The Best 20 Free Online Learning Tools for Jamaicans
Online learning is the best way to learn how to code, speak a new language, and tackle geometry or engineering without paying a cent.
The internet has long been defined as a place to get lost in mindless entertainment and clickbait – but that’s not entirely true. These four (4) free online learning tools will help you acquire a new set of skills and courses to add to your resume.
1. Khan Academy
Founded with the intention of providing a free online learning, world-class education to anyone, anywhere, this video-based educational website provides students with instructional tutorials and practice problems and questions.
Known primarily for its in-depth math tutoring students from kindergarden to high school can follow its lessons on subjects such as the basics of addition to precalculus and trigonometry. The site also offers video classes in various genres of science, computing, humanities, economics and finance.
Khan even provides access to SAT and MCAT test prep. Get access at http://www.khanacademy.org/
You might not been able to attend Harvard University, but you can enroll in one of its many free online learning courses on this easy-to-navigate website. With a helpful search bar that allows user a to narrow down their choices by school, (among them, Ivies Dartmouth, Columbia and Cornell) subject and level, this online tool gives everyone access to a free Ivy League education, with classes that range from English Composition to Molecular Biology.
3. Open Culture
Founded in 2006, this database is a virtual treasure chest for anyone looking to expand his or her academic and cultural knowledge. Users can enroll in one of its free online course from top universities, explore its array of movies, audio, eBooks and textbooks or begin learning a new language with one of its many instructional videos.
4. Open 2 Study
With its trove of specialized, short online courses ranging from marine science and microbiology to anthropology and sociology, users can sink their teeth into a variety of subjects on their own schedule.
After successful completion of your online learning, learners receive a free certificate of achievement that they can display to future employers and universities to show not only their newly acquired knowledge but also their self-motivation outside the classroom.
Coursera is a website that partners with universities and organizations around the world. This brings a wide variety of topics and perspectives to one searchable database.
Coursera is a powerful tool for free online education, and includes courses from many top universities, museums and trusts. This gives the site an extremely wide range of in-depth courses.
Coursera is extremely useful if you’re looking to study many different topics, or want courses from different schools and groups.
Udemy’s free online learning courses are similar in concept to Coursera’s but additionally allows users to build custom courses from lessons.
Working with many top professors and schools, the site mixes the customizable platform of other sites with a heavy emphasis on top quality content. This is another site however, that mixes free and paid content.
Another site with courses from many different schools is Academic Earth. Much like the three sites above, Academic Earth brings together top notch courses from many different sources, and focuses on offering a wide variety of subjects.
Academic Earth lists courses by subject and school, so it might be easier to find what you’re looking for.
Unlike the previous sites on this lists, Alison is a free education site offering certification in some areas. Alison offers courses mainly in business, technology, and health, but also includes language online learning courses.
It’s a great option if users need certification for their learning as Alison also offers school curriculum courses.
A very convenient place for free online education is iTunesU, because it integrates seamlessly with your iPod, or any app-ready Apple mobile device. On iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, users download the iTunesU app.
Desktop users can access iTunesU on the upper right hand corner of the iTunes Store. iTunesU is also convenient because the store is categorized much like iTunes.
Users can search for online learning materials in many different ways, including genre and topic. However, courses are often a mix of free podcasts or videos, and paid content.
ITunesU does include courses on a pretty wide scope of topics, but does not integrate with Android, Google or Windows mobile devices.
10. Stanford Online
Your hub for all the online learning offerings from Stanford University, Stanford Online offers self-paced and session based courses. While Coursera features some courses from Stanford, many classes are only available via other hosts. Some courses require iTunes, but most are completed in your web browser.
Stanford Online is a great site for high quality courses, though the topics are somewhat limited compared to sites partnered with more than one school.
Like Stanford Online Learning, Harvard Extension features free online education courses from Harvard only. This is another excellent source for top notch course material, though the course variety is less rich than multi-school sites.
Additionally, Harvard Extension allows you to search for courses by professional certificate. This makes it much easier if your online education goal includes certification.
Open Yale Courses echoes Harvard Extension and Stanford Online, in that it offers only courses from Yale. While the site is similarly limited to topics taught at the school, Open Yale Courses offers a lot of videos of actual campus lectures. The availability of videos makes the site a great option if you’re looking for quality courses, but learn better by watching than by reading.
Much like the other schools on this list, UC Berkeley has a variety of free online education options. The school has slightly fewer courses than the schools above, but includes some supplementary lectures, webcasts and RSS Feeds, making it easy to keep up with the topics you choose.
Similarly, MIT offers a variety of free online learning courses. The school has a comparable number of courses to the schools above, plus includes very in-depth course materials on the subjects available. MIT also offers free RSS feeds, a convenient way to continue learning.
Carnegie Mellon’s free online education site is comparable with the other school’s on this list, however, Open Learning Initiative also covers a smaller range of topics. But for the topics that are covered impressive, in-depth material is available.
Codecademy is a website dedicated specifically to teaching coding. Where other coding sites follow an example/practice session workflow, Codecademy includes a live practice window. This means you can practice coding while still viewing the lesson material.
The courses at Codecademy are well written and easy to follow and the website is organized very nicely. Codecademy features a centralized dashboard where you can monitor your progress, plus organizes lessons into complete modules. This lets you learn an entire language without needing to pick the next course manually.
Code is another website focused on coding and app writing. A site with high quality courses, Code also features learning options for kids.
Most of the courses are also geared in a such a way that they can be useful in a classroom setting. This makes Code a great resource for harder to find coding topics, as well as various learning settings.
The podcast page on the University of London website is another great source for free education. While the courses are limited to podcasts, the site features podcasts from it’s own campus, as well as eleven universities in and around London. This gives learners a wide base of topics and lectures, but still ensures in-depth material.
Similar to the University of London, the University of Oxford features many different podcasts. Most are public lecture series or lectures from visiting professors, with several different recordings available.
The advantage to this particular site is that podcasts are organized into series, making it easy to subscribe to multiple lectures on one topic. Another good site for thoroughly in-depth lectures.
The kids site for National Geographic is another site that makes free online education applicable for younger users. For those looking for kid friendly education, a large variety of games, puzzles, videos and photos keeps kids interested on this site.
National Geographic Kids doesn’t organize online learning into courses, making materials available by topic and medium instead. This makes National Geographic Kids a good option for those looking for a more casual learning environment.