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25 Killer Sites For Free Online Education

25 Killer Sites For Free Online Education

Whether you’re five or ninety five, the internet has a lot to offer. Particularly when the topic is education, the resources on the internet are endless.

Best of all, many high quality sites are completely free. From history to coding, excellent free online education awaits on the following 25 sites.

1. Coursera

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    Coursera is a website that partners with universities and organizations around the world. This brings a wide variety of topics and perspectives to one searchable database.

    Coursera is a powerful tool for free online education, and includes courses from many top universities, museums and trusts. This gives the site an extremely wide range of in-depth courses.

    Coursera is extremely useful if you’re looking to study many different topics, or want courses from different schools and groups.

    2. Khan Academy

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      Partnering with many post secondary schools, Khan Academy offers a useable, well organized interface. Also curating many courses from around the web, Khan Academy offers impressive depth on many different subjects.

      Among the more well known educational sites, Khan Academy is also incredibly useable, which may make it easier to keep learning goals.

      3. Open Culture Online Courses

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        If you are struggling to find exactly the material you are looking for, try Open Culture’s listing of free online education courses. The page highlights 1000 lectures, videos and podcasts from universities around the world. The site features a lot of material found only on universities private sites, all in easy to browse categories. This means you can find hundreds of university courses, without having to visit and search each university’s own site.

        Open Culture’s list features courses from England, Australia, Wales and many state universities around the United States. A very helpful resource for finding many courses in one area of study.

        4. Udemy 

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          Udemy’s free courses are similar in concept to Coursera’s but additionally allows users to build custom courses from lessons.

          Working with many top professors and schools, the site mixes the customizable platform of other sites with a heavy emphasis on top quality content. This is another site however, that mixes free and paid content.

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          5. Academic Earth

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            Another site with courses from many different schools is Academic Earth. Much like the three sites above, Academic Earth brings together top notch courses from many different sources, and focuses on offering a wide variety of subjects.

            Academic Earth lists courses by subject and school, so it might be easier to find what you’re looking for.

            6. edX

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              Another great option for free online education is edX. Also bringing together courses from many different schools, the site has impressive, quality information for everyone. edX covers a great range of topics.

              7. Alison

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                Unlike the previous sites on this lists, Alison is a free education site offering certification in some areas. Alison offers courses mainly in business, technology, and health, but also includes language learning courses.

                It’s a great option if users need certification for their learning as Alison also offers school curriculum courses.

                8. iTunesU Free Courses

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                  A very convenient place for free online education is iTunesU, because it integrates seamlessly with your iPod, or any app-ready Apple mobile device. On iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, users download the iTunesU app.

                  Desktop users can access  iTunesU on the upper right hand corner of the iTunes Store. iTunesU is also convenient because the store is categorized much like iTunes.

                  Users can search learning materials in many different ways, including genre and topic. However, courses are often a mix of free podcasts or videos, and paid content.

                  ITunesU does include courses on a pretty wide scope of topics, but does not integrate with Android, Google or Windows mobile devices.

                  9. Stanford Online

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                    Your hub for all the online offerings from Stanford University, Stanford Online offers self-paced and session based courses. While Coursera features some courses from Stanford, many classes are only available via other hosts. Some courses require iTunes, but most are completed in your web browser.

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                    Stanford Online is a great site for high quality courses, though the topics are somewhat limited compared to sites partnered with more than one school.

                    10. Harvard Extension

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                      Like Stanford Online, Harvard Extension features free online education courses from Harvard only. This is another excellent source for top notch course material, though the course variety is less rich than multi-school sites.

                      Additionally, Harvard Extension allows you to search for courses by professional certificate. This makes it much easier if your online education goal includes certification.

                      11. Open Yale Courses

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                        Open Yale Courses echoes Harvard Extension and Stanford Online, in that it offers only courses from Yale. While the site is similarly limited to topics taught at the school, Open Yale Courses offers a lot of videos of actual campus lectures. The availability of videos makes the site a great option if you’re looking for quality courses, but learn better by watching than by reading.

                        12. UC Berkeley Class Central

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                          Much like the other schools on this list, UC Berkeley has a variety of free online education options. The school has slightly fewer courses than the schools above, but includes some supplementary lectures, webcasts and RSS Feeds, making it easy to keep up with the topics you choose.

                          13. MIT OpenCourseWare

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                            Similarly, MIT offers a variety of free courses. The school has a comparable number of courses to the schools above, plus includes very in-depth course materials on the subjects available. MIT also offers free RSS feeds, a convenient way to continue learning.

                            14. Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative

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                              Carnegie Mellon’s free online education site is comparable with the other school’s on this list, however, Open Learning Initiative also covers a smaller range of topics. But for the topics that are covered impressive, in-depth material is available.

                              15. Codecademy

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                                Codecademy is a website dedicated specifically to teaching coding. Where other coding sites follow an example/practice session workflow, Codecademy includes a live practice window. This means you can practice coding while still viewing the lesson material.

                                The courses at Codecademy are well written and easy to follow and the website is organized very nicely. Codecademy features a centralized dashboard where you can monitor your progress, plus organizes lessons into complete modules. This lets you learn an entire language without needing to pick the next course manually.

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                                16. Code

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                                  Code is another website focused on coding and app writing. A site with high quality courses, Code also features learning options for kids.

                                  In addition to kid friendly courses, Code offers free online education classes on a wide variety of technology topics. These classes include app writing, robotics and Javascript.

                                  Most of the courses are also geared in a such a way that they can be useful in a classroom setting. This makes Code a great resource for harder to find coding topics, as well as various learning settings.

                                  17. University of London Podcasts

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                                    The podcast page on the University of London website is another great source for free education. While the courses are limited to podcasts, the site features podcasts from it’s own campus, as well as eleven universities in and around London. This gives learners a wide base of topics and lectures, but still ensures in-depth material.

                                    18. University of Oxford Podcasts

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                                      Similar to the University of London, the University of Oxford features many different podcasts. Most are public lecture series or lectures from visiting professors, with several different recordings available.

                                      The advantage to this particular site is that podcasts are organized into series, making it easy to subscribe to multiple lectures on one topic. Another good site for thoroughly in-depth lectures.

                                      19. BBC Podcasts

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                                        For the more casual learner, the BBC offers a wide variety of podcasts on many different topics. Most podcasts are updated weekly, and focus on everything from finance, to sports, to current events.

                                        Through the World Service line of podcasts, there are also many in different languages. The focus of these podcasts are less in-depth and theory based, which may be more accessible to the average person.

                                        20. TED-Ed

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                                          Another great destination for more general learning is TED-Ed. From the same people that brought you the all encompassing, motivational web series, comes a site chocked full of educational videos. Most include impressive animation, and all are ten minutes long or less.

                                          Not only is TED-Ed an excellent site for the curious, it also includes supplemental materials and quizzes on the videos. This makes the site extremely useful in formal education settings, as well as in entertaining ways to brush up on new discoveries and topics.

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                                          21. LessonPaths

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                                            LessonPaths is another great tool for those looking for a more usable and convenient way to access learning material. On this site, users create link playlists of their favorite learning materials from other sites. Users then rank these collections, making it easy to find many different high quality, accessible sources on a given topic.

                                            22. Memrise

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                                              Another impressive free online education site offering ease of use and convenience is Memrise. Available both on desktop and as an app, Memrise is a particularly powerful tool if you are studying a language. The site encompasses many other topics as well, though some of the course material is user generated content.

                                              Part of what makes Memrise special is their integration of games into the learning materials, mixing learning with entertainment.

                                              23. National Geographic Kids

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                                                The kids site for National Geographic is another site that makes free online education applicable for younger users. For those looking for kid friendly education, a large variety of games, puzzles, videos and photos keeps kids interested on this site.

                                                National Geographic Kids doesn’t organize learning into courses, making materials available by topic and medium instead. This makes National Geographic Kids a good option for those looking for a more casual learning environment.

                                                24. Fun Brain

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                                                  Fun Brain is another good option for kids who want to learn online, but focuses on games and fun puzzles. Particularly focused on math and reading, Fun Brain’s game based approach can be valuable if the child in question struggles to pay attention.

                                                  Fun Brain offers rewards and challenges as well, and is another site aimed at a casual learning experience for kids K-8.

                                                  25. Whyville

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                                                    Similar to the sites for kids free online education is Whyville a destination for preteen online learning. The site includes a variety of social features, with a focus on learning materials geared for young teens.

                                                    Whyville also mixes in educational games, to make the site a well rounded option for kids too old for simple games, but too young for heavy reading based material.

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                                                    Alicia Prince

                                                    A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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                                                    Last Updated on July 10, 2020

                                                    The Definitive Guide to Get out of Debt Fast (and Forever)

                                                    The Definitive Guide to Get out of Debt Fast (and Forever)

                                                    Debt can feel crushing, like a weight that is always weighing you down. Looking at those numbers, it can feel as if you’ll never get out from under it. However, if you really want to learn how to get out of debt, it is possible with a great deal of focus and self-control.

                                                    Getting out of debt isn’t impossible. Like any big goal, all that it takes is an action plan to identify where you are and creating a plan to zero out your debt.

                                                    Identifying All of Your Debts

                                                    The first part of paying off your debt is getting a complete picture of what you owe. When you have everything written out in front of you, it makes it much easier to create an action plan. Depending on how much you owe, it might also help you realize it’s not as bad you might have originally thought.

                                                    Here’s how you can get started identifying your debts:

                                                    1. Own Your Debt

                                                    Before you start identifying all of your debts, take a moment to process that you have debt but want to get out of it.

                                                    Forgive yourself for any past mistakes, missed payments, or overspending. It might be painful to accept how much debt you have at first, but you must own it.

                                                    2. Make a Debt Tracker

                                                    It’s astonishing how few people ever created a tracker to understand their total debts. Most likely, it comes from not wanting to accept the guilt of having debt, but, if avoided, it can make it nearly impossible to get out of debt.

                                                    Open up a new Google or Microsoft Excel sheet and list out all of your debts. Start with the name of the creditor, interest rates, total balance, loan term length (if any), and the minimum amount due each payment. This will include student loans, credit cards, and any other type of debt owed.

                                                    3. Get Your Debt Number

                                                    Once you’ve made your debt tracker and taken the other steps, identify your total payoff number. This is crucial, as you will have a starting point and a clear goal that you are trying to achieve.

                                                    Prioritizing Your Debts

                                                    All debt is not created equal. It’s imperative to understand that there are different types of debt.

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                                                    1. Understand Bad and Good Debts

                                                    Bad debts are usually paying for things you want instead of always need. While there might be some emergencies that max out your credit cards, often times it’s excessive spending[1].

                                                    There are three main types of bad debt:

                                                    • Credit Card Debt: The average American household owes over $16,000 in credit card debt!
                                                    • Auto Loan Debt: According to CNBC , the average auto loan in the US is $30,032!
                                                    • Consumer Loan Debt: Consumer loan debt isn’t as common as credit card and auto loan debt, but it’s still considered bad as interest rates are usually between 10-28%.

                                                    Good debt is identified as investments in your future. Here are three common types of good debt:

                                                    • Student Loan Debt
                                                    • Mortgage Loan
                                                    • Business Loans

                                                    2. Decide Which Debt to Pay off First

                                                    Once you know each type of debt and their interest rates, you can begin to pay off debt quickly.

                                                    Focus on paying off bad debt first, regardless of if it is a credit card or auto loan. Start by paying off the loan with the highest interest rate first.

                                                    If you have several credit cards with different interest rates, you want to focus on the one with a higher APR. You will actually save more money by eliminating the card with the highest interest rate.

                                                    3. Don’t Pay the Minimum Amount

                                                    Paying the minimum amount digs you into a hole as interest rates will offset your payment. Even a small amount more than the minimum can help you pay off debt much faster.

                                                    Removing Obstacles to Pay off Debt Quickly

                                                    Creating a debt tracker and prioritizing a plan is simple, but avoiding temptation can be difficult.

                                                    1. Set a Reminder to Track Your Debt

                                                    “If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it.” -Peter Drucker

                                                    It’s so important to track your debt to ensure that you get it paid off quickly. Similar to working out and measuring your results, you need to track your debt constantly. Start with a weekly reminder, where you sign on and log your updated number. Did you increase, decrease, or stay the same?

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                                                    Regularly tracking your student loan balance can be incredibly motivating, as well. You will get a huge confidence boost each time you see your total debt amount decreases.

                                                    Set weekly and monthly goals so you can have short term wins and keep the momentum going.

                                                    2. Hide Your Credit Cards

                                                    If your biggest debt is credit cards, you need to eliminate temptation and remove them from your wallet.

                                                    Some people have gone to extreme measures by freezing their credit cards. Why? This would create an ice block around your card, which would require you to chip away at it slowly. This will give you time to think if it’s the best idea to buy that thing you’re about to buy.

                                                    3. Automate Everything

                                                    Willpower can be a huge downfall to paying off your debt. By automating your bills each month, you will ensure that willpower isn’t involved.

                                                    4. Plan Ahead

                                                    Getting out of debt will require some sacrifices, but with enough planning, you can make it work.

                                                    For example, if you know that you have a friend’s birthday or family dinner coming up, plan ahead for the costs. Whether you need to cut back on spending the week before, pick up a side job, or meet them after dinner, do what is needed.

                                                    5. Live Cheaply

                                                    The only way to get out of debt is to make some sacrifices on your spending habits. Find ways to save money each month so you can apply that amount to your outstanding debts. Here are some ways to save money each month:

                                                    • Live with roommates
                                                    • Cook dinners and prepare lunches for work instead of eating out
                                                    • Cut cable and choose Netflix or Amazon Prime
                                                    • Take public transit or bike to work

                                                    Finding the Lowest Interest Rates

                                                    The higher your interest rates, the harder (and longer) it will take you to pay off any debt.

                                                    If possible, you want to find ways to lower your interest rates to help get out of debt quickly. Here’s how you can get started:

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                                                    1. Maintain a High Credit Score

                                                    Your credit score will have a large impact on your ability to refinance your loans and receive a lower interest rate. If you have a low credit score, it’s unlikely you will be able to refinance your loans. Use these credit tips to increase and maintain an excellent score:

                                                    • Never miss a payment
                                                    • Don’t exceed 30% of your credit limit
                                                    • Don’t sign up for more than one card at once
                                                    • Limit hard inquires, like auto-loans and new credit cards
                                                    • Monitor frequently with free credit-tracking software

                                                    2. Find Balance Transfer Offers

                                                    Start by opening a free account on credit.com. Credit.com offers you the chance to open a free account and see what type of balance transfer offers you can receive. Some of your existing credit cards might already have 0% or lower APR balance transfer offers available.

                                                    Contact each of your credit card providers to ask about lowering your rate for a one-time balance transfer offer[2].

                                                    If you do take advantage of this option, make sure that you use a balance transfer and not a cash advance. Cash advances have a ton of high interest fees (15-25%, depending on your credit card) and will only compound your debt problem.

                                                    How to Get Rid of Debt Forever

                                                    Setting up a plan, removing temptations, and getting the lowest interest rates is the first step to get out of debt.

                                                    1. Keep Monitoring and Adjusting

                                                    Once you have a plan, don’t get comfortable. Track your debt payoff plan and make the necessary adjustments when needed.

                                                    Monitor your credit scores with a free site like CreditKarma. The higher your credit score climbs, the more likely you will be to secure a new, lower-interest loan.

                                                    2. Earn More Money

                                                    There are only so many ways to save money. Instead of clipping another coupon or making sacrifices for your morning coffee, find ways to earn more money!

                                                    Think about it…it is much easier to find ways to earn an extra $1,000 per month than find $1,000 to cut from your budget.

                                                    Here are some examples of ways to earn more money:

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                                                    Talk to Your Boss

                                                    Have a conversation with your boss about current salary and/or commission rates. If you’re not satisfied or want a change, don’t be afraid to look around at other positions. Some of them might even have a student loan debt reimbursement plan!

                                                    Start a Side Hustle

                                                    This could be coaching students on the weekends, driving for Uber, or taking paid online surveys. There are tons of ways to make money outside your 9-5. Now that you have a clear plan to pay off your debts, you’ll be more motivated than ever to figure out creative new ways to earn money.

                                                    Build an Online Business

                                                    There are so many websites and blogs that earn money from ads, affiliates, and other online products. Find your niche and get started.

                                                    3. Celebrate Your Wins

                                                    As you progress in your debt payoff journey, don’t forget to celebrate your wins. You need to always reward yourself for the hard work and discipline that is required to get out of debt.

                                                    While you shouldn’t celebrate so big that it increases debt, make sure to factor in little rewards to keep you motivated.

                                                    4. Set New Financial Goals

                                                    Eventually, with a plan and these steps, you can rid yourself of your debt. Once you do, make sure to celebrate your monumental achievement, but don’t stop there.

                                                    Now, you can focus on acquiring wealth and increasing your net worth. Set new financial goals so you have a new target to aim toward. Here’s how to set financial goals and actually meet them.

                                                    These could be anything now that you are debt free! Think about where you want to travel, buying your first home, or saving for your future retirement. Just like before, make sure that your goals are specific, measurable, and achievable.

                                                    Conclusion

                                                    Congrats, you can now set a plan in motion to finally pay off your debt quickly (and hopefully forever)!

                                                    Remember, if you want to get out of debt quickly, it’s not always easy. Just like any big goal, there will be sacrifices, challenges, and problems to overcome.

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                                                    Featured photo credit: Pepi Stojanovski via unsplash.com

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