Online resources are great for learning very diverse and interesting practical skills. The flipped aspect allows anyone to learn anywhere, anytime and at their pace. So where can we go to learn not only academic lessons but practical skills that help us lead enhanced lives?
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There used to be a time when educational resources were limited to the boundaries of a library or university. However, the internet has changed all of that, and nowadays, it is easy to find tutorials and helpful videos related to almost any niche or topic. In this blog, we shall take a look at some of the most popular learning resources and websites.
The 19 online resources listed below offer lots of education for just that.
Explore each one carefully and dig for those bits of gold. They’re there, and the best part is they’re free.
University of the People
University of the People is a non-profit, tuition-free online university that offers higher education in multiple course streams, such as arts, commerce, science, and technology. If you have a flair for learning and wish to get higher education but cannot afford the costly colleges and universities, University of the People can help you out. There is no tuition fee, though if possible, you are encouraged to pay $100 examination fee at the end of the academic tenure
TED is your resource for cutting-edge discussions and talks on relevant matters. Covering a spectrum of topics that range from global issues, technology, and design to entertainment, business, and science, TED features great videos that show some of the leading names in the world share their expertise. No matter what your preferred topic is, rest assured, TED will have something educational and fruitful for you.
Khan Academy is hands down the one to beat for online learning. They continue to grow from their humble beginnings. They remain synonymous with most people’s notion of what ideal online learning resources should be. There are currently over 40 million people learning on Khan Academy. That is an amazing fact, isn’t it?
Kahn is for everybody, and their course selection is great. Khan also features special portals for teachers and parents. Each section offers special guidance for helping children and students have their best online learning experiences.
GCF Learn Free
GCF Learn Free is part of the Goodwill Community Foundation. It offers free courses in core subjects, along with technology. There are more than 1,000 lessons from their courses available, and they are of good quality.
GCF Learn Free designs their courses using practical data. They keep an eye on trends in technology, workplace skills, and get input from learners through social media, support tickets, and exit surveys. In this way, they offer the best and most practical courses possible.
EdEx is one of the many new online learning resources working hard to bring free opportunities for learning to many. They feature content from top-level universities. Some of the names include Boston U, Berkeley, University of Queensland, and the University of British Columbia.
EdEx lets you pick up official credentials from the institution you study from. These certifications are signed by the instructor. You can use them to profile skills on your resume or your LinkedIn profile.
If you are looking to learn web development, look no further than W3Schools. The website has tutorials and learning resources related to every major aspect of web development, be it AJAX, HTML5, CSS3, PHP, jQuery, SQL or ASP. Beyond that, there is also an online certification program that can help you become an expert in the coding field of your choice.
CK-12 caters primarily to school education. It has separate sections for students and instructors/teachers, and you will need to create an account to use the services. The learning is divided by subjects such as Science, Humanities and Mathematics, and so on.
You can create lesson plans and learn modules for your students, and as a student, you have access to books and interactive videos as well as exercises.
Academic Earth offers online classes and learning videos for free. The content and tutorials are provided by some of the leading universities and institutions in the world, such as Stanford University, Yale University, Dartmouth College and MIT. The list of subjects covered is huge and includes History, Languages, Philosophy, Religion, Science, Maths, Engineering, Computers, Accounting, and so on.
Hack Design offers technology tutorials for Web design, mobile apps, and more.
This site uses highly interactive lessons for teaching. Units include challenging games and puzzles that stretch the imagination and exercise critical thinking capacity.
Online resources … E-Learning for Kids
E-Learning for Kids focuses on essential skills in 4-core, health, life skills, environmental studies, and technology. It’s a fun and easy-to-navigate site that features rich and interesting content for kids ages 5–12.
This is another highly interactive site with a great visual learning quality. It’s this colorful and exciting interface that keeps students interested.
If you want to focus on language, Memrise is the place to be. It features lessons on ten different languages, vocabulary studies, and more.
Aside from language and vocabulary, there are many other courses available on Memrise. Explore art, design, fashion, film, theater, music, and philosophy. The lessons are highly interactive and rich in resources.
Online resources … BBC Learning
BBC Online Learning portal has various resources that cover multiple subjects. It offers podcasts as well as online courses to help you learn new things at your pace. Plus, BBC has separate sections for school education and adult education. While the list of subjects is rather extensive, the USP of BBC Learning program lies in the language courses, which are available both online and in print.
MIT Open CourseWare
As the name suggests, MIT Open CourseWare is a catalog of free online courses and learning resources offered by Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Most of the courses are in the form of audio or video lectures, and the topics covered include Life Sciences, Environment, and Technology. Plus, most of the content has been localized in various languages, including Chinese, Portuguese, Thai, Persian, Turkish and Korean.
Udacity offers interactive online classes and courses in higher education. The topics covered are quite advanced, such as Robotics, Game Development, Artificial Intelligence, Cryptography and Parallel Programming. The course catalog is still in its initial stages, and more courses will probably be added over a period.
Online resources examples … SchoolTube
If you haven’t seen SchoolTube, go and check it out. It’s a great resource for educational videos of all sorts. It’s a K–12 video sharing platform for students and their teachers.
The site is all about community. Currently, they have about 50,000 schools on board. Their video bank contains over half a million videos on a wide variety of different subjects. This is a great flipped learning resource.
Coursera offers thousands of free courses from plenty of colleges and universities around the world.
The specializations they offer are primarily technology and science-related. This is good news for students interested in those disciplines because their courses are in-depth and highly informative.
Hubspot specializes in inbound marketing. The HubSpot Academy has free courses on how to optimize landing pages, blogs, marketing strategies and more.
Any business looking to boost their sales game can learn valuable things from HubSpot. Any marketing student can also pick up great strategies for future entrepreneurial projects. For that learning journalism and coding, blog and website optimization knowledge can be found here too.
Go and make something! Of all the online learning resources out there, Instructables is one that makes project-based learning a blast. You can learn a lot of practical and incredibly inventive stuff here.
The lessons on this site are practical, real-world oriented, and fun. You can dabble in technology, crafts, recipes, textiles, and much more. It allows you to both watch the video and receive downloadable instructions for the project.
The bottom line
Certainly, lots to choose from isn’t there. There are lots to be said for continuous learning, and the wealth of this type of site is indicative of that fact.
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Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of business. Find him on G+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
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