No matter you are a student or not, learning opportunities always keep coming especially now when the world has become so connected by the Internet.
Online education provides you free, diverse and valuable knowledge from all around the globe.
If you are a student and looking to develop more skills while getting certifications for the same, or you want to learn some new things in your summer break, or you are working and want to get some new skills for promotion, or you are just curious to learn something, no matter how old you are, then you are at the right spot, reading about how to achieve these goals.
There are hundreds of websites providing free education, but I choose some top websites which are good on the basis of criteria and valuation such as certification and its value, partner institutions/universities/companies, skills valuable for growth in career/education, quality of education, etc.
Two years ago, as I was bored of watching movies in tthe super hot Indian summers, I got an idea to start learning online to make use of lazy summer vacations. I explored many websites and in the end I continued with only couple of them. As I have been learning online from past two years and I am also one of the top learners at Coursera.org (I know that because they invited me to a group meeting in New Delhi to share my feedback so that they can develop their business in India, sounds cool, huh?), also had an experience of learning on other websites too, I hope my experience will help you gaining some useful insights before you start learning your interests.
Here are the top 10 websites listed for online learning.
Coursera is one of the best online learning platform in the world and my personal favorite.
They have around 1500 courses from 136 partner universities covering almost every field of education. The fact I like about Coursera is that they provide verified certificates from the top universities across 27 countries and they have peer grading system of written assignments, deadlines, on-demand courses, and much more. They are simulating the real life situation as if you are studying in a university and learning opportunities at the best.
Edx.org is a kind of a competitor to Coursera with an almost same theme and fewer courses and partners, but it has MIT and Harvard as founding partners.
So if you want to have a certificate from MIT and Harvard, you have to learn at edx.org or MIT Open Courseware because they are not available on Coursera. Well, it doesn’t create a big difference to skip Coursera for that. Also, edx’s UI/UX is not as good as compared to other platforms like Coursera.
Iversity.org is also a website providing education with verified certificates, but only from European universities.
Even though it has few courses, iversity.org provides official ECTS credits (European Credit Transfer System) certificate signed by Instructor. So, if you want to add some more credits to your degree, then Iversity.org will give the chance to do that.
Famous for its IT and Computing courses, Udemy is a huge database of courses mainly in IT and Business field.
Although there are very less free courses, Udemy gives you the opportunity to choose from more than 32000 courses. You can choose a course based upon previous feedbacks and also, it is a good platform to become an instructor and make some money.
Udemy also provides certification for some courses, but they are not much valuable as they are provided by individual instructors only.
Lynda.com is an online learning portal currently owned by business-oriented social networking website LinkedIn.com.
Lynda.com doesn’t provide certificates, but it provides very specific and targeted professional video tutorials for fields like Animation, CAD, IT, Photography, etc. It is very good especially for the people who always wanted to learn to work on professional softwares.
FutureLearn is an another online learning website based in England, offering many courses with certificates. Their courses and partners are growing at a fast pace and they are catching up a competition with other online learning platforms.
But they offer only paid course certificates and nothing free, and with the fact that their courses are same as other websites, it is not a good idea to pay for the same certificate which you can get by attending similar courses on Coursera or edx.
Alison.com is another huge database of courses and it is one of the oldest online learning platforms which provides certificates to users after completing courses.
Alison.com has individual courses as well as diploma courses, but their certificates are not much valued as compared to other online websites.
I had a very simple German language course, 2 years ago on Alison and after getting their cheap-looking badly designed and valued certificate, I never went to that website because I was mainly looking for a good certification of courses that I learned. But if you want to learn, Alison is not a bad place to start with.
We are not talking about TEDx talks, although they are also a good source about learning ideas and philosophy about life, but TEDEd is a good place to learn and solve your curious questions about small scientific things happening around you.
TEDEd has very good videos and lessons about everyday science quests. Even if it don’t have courses and so the certificates to give, it has very good animated science videos which make you more curious.
9. Khan Academy
Khan Academy is the online platform which provides basic knowledge of Science, Mathematics, Arts and Programming. It is founded by an entrepreneur and educator Salman Khan in 2006 to make education available to everyone for free.
It is not recommended for professionals or higher education students unless you are trying to learn something from very basic.
Udacity is a learning platform focused for IT professionals and developers. It also has few high-profile course providers like Facebook, Google, GeorgiaTech, Twitter, etc. It is famous for its specific field of education and among the people who wants to learn how to code.
So, it doesn’t matter who you are, what you do, where you live and how old are you, only thing that matters is your willingness to learn. All you need is an internet connection and all the good education from the best universities is there on your screen.
Start Surfing. Start Buffering. Okay, Loading. Enrolling. Happy Learning!
Cover Image Source: Coursera.
Conspiracy theorist, curious engineer, modern science and civilization devotee, astrophysics aficionado, travel fanatic, blogger, award-winning inventor and an avid MOOC scholar.