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On Kanopy: The Great Courses

The Great Courses allow you to learn from award-winning experts and professors from the most respected institutions in the world at your own pace. You can access these videos through Kanopy, a video streaming service available free with your Plano Public Library card. The Great Courses do not count toward the five play credits allowed each month on Kanopy, so you can watch as many as you would like!

Here are some of the latest Great Courses added to Kanopy:

Why Insects Matter: Earth’s Most Essential Species


The truth is, our planet belongs to the insects. In 24 captivating lectures beautifully illustrated with graphics, photos, and video footage, Professor Scott Solomon shares his passion for these extraordinary creatures. Why Insects Matter: Earth’s Most Essential Species will open your eyes to evolutionary accomplishments you had never even imagined.

Traveling the Roman Empire


Presented by archaeologist Darius Arya, this eight-episode series takes viewers throughout the ancient Roman Empire, exploring history’s most multicultural political entity. Stops include Roman ruins in Spain, Morocco, Jordan, Croatia, Serbia, and Rome itself. Darius also samples the local cuisine and other attractions, making this series the ideal preparation for a truly grand tour.

The Middle Ages around the World


In this enthralling course, chart the fall and rebuilding of empires; learn about the economics and technology that drove medieval civilizations; map the great medieval trading networks; study the Age of Faith; and explore medieval history, culture, and thought from Europe and Africa to the Middle East, Asia, and beyond.

Unsung Heroes of World War II: Europe


Who were the unsung heroes of the European Theater of World War II? In this fascinating series, look beyond the epic battles and military strategy to meet some of the ordinary people who made an extraordinary impact on the defining conflict of the 20th century.

World War II: The Pacific Theater


WORLD WAR II: THE PACIFIC THEATER, produced by The Great Courses in partnership with HISTORY, takes you into the sweeping story of the American fight against the Japanese. Taught by a distinguished military historian at the US Naval War College, these 24 vivid episodes chronicle the global trajectory of the war in the Pacific, from the attack on Pearl Harbor to the birth of the atomic age.

How to Plan for the Perfect Retirement


In How to Plan for the Perfect Retirement, Professor Dana Anspach of Sensible Money, LLC will be your step-by-step guide to help you create the future you want. No matter how old you are or how far along in your working life, it’s never too early or too late to develop a plan that works for you.

This series teaches you about machine-learning programs and how to write them in the Python programming language. For those new to Python, a “get-started” tutorial is included. Professor Michael L. Littman covers major concepts and techniques, all illustrated with real-world examples such as medical diagnosis, game-playing, spam filters, and media special effects.

The Life and Works of Jane Austen


Over the course of the 24 lessons of The Life and Works of Jane Austen, you will get invaluable insight into Austen’s everyday reality in the elegant and tumultuous Regency period and a more thorough understanding of her influence and lasting legacy.

Unlocking the Hidden History of DNA


These 12 half-hour episodes by science writer and podcaster Sam Kean cover the fundamental properties of DNA, the techniques that have unraveled its mysteries, the exciting revelations that have come to light, and the stories of the all-too-human scientists involved.

The Botanist’s Eye: Identifying the Plants Around You


In The Botanist’s Eye: Identifying the Plants around You, explore the most common plant families in North America, as well as some of the fascinating species within them. Along the way, learn the history of botanical science, tips and tricks botanists use to identify seemingly similar plants, and the myriad ways plants define what it means to be human.

Language A to Z


These 24 episodes by Professor John McWhorter, one of the best-known popularizers of language, use the English alphabet as a unique way to let you hopscotch through some of the field’s major topics, hot-button issues, curious factoids, and more. Filled with humor, whimsy, and no shortage of insights, this series is a fast-paced tour of the same territory linguists tread each and every day.

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