Advertising
Advertising

Published on September 3, 2020

10 Free Learning Tools Best for Self Learners

10 Free Learning Tools Best for Self Learners

Having both the curiosity and passion to explore the world in all of its aspects is rewarding in itself. Acquiring new skills without having to take expensive university or adult-learning courses and learning tools can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

Most of all, self-learning is an invaluable and productive way to channel energy during difficult times. COVID-19 pandemic lockdown is one of those times, with countless people stuck at home and struggling with low learning and working productivity.

To help you on your journey of self-growth and discovery, here are 10 of the best free learning tools currently available for self-learners. Study on!

1. Khan Academy

Khan Academy is one of the most popular learning tools out there. From Macroeconomics to Shakespeare, Khan Academy offers over 4000 free courses from a huge variety of disciplines. A personalized learning dashboard lets learners track their progress.

Advertising

One of the best things about the platform is that it is available in many other languages other than English, such as French and Spanish. It also has a mobile app to keep your learning on the go.

2. Duolingo

Speaking of learning on-the-go, Duolingo is also one of the most popular mobile learning apps out there and for good reason. The app offers you the opportunity to learn a language in bite-sized units.

Flashcards, multiple-choice questions, and translation exercises help you pick up vocabulary and grammar. If you want to get started learning a new language—from Spanish to Mandarin Chinese—Duolingo can give you an excellent foundation, if not complete fluency.

3. SoloLearn

Coding is among the most valuable skills in today’s job market. SoloLearn provides learning tools that can help you acquire coding skills for free, requiring only your time and effort. It offers a massive collection of free learning content for all levels—from beginner coders to experts in staple languages, such as C++, Python, and JavaScript.

Advertising

4. Coursera

Often hailed as the best online learning platform out there, Coursera collaborates with almost 200 top educational institutions and companies involved in various fields of research. From tech giants like Google and IBM to Ivy League schools, online course content is available for free in this platform.

5. Bookboon

If you’re the learner type who likes text and text only—no explanatory videos required, thank you very much!—then Bookboon is a great resource for you. This site offers over 50 million eBooks and textbooks on just about any subject that you can think of. From an introduction to essay writing to the philosophy of artificial intelligence, Bookboon has you covered.

6. The University of Oxford

England’s oldest university offers over 600 online courses, sets of teaching materials, and lecture series on its open education platform. This makes it one of the most invaluable learning tools on the internet.

Unlike on other platforms such as Coursera and Khan Academy, Oxford’s courses and lectures are not laid out to give introductions to broad topics. Instead, learners can deep-dive into specific mesmerizing subjects, such as hegemonic narratives, the late works of Schumann, or the performance history of Medea.

Advertising

7. edX

Much broader in terms of online courses is edX. Like Coursera, it partners with numerous universities and learning institutions to provide courses in topics from computer science to engineering. The levels this platform provides range from introductory courses—like Entrepreneurship 101—to those covering advanced content—like the Economics of Energy Transition.

8. iTunesU

Apple users may be more familiar with this learning tool. Available as an iOS app, Apple’s iTunesU offers courses on a wide variety of subjects.

From an introduction to financial markets and a how-to for founding a startup to AP Biology and developing iOS Apps with Swift, this platform makes a variety of topics accessible at the high school and university levels. Another plus—it offers access to many of The Open University’s resources.

9. Codecademy

Like SoloLearn, Codecademy is a platform that will give you a doorway to the fantastic world of programming—for free. From R and Python to Ruby, Javascript, and C++, Codecademy can provide you with the tools to tackle everything from web design to game development.

Advertising

10. Udemy

Finally, Udemy is another repository of online courses with over 150,000 courses taught in 65 languages. Subjects range from photography over blogging to finance. Lectures include a variety of text, audio, and video elements, as well as multiple-choice questions and mini-quizzes.

This learning platform allows you to take your learning content with you wherever you go since Udemy also offers apps for iOS and Android.

Final Thoughts

If you know where to look, the internet is a paradise for autodidacts. Learning and higher education have never been more accessible. Though some sites above may require payment for certificates, their courses offer the opportunity to acquire new knowledge and skills for free.

With enough passion and dedication, these resources and learning tools can help you boost your personal development and abilities—and to discover the world, one lesson at a time.

More Learning Tools That You Can Use

Featured photo credit: Avel Chuklanov via unsplash.com

More by this author

Tanvir Zafar

The founder of ISU Technologies, passionate in writing about productivity, creativity, entrepreneurship, work and technology.

10 Free Learning Tools Best for Self Learners 10 Most Effective Apps to Help You Beat Procrastination How to Type Faster: 12 Typing Tips and Techniques 10 Best Task List Apps to Boost Productivity in 2020 10 Best Note Taking Apps to Get Organized

Trending in Learning

1 Learning Methods to Help You Learn Effectively and Easily 2 How Social Learning Helps You Learn Faster and Easier 3 How to Build a Memory Palace to Remember More of Everything 4 How to Make Going Back to School at 30 Possible 5 10 Powerful Learning Hacks to Boost Your Learning Ability

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on September 24, 2020

Learning Methods to Help You Learn Effectively and Easily

Learning Methods to Help You Learn Effectively and Easily

You’re never too old to learn, and this isn’t just some fancy statement; this is many people’s motto in life. If you agree, there are various learning methods to help you ensure that you continue to learn day in and day out.

We have all been learning since childhood—our parents teach us morals, our teachers teach us math, society teaches us acceptance, our work teaches us how to do our job, etc. Even if you’re 70, life has a whole new book of things to teach you; you just need to have the heart and willingness to learn.

What you learn today will always benefit your current and future self. The question is, with such limited time in life, how can we learn effectively?

In this article, I’ll introduce to you the essential learning methods and some of the best ways to learn.

The Best Ways to Learn

There are so many different ways of learning, and here, I’ve handpicked some of the best ways that will definitely help you in being an effective learner[1].

Here Are The Best Learning Methods for Retention

    1. Your Comfort Zone

    For most people, staying in their own comfort zone opens their minds and helps them retain information. For instance, many learn and retain information when they’re taking notes on a piece of paper; others learn by watching videos and documentaries relevant to the topic.

    By finding out how you’re comfortable learning will surely help you in effectively retaining new information, and you will remember it for a longer period of time.

    2. Learning Through Play

    Just like children learning actively, you can learn through play. This doesn’t literally mean building blocks out of plastic Lego, but by implementing what you have learned[2]. If you’ve just learned a new way to make quiche, the best way of making sure you know it properly and remember it is by immediately making it at home.

    Advertising

    3. Pass That Information on

    If you’ve learned something, avoid passive learning, and, instead, pass the information on to someone else.

    When you go through what you’ve learned and are explaining the process to someone else through this teaching method, you will learn and remember better.

    One study found that teaching information is so effective in introducing it to our long-term memory because it forces us to retrieve that information over and over again[3].

    In classrooms, there is a frequent activity of dividing students into groups, and one of them explains to other classmates what the day’s lecture was about. This not only helps the speaker understand concepts better, but when other classmates are being reinforced with the lesson, they also remember better.

    4. Rote Learning Is a Big NO

    Many people try to memorize word by word what they have been taught, as if they were sitting in a written exam. Teachers discourage rote learning in students as well because by only memorizing some words, the goal isn’t met. The main point here is to truly understand and connect the dots of what you’ve learned.

    The generation today has grown up with computers and is used to getting all the information needed at the click of a button, which means they don’t really absorb the true meaning of what they’re learning.

    Rote learning is just like that. You just pick up the information from somewhere and learn it word for word, which doesn’t really help you understand anything, only to memorize.

    Learning is all about being able to express what you have understood about a particular concept. It is being able to give your own opinion about a certain event, instead of just knowing the facts. Somewhere along the line, we do want to learn new things, but some of us have the attention span of a goldfish or simply don’t know the smart learning methods.

    Some people may be more receptive to one kind of method, and some to another. A smart person would try and find out which method of learning is best suited to them, and use that to enhance their learning process. The following learning methods will be helpful for you.

    Advertising

    Types of Learning Methods

    Essentially, there are 7 types of learning methods that researchers have compiled over time. If one resonates with you, it’s likely that it’s your preferred learning method.

    Visual

    This type of learning requires visual material to understand. This could be in the form of videos, graphics, and images. This method helps people in visually understanding what they see.

    You may be this type of learner if you often imagine faces to remember someone’s name, use landmarks to give directions, or need to write down information to remember it.

    Aural

    This kind of learning style uses audio like music and sounds to understand. You may like this learning method if you often remember information after lectures or are good at memorizing the words to songs.

    Verbal

    This method is usually for people who like to speak and narrate their stories in order to learn. This can be done through scripted speeches, impromptu narrations, or even just daily conversations.

    Logical

    Many people like learning through logic; they won’t understand a concept if they’re just spoon-fed it.

    They want proper reasoning to why and how something happened for them to properly learn something.

    These people are often very good at forming arguments, problem-solving, and participating in debates.

    Social

    This is when people learn better when they’re divided into groups and are with other people. These social groups help expand their horizons and give them confidence to ask questions and solve problems.

    Advertising

    Solitary

    This learning style is usually best for people who prefer to learn alone in a confined place that has no distractions whatsoever. They are either easily distracted with other people.

    Physical

    This is a learning technique where people learn through physical acts, like using their hands or simply by the sense of touch.

    This technique is used when a child actively participates in order to learn. For example, to help them understand what “fluffy” means, they are asked to touch a cotton cushion or a hairy cat. This is how children learn and understand better.

    However, many adults learn with this learning method as well. If you enjoy building or designing things, this may be your preferred learning method.

    What types of learning methods suit you better? You can find out in this article: How This Learning Style Quiz Can Help You Make the Most of Your Life

    In order to support any kind of learning listed above, you have to be physically fit and healthy. Your mind and body need to be nurtured in order for any kind of learning method to be effective. Here are some of the things that can be done on a daily basis to maintain a receptive mind and body.

    Habits to Help You Learn

    To be an effective listener, you also have to be able to retain that information. People learn new things every day, but only a portion of those people are able to remember what they learned by the end of the day.

    There are some tried and tested home remedies that have worked like a charm for people who are looking to enhance their memory.

    Sleep More

    An active brain is one that sleeps almost 8-10 hours a day. If you’re overworked and sleep for barely five hours, there are chances that your brain needs rest to retain information.

    Advertising

    But if you’re somebody who sleeps for 11-15 hours a day, you may just be too lazy and need to engage in healthy activities to keep your brain active.

    Eat Healthy

    Include lots of protein and Omega-3s in your diet. Drink lots of water and generally stay away from refined carbs.

    You don’t have to quickly switch over to salads, but just generally try to adapt to a healthier eating pattern. Limit the use of alcohol and caffeine because they slow down your brain, causing a hindrance in your learning journey.

    Here are 15 Brain Foods You Should Be Eating Regularly to Keep Your Mind Sharp.

    Socialize

    By meeting new people every day, you’re not only giving your brain a chance to open up, but you’re also having your brain exercise by getting new information. Talking to people and engaging in daily conversations helps the flow of information.

    Do Activities That Challenge Your Brain

    If your brain hasn’t yet been exposed to challenges where you really have to think and work your mind, you may not be an effective learner, despite engaging in the above learning methods. There are many activities that increase your motor skills, like puzzles, mathematical questions, or even solving crosswords in your daily newspaper. You can also try these 11 Brain Training Apps to Train Your Mind and Improve Memory.

    When your brain is active and running, you possess a better chance of learning new things and actually retaining that information.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning has been a safe haven for so many people, whether it’s about learning to cook a complicated dish for a family gathering or simply about sewing a button on a shirt.

    The best among us are people that don’t let anything get in the way of their learning process; these people make it their life motto to wake up every day and learn at least one new thing before going to bed. And these people are all around us; we are these people.

    The knowledge we gain today can benefit our career, relationships, and our everyday life, so get started now.

    More on Utilizing the Learning Methods

    Featured photo credit: Sarah Noltner via unsplash.com

    Reference

    Read Next