Udacity LogoAs I have been learning to program I have scoured the web looking for information on how and where to start. I first started out at Codecademy which I learned of from Lifehacker.com(great website) a sister website.  They offered a teaching style that I greatly liked.  It was very simple, you read the instruction they give and then try to duplicate it with a different problem in the interface they provide.  It tells you once it’s correct or points you in the right direction to finding the answer.  Once you complete the question you move to the next lesson. Codecademy is great and offers many different programming languages.  It would seem to be especially effective if you already know a language and can apply it to a new coding language to learn the syntax and other quick tips.
After playing around on Codecademy I decided to look at what the local community college offered.  Before I enrolled I ran into an article about Khanacademy and Udacity.  Both are different in many ways.  If you are looking to be introduced to programming in an online classroom setting I highly recommend Udacity.  I started off in the introductory class learning Python.  It seems to be a simple language and easy to learn from the teaching style that they offer.
You will find online Youtube video’s about each lesson that you can watch live on their site or download. Each lesson which is a video will require that you pass a quiz or test after watching them.  This is great, the instructor will go over all the aspects of the lesson in a top down view as he writes the lesson out and narrates the teaching. The instructor will also then go through the answer and explain how to come to the solution.
If this still isn’t enough for you there is more.  There is a great community where if you are having issues with the lesson, head over to the forums where you will find questions from people just like you have and you can pick their brains to see what you are missing. This has greatly assisted me on several lessons.  If you can’t find the answer just make a new question in the forum and you will have help shortly.  I am only taking the classes from a learning prospective.  I don’t plan on getting a degree but want to be knowledgeable and learn to program those are my driving factors when choosing these courses.  If you are self motivated, online learning could be your ticket.
I foresee a great future with online learning that is just beginning to unleash its potential.