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Online Learning... For Free (Sort of)

Boot Camp feature for Friday, June 30, 2000

There's that magic word again. Free! Today's freebie is a Web site called FreeEdu.com... where is sounds like the courses are taught by My Favorite Martian... .

"Welcome to the FreeEdu.com learning center. Please click on the building to enter. Hi! I'm Dr. EDU, please click on me."

There are more than 630 courses available on the site... covering a pretty wide variety of subjects. Everything from high school math to business and computing skills. The idea... says founder and CEO Victor Liang... .isn't to earn a degree. This is strictly self improvement. And the courses are paid for... .by advertising... that is more like a TV commercial than your typical Internet banner ...

"We insert a commercial... we call it commercial breaks. We insert every fifteen to twenty minutes during student's study time."

A different kind of concept... and so is FreeEdu's requirement of deposits on many courses... sometimes as much as a hundred dollars... .that are refunded once you have spent a certain amount of study time. So if you don't play by the rules, FreeEdu could wind up costing you a considerable amount of money. But Liang thinks the idea can work...

"Our goal is to try to realize true anytime, anywhere and anyone learning."

What are you waiting for? Get busy and crack the books... .or the computer screen. You know what I mean. Look for a link to the site at ThirdAge.com. Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin, for CBS News.