There’s no time like right now to learn something new. The earlier you start, the better off you’ll be. One small change is better than no change at all. Someone once told me, “If you study your chosen profession for 5 minutes every day, in 5 years you’ll be a top expert in that field”. There’s truth in that statement; we need to learn every day.
Where do we start? There is an education bubble in the United States where the government is handing out money like its candy to people for education purposes. There is a movement against these “for-profit” schools, for taking students loans and not delivering on their promises.
Unless you’re specifically going for a degree, which is a noble goal, what if you just want to learn something new? Where do you start? This list will give you a good jumping off point.
- Khan Academy
Khan Academy is a video learning site. Salmon Khan, the founder of Khan Academy, began this resource in 2006. Since then, it has grown to over 4000 education videos spanning art to finance to history. The videos are short, engaging and, according to Forbes, Khan is the author for over 3000 of them and he holds multiple degrees from MIT and Harvard. Khan’s videos are easy to follow because he teaches “the way [he] was taught”.
This model is different because anyone can sign up to take a class, and anyone can sign up to teach a class. Class prices usually range from $15 – $30. Instructors decide if they want to teach in person or apply to teach an online global class. The skills you can learn here are unique and wild, unlike what you traditionallyfind in university offerings. You’ll see title like “The Beginner’s Guide to Animating Custom GIFs” and “The Beginner’s Guide to Animating Custom GIFs”.
Udemy is like Skillshare, where courses are made and offered by users for other users. Their offerings are wide and diverse, from life skills and traditional education to job skills and certification material. While you can’t get the certification from Udemy, you can certainly learn what you need to prepare you to take officially proctored exams. Udemy uses videos together with written materials to teach remotely.
Codeacademy will teach you coding from the ground up. For many people, learning code is archaic, dry, and uninteresting. The main reason for this is a misunderstanding of the power of coding in today’s society. Along the way you can earn badges and keep “score”, helping to make this site engaging and addictive.
Lynda Weinman, creator of Lynda.com, offers a subscription based service. The library spans over 1,800 videos covering subjects you won’t find anywhere else, like tutorials on how to use Apple’s iCloud service. Lynda.com places their focus on technological and business subjects, but they also offer educational subjects. Their landing page is divided into Developer, Design, Web, Photography, Business, Education, 3D+Animation, Video, and Audio+Music.
Nothing offered online through these courses will get you degrees, but you may find these sites enriching your lives with new skills and information that can’t be found in traditional degrees. The biggest perk in my book is the price. Education isn’t free, but it can be made affordable.