In today’s digital age, there are hundreds of excellent learning resources on the world wide web. As a result, with a little bit of effort and commitment, an individual can get an outstanding education without stepping foot into any of the major colleges around the world. The best part is that a large portion of these resources does not cost a dime. The resources that are accessible at a fee are significantly less expensive than established institutions but offer similar or better content.
This article presents ten of the best free and premium learning resources that are available for a wide range of disciplines.
Coursera is one of the biggest online resources on the internet. Created in 2012 by two professors from Stanford University, this platform offers individuals a wide range of specialized courses, professional certifications, degrees, master’s programs, and extracted courses.
Coursera has a large number of students, which exceeds 30 million individuals. The platform has a partnership with over 150 institutions all across the world. In general, access to most courses is free. However, to gain a certification, an individual will have to pay between $20 to $100. Nonetheless, students have access to scholarships that cover many courses that are offered on the platform. The scholarship program does not cover master’s and degree programs.
Founded in 2012, edX is a joint non-profit educational platform run by MIT and Harvard that aims to bring knowledge and skills to individuals that cannot afford the expensive upkeep and tuition of the top universities. Students are able to access the course free of any cost remotely. Currently, there are close to 2,500 courses that are being accessed by millions of learners from all across the world. These courses are offered by the top schools across different fields. Nonetheless, a few courses within the platform cannot be accessed without paying a fee.
Founded in 2010, Udemy is a large consortium of educational information that offers students access to thousands of instructors, courses, and instructional videos. The difference between Udemy and other educational content providers is that courses offered do not have to be driven from universities. Rather, any creator that has the knowledge to give to an audience is allowed to provide educational material. In return, students are given access to such material at a fee. However, the platform still gives students access to free introductory courses. Udemy offers access to educational materials that expose students to become proficient in specific in-demand skillsets.
This platform provides students with an interactive learning experience that allows them to master several programming languages at a go. Codecademy has a large number of free courses, which can be completed within a single day. Learners that want to get a deep understanding of programming can opt for the premium package, which gives access to wide resources and support. Started in 2011, Codecademy has over 50 million alumni out of which several are working for big tech giants such as Facebook and Google.
TED-Ed is an award-winning internationally recognized platform that actively promotes and celebrates the ideals of millions of students and teachers from all corners of the world. This organization has a large network of teachers, students, and organizers with the sole purpose of identifying and presenting intriguing solutions to everyday human challenges. The TED-Ed website has a large database of videos for students and teachers to access. Access to the content within the platform is completely free.
As the name implies, Stanford Online was founded (1995) within the walls of Stanford University by the Stanford Center for Professional Development. The platform offers students access to executive courses, professional certifications, and advanced degrees in several fields. Both undergraduate and postgraduate students have access to several resources and courses from Stanford Online. Such resources or courses include business school, law school, and medical school. Although some free courses exist within the platform, most courses offered can only be accessed at a fee.
The MIT OpenCourseWare is one of the top educational resources that are available to students at no cost. This platform became open to the public in 2003. In essence, students are able to access thousands of hours of video lectures from the numerous members of the faculties within MIT. The only difference between this platform and attending MIT is that a student will not get a certificate after accessing the free resources. However, an individual is able to access, assignments and download videos of any course that is available within the platform. The only downside to this platform is that users are not able to interact with themselves or with the members of the faculty.
Khan Academy is another open educational resource platform that aims to provide students from all backgrounds access to free and quality education. Founded in 2008, this platform provides access to both students and teachers at no cost. The platform contains educational material from pre-nursery up to university. Topics that are available at Khan Academy include science, English, math, and history. Students also have access to SAT and AP preparation materials. This platform is sponsored by several charities so as to make education accessible to all.
Harvard Extension is an online education platform that is run by Harvard University. Although Harvard Extension School has been in existence for almost a century, it only recently began providing online education resources to the public. As it is run by an Ivy League school, Harvard Extension provides users access to world-class education courses and resources.
iTunes Free Course is power by Apple Inc. This platform is a free open access system that provides learners access to free educational resources, which can be downloaded directly into any of the wide range of Apple devices. The iTunesU Free course material is accessible via the iTunes Store. Individuals can easily search through the large bank of educational materials at their disposal. However, there are courses within the platform that must be paid for before a user is given access.