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24 Online Websites Set to Replace the Traditional College Education

24 Online Websites Set to Replace the Traditional College Education

It’s without question that this generation has and will see the biggest shift in education in the past century.

Top universities like Harvard, MIT, and Stanford are sharing their courses online for free, and it’s no longer necessary to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to receive a paper degree.

With the rise of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course), now anyone with expertise can teach to millions of people around the world looking for their specialized knowledge.

Not only is it easier to get access to quality education online, but the value of a traditional degree is worth questioning, with the rise of unemployment among recent college graduates increasing to 8.5% in 2014 from 5.5% in 2007.

Not to worry. Here are 24 websites you can use instead of taking a college course. Learn anything from languages, finance, computer science, and more.

General Subjects

1. EdX — A non-profit provider that offers online courses from the world’s best universities, including MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, and more.

2. Wikiversity — Wikiversity is a Wikimedia Foundation project devoted to learning resources, learning projects, and research for use in all levels, types, and styles of education from pre-school to university. It also includes professional training and informal learning.

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3. Lynda — Now under Linkedin, Lynda is known as one of the best online video learning resources for learning nearly any skill — from Photoshop to Video Editing. While Lynda is most famous for their premium software video tutorials, they also offer free courses online.

Computer Science and Engineering

4.  Codeacademy — A fun, simple, and gamified method of learning how to code, from HTML, CSS, Javascript, Ruby on Rails, and beyond. Great to get the basic knowledge of learning how to code

5. W3school — Great resource to find specific tutorials, answers to problems you’re struggling with, and a community of fellow coders.

6. Google Code University — Provides sample course content and tutorials for Computer Science (CS) students and educators on current computing technologies and paradigms.

Branding, Creativity & Marketing

7.  HubSpot Marketing Library — A free library of anything inbound marketing related, from ebooks to templates and more goodies for you to download.

8.  CreativeLIVE — A unique proposition: Enroll into live classes online for free, and purchase only the courses you want to keep. Learn everything from photography and design, to money and marketing.

9.  Skillshare — An online website to learn anything from anyone, Skillshare has insightful courses on branding and marketing that are taught by knowledgeable experts including Guy Kawasaki, Gary Vaynerchuk, and more.

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Foreign & Sign Language

10.  Rype — Known to language lovers as “Your Personal Language Coach,” Rype is reinventing language learning by integrating the advantages of coaching, including personalization and coaching accountability, to help you reach fluency faster. Check out their free course on How to Learn a Language in 90 Days or try out a 14-day free trial for Rype Club.

11.  Duolingo — With over 50M users around the world, Duolingo has become the mobile app for language lovers to begin their language journey.

12.  American Sign Language Browser — Teach yourself American Sign Language on the most popular sign language website online.

Economics & Finance

13.  Investopedia Financial Investing Tutorials — An abundance of detailed lessons on money management and investing.

14.  TheStreet University — Whether you’re just starting out as a stock and bond investor or you’re in need of a refresher’s course, this is the place to learn what you need to know.

15.  Fool.com — Learn everything from getting started in investing, real estate, taxes, managing your personal budget, and more — all from experts.

Science & Health

16.  MIT OpenCourseWare — A free online publication of MIT course materials, including nearly all the undergraduate and graduate subjects taught at MIT.

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17.  Harvard Medical School Open Courseware—Harvard’s online courseware exchanging knowledge from the Harvard community of scholars to other academic institutions, and the general public.

18.  Khan Academy — Over a thousand, insightful video lessons covering everything from basic arithmetic and algebra to physics, chemistry, and biology.

19.  Open Yale Courses — Open Yale Courses provide lectures and other materials from selected Yale College courses to the public, free of charge, via the internet. The courses span the full range of liberal arts disciplines, including humanities, social sciences, and physical and biological sciences.

English & Communications

20.  Open Yale Courses (English) — Open Yale Courses provides lectures and other materials from selected Yale College courses to the public free of charge via the internet.

21.  Lifewriting — A full guide of the nine-week writing class that a highly profiled professor taught in UCLA.

History & World Culture

22.  Bio’s Best — Biography.com’s most popular biographies on notable historical figures that you can learn from.

23.  MIT OpenCourseWare (History) — The MIT History Faculty offers over seventy subjects in the Undergraduate and Graduate level in the diverse areas of history

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24.  Have Fun with History — A resource for students, educators and all lovers of American History.


Will the increasing rise of MOOCs and specialized online learning websites replace the 4-year traditional degree?

It’s hard to say today. However, as the quality of education and learning experience improves through the use of technology, it will become more and more difficult for the traditional education system to compete.

The social college experience will always be a hard component to replace. If that’s a priority for you, it’s recommended you use these learning websites as a complementary resource to your traditional degree.

However, the state of the education industry is changing faster than ever, and it’s without question that online learning will continue to be a major component in the future of learning.

More by this author

Sean Kim

Sean is the founder and CEO of Pulsing. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

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Last Updated on June 17, 2019

40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2019 Updated)

40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2019 Updated)

Over the years here at Lifehack, we’ve discussed plenty of apps that you can use to improve your overall productivity.

There are certain ones that many of our contributors and editors (past and present) have adopted over the long-term — there are always the stalwarts that stick around. But there are also new apps that crop up every day, adding more and more depth to the app category.

Some of the apps are incredibly plain and simple, while others are more robust and offer more features than you can shake a stick at. And everyone has the one they prefer.

It’s been our job (and still is our job) to keep abreast of all of the productivity-type apps out there. As a result — and as a bit of a refresher — we’ve put together a list of 40 best productivity apps for iPhone (all categorized based on their functions) to provide you with an all-in-one resource for you.

For Getting Things Done

1. OmniFocus

This app is, while pricey, considered to be one of the (if not the) most robust and full-featured productivity apps on the market.

Download it here.

    2. Forest

    Train yourself to put your phone down and stay focused on the task at hand by playing with this planting game. It’s fun and will help you achieve more.

    Download it here.

      3. Things

      Another robust choice, this app is a favorite amongst “productivityists”.[1]

      Download it here.

        4. 30/30

        Recently covered here at Lifehack

        , 30/30 is a newcomer to the game that incorporates lists and timing of tasks into an elegant and easy-to-use interface.

        Download it here.

          5. Any.Do

          A beautiful-looking app that is both easy on the eyes and your wallet.

          Download it here.

            6. PocketLife Calendar

            This calendar app is specifically designed to be stylish and super easy-to-use. You can organize your life easily with different modern features.

            Download it here.

              7. Asana

              We’ve covered Asana here at Lifehack

              , and it is being actively developed by a strong team committed to making collaborative task management a more efficient and effective experience.

              Download it here.

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                8. ToDoist

                This app keeps track of everything – from simple errands to your most important projects – so you can get it all done and enjoy more peace of mind along the way.

                Download it here.

                  9. FlowTasks

                  From the folks at MetaLab, Flow is a gorgeous collaborative task management app that is easy-to-use and incredibly functional.

                  Download it here.

                    10. Calendars 5

                    This calendar app focuses on events that help you to keep track of upcoming events and tasks easily. It has everything you need to organize, track and complete your to-dos.

                    Download it here.

                      11. Clear – Tasks, Reminders & To-Do Lists

                      A fun and innovative list-making app that relies on swiping and pinching to make things happen. Clear created a lot of buzz when it launched, and might be the perfect to-do list gateway app for many.

                      Download it here.

                        12. Due

                        A robust reminders app that lets you store and maintain reminders of all types. It’s replaced Reminders for me when it comes to the basics, and it’s worth a look if you want to keep the mundane stuff out of your head and cluttering your mind.

                        Download it here.

                          13. Checkmark 2

                          I use this app

                          for location-based reminders (such as groceries I need to get or single items I need to pick up from various locations). Checkmark is simple to use and a valuable addition to my productivity arsenal.

                          Download it here.

                            14. TeuxDeux

                            Created by Tina Roth Eisenberg and Fictive Kin — Teux Deux is simple and incredibly stellar in terms of design. If you like lists (including the popular “Someday Bucket”) and want to associate dates with tasks, then Teux Deux will be right up your alley.

                            Download it here.

                              15. Wunderlist 

                              Another incredibly popular choice is Wunderlist. Part of 6Wunderkinder’s software family, it sports a gorgeous design and is incredibly functional. We’ve talked about the app a couple of times here at Lifehack, so check those posts out here.

                              Download it here.

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                                16. Nirvana

                                For the GTD enthusiasts, there’s Nirvana. Straight from the source: “Nirvana frees your mind to focus on actually getting things done. If you’ve had enough of generic to-do lists, it’s time for Nirvana.”

                                Download it here.

                                  17. Priorities

                                  An elegant-looking task management app that has received decent reviews,[2] this could be the one for you if you’re not a fan of OmniFocus or Things — especially if you need (or want) to share tasks with others.

                                  Download it here.

                                    For Building Habits

                                    18. Productive

                                    With this app, you can plan your habits with an easy-to-use interface, schedule habits for any time of the day, set smart reminders for each time of the day and stay on track with useful feedback. This app is perfect for anyone who wants to build a habit that sticks.

                                    Download it here.

                                      19. Habitica: Gamified Taskmanager

                                      You can complete tasks and build habits in a more fun way with this app. Input your Habits, your Daily goals, and your To-Do list, and then create a custom avatar. Check off tasks to level up your avatar and unlock features such as armor, pets, skills, and even quests.

                                      Download it here.

                                        20. Streaks

                                        This app follows the model of the popular “don’t break the chain method” in that you use the app to track how you are donig in the pursuit of your goal. Great for goal-setting — and an easy and elegant interface to boot.

                                        Download it here.

                                          21. Remember The Milk

                                          Another popular to-do list app, Remember The Milk has a huge following. It has plenty to offer, including the ability to share tasks with others.

                                          Download it here.

                                            22. Day One Journal

                                            When it comes to journaling, nothing really beats Day One. Its latest update added a slew of features that will make you want to start making journaling a habit.

                                            Download it here.

                                              For Files Organization

                                              23. Evernote

                                              Touted as the world’s most widely-used productivity app, Evernote an be used simply as a notetaking app or can be customized to be your GTD app of choice — among other things.

                                              Download it here.

                                                24. Pocket

                                                You can save an article, video or link you want to read or watch later to Pocket from anywhere including your computer, Safari, email, and your favorite apps like Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard, and Feedly.

                                                Download it here.

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                                                  25. Sync.Me

                                                  This app identifies unknown phone calls, warns you from annoying spam calls, and adds a caller picture to your contacts from Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

                                                  Download it here.

                                                    26. Droplr

                                                    One of the most popular file-sharing apps out there today. Straight from the source: “Stay productive on the go. Droplr for iPhone keeps you in sync and makes sharing on the iPhone natural.”

                                                    Download it here.

                                                      27. Dropbox

                                                      Before iCloud, there was Dropbox. And there still is Dropbox, which is still widely used by both Mac and PC users all over the globe. It’s like having a flash drive in your iPhone. A must-have.

                                                      Download it here.

                                                        28. iDolly 

                                                        In conjunction with Dolly Drive and DollySync, iDolly allows you to edit and share your documents from your iPhone.

                                                        Since all your changes sync automatically to all your devices, the current version of a document will always be accessible because Dolly Sync keeps everything in sync. Very handy.

                                                        Download it here.

                                                          29. Soulver

                                                          It may seem odd that a calculator app shows up on this list, but this is no ordinary calendar app. Ben Brooks over at The Brooks review describes Soulver as follows: “It is what calculators would have been if they were invented at the same time computers were, instead of what we have with most calculator apps.” [3]

                                                          Download it here.

                                                            For Working Smarter

                                                            30. Captio

                                                            A simple capture tool. Straight from the developers: “It’s simple. Open Captio and start typing. When you’re done, hit Send. The note is immediately delivered to your email inbox.”

                                                            Download it here.

                                                              31. Drafts

                                                              A tremendous capture tool that allows for simple capture, followed by sending items to various applications such as OmniFocus, Things and more.

                                                              Download it here.

                                                                32. NoteShelf 2

                                                                This is a perfect note-taking app for you. You can take beautiful handwritten notes, type, annotate PDFs, record audio & create lists. You can organize them into categories or groups.

                                                                Download it here.

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                                                                  33. Doodle

                                                                  This app links directly with the Doodle service, which is one that allows you to plan and organize meetings far more efficiently and effectively. Lifehack contributor Steve Dotto has written about Doodle more in-depth here.

                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                    34. TextExpander (Legacy)

                                                                    I have saved countless hours of time with TextExpander, and despite its inability to be as robust on iOS as it is on the Mac, it is still a worthy app to have in your arsenal.

                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                      35. Launch Center Pro

                                                                      A quick launcher for the iPhone that doesn’t just launch an app…with some of them it can do much more. This app saves you time by launching complex actions in a single tap.

                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                        36. GoodReader

                                                                        This may seem to be an odd one to make this list, but here are plenty of reasons why it is here with this article.

                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                          37. LogMeIn

                                                                          Want to be able to control your Mac from wherever you are? Then get this app.

                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                            For Improving Security

                                                                            38. 1Password

                                                                            There is simply no better password manager out there. I’ve even put together a 1Password Emergency Kit worth looking at here.

                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                              39. LastPass Password Manager

                                                                              You can store passwords and logins, create online shopping profiles, generate strong passwords, track personal information in photo and audio notes.

                                                                              All you have to do is remember your LastPass master password, and LastPass autofills web browser and app logins for you.

                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                40. Truecallers

                                                                                Identify and block spammers, search for unknown numbers and call friends easily with this app. With a community-based spam list from over 250 million users, you’ll need this app.

                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                  There are plenty of other options out there (and we’ve heard from readers in the past as to what they enjoyed using), but these 40 are among the best.

                                                                                  More Great Apps Recommendations

                                                                                  Reference

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