Online Resources for Self-Driven Learning

Most people would agree that there is always more to learn. Most of us would also agree that we are not sure where we would find the time to learn. Enrolling in classes can be costly and college schedules are rigid and time consuming. Online learning can make this process considerably cheaper and more flexible. There are options for you whether you want to learn for work, future projects or the sake of knowledge.

Formal Educations

Are you interested in pursuing a more formal education with professors, classes and a piece of paper at the end? Then there are plenty of online and brick-and-mortar institutions that offer accredited, professional courses to choose from. Schools like Penn State and University of Phoenix offer traditional courses online and online only programs for undergraduate and adult learners.

There are newer types of online programs such as MOOCs and Udemy, which are trying to design new ways to achieve higher levels of education. MOOCs is an online organization offering traditional collegiate material over the internet. Udemy is an organization of professionals designing courses for other adult professionals. There are free and tuitioned courses offered through these services, as well as certifications of completion and understanding.

Informal Education

If you are more interest in learning the information than your marketability, there are plenty of free resources online for learning both broad and narrow subjects. Khan Academy might be the best and most famous of these services. Khan Academy has a curriculum that covers pretty much every core school subject from kindergarten to senior year of highschool and beyond. Each subject is split into courses by difficulty and year with each lesson presented as an formative video. For every topic there are practice problems and a transparent course map that allows you to follow your own path.

Khan Academy does a wonderful job of offering a free education online. However it does not cover everything and might not be the best choice when it comes to trying to understand more specific topics. While there is no one place to go for esoteric technical knowledge, the answers you are looking for are still out there. Google is a great place to start, but learning how to trust your sources can be tricky. One of the best resources for professionals on the web are forums for skilled professionals. Websites like stackoverflow, for example, allow users to share knowledge and discuss coding online.

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Meredith Weisser

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