This is the 3rd article in a series about using the Internet and social media as an educational resource.

Ah, Matt Damon: The quintessential tough guy who, at the same time, seems oh-so-vulnerable. Right?

But why are his most famous roles so hard to relate to? I mean, an amnesic spy? I totally know how he feels… A psychic who communicates with the dead? For sure not. Even the role that made him famous was fairly ridiculous: Will Hunting, the M.I.T. janitor who’s actually a math genius.

Strangely enough, this character is someone to model yourself after. Though he was blessed with a photographic memory, he got all of his education for $1.50 in late charges at the public library, instead of paying for a $150,000 education.

Since that movie came out in 1997, it’s clearly a tad outdated. Tuition costs, however, aren’t going down, and they won’t be anytime soon. Fortunately, the resources available to us today are miles ahead of what Will Hunting had, and they are even cheaper.

The Internet has given us access to educational freedom. With a constantly growing base of multimedia resources, and the same information that’s available inside the classroom, the Internet is a vast sea of learning tools, most of which you can find for free. You can find courses on astronomy and molecular biology, even Lego robotics and social media training, all for free online. So in an age when most college grads are swimming in debt, here are some of the best Internet tools and resources to keep you afloat:

  • M.I.T. ( In the spirit of Will Hunting being discovered at M.I.T., this list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning one of the first top-tier universities to offer free lectures and course materials to the general public for free. With tons of courses online, MIT provides hours of video lectures, assignments, online textbooks and exams free of charge.
  • Yale ( Going with another Ivy League school, Yale provides the public with entire courses and video lectures with closed captions. This site is a great resource for a wide range of subjects, from the History of Art to Physics.
  • TED Talks ( Consider yourself a jack of all trades? An open-minded life-long learner? Then TED is for you.  An acronym that stands for technology, entertainment and design, all TED speakers strive to educate their audience with showmanship and relevance, as their motto is “Ideas worth spreading.” They show free lectures, bridging the gap between the world’s most inspired thinkers and the curious public. With most videos not exceeding 18 minutes, TED currently provides over 1,050 videos online for free.
  • Stanford ( Heading back to the free Ivy League courses, Stanford University uses iTunes to spread knowledge. With hundreds of lectures to choose from, the Stanford iTunes page makes navigating and finding courses really easy.
  • University of Notre Dame ( The University of Notre Dame also gives us a wide variety of courses to follow, including additional readings, audio lectures, exams and answer keys.

So, you may not be getting your education for less than $1.50, but these resources are a great way to get the most of your money. As Will Hunting said it best, “How do you like them apples?

Thomas Samph and Alon Eisenberg, both graduates of Boston University, spent the year after their graduation teaching English abroad in France and Argentina, respectively. Both Thomas and Alon currently work at a New York City-based Internet education website,, a field guide to the Internet that helps people learn everything from Facebook Timeline and Pinterest to how to use Twitter.