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20 Free Online Tools for Summer Self-Education

20 Free Online Tools for Summer Self-Education

Albert Einstein once said that education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school. The things we learn today may be forgotten but there will always be something that we retain forever. That means that every now and then we all have to go learn some new things so that we can continue to educate ourselves. If you’ve got plans to do some learning this summer, here are some amazing tools to give yourself a self-education.

1. Udemy

self education

    Udemy is an online course-based website where you can buy and take individual courses. There are a veritable boatload of subjects from languages to computer science, design to cooking, and pretty much everything else you can think of. You buy the course once and it’s yours for keeps. It comes with video and text lectures to show you how everything works. There are even free courses available in most subjects!

    2. Khan Academy

    self-education

      Khan Academy is fairly well known and many people use it to brush up on basic math but it’s also good for learning way more advanced stuff. It has over 1200 instructional videos that cover everything from basic arithmetic to differential equations. It’s totally free to use as well and it has Facebook and Google+ support so signing up is easy.

      3. MIT OpenCourseWare

      self-education

        This is one of the most powerful, fun, and free resources available for learning. MIT has courses available in over a dozen courses from technology to business. You can enroll for free and access all the coursework for free. It’s a great way to learn from one of the best colleges in the United States.

        4. Codecademy

        self-education

          Codecademy is an online resource that teaches you various programming languages. Available is JavaScript, CSS/HTML, Python, PHP, Ruby, and others. It’s free to use and you can log in with Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ for easy access. You won’t become amazingly great at these languages but there is no better way to get the entry level and even intermediate levels of programming.

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          5. Harvard OpenCourseWare

          self-education

            Much like MIT, Harvard has a bunch of free coursework available free of charge to the general public. They come in a range of subjects from computer science to literature. Also like MIT, Harvard is one of the most respected college on the continent so whatever they have to teach is worth your time to learn.

            6. Yale Open Courses

            self-education

              Not to be left out in the dark, Yale also offers open courses. Much like the others the subjects are vast and include things like literature, music, finances, business, and others. Like the others, it’s a prestigious college with great professors. It’s also free and that’s good news.

              7. Johns Hopkins OpenCourseWare

              self-education

                Continuing with the OpenCourseWare from various colleges is Johns Hopkins. It’s a world renown medical school with a number of free courses available for those who are thinking of studying medicine or maybe for those who know medicine and need a quick brush up. It has courses on things like child development, nutrition, and even fundamentals on specialties like oncology.

                8. Duke Law Free Lectures

                self-education

                  If you’d rather listen than read then Duke Law’s free lectures are a fun tool to learn some stuff without the bothersome stuff. Just follow the link and pick a lecture to listen to. There are dozens of lectures for a number of years about a number of subjects. It’s great listening for the car on that morning commute or while taking a walk.

                  9. Free Computer Books

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                  self-education

                    The website looks like it was designed in the early 1990’s but rest assured this is an amazing website. Using it you can get hundreds of free books about computer programming, mathematics, data logic, design, and other books. It’s great for anyone looking to get more into computers and it even includes books on Java (Android development), C++ (Windows development), and C# (Apple development).

                    10. Oxford Mathematics OpenCourseWare

                    self-education

                      Most careers require at least a decent background in math. That means if there is any subject that everyone should brush up on, it’s math. Oxford Mathematics OpenCourseWare has a few dozen math courses available that will run you through subjects like algebra, math logic, and even computer math. Oxford is another one of those internationally recognized learning institutions and it’s a great place to learn.

                      11. Lifewrite

                      self-education

                        If it’s writing you need to brush up on, Lifewrite.com is a good place to go. It offers a free nine week course for free along with a number of free tips and exercises. Writing is one of the toughest things to do well and it takes a lot of work and practice to get it right. Why not start off the right way by learning from a professional?

                        12. Purdue Online Writing Lab

                        self-education

                          Purdue University has an online writing lab for those who may want something a little more structured. It includes classes on grammar, writing styles, and even professional writing. It’s a great free resource for any writer looking to brush up on the basics. There are even instructional videos to watch.

                          13. Duolingo

                          self-education

                            Duolingo is a free service that teaches you another language. You can learn from Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, and more. There are Android and iOS apps available which are also free. It was a huge hit last year and the courses really do work if you stick with them. It teaches you in the form of a game so it remains interesting even during the hard portions.

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                            14. BBC Languages

                            self-education

                              There is a more professional language resource for those looking to learn a second language for free and that’s BBC Languages. It still has games for those who like them but there are also audio and video clips mixed in along with more classic lessons. The front page hasn’t been updated in a while but the website is still functional.

                              15. iTunes U

                              self-education

                                iTunes U is a unique case. It’s only available for iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad so if you don’t have one of those then you’re out of luck. It’s a good resource to learn because a lot of colleges have dumped free stuff into there. You can find subjects on practically anything. There are free and paid courses available.

                                16. Wikiversity

                                self-education

                                  Wikipedia isn’t the most trusted source out there but it is getting a better reputation all the time. Most of the stuff that’s on there is at least mostly accurate and that makes it a pretty decent platform for learning. It uses Wiki’s classic interface to link you to resources, courses, and labs to help you learn a bunch of stuff in a bunch of subjects. It’s a great free resource.

                                  17. Textbook Revolution

                                  self-education

                                    Textbook Revolution is much like Free Computer Books above except that it has far more subjects. This is a resource that is run by students and includes free e-books on a number of subjects. It’s simple to use. You just search for subjects, download the books, and read them on your computer. With the sheer number of subjects

                                    18. E-Books Directory

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                                    self-education

                                      If you can’t find what you’re looking for at Textbook Revolution, you can always try E-Books Directory. It doesn’t have the best design but you can find over 20,000 e-books there in a wide range of subjects. It doesn’t matter what you’re studying you should be able to find something here for you.

                                      19. University of Pennsylvania Book Page

                                      self-education

                                        The last free book resource on the list is the University of Pennsylvania Book Page. Using this site you can gain access to an untold number of free books used by the students of the University of Pennsylvania. It’s a very minimal site so you’ll have to go back to getting used to white web pages with blue links everywhere but it’s still a great resource for free information, essays, books, and other educational texts.

                                        20. History Channel

                                        self-education

                                          Last and certainly not least is the History Channel. The TV channel may have gone downhill a bit over the years but the website is actually extremely informative. I’ve actually used it for resources on essays before. There are lists, random webpages, and other history things. History buffs could spend all day there. Even non-history buffs probably could if they found a fun line of stuff to read about.

                                           

                                          Learning is wildly important because it’s something none of us are ever done doing. The more you learn, the more you know and the more you know, the more you can do. Use these resources to learn how to do a number of things that you can use in real life!

                                          Featured photo credit: AMC Networks via images.amcnetworks.com

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                                          Joseph Hindy

                                          A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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                                          Last Updated on May 14, 2019

                                          8 Replacements for Google Notebook

                                          8 Replacements for Google Notebook

                                          Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

                                          1. Zoho Notebook
                                            If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
                                          2. Evernote
                                            The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
                                          3. Net Notes
                                            If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
                                          4. i-Lighter
                                            You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
                                          5. Clipmarks
                                            For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
                                          6. UberNote
                                            If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
                                          7. iLeonardo
                                            iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
                                          8. Zotero
                                            Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

                                          I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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                                          In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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