If you’ve always wanted to go back to college but never had the chance, take advantage of the current situation and embrace learning at your own pace. Now is the perfect time to learn new skills or improve existing ones. Sure, you might not be able to attend a physical class, but guess what: you can learn without leaving your couch or even spending money. How? ‘Or’ What? By signing up for a free online course. Whether you’re looking to improve your employability or learn something new just for the fun of it, below are six great free education sites that will get you up to speed on the topic that interests you most.
Have you ever dreamed of going to a prestigious school? Well, now is your chance to do just that, sort of. Coursera offers thousands of free (and paid) courses in various disciplines from world-famous universities like Penn, Stanford, and Yale (by the way, we hear a lot about The science of well-being). Each course is accompanied by pre-recorded videos, presentation notes and projects. You can even connect with other students to discuss course material. You can also receive an accreditation or certificate (for a fee) or enroll in a degree, such as an MBA (also for a fee).
edX, a nonprofit, open source MOOC (Open Massive Online Courses) provider, is very similar to Coursera. Like Coursera, it offers free and paid courses, as well as programs and degrees, on a wide range of topics from the world’s top universities. If you can’t find a course that interests you on Coursera, check out edX and vice versa. For example, while Coursera offers more courses than edX (over 4000 versus edX’s roughly 3000), it does not have any Harvard or Berkeley courses, but edX does.
Can’t choose a particular course? With so many options, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. With Khan Academy, however, you do not have to choose a particular course. Instead, you pick your grade (elementary, high school, or adult learner) and select the subject (math, arts & humanities, personal finance, or whatever) that interests you to get a personalized and very well-organized dashboard. One-on-one lessons are short (think concise articles and videos) but build on each other as you progress.
If you like podcasts, check out the Oxford University Podcasts. It offers over 6,000 free podcasts, most of which are public lectures. All podcasts are organized by series (for example, âSecrets of Mathematicsâ and âBack Garden Biologyâ), by people, and by departments and colleges. If you’re not looking for anything in particular, just something fun and educational to listen to while you wash the dishes, the site’s home page has a âFeatured Seriesâ section (âModern Fairiesâ and âL ‘business future’ looks interesting).
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) offers you the opportunity to download the courses that the university has offered over the years through its MIT OpenCourseWare Platform. While MIT is one of the top universities for engineering and technology, you can choose to study other subjects as well, such as gender studies, creative writing, or anatomy and physiology. Classes are presented in the form of videos and course notes and include homework. However, since the courses are archived, there is no way to acquire accreditation or certification.