One of the best ways to invest in yourself is to engage in lifelong learning. Not only can you keep your mind active, but you can also learn valuable skills. Whether you are just interested in learning something new and interesting, or whether you want to become better educated in a way that will help you advance your career or improve your business, it’s possible to take free classes online.
The Internet has opened up all sorts of possibilities and opportunities, and that includes gaining a free education. There are main resources for free learning, and you can take classes from true experts and bona fide professors. You should realize, though, that these free online classes won’t give you college credit. You can learn, and improve your abilities, but the benefit will be strictly to your knowledge and capability, and won’t provide you with class credit.
That said, here are some of the best ways to take free classes online:
Open courseware consists of classes provided by colleges and universities. You can get access to class materials used to teach courses, and that can inform your progress. Additionally, many open courseware collections also include actual lectures from classes. These can be helpful, providing you the benefit of true expertise without paying for the class. Here are some of the more interesting and prestigious open courseware collections:
- Columbia University
- Duke University Law School
- Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
- UC Berkeley
- Open University
- Harvard University
- Oxford University Mathematics
These schools offer their knowledge to anyone who wants to see it online. If you are interested in seeing offerings from a particular school, simply Google the name of that university, and the term “open courseware.”
This option is related to open courseware. You can get access to different classes and lectures on your mobile Apple device. I’ve listened to lectures from Princeton on my iPod, thanks to iTunes U. You can even use iTunes U to build your own course, based on the information you receive from classes at Yale, Duke, Penn State, Stanford, and other schools. It’s a great educational tool for yourself, or for your students (if you are a teacher).
Another interesting collection of knowledge is Khan Academy. This site was started by a young man interested in broadening his knowledge base. He collected courses, videos, and more from experts in various fields. You can visit Khan Academy to learn more about a variety of subjects, from finance to business to math, to art.
Other Online Learning Options
There are plenty of other great online learning options as well. Some of those available include:
- CodeAcademy.com: Learn computer coding basics. Great if you want to learn more about running your own web site, and accomplishing other goals.
- Coursera.org: A collection of different courses from various schools. Choose a category you’re interested in, from management to robotics, and start learning.
- BBC Languages: Take free courses that can help you learn 40 different languages.
If you are self-motivated, and enjoy learning, these free courses might be just the thing. You’ll improve yourself, and perhaps even gain the skills and knowledge you need for a promotion, or to be a better business owner.
Photo credit: Jami3.org