It's easy to overlook the positive impact that the internet has had on our lives the past 20 years. It's understandable.
The internet has become such a huge part of our lives that you can take it for granted. Just think about your average day of visiting Facebook dozens of times, communicating with friends you haven't seen in years on Instagram, paying your bills with your online banking app and so on.
Of course, you also hear a lot about the dark side of the web, which is an unfortunate but important part of the digital age. The fact is, hackers steal your ID, Social Security number, credit card information all the time.
But, step back for a second and you can marvel at all the information you have at your fingertips that in the past would've taken weeks to compile from newspapers, books and trips to the public library. One example of that is learning how to do complicated math problems or how to change your car's oil by watching YouTube videos.
There is so much information out there that you can't possibly know about it all. Which is why we want to make sure you know about FREE online classes that you can take from Ivy League universities -- the eight extremely expensive universities that are among the best in the world, including Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Columbia.
The best part, besides being FREE, is that it's easy to register for a class. You visit the site Coursera and sign up, either with your Facebook credentials or by inputting your name and email address.
Here's how you can take free Ivy League classes
First, sign up at Coursera. Second, select a class from more than 300 offered by Ivy League universities.
Third, you'll watch pre-recorded videos, participate in activities and take quizzes, just as you would with any university class, whether you're taking it online or in person. You can search for classes in the Coursera search tool or click on Explore.
Plus, you're not on your own. You can interact with other students to get help with assignments or debate issues.
You can earn a certificate for some classes. Just think about how useful that will be if you're trying to get a promotion at work or seeking funding for your own startup company.
Note: You can also take FREE classes on Coursera from other universities like Michigan State University, University of Virginia and many others.
How long has it been since you've been immersed in a true college experience? You might be transported back in time when you take intense but fun Ivy League courses in the humanities, which includes classes in poetry, Shakespeare and religion.
There are currently more than 50 humanities classes offered by Ivy League universities on Coursera. These include Hamlet's Ghost from Harvard University, the Ethics of Eating from Cornell, Christianity through its Scriptures from Harvard and the Introduction to Ancient Egypt from the University of Pennsylvania.
There may be no better career kickstarter than computer science classes. There are about two dozen from Ivy League universities on Coursera.
You can take online classes such as Algorithms at Princeton and Machine Learning from Columbia University. There's Animation and CGI from Harvard, Data Structures and Software Designs from University of Pennsylvania and others.
You can take classes that help you to become a better employee, a better person and a more intelligent version of you. Just think about all the topics you'd like to know more about but never get around to learning.
You can take Ivy League classes such as Introduction to Italian Opera from Dartmouth and Beethoven's 9th Symphony from Harvard.
Does finance scare you? Take a class like Financial Markets from Yale or Accounting Analytics from the University of Pennsylvania. There are so many classes, so tackle one topic at your leisure or plow through class after class to truly immerse yourself in topics of interest to you.
There are classes in art, business, health and medicine, social sciences, data science, education and teaching, science, engineering, mathematics, programming and personal development. Which one is right for you?
Learn how to code for free
If you're like me, the mere thought of coding seems impossible. Yet, your family and you can start learning how to write code, which can be the key to landing a job in the increasingly tech-heavy economy or provide an extra skill that will help you do your current job better.