Are you a potential brainiac who can read/watch/absorb via online methods? Then free online courses may just be your window to the world. Or even the way you can get a professional certificate or an actual degree. You can be the brains of the ball with these 16 sites to take free courses and/or explore free ways to learn.
Learn what exactly? Think coding, technologies, languages, music theory, social sciences, arts, and tons of others. Some of these courses are even through Ivy League universities! For you, for your kids, for your book club… anyone can learn if they’ve got the drive and an internet connection.
Let’s see the sites, shall we?
Class Central is a search engine and review tool for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), which sounds like MMORPGs for learning. And they kind of are! You can use this portal to find free online courses about tons of subjects including recordings of real classes and actual syllabi, even from Ivy League institutions. And of course, from a lot of the places listed below.
Coursera partners with universities and organizations to offer courses online. You can even get professional certificates and masters degrees online. Topics include data science, programming, social sciences, and business.
Open Culture has free courses in culture, the humanities, and the social sciences including audio books, classic films, eBooks, languages, MOOCs from universities, and loads of resources for kids. Just check out their course selection and become enthralled.
Code Academy is what it sounds like: a place to learn to code for free. Think web developement, design, programming, data science, and the languages that accompany them.
Duolingo is an online language learning that I’ve personally used to learn French (and dally in a few other languages, too). They offer courses for over 30 languages (and growing), and have a pretty fun app.
If you’re interested in music (and especially a child interested in music), this site offers courses on rhythm and meter, scales and keys, intervals, chords, diatonic chords, and all kinds of other chords that I don’t understand. I probably need these courses, clearly.
If you’re a fan of documentaries for entertainment and education (always with a grain of salt, of course), then Documentary Heaven is worth a look. The categories are super diverse.
Project Gutenberg is a wiki-style directory of over 56,000 free eBooks to immerse yourself in any subject you can imagine. In addition to English, it also has books in German, French, Italian, and Portuguese.
edX has lots of courses in their popular categories like business, computer science, and data science, but extend into art and architecture, education, philosophy, history, and engineering. They also offer certificates.
Udacity has degrees called “nanodegrees” in niche subjects like Google AdWords, deep learning, artificial intelligence, and iOS development. Their catalog is focused on bleeding edge and established technologies.
FutureLearn is really diverse, with focus on the usual suspects (business, coding, etc.) but also has lifestyle-focused courses like health and eating well, selling yourself in a career, and self-care. You can also explore career degrees here.
These universities offer free online learning courses to explore:
- Stanford University
- Harvard University (through edX)
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Yale University
(Let me know which ones I’m missing!)