The Internet is possibly the greatest invention of our time, and the reason is simple yet powerful: it provides access to an immense amount of information. While daily news, social media, business purposes, communicating with friends across the world, and unlimited entertainment are all perfectly wonderful reasons to use the Web, let us not forget about learning for free – something that makes the Internet, truly a blessing.
Not all of us can pay thousands of dollars and fly across the world to pursue an amazing course or degree; thus, MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are a saviour. From Introduction to Machine Learning (York University from Canada offers this) to Climate Change Mitigation in Developing Countries (designed by the University of Cape Town), courses offered online range across subject areas like: the social sciences, history, science, IT, math, business management, arts, health, education, personal development skills, and even specific fields of study like architecture, law, psychology, religion, philosophy, astronomy and natural sciences. These aren’t casual blog style educational videos but actual courses with professionally-designed curriculums, weekly syllabi, homework assignments, student discussion forums, user reviews and ratings, and official certificates from the institute that you can receive upon successfully completing the course – but of course, you have to pay for that last one.
Two of the biggest names in the online learning platform market are Coursera and EdX. Both offer courses from some of the biggest institutional names in education, such as Yale, Stanford, Harvard, University of Michigan, UC Berkeley, Wharton, Cambridge and more. Coursera currently offers 3000+ courses by partnering with universities across the globe, while EdX, a non-profit company, offers about 2,650 and was born from the idea of free and accessible education for all. Coursera’s strength lies in computer science and business courses while EdX excels at humanities and earth science courses, but both provide a wide gamut of courses that need to be sifted through using their website search bar and filters.
For those who don’t want to commit long hours and prefer bite-sized videos, TedEd is perfect. From the makers of the famous Ted Talks, TedEd spreads ideas with animated video lessons that feed curious cats and offer great content for teachers and school students. Teachers can also create customised lessons, structure an assignment around a video and assess students’ engagement online.
Back-to-School season goes remote, Saniaa Shah