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5 Phenomenal Free Online Education Platforms

Life is an endless journey of learning. And, during this time of quarantine, we have a unique opportunity to take advantage of the plethora of free online education platforms to hone our personal and professional skills.

You can take classes on every topic from the comfort of your home, whether you’re looking to take your career in a new direction or if you have a general curiosity. You could learn about the health effects of climate change from Harvard or go so far as to earn your Master’s Degree in nutritional sciences from UT Austin. Want a professional certificate in python programming from Georgia Tech? It’s available.

The courses are generally all free to take, but if you’d like to earn a certificate or a degree then you may have to pay a fee on edX or Coursera. For example, it is $49 to earn a certificate in the Science of Wellbeing from Yale on Coursera. But then you can add a certificate from Yale to your LinkedIn profile. That’s pretty cool if you ask us. The latter three online platforms listed below, however, are completely free.

As always, we’d love to hear about your experience if you take a course or two! Let us know in the comments below. In the meantime, happy learning!

edX

edX is a non-profit, open-source platform that offers more than 2,800 courses from institutions all over the world including MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, Imperial College London, Kyoto University, and more. Founded by Harvard and MIT in 2012, edX’s mission is to increase access to high-quality education for everyone, everywhere. 

They have a global community of 25 million people on the platform. They’re learning about a wide range of topics from data and computer science to leadership and communications. You can take the courses for free or pay a fee to earn a certificate once you successfully finish the course.

There are so many interesting courses on the platform that we couldn’t possibly list them all here. But to name a few, you can learn about the Health Effects of Climate Change from Harvard or earn a professional certificate in blockchain fundamentals from Berkeley. You could learn Japanese or Mandarin while taking a course in the ethics of eating. If you’re interested in learning a new skill or expanding your understanding of the world, we highly recommend this platform.

Coursera

Coursera is a robust online education platform that offers guided project programs, courses, professional certificates, and even degrees. You can take courses created by leading universities and companies like Yale, Google, the University of Michigan, and many more. Earn a Master of Computer and Information Technology from the University of Pennsylvania or a Machine Learning Certificate from Stanford.

There’s something for just about everyone. Dive into topics such as data science, business, computer science, personal development, language learning, information technology, health, math and logic, physical science and engineering, social sciences, and arts and humanities. Examples of courses include the Science of Well-Being from Yale, Creative Problem Solving from the University of Minnesota, and Mountains 101 from the University of Alberta. Or take a course in Ecology: Ecosystem Dynamics and Conservation from the American Museum of Natural History.

Google Arts & Culture

Get your daily dose of culture by visiting the virtual Google Arts & Culture platform. Google is leveraging technology to invite a global audience to discover history and heritage in ways we’ve never seen before. This is absolutely 

Experience culture in 360 degrees or take to the streets to tour famous sites and landmarks. Learn about artists, art movements and their mediums, or explore art by color. Meet Vermeer in augmented reality or step into Kew Gardens, London’s world-famous botanic gardens. Or road trip around the world and experience Spain through your senses. 

Google has partnered with the British Fashion Council, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and more to bring you an unprecedented look at the most famous works of art and the people behind them. You can meet a prehistoric sea dragon in 360 or discover Monet’s Paris through a guided story. 

“The richness I achieve comes from Nature, the source of my inspiration.” – Claude Monet

TED Ed

TED Ed is a free online platform that has both lessons and series so you can watch individual videos on a topic or dive deeper with multiple videos. They cover arts, business and economics, health, philosophy and religion, science and technology, thinking and learning, and more.

You could learn about “The accident that changed the world” and how “Your brain hallucinates your conscious reality.” Take a course in Ecofying Cities, The Big Questions, You Are What You Eat, and Animation Basics. The videos are more elementary and shorter in length, but offer quick opportunities to learn, especially with children.

SDG Academy

The SDG Academy is an education platform that aligns with the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The courses are taught by a global faculty from the United Nations, the World Bank, universities such as New York University, Harvard University, the University of Oxford, the Stockholm Resilience Centre, and other academic, government, and non-profit institutions.

According to their website, “The SDG Academy creates and curates free massive open online courses and educational materials on sustainable development and the Sustainable Development Goals.” 

Individual interactive courses are available on edX. You can learn about industry policy in the 21st century, macroeconomics for a sustainable planet, early childhood development for sustainable development, sustainable food systems, and more. There are also thousands of short videos that you can sort by media type and length.

Please let us know if you try any of these online learning platforms! We’d love to hear your feedback and get inspiration from you.
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