With the Internet and its limitless resources at our disposal, everyone can be a lifelong learner these days, as long as they have a reliable Internet connection and a computer, laptop, tablet or smart phone. From free online courses to websites and even apps that promote the learning of a second language, there is an extremely wide range of resources that we can all tap into on our path to lifelong learning.
Here are just a few of them:
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs):
Take free online courses from the world’s best universities. MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses) provides video lectures, structured deadlines and interactive learning communities.
- Coursera -The largest course platform for free MOOCs. Founded by two former Stanford University professors.
- Khan Academy – Salman Khan’s pioneering online academy where you can learn just about any academic subject online for free.
- University of the People – A tuition-free online University that aims to democratise higher education by offering it to anyone in the world.
- iTunes U – Apple’s iTunes University initiative makes it easy to take courses on your iPhone or iPad wherever you go.
- Future Learn- owned by The Open University, with the benefit of over 40 years of their experience in distance learning and online education. This one is UK based and is really easy to navigate.
Lectures and video learning websites:
Get inspired by watching short lectures by the world’s leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and creators.
- TED and TEDEd– With its slogan “Ideas Worth Spreading”, the TED Conference (stands for Technology, Education, Design) features the world’s leading academics, teachers and innovators in easily digestible 18-minute lectures.
- YouTube EDU – Google’s YouTube Education channel. Lots of great educational content, lectures and conference talks conveniently organised.
- Do Lectures – Inspiring talks from people who have set out to change the world.
Open educational resources:
Access high quality education textbooks, get your burning questions answered and explore a world of free digital self-education resources.
- Boundless – Disrupting the big textbook publishers by offering textbooks online, for free.
- Textbook Revolution – Free, open source textbooks if that’s how you want to learn. The site also has links to course with structured lessons and lecture notes
- Open Textbooks – Browse college textbooks by subject, which are made freely available online.
- Scribd – Amazing library of digital documents on every imaginable subject.
- iTunes Podcasts – A treasure trove of incredible free audio shows at your fingertips.
Find and share amazing books:
Discover new books that you can read online or find at your local library and connect with other people reading similar books.
- Book Yards – 1000s of more free ebooks that can be easily searched by author or category.
- Good Reads – A massive social network (recently acquired by Amazon) for discovering new books and sharing the books you love.
Learn new languages:
Some of the best ways to learn a new language quickly and have fun while doing it are online.
- Duolingo – A free language learning website with game-based learning processes where you can learn for free by translating content while you learn. Also available as an iPhone app.
- Memrise – Innovative memorising system for learning new languages.
- Rosetta Stone – One of the largest language learning communities online.
The great thing about living in the digital age is that learning is no longer restricted to going into a classroom and trying to earn a paper qualification from an educational institution. With an Internet connection, a little time and a bit of motivation, everyone can now obtain knowledge and skills that are of interest to them.