Gone are the days when one would have to lug heavy books to the classroom in order to study or 22+ people would have to feel out-of-place on the University campus because they are the oldest students there. With the advent of websites that offer online courses on topics as diverse as coding, finance, and learning how to sell your product by using the powerful tool of storytelling, you can learn about any subject under the sun on one of these online learning platforms and do it from the comfort of your own home. The perks?
They are free. Mostly. Your dream of getting a chance to get a Stanford education might just very well come true.
The choice is endless. Learn how to decode a medieval musical manuscript, or learn about the seedy underbelly of the art world-smuggling, theft, and everything else your inner criminal wants to learn. (I think removing bracket part should work) You want it, you got it.
You get to engage with students from all over the world who are interested in the same things as you are (how about a new friend from Japan who’s also learning how to build a fashion business and starting an online venture with her? And oh, no chance for Mama to feel left out or alone now).
They are self-paced and available to you at any time (night owls, here’s something more productive than Fall Out 4).
And if these reasons aren’t enough to convince you, go check out one of these websites. Immediately.
1) Coursera: Talk about online education and Coursera is bound to be the King there. Hailed as one of the best sites to learn from, Coursera offers a ton of courses from the best universities around the world – Yale, Columbia, Stanford (and you thought I was kidding!), University of Zurich, and even the ISB. Institutions from across 27 countries, offering 1,476 courses. They even offer the option of financial aid. What are you waiting for now?
2) FutureLearn: Another go-to website for learning about any topic under the sun. Having collaborations with specialist organizations like the European Space Agency and The British Film Institute, and offering courses as diverse as ‘How to Write Your First Song’ and ‘Commercial Journalism’, FutureLearn aims to offer resources in a way that makes knowledge fit like a perfect glove in your life.
3) Memrise: For all those who are dissatisfied with the number. of languages they know and want to learn new ones, Memrise is the perfect place to do so. The website employs clever science so that your brain retains what it learns in a wholesome manner and also ensures that the entire process is a fun and stimulating one. Did I mention it has courses for Latin too? Which, by the way, is a dead language. It had me there.
4) Treehouse: If you have more of a technological flair and want to hone or just start building your skills in this area, Treehouse is the place to check out. It teaches you how to code (the basic of any technological invention), build a website, craft an app, and also how to start a business. In short, all the tools you need to learn to be the next business hotshot- in one place.
5) Khan Academy: This website offers an academy learning experience through-and-through with a wide range of offerings in subjects like maths, science, programming, art, and economics. You also get to learn courses from NASA, MIT, and The Museum of Modern Art. Think about the knowledge you’ll be amassing and the indisputable quality of it!
6) Yousician: If you’ve ever desired to learn to play the guitar or piano, then go check out Yousician. You can upload your favorite songs and learn how to bring them to life with your hands on an instrument (think of the girls who’ll be swooning over you…), get instant feedback on your techniques of playing and know the intricacies of the instrument you have chosen. Now, who wants to be the next Bruce Springsteen?
7) Highbrow: Always hated those long chapters in science and history books? Does your brain thrive and retain better when it has to absorb chunks of information at regular intervals? If yes, then Highbrow is the classroom for you. You choose a course in your area of interest and every morning, you get bite-sized course content delivered to your inbox so that the rising sun sees you getting wiser. You can choose from areas of literature, history, logic (!), psychology, and productivity (!!).
8) Skillshare: Skillshare has courses for every type of creative individual (and I mean it when I say every). Photography, DIY, culinary, writing, business- you name it, they have it. The best part is that it’s all taught through bite-sized videos so you can listen to them even if you are free for 5 minutes in the day. At the end of it, you can upload a video of what you created and share it with the Skillshare community to get beneficial feedback. Win-win!
9) TED-Ed: If videos are your way of learning, then you sure want to visit TED-Ed once. With a vast collection of ace visual material, TED-Ed aims to carry forth TED’s belief that ideas can change the world. Here you will find videos by expert educators, animators, screenwriters, economists, math geniuses, and scientists- all answering and raising questions that are so obviously in front of us, but are never asked. Website users can also add their own material, questions, or discussions. Time to change the world, folks!
10) edX: Another website to find all courses in one place, edX is a joint initiative by Harvard University and MIT that aims to provide free and high-quality education to students, on- and off- campus. With contributors and members like UCB, ETH Zurich, Caltech, and Boston University, edX offers 650+ courses, and a staff of 1,700+ teachers, all geared to provide an excellent educational experience to all those who avail their resources. Philanthropy, environmental engineering, music, ethics- all up for grabs.
Now, you can never complain about not having enough time to learn or being unable to find the appropriate resources to help you. Time to get your knowledge groove on, buddy!