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20 Places to Educate Yourself Online for Free

20 Places to Educate Yourself Online for Free

It seems like these days you can learn just about anything online for free, but of course some of that information is better than others. The good news is there are plenty of reputable places to educate yourself online for free, and here’s a good 20 of them to get you started.

1. Coursera

The coolest thing about Internet learning is that you can take college courses which in the past were only available to people who forked over immense sums of money to attend elite colleges. Coursera brings a bunch of those classes together into one site, offering nearly 400 courses ranging from Introduction to Guitar from Berklee College of Music to Constitutional Law from Yale.

Courses typically include videos and certain coursework (such as online quizzes) that must be completed in a certain amount of time, as these courses are monitored by a professor. Stop by regularly to see what’s new, or search for topics that interest you can put them on a watch list so you’ll be notified when a new class begins.

Coursera

    2. Khan Academy

    Home to more than 3,000 videos on subjects ranging from SAT prep to cosmology, art history to calculus, Khan Academy is a great place to learn. Detailed courses are broken into smaller sections of text or videos for ease of learning that fits into your schedule, and all are self-paced so you can spend as much or as little time with the subject as you like.

    You can also leave comments or ask questions if you want more information or if something isn’t clear in the lessons.

    Khan Academy

      3. OpenCourseWare

      The OpenCourseWare Consortium is a worldwide effort to make college and university level course materials accessible for free on the Internet. Search for a specific topic that interests you, or search by language (20 are available) or the source of the coursework.

      There are more than 5,000 classes in English alone, covering everything from statistical thermodynamics (Middle East Technical University) to Epidemics in South African History (University of Cape Town) and Creole Language and Culture (University of Notre Dame).

      OpenCourseWare

        4. ALISON

        A global-learning resource with courses in English, French and German, ALISON covers everything from SAT prep to health and safety courses required in Ireland. There are lessons on everything from study skills to American copyright law, currency exchange to nonprofit fundraising, and general accounting to negotiating when buying a house.

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        Completion of a course grants you “certification,” which is a British designation, but it’s still kind of fun.

        Screen Shot 2013-07-22 at 12.20.33 PM

          5. MIT Open Courseware

          If you always wanted to attend a big-name school like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, now you can do the next best thing by taking many of its courses for free from your home on your own time. The MIT Open Courseware site posts course materials from a wide variety of classes you can search by department.

          Choosing a course will show you when it was originally taught and by whom, and will give you access to the syllabus, course calendar, readings, assignments and study materials. You can download the course materials and work through the course at your own pace.

          MIT Open Courseware

            6. Academic Earth

            If you’d like a broader collection of courses than MIT provides, Academic Earth is a great place to look. This free course aggregator has a stunning collection of courses from around 50 universities across the globe. You can search by source or general subject.

            Don’t miss the curated playlists on topics such as natural laws, the nature of evil and the economic crisis. The video electives—with subjects like how to take a punch and why World War II made us fat—are lots of fun, too.

            Academic Earth

              7. Open Learning Institute

              The Open Learning Institute from Carnegie Mellon University allows access to a handful of course materials so you can learn at your own pace from the same kind of materials and self-guided assessments that would be used in a classroom. Their offerings are limited, but there’s a lot of detail in the coursework. Instructor-led courses are also sometimes available.

              Open Learning Institute

                8. Open Culture

                This site isn’t very pretty, but Open Culture does boast a collection of more than 700 downloadable courses, including college-level, certificate-bearing classes, language lessons, educational materials for K-12 and more.

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                There are also just some interesting links that aren’t to courses but you’ll still learn something from, such as this post on a reading list suggested by Ernest Hemingway.

                One culture

                  9. Open Education Database

                  The well-designed Open Education Database claims more than 10,000 courses from universities from around the world. Search by topic and you’ll see the number of full courses, as well as which courses have audio lessons, video lessons or mixed media, so you can learn in whatever way you like.

                  You can also use this site to learn about online and offline schools, should you choose to continue your education in a more formal way.

                  Open Education Database

                    10. iTunes U

                    Many of these same online courses can be accessed away from your computer with the help of iTunes U, a free app that can be downloaded to you iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch. It says that it includes 500,000 different courses, with material ranging from elementary school to college-level.

                    There’s also educational material here from respected institutions like the New York Public Library and MoMA. You can also add notes to the videos, share with friends and keep your course materials in iBooks so you have everything you need to learn wherever you are.

                    iTunes U

                      11. TED

                      The TED talks are a legendary source of information on all sorts of topics, and any discussion of how to educate yourself for free online needs to include them. There are now thousands of videos on all sorts of topics available on the site.

                      If you’re a fan of whimsy you can also get the site to suggest a fascinating, beautiful or informative video for you, among other tags. This may not be formal education but it certainly can be life-changing.

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                      TED

                        12. 99U

                        Love videos by experts on all sorts of topics? After you visit TED, check out 99U, which is another great source of educational videos on all sorts of topics. It has a strong focus on the subject of creativity, business development and innovation, so it’s sure to be of interest if you’re an entrepreneur or in a creative line of work.

                        99U

                          13. Ignite

                          If you want to learn something new and you’re really pressed for time, check out Ignite videos. The purpose of this series of speaking events is to have each person share something innovative or inspiring in just five minutes. Sounds silly, but you can get a big dose of greatness in a short amount of time.

                          Ignite

                            14. Wikiversity

                            If you prefer your learning to be text-based, check out Wikiversity. As you might imagine, this site is part of the Wikimedia Foundation and includes detailed pages on a variety of subjects. It includes information of value to learners from preschool to college and beyond, and like other wiki projects is open-source and collaborative.

                            This is a good site or browsing, and the “random” button is a lot of fun.

                            Wikiversity

                              15. Project Gutenberg

                              Access more than 4,200 free ebooks at Project Gutenberg, an excellent source for public domain books from throughout history as well as contemporary free ebooks. You’ll find literature, historic documents, nonfiction books on all sorts of subjects and much more, all free and downloadable to your computer or ereader.

                              Screen Shot 2013-07-22 at 12.30.13 PM

                                16. Bartleby

                                A similar resource is Bartleby, which boasts a large collection of reference works, poetry, fiction and nonfiction. There are some really great resources here such as The Harvard Classics Shelf of Fiction, Oxford Shakespeare, Bullfinch’s Mythology, Bartlett’s Quotations and much more.

                                This is a great site to look at if you’re looking for quotes about a specific subject or just want to delve into the classics you probably should have read in school.

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                                Bartleby

                                  17. The Free Library

                                  Boasting a collection of more than 21 million free articles and books, The Free Library is the place to go for access to newspapers, magazines, journal articles (from 1984 to the present) and classic books. It’s a great place to start if you’re doing research for an academic paper or just want to find out more about a particular topic.

                                  You can search by keyword or browse by source, topic or author, or just look at random articles and see what develops.

                                  The Free Library
                                    udacity

                                      18. Udacity

                                      Video courses in math, computer science, business, physics and psychology are available for free at Udacity. This clean site is easy to navigate and has the added bonus of a little icon next to the videos that shows you how advanced a course is so you know to start with an easier course if you’re new to a subject.

                                      Screen Shot 2013-07-22 at 12.42.26 PM

                                        19. YouTube

                                        It seems that just about anything you could ever want to learn is available these days on YouTube for instant, bite-sized, free consumption. Browse channels to find general topics that interest you, or search for the specific thing you want to learn and you’ll be on your way in no time.

                                        There are more than 6,000 channels in the science and education section, more than 600 in cooking and nearly 2,000 in DIY, so whatever you want to educate yourself about you’re sure to find something good here.

                                        youtube

                                          20. Google, etc.

                                          The search engines are a great place to start if you have something specific you are looking for. Google in particular provides a great overview of subjects right in your browser. Search for a person and you’ll get a mini bio without clicking on any other pages, and you’ll have lots of places to go for more information. This is your best bet if you’re looking for specialized information, because all of these sites are general and Google can let you know the best places to go to find exactly what you’re looking for.

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                                          Last Updated on January 13, 2020

                                          50 Motivational Quotes for Work to Inspire Success

                                          50 Motivational Quotes for Work to Inspire Success

                                          Let’s face it – no matter how excited you are about a new project or priority in your life, there will always be days when your motivation lags. Days when – despite all the progress you’ve made in the past – it just sounds easier to sit on the couch playing video games than to buckle down and crank out the work needed to meet your goals.

                                          In order to be successful, you must be able to motivate yourself past these humps. Whenever you feel your drive and determination lagging, turn to these motivational quotes for work to provide the extra spark of passion needed to keep you on track.

                                          Quotes about Goal Setting

                                          Whether you’re still in the planning phases of your business or whether you’re plotting a plan of attack to bring about your long-range vision, setting good goals is a critical part of succeeding in business.

                                          Check out these quotes for extra inspiration on how to turn your dreams into reality:

                                          quote-Benjamin-E.-Mays-the-tragedy-in-life-doesnt-lie-in-106113

                                            “The tragedy in life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach.”– Benjamin Mays


                                            “By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands — your own.”–Mark Victor Hansen


                                            “Give yourself an even greater challenge than the one you are trying to master and you will develop the powers necessary to overcome the original difficulty.”–William J. Bennett – The Book of Virtues


                                            “The entrepreneur is essentially a visualizer and actualizer… He can visualize something, and when he visualizes it he sees exactly how to make it happen.”–Robert L. Schwartz

                                            Quotes about Achieving Excellence in Work

                                            Once you’ve got your goals together, you’ll need to put in 110% of your effort in order to transform these visions into reality. To increase your motivation to work at a consistently high level, take a look at the following words of wisdom:

                                            “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”–Aristotle


                                            “If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.”–Charles R. Swindoll

                                            Desire is the key to motivation

                                              “Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal — a commitment to excellence — that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”–Mario Andretti


                                              “The secret of joy in work is contained in one word – excellence. To know how to do something well is to enjoy it.”–Pearl Buck


                                              “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”–Vince Lombardi

                                              Quotes about Determination and Persistence

                                              Since every business or other endeavor is bound to hit some rough patches, it’s often a person’s level of determination and patience that brings about either success or failure. These positive quotes give you an extra boost of encouragement:

                                              “Enter every activity without giving mental recognition to the possibility of defeat. Concentrate on your strengths, instead of your weaknesses… on your powers, instead of your problems.”–Paul J. Meyer


                                              “Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.”–Hal Borland


                                              “Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan ‘Press On’ has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”–Calvin Coolidge

                                              quote-Thomas-Fuller-an-invincible-determination-can-accomplish-almost-anything-92190

                                                “An invincible determination can accomplish almost anything and in this lies the great distinction between great men and little men.”–Thomas Fuller

                                                Quotes about Leadership

                                                Whether you use it to engage your employees, to encourage teamwork or motivate others to follow your unique way of thinking, leadership is crucial. Take your leadership cues from these renowned leaders’ famous sayings:

                                                “The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born — that there is a genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That’s nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born.” –Warren G. Bennis


                                                “All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.”–John Kenneth Galbraith

                                                Leadership is not magnetic personality

                                                  “Leadership is not magnetic personality — that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not ‘making friends and influencing people’ — that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.”–Peter F. Drucker


                                                  “The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already.”–John Buchan


                                                  “High sentiments always win in the end. The leaders who offer blood, toil, tears and sweat always get more out of their followers than those who offer safety and a good time. When it comes to the pinch, human beings are heroic.”–George Orwell

                                                  Quotes for Success

                                                  Think of success as a holistic process – one which results from the combination of goal-setting, excellence, patience, determination and leadership you prioritize throughout your career. These highly successful people provide you with an excellent source of motivation:

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                                                  “Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment.”–Stephen Covey


                                                  “Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.”–Norman Vincent Peale

                                                  Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.

                                                    “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”–Winston Churchill


                                                    “Successful and unsuccessful people do not vary greatly in their abilities. They vary in their desires to reach their potential.”–John Maxwell


                                                    “Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, So go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success.”– Thomas J. Watson


                                                    “The great successful men of the world have used their imagination.  They think ahead and create their mental picture in all its details, filling in here, adding a little there, altering this a bit and that a bit, but steadily building – steadily building.”–Robert Collier


                                                    “It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of life that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at that goal itself but at some more ambitious goal beyond it.”–Arnold Toynbee

                                                    Sports Quotes for Athletes

                                                    You don’t need to be a Michael Jordan-caliber athlete to draw inspiration from the following quotes. Even if you’re just a recreational player or someone who’s using sports as a means to get back in shape after long periods of inactivity, the following motivational sports quotes will encourage you:

                                                    “My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.”–Michael Jordan


                                                    “Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.”–Lance Armstrong

                                                    Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths.

                                                      “Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.”–Arnold Schwarzenegger


                                                      “I know what I have to do, and I’m going to do whatever it takes. If I do it, I’ll come out a winner, and it doesn’t matter what anyone else does.”–Florence Griffith Joyner


                                                      “Every time you stay out late; every time you sleep in; every time you miss a workout; every time you don’t give 100% – You make it that much easier for me to beat you.”–Unknown


                                                      “If you are hurt, whether in mind or body, don’t nurse your bruises. Get up and light-heartedly, courageously, good temperedly get ready for the next encounter. This is the only way to take life – this is also ‘playing’ the game!”–Emily Post


                                                      “We must train from the inside out. Using our strengths to attack and nullify any weaknesses. It’s not about denying a weakness may exist but about denying its right to persist.”–Vince McConnell

                                                      Quotes to Motivate Learning

                                                      Committing yourself to pursuing knowledge in a single area is a tremendous endeavor – one that often seems overwhelming given the depth and breadth of information that’s available today. Keep the following motivational quotes in mind if you’re learning:

                                                      “How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.”–George Washington Carver

                                                      quote-William-Arthur-Ward-if-you-can-imagine-it-you-can-36189

                                                        “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.”–William Arthur Ward


                                                        “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”– Aristotle


                                                        “Success is not the key to happiness.Happiness is the key to success.If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”–Albert Schweitzer


                                                        “Wear your learning, like your watch, in a private pocket: and do not pull it out and strike it, merely to show that you have one.”–Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield


                                                        “He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.”–Chinese Proverb


                                                        “Study while others are sleeping; work while others are loafing; prepare while others are playing; and dream while others are wishing.”–William Arthur Ward


                                                        “Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled ‘This could change your life’.”–Helen Exley


                                                        “A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.”–Chinese Proverb

                                                        All-Time Favorite Positive Quotes

                                                        Finally, whatever your goals are in life, you can’t go wrong by taking the advice of the following famous motivational quotes:

                                                        “Change your thoughts and you change your world.”–Norman Vincent Peale


                                                        “Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drowned your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”–Steve Jobs


                                                        “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”–Maria Robinson


                                                        “Out of clutter, find Simplicity. From discord, find Harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies Opportunity.”–Albert Einstein


                                                        “Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.”–Lyndon Johnson

                                                        If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.

                                                          “If we did all the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.”–Thomas Edison


                                                          “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”–Wayne Gretzky


                                                          “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”–Winston Churchill


                                                          “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”–Ralph Waldo Emerson

                                                          Final Thoughts

                                                          To use these motivational quotes effectively, find the one that speaks to you. Although all of the phrases listed above can be considered “motivational,” only you can decide which one resonates with you most directly.

                                                          Next, take the quote you’ve settled on and copy it onto small index cards or other pieces of paper that can be stored around your home and workspace.

                                                          If you’re creative, you can create inspiration boards, signs or other decorative displays featuring your favorite motivational quotes – really, though, the most important thing is that your chosen phrase be accessible in a variety of different places. This will make it easy to access and review whenever you feel your motivation slipping away.

                                                          More Inspiring Quotes

                                                          Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

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