Life could be divided into two sections for many of us. Life before the internet and then life after. In my opinion, after is much easier…
One of the biggest benefits of the internet has been the colossal amount of information we have available at our fingertips. It’s expanded our universe and has given us opportunities to learn – and to learn for free.
I’m one of those who love taking classes but some of the fees for courses are ridiculous and sometimes you just want to take something for “fun”. Some of the premier universities such as Harvard and Yale help you do just that.
Recently Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have become a growing trend in online education. In 2008, David Cormier, manager of web communications and innovations at the University of Prince Edward Island coined this term.
What are MOOCs?
MOOCs are designed like college courses but are available to anyone – any location – and the best part is that many are at NO COST.
Unfortunately, there’s no college credit but it is a fantastic way to expand your knowledge and continue your personal development. Course topics are numerous – Science, Math, Psychology, Art, Leadership, Literature, Computers and the list goes on and on.
Coursera is one of the leading providers of MOOCs. Coursera offers a vast selection of college courses on a variety of subjects and includes lectures taught by university professors. Some Coursera courses will provide certificates of completion to recognize that you passed the class.
If you enjoy learning in a structured classroom-style environment and want to do this at home, Coursera may be right for you.
Check out these sites for more information:
- Coursera has over 400 courses in more than 20 categories, created by 85 Universities from 16 countries. Their courses are available in 12 different languages.
- EdX is another non-profit course site created by founding partners Harvard and MIT and based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. EdX offers MOOCs and interactive online classes in subjects including law, history, science, engineering, business, social sciences, computer science, public health, and artificial intelligence (AI).
- MIT has their own open courseware site and most of the materials used in the teaching of almost all of MIT’s subjects are available on the Web, free of charge. They have more than 2,000 courses available.
- Stanford offers many self-paced courses which may be easier for some.
- European institutions also offer courses through Germany-based Iversity.Their courses are offered in both English and German.
- UK’s Open University has recently begun offering free online courses as well.
- For those looking to learn a language Duolingo offers some free language education courses.
- And for some additional computer knowledge, CodeAcademy teaches programming and coding in online, free and interactive lessons.
The great news to add to the list above is that this is only scratching the surface to all the free learning tools available to knowledge seekers today. Do you have any sites that you would like to share for free learning? I’d love to hear from you!
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