In the internet age, one can learn new things quickly, and for free. It has made education accessible to people in so many ways. From bridging distances to democratizing learning, receiving quality education online for free is no longer a dream. This article will take you through some more popular and esteemed free online education platforms.
See also: 30 Best online course platforms of 2022.
Best free online education platforms
Who doesn't know about YouTube? It is the most popular search engine after Google and the top video streaming website. You can find all sorts of videos on it. The best thing, they are all free! Except for a few ads every now and then. Which can be a bit bothersome to be fair. Interestingly, YouTube has recently announced 'YouTube Learning', a player for education without distracting ads, external links, or recommendations.
The platform offers high-quality education videos for free. Moreover, YouTube can be easily integrated into a variety of platforms and one can embed its videos hassle-free. With over 2 billion active users and 500 hours of video content being uploaded every minute, one can agree that YT is an absolute giant of a resource.
While one can not argue about its resourcefulness and free accessibility, there is a little downside. Since YT has no real standard for regulating content, sometimes the educational content can be promotional in nature.
Founded by Stanford University's Computer Science professors in 2012, Coursera has become a force to be reckoned with in the edtech industry. The platform boasts more than 35 million learners, 150 university partners, 2700 courses, 250 specializations, and four degrees. Besides the free courses, you also access specialization courses and certifications for a subscription fee.
It is not just a free online education platform, but a prestigious one that is known for its standards. The course instructors include world experts from top colleges ensuring the users get the education they deserve. Moreover, the platform offers recorded video lectures, discussion forums, and peer-review assignments. A high percentage of users (87%) have reported satisfaction with the provided services.
Udemy is a leading global education marketplace. People can create and sell their courses on the platform while enjoying full ownership of their content. While most similar free online education platforms are university-driven, creators here are independent to design their own content.
The platform has over 30 million students, 150,000 courses, and 42,000 instructors. Interestingly, the content is accessible in 65 languages, ensuring maximum outreach.
edX is a non-profit organization by Harvard and MIT that is striving to revolutionize the education sector in three domains: cost, location, and accessibility. The goal is to provide quality and reliable education across borders for a minimal price. It has more than 20 million learners and 2,400 courses from the top universities.
Besides the abundance of free courses, you can also take advantage of certifications for a fee. All the courses come with discussion boards, quizzes, and video transcripts. It is an open-source platform with open edX behind it allowing educators and tech enthusiasts to develop new educational tools, updating the platform with the times.
Udacity is a for-profit MOOC platform that provides vocational courses for career development. The primary content revolves around 6 central categories: data science, cloud computing, autonomous systems, and artificial intelligence. However, the content is not strictly limited to these categories and is rather broad. Such as project management and market analytics.
Moreover, the platform also offers a variety of career-enhancing services. For example, resume writing, one-on-one job coaching, and professional mentoring. With Udacity Talent Program, users can create immaculate profiles to connect with top companies and recruiters.
Skillshare is an online community that offers loads of classes for people with a bit of creative spunk. One can learn a whole lot about different dimensions of creative arts such as illustration, graphic design, photography, video, freelancing, blogging, and so on. Much like the name suggests, the platform is about sharing courses that can teach learners practical skills with considerable market demand.
For creators looking to host their courses, Skillshare provides several resources like the Teacher's handbook and their instructive blog. The only requirement, classes must teach a skill and should be no more than an hour long.
7. LinkedIn Learning
Most of us have an account - whether active or dormant - on LinkedIn, the popular networking site for professionals. Besides keeping a check on who's the best employee of the month, interestingly, LinkedIn also serves as a brilliant resource for professional upskilling and quick career tips. Quite specifically, LinkedIn Learning is the platform offering over 18,000 online courses to motivated professionals looking to diversify their skill sets. One can find a wide variety of topics there. For instance, databases to personal effectiveness.
However, the site is only free for the first month of the trial. You can access and make use of their resourceful library for a subscription fee - of $29.99/mo.
8. MIT Open Courseware
For all of you dreamers who wanted to be a student at the Prestigious MIT but couldn't for whatever reasons, now you can finally live your abandoned dreams.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed the platform MIT open courseware that provides study materials coming straight from the professors at MIT. The courses on this special free online education platform focused on science, computer science, and engineering. From lectures, notes, homework assignments, and quizzes, you can find all the materials required for you to feel like a true student at MIT.
9. Stanford Online
Wouldn't it be great if one could attend an IVY league class for free? Well, it is possible now with Stanford online's vast collection of free online courses. The world's best instructors at one of the top universities are now accessible to all of you.
The free education initiative offers not only free courses but also professional certificates, advanced degrees, and executive education. These courses are from their undergraduate, graduate, Law School, Business School, and Medical School.
10. E & ICT Academy
The Electronics & ICT Academy is an initiative by MeitY and the Government of India to deliver short courses, certifications, and diplomas both online and offline. The initiative intends to bridge the gap between industry demand and the existing skills of ICT professionals. For this purpose, their approach is hands-on and practice-based.
With over 200 courses and 15,000 beneficiaries, the platform has been successfully keeping to its goals. Both faculty and students can learn from their courses that focus on programming, embedded systems, circuits, databases, and communication.
In this ever-increasing inflation-ridden economy fishing out money to learn about your interests or diversify your skills is nearly impossible. Thankfully some free online education platforms can take that burden away and keep you learning about your interests. This was my little list of some of the top-ranked free online education platforms to help you get back to your passions.
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