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10 Free Learning Tools Best for Self Learners

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

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.

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.


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.

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

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