Do u know of any good online photography schools free or not free / free courses that u would recommend to a friend?
All you have to do is enter free online photography school and get deluged with info.
But, not on line you might try NYIP for example - with this home schooling you will get out of it what you are willing to put into it.
And, why not try some of the information right in here Shutterbug, for starters?
NYIP is not free, but it is worth the price. You might also check out your local community college for photography courses.
Being the cheap kind of guy that I am and knowing how the web has changed our informational habits, from access to various methods of teaching, I have a suggestion for you and you'll love it, its free.
First I have taken the NYIP course, and the first three lessons (there were six and I suspect there are still six) were the technical and learning how to see bits you really need in photography. The other lessons were introductions to the many types of photography out there with a kind of hint at what the life is like - so local journalism, fashion, weddings, etc.
And I learned from NYIP, it'd be a lie if I said I didn't and I appreciate it. But here is my suggestion to you, learning from the net is much more effective because so many lessons are on youtube and the like. I'd get a basic book out of the library on photography; I'd write down the chapter headings and sub-headings, then I'd use those titles as my Google titles, looking for tutorials in that specific area.
So for example, lets say one heading was macro photography, I'd hit the net for information on macro work, for me first the written stuff, then the video tutorials, then the photos. Then I'd hang out in macro forums and participate in macro "show and tells" in locations such as here, photonet, dpreview, where ever.
I have found that all of my friends - amateurs - who focused on one area they really loved, became better photographers faster, than I who was all over the place.