The internet has a bad reputation, for many reasons: social pressure, comment section trolls, conflicting ideals, the seemingly endless stream of negativity. But there are also the gems that seem to exist outside of it all, that offer something of value without falling into the common pitfalls of digital life. When done right, educational websites fall into the latter category.
Here are four of the best educational sites:
Learn from the best experts with Masterclass
Masterclass’ The range of exclusive video-based courses ranges from courses in subjects such as business, society, entertainment, writing, design, photography, fashion, film, sports and games. The big draw here is that the instructors are often quite well known in their field, or in general. For example, there are courses from people like David Lynch, Natalie Portman, Gordon Ramsey, and Dr. Jane Goodall, among others.
The lessons themselves consist of videos associated with a downloadable PDF workbook that students work on. These can also be submitted to the private student community for comment, which adds an extra layer of support to the learning process. Typically, lessons are two to five hours long, with each lesson ranging from five to 25 minutes each. There are suggested timelines for completion, but it’s entirely at your own pace.
Masterclass is pass based, which means you have to purchase a pass to take a specific course or you can get an all access pass so you can try all the courses available on the site. You would have unlimited access to a single course, but if you chose the all access pass, it would only last as long as you had an active account.
Develop your professional skills with LinkedIn Learning
Learning LinkedIn is an educational platform that takes a profile of a LinkedIn user and creates a personalized learning experience, based on job title and skills, with courses from the site formerly known as Lynda.com. The goal of LinkedIn Learning is to help these users succeed in their current role at work. But, on the flip side of the platform, there is also an option for companies to help employees by highlighting useful courses and further personalizing ‘learning paths’.
It costs around $ 30 per month for an individual subscription, or the equivalent of around $ 20 per month if you go for the annual plan. And that gives you access to all the courses on the site – there are over 15,000 in seven languages, and over 60 new courses are added every week. Users can choose from courses in three main areas: Technology, Creativity, and Business. But there are also certification programs, which can help people prepare for exams and earn continuing education credits.
Learn a new language with Duolingo
Duolingo is a language learning platform that uses quizzes to help you memorize vocabulary and use the language correctly. Users can choose their language and set a daily study goal of five to 20 minutes. If you’ve already started learning the language elsewhere, you can take a placement test instead so that you don’t have to get into the basics before you can really start learning new things.
In addition to quizzes, which use a combination of words, pictures, and audio recordings to help you figure things out, users can also practice building sentences in the language of their choice. You earn XP for completing levels, and if you answer all the questions for a given level correctly, you will get bonuses. And those who are able to make it a daily habit can get satisfaction in the form of a “streak”. It is this combination of factors, when practiced regularly over time, that can make learning a new language fun and even natural.
Users can also interact with the Duolingo community through discussion forums, participate in events, earn ‘crowns’ as they improve their skills or earn ‘bullion’ (the site’s virtual currency) as well. than view their performance statistics. There are free and paid versions of Duolingo. And, as a bonus, Duolingo is also available in application form.
Expand your knowledge with Udemy
Udemy is an online platform for education, offering a wide range of courses. For example, there are courses in business, finance, and IT, as well as other topics such as design, marketing, and photography and beyond. Users can access over 150,000 courses, taught in over 65 languages and available as apps, for both iPhones and Android.
Udemy courses can include things like audio, video, text, and quizzes, but not all of these are required, and the instructor chooses which to include. Thus, the overall experience may vary from course to course. However, you would have the option to preview the course and, once purchased, request a full refund within 30 days of purchase if you are not satisfied.
Prices can vary widely, with some courses costing less than $ 20 and others costing over $ 200. But, regardless of the price, you will get lifetime access to the course, as well as a certificate of completion once you complete all of the modules.