Free or Affordable Online Education Tools
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) have greatly expanded the educational opportunities for everyone with a computer and an internet connection. These typically free online courses, usually provided by universities and colleges, cover everything from Astronomy to Web Development. MOOCs are a category unto themselves, but there are plenty of individual MOOC providers and platforms to look to, including the universities themselves, such as MIT Open Courseware. Popular commercial and non-profit organizations that serve up courses from multiple sources. If you feel like there are too many free online courses to choose from, don’t worry, you will find what you are looking for.
Skillshare is a learning community that connects over a million students and teachers. In fact, anyone can teach a class (typically 30 minutes to 1 hour long) on subjects like crafts, cooking, film, photography, technology, or writing. It’s a good resource for viewing project-based lessons and there are tracks of courses grouped by subject. Over 300 lessons are available for free, but you’ll need a pro subscription to access the 3,000+ full library, still worth it in my opinion.
ALISON not only provides free online courses from publishers like Google, Microsoft, MIT, Macmillan, and Cambridge University, the site also offers diploma-level courses. Over 750 free diploma and certificate courses are available now, and you can use the site to track your progress and test your skills.
The Khan Academy
The Khan Academy is a non-profit MOOC of its own. Their tagline is “you can learn anything,” and you’ll find a wide range of interesting video classes here as well as interactive courses. Track your progress and earn badges to keep learning fun.
Open Culture is a treasure trove for any learner. Currently, the site lists 1,150 free online courses, 725 free movies, 700 free audio books, 800 free ebooks, 200 free textbooks, 300 free language lessons, and 150 free business courses.
Shaw Academy courses are now officially accredited and internationally recognised to the highest educational standards. While offering a monthly subscription it is a good option for those who want to add to their skills as you go along.
If you would like to read what is happening in other countries with online education, here is a VERY interesting article.