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50 Free Online Resources for Self-Motivated Learners

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50 Free Online Resources for Self-Motivated Learners

I work full time and often feel that my skills and competencies are becoming redundant as time passes.

New technologies, degrees and more innovative methods of teaching at modern universities clearly give an edge to the younger lot of the workforce who have access to more modern and innovative teaching methods.

In such a scenario, a person like me would always dig out relatively less expensive and readily accessible online resources to upgrade my knowledge and skills so that I can keep up to date with the modern demands of the new work ethics.

Language Learning

Busuu: World’s largest social network for language learning

This is one of the best language websites[1] that allow you to learn new phrases and vocabulary. It has audio recording options, dialogues, writing exercises and native speakers’ interaction.

This is specially a good website to provide a large collection of languages to learn.

Duolingo: A free language learning platform

From the name itself, it is best for getting intensive yet detailed grammar lessons.

Rosetta Stone: Language and literacy education

This web gives you the opportunity to study a new language flexibly. You can learn it according to your own schedule with any device, from anywhere in the world. Since 1992, Rosetta Stone’s language division has been helping all types of learners to read, write, and speak more than 30 languages through cloud-based solutions.

Memrise: A source that makes learning languages and vocabulary full of joy and life

The website utilizes mnemonic flashcards to help you learn vocabulary better. This is great source if you are preparing for SAT or TOEFL.

Career Advancement

EdX: Free online courses for career advancement

The site allows you to explore any topic, subject, or even school in just seconds. It has a smart search bar and free online education from exclusive universities worldwide.

ALISON: Free high quality knowledge and workplace skills training

It has customized courses made to improve your skills in a certain field. Reputable materials are accessible to make you more effective in the office.

Alison is typically good to provide basic education and workplace related skills to improve the practical knowledge of the persons. Most of its courses are free.

Foreign Services Institute: Online resource providing career-long learning opportunities

This is another grammar-based resource that contains materials for listening and speaking.

If you want to improve your speaking skills, this resource is probably one of the finest resources to offer great help in learning basics of refined speaking and listening skills.

Technology Knowledge

GCF Learn Free: Platform to learn essential computer and life skills

Goodwill Community Foundation and Goodwill Industries spearheaded the site’s development for modern skills learning.

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 9 Microsoft Virtual Academy: Free Microsoft training delivered by experts

Learn personal computing at your own convenience via this website. It provides an explanation to stuff on the internet, information technology, and cloud computing.

10 Tuts+: Opportunities for people to learn and earn online

Creative technology is considerably easier to learn on this site. It teaches web design, graphic design, coding, business, etc.

Udemy offers a great source on what can be learned easily and on your own pace with little investment.

11 Codecademy: A place to learn coding skills

As the name suggests, you can figure out how programming works via the smart site.

I use codeacdemy to learn coding on data analytics, artificial intelligence, making antivirus app[2] as well as learning how to code for iOS apps. It is a treasure trove for best quality information on coding and programming.

12 HTML Dog: Courses to learn the most common languages used in making web pages

You may learn JavaScript, CSS, and HTML skills from the site. This is a very comprehensive source on learning the basics of web programming and designing and covers a large variety of topics on these issues.

13 HOW Design University: A trusted source for graphic design knowledge

Learn graphic design and interactive creative works via the website.

14 Big Data University: Data science and cognitive computing learning platform

Free and paid courses for data science are accessible on the site, specifically prepared by professionals and professors.

15 Code: Expanding access to computer science

Coding and app development lectures are found on the websites. Kid-friendly courses are also available.

16 Hack Design: Easy-to-follow design courses

Designers supplied 50-unit lesson plan for the site, covering mobile apps, web design, and multimedia application.

17 Skillcrush: An interactive online digital skill learning community

The modules of the site are easy to understand and short, implying beginners will find it highly useful.

18 Udacity: An online university for digital skills

It gives motivated learners opportunity to study higher education and skills for future employment.

19 Stack Exchange: World’s largest programming community

The resource is more of a question and answer lecture source, particularly on programming and technology. Stack exchange is a collaborative site wherein programmers and developers share their code and get tips and advice from other programmers.

Business Success

20 HubSpot Academy: An inbound community which helps people achieve their business goals

Besides lessons, the website provides certifications, which are very helpful for job-seekers.

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21 Moz: A great resource for content marketing knowledge

If you are interested in content marketing and search engine optimization, this is the place to be.

This is also a great source for learning SEO and social media marketing. Though limited in its approach, but Moz[3] is a great place to get up to date knowledge on SEO and search engine domination.

22 Lynda: Online learning platform for business, software, technology and creative skills

This is an educational hub that is suitable for professionals. It covers business, marketing, design, and photography among others.

Money Management

23 LearnVest: Advice on money management

Entrepreneurs should access this site for financial management lectures.

With various resource links for self-learning, there is no reason for you to worry if you want to explore more. Enhancing your skills does not always have to come with a fee.

Leisure Learning for Home Schooling

Here’s a list of academic resources that you can access to.

24 OpenLearn: Free access to course materials and expert opinion on topical issues

The online university gives lessons for students to professionals in various formats. It is an award winning portal where all courses are free and are specially focused on politics, arts, humanities and social sciences.

25 Learning Space: Online learning resources with guidelines

The Open University. You can download free online courses from this site and search conveniently depending on user ratings.

26 UMass Boston Open Courseware: Free and open educational resource

This is a place to study political science, psychology, mathematics, early education, and history among others.

This resources is specially good if you are an arts student and do not require hands on training and practical education.

27 Coursera: Universal access to the world’s best education

The website partnered with institutions worldwide to give anyone free online education covering tons of courses.

28 MIT Open Courseware: Web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content

The place provides an independent study that will not disappoint. It even indicates the semester and year the lecture was taught.

MIT being one of the top universities of the world offers a great wealth of course material and course instructions to provide excellent free online education.

29 Academic Earth: A collection of free online courses from the world’s top universities

It covers various subjects and makes course searching easier by using school and subject as categories.

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30 Stanford Online: Free online courses taught by Stanford faculty

The courses offered in the site are based on sessions. High quality courses are available that may be completed either using a web browser or iTunes.

31 Tufts Open Courseware: Free access to academic resources

Professors’ lectures are available on the site, particularly presented in slides.

32 Harvard Extension: About 800 academic courses are provided to learn online

Harvard courses are available on the website with top notch materials.

33 Utah State Open Courseware: Course materials under university department available through an open content license

Quick searching and browsing are offered by the site. MP3 files are provided instead of document-based lectures.

34 Open Yale Courses: Lectures and other materials from selected Yale College courses

Yale courses are available on the web portal. Videos of lectures are even uploaded for access.

35 FutureLearn:  High quality online education for different subjects at university

You can access lessons on the site using either your laptop or smartphone. One of its commitments is to propose social learning.

Leisure Learning for Fun And Interests 

36 Free-Ed: Free online courses and other learning resources for a global audience

Apart from its online classes, it allows you to join online groups taking the same course you chose. This site is good for self-learning and was launched in 1997. It offers complete range of courses for people want to engage themselves in lifelong learning and development.

37 Udemy: Global marketplace for learning and teaching online

You can find both free and paid content in the website. If you prefer, you can also build tailored courses from its lessons.

Udemy has become a giant in online learning and now offers courses on almost every topic. Though most of the courses are paid but they are offered at relatively low prices.

Right from teaching how to code to making bluetooth LED Smart Key[4]. you can find top class instructors providing instructions on how to make hardware, earn more money on amazon, be a social media guru or become a top class blogger.

38 Khan Academy: A personalized learning resource for all ages

You get free video lessons from this website, which are broken down for the benefit of someone looking for specific topics only.

Khan Academy is specially good for children as it offers easy to learn courses offering some great free tips on common subjects such as math, physics, chemistry, arts and other school related subjects.

39 iTunesU Free Courses: Instructors’ essentials to bring the classroom together

You can download numerous lessons using your iPhone, iPad, or any Apple device with this free education resource.

This is limited in the sense that you need Apple devices to login to

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40 Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative: Innovative online courses to anyone who wants to learn or teach

It offers courses for self-study. The difference is, you must create an account first.

41 Dave Conservatoire: Free online music school

If you want to study both music and art, this online music school is known for providing a world-class education to anyone.

42 Better Explained: Learning platform for mathematics

Mathematics is taught on the website with visual lectures.

43 University of London Podcasts: Free podcasts and video content

From the name itself, you can get free podcasts from the site covering different in-depth topics.

44 BBC Podcasts: Opportunities for exploration in podcasts

Podcasts of different topics are provided weekly on the site. Concentration is on current events, sports, and finance.

45 Ed2go: Hundreds of engaging online courses to learn a new hobby or skill

Affordable online learning courses led by instructors are accessible on this portal.

46 TED-Ed: TED’s youth and education initiative

The site is rich in video-based lectures on new topics and discoveries worldwide.

TED is famous for its talks on contemporary issues and are being delivered all over the world. Since the topics covered on TED are of great variety, this source is specially good if someone is looking to access a large variety of topics with independent opinions of the speakers.

47 LessonPaths: Best education tool by sharing and curating playlists

You can create playlists of lectures on the site, even if other modules are from other sites.

48 National Geographic Kids: Inspiration for young adventurers to explore the world

Younger users will find this site highly entertaining given the courses are posted with images, videos, puzzles, and games.

This is great learning sources through audio visuals and helps the children to learn through visual learning which is considered as more effective as compared to other methods of teaching.

49 SchoolTube: Moderated video sharing platform for students and educators

The platform promotes sharing of videos for K to 12 students and teachers.

To get the full benefits of this resources, parents have to take an active role in helping their kids to learn from schooltube.

50 Open Culture Online Courses: The best free cultural and educational media

It has 1,000 lectures, podcasts, and videos, which are partly found in private sites of universities only.

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This site offers aggregation of some of the top quality courses taught at major universities of US and developed world.

Reference

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Adnan Manzoor

Data Analyst & Life Coach

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Published on September 21, 2021

How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

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How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

The internet is flooded with articles about remote work and its benefits or drawbacks. But in reality, the remote work experience is so subjective that it’s impossible to draw general conclusions and issue one-size-fits-all advice about it. However, one thing that’s universal and rock-solid is data. Data-backed findings and research about remote work productivity give us a clear picture of how our workdays have changed and how work from home affects us—because data doesn’t lie.

In this article, we’ll look at three decisive findings from a recent data study and two survey reports concerning remote work productivity and worker well-being.

1. We Take Less Frequent Breaks

Your home can be a peaceful or a distracting place depending on your living and family conditions. While some of us might find it hard to focus amidst the sounds of our everyday life, other people will tell you that the peace and quiet while working from home (WFH) is a major productivity booster. Then there are those who find it hard to take proper breaks at home and switch off at the end of the workday.

But what does data say about remote work productivity? Do we work more or less in a remote setting?

Let’s take a step back to pre-pandemic times (2014, to be exact) when a time tracking application called DeskTime discovered that 10% of most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a break for 17 minutes.

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Recently, the same time tracking app repeated that study to reveal working and breaking patterns during the pandemic. They found that remote work has caused an increase in time worked, with the most productive people now working for 112 minutes and breaking for 26 minutes.[1]

Now, this may seem rather innocent at first—so what if we work for extended periods of time as long as we also take longer breaks? But let’s take a closer look at this proportion.

While breaks have become only nine minutes longer, work sprints have more than doubled. That’s nearly two hours of work, meaning that the most hard-working people only take three to four breaks per 8-hour workday. This discovery makes us question if working from home (WFH) really is as good a thing for our well-being as we thought it was. In addition, in the WFH format, breaks are no longer a treat but rather a time to squeeze in a chore or help children with schoolwork.

Online meetings are among the main reasons for less frequent breaks. Pre-pandemic meetings meant going to another room, stretching your legs, and giving your eyes a rest from the computer. In a remote setting, all meetings happen on screen, sometimes back-to-back, which could be one of the main factors explaining the longer work hours recorded.

2. We Face a Higher Risk of Burnout

At first, many were optimistic about remote work’s benefits in terms of work-life balance as we save time on commuting and have more time to spend with family—at least in theory. But for many people, this was quickly counterbalanced by a struggle to separate their work and personal lives. Buffer’s 2021 survey for the State of Remote Work report found that the biggest struggle of remote workers is not being able to unplug, with collaboration difficulties and loneliness sharing second place.[2]

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Buffer’s respondents were also asked if they are working more or less since their shift to remote work, and 45 percent admitted to working more. Forty-two percent said they are working the same amount, while 13 percent responded that they are working less.

Longer work hours and fewer quality breaks can dramatically affect our health, as long-term sitting and computer use can cause eye strain, mental fatigue, and other issues. These, in turn, can lead to more severe consequences, such as burnout and heart disease.

Let’s have a closer look at the connection between burnout and remote work.

McKinsey’s report about the Future of work states that 49% of people say they’re feeling some symptoms of burnout.[3] And that may be an understatement since employees experiencing burnout are less likely to respond to survey requests and may have even left the workforce.

From the viewpoint of the employer, remote workers may seem like they are more productive and working longer hours. However, managers must be aware of the risks associated with increased employee anxiety. Otherwise, the productivity gains won’t be long-lasting. It’s no secret that prolonged anxiety can reduce job satisfaction, decrease work performance, and negatively affect interpersonal relationships with colleagues.[4]

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3. Despite everything, We Love Remote Work

An overwhelming majority—97 percent—of Buffer report’s survey respondents say they would like to continue working remotely to some extent. The two main benefits mentioned by the respondents are the ability to have a flexible schedule and the flexibility to work from anywhere.

McKinsey’s report found that more than half of employees would like their workplace to adopt a more flexible hybrid virtual-working model, with some days of work on-premises and some days working remotely. To be more exact, more than half of employees report that they would like at least three work-from-home days a week once the pandemic is over.

Companies will increasingly be forced to find ways to satisfy these workforce demands while implementing policies to minimize the risks associated with overworking and burnout. Smart companies will embrace this new trend and realize that adopting hybrid models can also be a win for them—for example, for accessing talent in different locations and at a lower cost.

Remote Work: Blessing or Plight?

Understandably, workers worldwide are tempted to keep the good work-life aspects that have come out of the pandemic—professional flexibility, fewer commutes, and extra time with family. But with the once strict boundaries between work and life fading, we must remain cautious. We try to squeeze in house chores during breaks. We do online meetings from the kitchen or the same couch we watch TV shows from, and many of us report difficulties switching off after work.

So, how do we keep our private and professional lives from hopelessly blending together?

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The answer is that we try to replicate the physical and virtual boundaries that come naturally in an office setting. This doesn’t only mean having a dedicated workspace but also tracking your work time and stopping when your working hours are finished. In addition, it means working breaks into your schedule because watercooler chats don’t just naturally happen at home.

If necessary, we need to introduce new rituals that resemble a normal office day—for example, going for a walk around the block in the morning to simulate “arriving at work.” Remote work is here to stay. If we want to enjoy the advantages it offers, then we need to learn how to cope with the personal challenges that come with it.

Learn how to stay productive while working remotely with these tips: How to Work From Home: 10 Tips to Stay Productive

Featured photo credit: Jenny Ueberberg via unsplash.com

Reference

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