Bereft of travel plans this August, I found myself aimlessly browsing a lot of pages online. Fantastically, inmy boredom, I tumbled upon the huge world of online learning through MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). Okay, maybe learning isn’t your thing and idleness is, but when you check them out, they’re just as exciting a playing a new game.
From Medicine to Coding, from Mandarin Chinese to Philosophy, you can learn anything you want. Here are some online forums that are great platforms for you to learn from:
1. Edx: https://www.edx.org/how-it-works
Founded by an MIT professor Anant Agarwal, this online platform brings you diverse courses from major universities like MIT, Harvard, Boston University and many others.
Courses: It will boggle your mind. Visit the website.
2. Coursera: https://www.coursera.org/about/
Yet another brilliant MOOC website, Coursera provides courses from another pool of universities including Princeton University, the University of Edinburgh, University of Michigan, Brown University, University of Toronto, etc.
Courses: Everything you can imagine. Visit the website.
3. Memrise: https://www.memrise.com/
Fancy learning a new language? Or want to strengthen the use of your mother language? This website is exactly what you’re looking for. With audio articulation and memorisation exercises, the website takes you through level by level of language learning, from alphabetic letters to words and conversational phrases.
4. Code: https://code.org/
As you’d have guessed, this website dedicates itself to enable users, both young and old, to learn how to code and create their own apps and games. The introduction video on the website gives you a beautiful perspective from famous computer enthusiasts like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Drew Houston who pretty much revolutionized the world with their work.
They repeatedly specify that you don’t have to be a genius to be able to code, and that coding is something everybody should know in this tech-savvy generation and its prospective future, regardless of what your career background is.
5. Khan Academy: https://www.khanacademy.org/about
Famous for its educational ventures, Khan Academy revolutionizes school learning experience, through its forum which supports students as well as school teachers. Teachers can constantly track their students’ progress and can assign them individual goals for them to work on.
This website is perfect for students who are preparing themselves for college; giving them the prerequisite knowledge that they should have about various subjects; that they may or may not have taken up in high school. The website also gives admission test preparations for SAT, GMAT and IITJEE.
6. Ted Ed Lessons: http://ed.ted.com/about
Are your kids getting as equally bored and restless like you? Introduce them to the world of TED Ed. An ambitious venture of the TED organization, Ted Ed Lessons bring alive exciting lessons from all over the world, through the magic of animation.
These lessons are specifically targeted for middle school and high school children. It also gives them a chance to form their own TED Ed clubs at school to sparkle new innovations and exhibit them through TED-like talks.
Still not convinced?
Here are a few reasons why you should definitely try an online course this summer.
They’re FREE: All these courses from world-renowned universities, taught by experienced professors and they’re free.
They are verified: Some of these courses offer a verified certificate from the university and even an online certificate with a license number for you to flaunt on your LinkedIn profile. They do look really good on your resume.
Time and place utility: You can do these courses anytime and anywhere you’d want. Most of these courses are self-paced, and their free app versions make it easier for you to keep track of your courses and resume the lectures anytime, like while you’re commuting or waiting somewhere.
Meet professors and students from around the world: The discussion forums for these courses allow you to have real life discussions about various aspects of your course topics with students worldwide. Their diverse backgrounds and age groups give these discussions various perspectives on the same issue discussed. It is also very exciting to meet brilliant professors from prestigious universities who give their own blend to the course experience.
Determine your subject aptitude: Are you clueless about which major to pursue for college? Or are you unsure if the major that you chose would suit you well? Take an online course. You don’t have to worry about GPAs or the fee or the deadline pressure; do your introductory courses beforehand and analyse if it’s truly the major for you or not.
Explore courses from your non-major discipline: Are you an engineer who can’t fit philosophy into your free electives? Or do you just want to randomly try out a course to know what it’s all about? Take an online course, you can quench your curiosity anytime.
Pursuing online courses takes classroom learning far beyond, and that’s wonderful. These online community of worldwide learners have created a space that accommodates everybody and redefines the learning experience with animations and live discussions and virtual tours, etc. The potential is truly unlimited; you now have the key to a new world.
To discover or rediscover your faith in online learning and to move beyond the conventional classroom learning, watch this TED talk by author John Green: