photography, check out our free online course Seeing Through Photographs on Coursera.

Learn Korean Language

I forgot to say, 

Since I know that many of you are into KPOP and would like to start learning language as well, there is one great way to actually learn KOREAN language plus get a certificate for it. There is course from the Yonsei University through Coursera named First Step Korean. I think that you could learn a lot from this, and in the end, if you pass (at least 60% grade) you can earn verified certificate from Yonsei University through Coursera. (You pay $49 for a certificate, however there’s also option financial aid for those who want to learn and pass, but cannot afford the fee. They usually grant it if you apply, so this is great opportunity for those who want to learn).  

It is really easy to enroll. You need to be 18+ though, because if you apply for verified certificate they’ll need to verify your identity. However, if you don’t want to get a certificate, Coursera offers option to AUDIT whole course for FREE. Whole course is college-like (meaning you have video lectures to watch, quizzes to do, maybe some assignments to write and sometimes midterm/final exams.) It lasts 5 weeks and it’s created to be flexible so you maybe need only around 3-4 hours per week for it. The length depends from course to course, and specializations are usually few months long. Link for this course is here

There is also similar course for Chinese language Chinese for Beginners from the Peking University, so if you’re interested you can find that one here. It also offers certificate upon completion. 

I just think that this is good opportunity for you to learn things that you usually don’t have chance/way to learn. And if you don’t know anything about Coursera, they offer all sorts of coursers and specializations in all possible fields (from Arts through Science to Humanities etc.) to AUDIT for free or pay/get financial aid to get a certificate. There are worlds best universities on the list. So maybe, you could find coursers you like, enroll, and in the end obtain valuable knowledge and a certificate from that particular university! Not only that you’ll gain valuable knowledge and skills, but you’ll also have a certificate to present to your employer or others. For example you want to learn to program? Or learn creative writing or learn about worlds energy or some specialization in biology, medicine, economy, law, engineering… etc. They offer all that and more. To be honest, I am very glad that I have opportunity to learn things that were unavailable for me in my country and listen to the worlds best professors. So, I think it’s great opportunity for everyone to learn something they like and later display what they learned with a certificate so I am sharing this with you. Knowledge is power.  If you perhaps have any questions how Coursera works, you can ask me anytime.

What makes a great portrait? Photography curator Sarah Meister answers your questions on Quora

If you’re interested in photography, check out our free online course Seeing Through Photographs on Coursera.

[Alfred Stieglitz. Georgia O'Keeffe - Hand and Wheel. 1933. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2016 Estate of Alfred Stieglitz / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York]

Education for Writers: Magic in Middle Ages, Forensic Science, and Historical Fiction

I thought this could be interesting to you.

One of the best sources of inspiration you can have is knowledge. Learning new things, you will find a well of inspiration and ideas. One of my favorite places to learn is Coursera, where you can find free courses from actual universities. You can learn a few videos at time. 

Here are a few I’m currently taking and recommend to writers:

For crime writers: 

Introduction to Forensic Science

“Understand how basic scientific principles underpin forensic science and can contribute to solving criminal cases.”

This course is in its first week so you should still be able to enroll in it. It explains how forensic science works in real life, both on the science level and as a part of the system of justice. With real-life examples.

For historical fiction or fantasy writers:

Magic in the Middle Ages

“Want to learn about magic in the Middle Ages? Witches, heretics, inquisitors, the Holy Grail, alchemy, relics and much more are waiting for you in this course!”

This course is in’s 2nd week. It explains how the magical thought and practice worked in the Middle Ages in connection with Christianity and inquisition.

Plagues, Witches, and War: The Worlds of Historical Fiction

“A unique and exciting introduction to the genre and craft of historical fiction, for curious students, aspiring authors–anyone with a passion for the past. Read classics of the genre, encounter bestselling writers of historical fiction, and discover your own historical archive while interacting with a global community of interested readers. ”

This course is on demand and therefore available all the time.

One of the biggest levers on your own life is your ability to form useful habits. When I talk to researchers, when I talk to people wanting to engage in entrepreneurship, I tell them that if you read research papers consistently, if you seriously study half a dozen papers a week and you do that for two years, after those two years you will have learned a lot. This is a fantastic investment in your own long term development.

But that sort of investment, if you spend a whole Saturday studying rather than watching TV, there’s no one there to pat you on the back or tell you you did a good job. Chances are what you learned studying all Saturday won’t make you that much better at your job the following Monday. There are very few, almost no short-term rewards for these things. But it’s a fantastic long-term investment. This is really how you become a great researcher, you have to read a lot.

People that count on willpower to do these things, it almost never works because willpower peters out. Instead I think people that are into creating habits – you know, studying every week, working hard every week – those are the most important. Those are the people most likely to succeed.

—  Stanford professor, machine learning researcher, Coursera founder Andrew Ng answering “Do you have any helpful habits or routines?” in this really great interview.

The Museum’s acclaimed climate change course is now available on Coursera!

The offering, Our Earth’s Future, is about the science of climate change and how to talk about it. Those who register for this free, online class will learn from scientists in the fields of climatology, oceanography, Earth science, and anthropology who study how climate change is affecting people, populations, and ways of life. Explore the multiple lines of evidence for the human-induced climate change that is happening today, and consider what that means for the future of our planet. At the end of this course you will be able to understand key scientific principles, identify and address misconceptions, and contribute confidently to conversations about climate change.

Coursera is an education platform that partners with top universities and organizations worldwide, to offer courses online for anyone to take. Our Earth’s Future is one of four Coursera offerings brought to the public by the American Museum of Natural History. Learn more
Science to a Student: Coursera has free paleontology courses!

Dear readers,

Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to get the new year under way.  I’ve got some links that may be of interest to any student of science.

Dino 101: Dinosaur Paleobiology

Palaeontology: Theropod Dinosaurs and the Origin of Birds

Palaeontology: Ancient Marine Reptiles

I took Dino 101 through Coursera during its first semester (Fall 2013), and thought it was a great general introduction to dinosaurs.  It starts today, so the interested party may want to enroll soon (the other classes start later this month and next month, respectively).  Dino 101 and the theropod/bird origins class are both taught by the esteemed paleontologist Philip Currie.  And besides, if you’re a reader of my blog, I’m assuming you don’t need me to give you any reasons to enroll! I’m interested to try the other two new classes and see what they’re like.

Signing off,

Spencer Bronte
Science, to a Student

From my main blog.  These should be fun courses!

Ask photography curator Sarah Meister about her job on Quora today! If you’re interested in photography, check out our free online course Seeing Through Photographs on Coursera. 

[Still from Sarah Meister, from Seeing Through Photographs. © 2016 The Museum of Modern Art]


AAtoast! is super duper excited to release our first app :D Ooh ahh!

Actually, this was created as a Coursera class assignment, but we wanted to share it in case it’s helpful for other artists.

AAbiscuit is a free Android app designed for artists who do commissions.

Use it to quickly calculate a price for your custom art or craft commissions. Once you’ve got a price, you can send a record to yourself or your commissioner using whatever your preferred method is - email, SMS text, or even save it to a note-taking app for use later. Handy for when you’re on-site at an event (like an artist alley!) and don’t have access to all your usual record-keeping tools.

Learn more and download here

This app does not store any data and does not require any permissions.

Hope you find it useful!

Note - the numbers and commission notes in the screenshots are just examples.

How to educate yourself online for free

A college degree is the adult version of a macaroni painting your parents put on the fridge. Both are trophies valued most by those who hang it up, but one means taking on debt—lifelong debt, as many people in their 50s are still making student loan payments. The problem has pervaded society to the point where calling it a “student loan crisis” is inaccurate because it affects more than students. The price of education is burying the future under bank notes and sending entire families—not just the students attending college—to the poorhouse.