Get ahead with Learning
Learning is a process that begins at birth and never really ends. We learn something every single day that we live. Never in the history of mankind has it been so easy to tailor the learning process to suit our needs and curiosity. With the invention of the internet and organizations with a mission to teach, anyone at any age can learn about anything they desire. Whether you have a child needing some extra help with math, you are a college student wanting more information on a subject or simply someone that thirsts for knowledge, there are plenty of free sources for getting exactly what you need.
The following ten top websites are all free to use, with only one having a subscriber only area. Some are perfect for a specific age group, while others are useful for all. Some are perfect for traditional studies – the core subjects, where others involve life skills, interests, advanced studies and fun facts. There are many different ways to learn from short five minute videos to full university courses and everything in between. If there is something you want to learn, or perhaps you don’t even know what yet but would like to spend time learning just about anything, you will find it on one of these websites. Enjoy expanding your mind! You might just get addicted to learning!
Global Alexa Rating: 2,565
Imagine being able to go to not just one university but over 60 of them – and for free! That is what this website enables people to do. There are over 300 courses in over 20 categories that are created by universities in 16 countries. The courses start on specific dates and run a set amount of time. They include short video lectures, interactive quizzes, peer graded assignments and the ability to interact live with classmates and teachers. Although most classes are in English, there are some offered in French, Spanish, Chinese, German and Italian. You can search by course name, category, university or instructor. When you click on the course it tells you the amount of time you can expect to need each week to do the workload, the date the session begins, the name of the instructor with a link to find out more information, a synopsis of the course and what background is recommended for taking the course. Other items that may be shown include a FAQ section, course syllabus and course format information.
Global Alexa Rating: 4,282
Global Alexa Rating: 5,113
The self-stated goal of Khan Academy is to change education for the better by providing a free world-class education for anyone anywhere. Their fun approach is easily seen throughout the site and even begins in the about section in which they define anybody to include a friendly alien just trying to get a leg up in earthly biology. This entertaining approach is just one thing that makes this website unique. The ability to create a profile and earn points and badges lets the student see their progress. Parents and teachers can use it for their students and see how they are doing. There are over 4,200 videos available for K-12 students. Additionally there are test prep areas for SAT math, GMAT, CAHSEE, California Standards Test, Competition Math and IIT JEE. It is easy to sign up and use the site – sign up by email, Facebook or Google. Although this site is perfect for K-12, it can also act as a refresher course for older students. There is also a coach area with resources to help teachers, parents and mentors.
Global Alexa Rating: 9,394
This website has a host of courses from many of the top universities in the world. The unique advantage of this site is that students can either audit the class or complete it and earn a certificate. The courses are designed to be both interesting yet challenging, so you will definitely learn something! Browsing through the courses is a great way to find some gold nugget that you can enjoy learning about. Each class gives course information, instructor information, any prerequisites, class start date and course length. Some also list estimated effort in terms of time needed to complete the course work. Look at all the courses, or use the search feature to pull up by subject and school.
Global Alexa Rating: 18,811
For those looking for practical learning, this website might very well become your favorite, especially if you often scour YouTube for demonstrations on various topics. Categories currently featured on the site are style, tech, fitness, home, money & education, video games, food, dance, health, parenting, relationships and the arts. These ‘how-to’ videos are professionally created to teach you a new skill or answer a question you have. You can learn anything from how to bake bread or do latte art to more technical topics such as using an iPhone or setting up a new printer.
Global Alexa Rating: 80,702
Online college courses as well as test preparation courses are the main aspect of this site. However, another section is also of interest – video electives. This area has courses meant to get you thinking about something. For example, one video discusses the subject, “How the End of World War II Made Us Fat.” The courses themselves link to the university or college offering the course, thus each one is set up a bit differently based on what that site is doing. Some courses will require you to obtain the book(s) necessary for the course. The playlist section of the website has various playlists that have a series of lectures relating to that topic. For example, the “First Day of Freshman Year” has 4 lectures that are about 30 to 50 minutes each giving an introduction to physics, biology, psychology and computer programming.
Global Alexa Rating: 145,343
This site is another website designed for the K-12 age bracket. There are videos, lessons, quizzes, games and puzzles on practically every course taught in elementary, middle and high school. The site is really easy to navigate and is completely kid safe. Subjects are listed right on the main page along with the subheadings. For example, math includes everything from learning numbers for the preschool student up to trigonometry for the high school student. Also on the site are some fun videos including learning magic, music lessons, arts & crafts and sports lessons.
Global Alexa Rating: 163,728
This website is another tool for parents and teachers to use to help students through the use of video lessons. The site has over 3,000 video lessons prepared by experts. There are a number of free sample videos but it takes a subscription to gain access to the full library. The subscription rates per month are dictated by how many subjects you wish to have access to. There is a 1 subject plan, a 2 subject plan and the all inclusive 19 subject plan which also includes an iPhone/iPad app. A useful part of the website is the ability to find the school textbook being used and pull up extra materials on a certain subject to get more clarification. Play around with the site to see what is available free, then move into a subscription if you find more instruction would be helpful.
Global Alexa Rating: 223,456
Although this website does not prepare the actual videos, it is a nicely organized place to locate videos on YouTube and other sites on the particular topic you are looking for. There are the typical subjects such as mathematics, science and history as well as other topics such as life skills, hobbies and exercise instruction. A nice feature of the site is the age filter allowing you to put in the age of the student so that only courses for that age are displayed. The site allows others to add videos which is a benefit because the site continues to grow, but that can mean videos get added that may not be what you want your child to watch. Parental guidance on this site would be necessary for younger children.
Global Alexa Rating: 291,116
Although not heavily utilized by students this site has some interesting features. Besides the typical academic core subjects, there are courses in more specialized fields such as law, paleontology, veterinary medicine, dentistry and mythology. There are also courses in extracurricular subjects including beauty, culinary, dance, film, health, music and sports. Also on the main page are top 10 lists for courses and books, as well as a section for top documentaries and random videos. Currently there are 502 courses, 1,794 documentaries, 1,348 videos and 1,342 images.
While some of these sites are clearly designed for the K-12 set and others are for the adult student, they all have one common goal – to get the educational tools into the hands of those that want to learn. To that end there is no such thing as a bad website. These are ten that are high in popularity but if you do not find one to your liking, don’t let that stop you. There are many more out there! Continuing to grow the mind is a key way to keep youthful and mentally alert.