Learning is great. Honestly, we as humans are always striving to better ourselves, and learning new things in the world. No one idles themselves without improvement over time, because that would be boring and we’d end up just wasting away. Plus, thanks to the Internet, we have access to so much learning that it’s hard to just FIND a place to begin with.
Not to mention also that a lot of these places do cost money as well. Thankfully, for every 1 platform where you have to shell out money to access their learning platform, there are at least 3 more that are free alternatives that you can look at. So if you’re looking to learn on a budget and want to get the most out of your time for as little as possible (Especially free) here are five platforms that you should consider.
YouTube right now is perhaps one of the best places for Online Learning if you happen to be on a budget, and that budget is pretty much set at “free.”. YouTube is just simple so large and all-encompassing on every possible subject you would want to learn that it’s impossible to accurately list everything.
Suffice to say though, what makes YouTube excellent as a learning platform is that you have almost limitless potential for everything you’d want to learn on a particular skill or subject – even down to the niches. As an example, let’s look at cooking. There are nearly 600 channels with more than 20,000 subscribers in the cooking section alone, and they range from cake decorating, budget meals, brewing your own alcohol, historical reenactments of ancient food, how to make bread and cheese to so much more.
Heck, there are even 4,000 channels in learning to draw and create art ALONE. From digital, to traditional, to photography and more.
All of which come in either small 10 minute blocks to watch all the way to hour long how-to’s.
Skillshare is extremely popular for a lot of reasons that make it almost the #1 Online Learning platform. While out of everything on this list it isn’t exactly “Free” comparatively – as there IS a subscription model for most of the good content – you can still get access to over 2,000 courses with the free option to check it all out yourself and see what the platform is like for yourself.
So what makes it great exactly if you’re on a budget? Well aside from the aforementioned Free option that you can go with is also the fact that $15 a month isn’t that expensive considering it gives you access to over 20,000 courses from various different skills and all of those you can pick up and learn at your own pace. So if you like having access to courses and learning a little bit at a time – or even learning everything in one go – then Skillshare is perfect for you.
- Khan Academy
Khan Academy is honestly one of the best places to go for online learning when it comes to Free, detailed courses. All of the courses range from a myriad of different subjects such as SAT Prep, Art, History, Mathematics, and anything else you would find that belongs in a college or university class.
This makes it a lot better than SkillShare when it comes to learning something other than a skill, because it gives you access to courses that are designed to be taken at a college level. Best of all is the fact that each Course is broken down into smaller sections with downloadable videos or reading material and allows for you to schedule and plan when you want to pick up the subject and learn. So like Skilshare, it’s a definite “learn at your own pace” sort of thing, and if you wanted to spend all day, or only an hour on the weekends on something you can certainly do that.
Plus, what Khan Academy also excels at is the fact that you can leave comments, or ask questions on the courses themselves if you’re unsure or having trouble with something and a Professor – or other student – will comment to help you out with learning, so you can get some excellent feedback on all of your questions.
What makes OpenCourseWare so unique compared to Khan Academy, Skillshare, and others on this list is the fact that this platform is entirely community driven, unlike everything else. So while the courses that are offered aren’t exactly curated for quality of special purposes, they are taken from various different University or College level programs. This means that every course that’s offered on OpenCourseWare has been donated either by another student, or by Professors and Teachers from around the globe on a lot of different topics.
That part on it being based on a variety is no joke either. As of right now courses are separated into 20 different languages, with over 5,000 free courses in English alone, and the subjects range from Metaphysical Mathematics, all the way to the Historical Founding’s of South Africa, to Art History of Florence Italy, to the Philosophical work of Sartre.
Coursera is perhaps one of the best Online Learning platforms you can go on right now if you have to work with a limited budget, and need something free to learn from.
What makes Coursera so great is the fact that the platform actively works with Colleges and Universities to be THE center of learning on the internet, whether you’re already a student of a University or College or just someone who likes to learn on their own time.
Basically, it acknowledges the fact that it’s not a College or anything itself, but rather a supplemental learning location to supplement and add onto someone’s learning already. So if you’re a student, they offer access and links to Grants and Scholarships that you can apply for, and if you’re someone who likes to learn period, they offer free Courses that you can take that Yale, to MIT, to Notre Dame, to any number of prestigious colleges that are all donated to Coursera for people who are interested. Plus, best of all is that these courses are monitored and graded by actual Professors who dedicate their time to people who apply.
So there you have it. 5 great places to get you started on Online Learning, and all of them highly recommended by various people who access those platforms daily. The best part of having a budget where the price you’re looking for is “free” means that every one of the options above can be used in conjunction with one another: Which is great if you’ve got a lot of time on your hands.
So good luck with learning!