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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

                                          More by this author

                                          Joseph Hindy

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

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                                          Last Updated on March 25, 2020

                                          How to Type Faster: 12 Typing Tips and Techniques

                                          How to Type Faster: 12 Typing Tips and Techniques

                                          Typing is a lot of fun, especially if you’re the type of person who loves to write. Whenever an idea comes to your head or you just want to communicate something, the feeling of scribbling things down in a computer is awesome.

                                          Do you know that being able to type faster makes you more productive? In fact, it’ll save you 21 days every year just by typing faster!

                                          Many people look up to master typists and wish that to handle a keyboard like they do. The truth is that none of them started that way, and they had to learn.

                                          In this piece, you’ll learn how to type faster with some useful tips and techniques:

                                          1. Work on Your Workspace and Typing Area

                                          A lot of people believe that fast and correct typing will start when you can master the keyboard. But the truth is, you will need to begin with getting a workspace that is clean, properly ventilated, and comfortable. Also, for optimal typing, you will need to get a table and not out your laptop or computer on your lap.

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                                          If you will be working for an extended period, make sure that you’re comfortable.

                                          2. Fix Your Posture

                                          If you want to type well, the correct posture will be seated, straight backed, and with your feet planted a little apart, flat on the ground. You wrists should also be positioned in such a way that your fingers can cover the keyboard. Tilt your head a bit as you can look at the screen properly as well.

                                          Adjust your office chair so you’ll be able to easily play with the seat and get a proper posture.

                                          3. Hold Your Posture

                                          It is also very important that you keep this position as you type. Ensure that your posture is good, and this way, you will be able to avoid getting aches on your wrists. These aches have a way of slowing you down and keeping you out of rhythm.

                                          Keep your back and shoulders from hunching, and while relaxation should be your key goal as you work on, also be sure to stay upright.

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                                          4. Familiarize Yourself with the Keyboard

                                          The keyboard is your tool here, so you will need to get to know it. Fortunately for you, most keyboards that you see will make use of the same layout; the QWERTY layout. It is called that because of the letters that make the top left corner. You’ll also find that a lot of keyboards have keys around these main ones that do several tings.

                                          Here’s a nice video to help you familiarize yourself with the keyboard:

                                          So, work on memorizing the positions of the letter keys, as well as some of the most used punctuation marks. You will need to understand where they are without looking at the keyboard. This is the only way you can learn to type fast.

                                          5. Close Your Eyes and Say the Keys out Loud as You Press Them

                                          Another great way to get to know the positions of these letters is to look away from them and directly at the screen. Then, pronounce the keys as you press them and see if you’re correct. This step will go a long way in helping you to memorize the keys, and it can easily help you

                                          6. Start Slowly with Touch-Typing

                                          Improving your speed as you type is a matter of developing your skill over time. However, the quickest way to master typing will be touch typing. If this is your first time with touch typing, then you might spend a lot of time on this step. However, once you can type without looking at the keys, your speed will increase.

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                                          Now, this typing method might feel a bit alien, but you’ll improve with time.

                                          7. Stick with It and Don’t Look at Your Hands

                                          The whole essence of this step is to keep you from looking at your keyboard as you type, so that your fingers are made to learn how the keys work.

                                          Again, you might find that your speed reduces when you begin, but just stick to it. Touch typing will help you to reach higher speeds and master it.

                                          8. Practice, Practice, Practice

                                          Mastering the touch typing technique will prove to be a bit finicky, but once your posture is up and you get your fingers where they should be, you can only improve by practicing.

                                          Spare some time on a daily basis to practice and master both accuracy and speed. With continuous practice, you will also notice that you make fewer errors with time.

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                                          9. Check out Some Online Games

                                          There are also some websites that can help you with your practicing. They score you and record your words per minute, so you can try improving your record and competing with others as well. Here’re some of the nice sites:

                                          10. Dictation Practice

                                          If you don’t know what you can type, another alternative to getting good practice is to listen to something and try to type as you hear the words. There is no limit to the kind of things you can type, and you can even make the practice process more fun. So, get an e-book, an online lecture, or listen to a talk show and type. You could watch a TV show as well.

                                          11. Monitor Your Progress

                                          Ensure that you keep track of the progress you make as you go on. But it is important that you don’t get obsessed with how many words you are able to type in a minute. Rather, ensure that you stay comfortable while you type. With time, your words per minute will increase, and you’ll be able to clock up some high numbers.

                                          12. Get Some Formal Training If You Want

                                          There are actually a lot of specially designed courses and programs that will boost your typing ability. If you’re willing to improve your skill, get any of these and see how well they work for you:

                                          Don’t just finish reading this article and expect that you’ll type faster. You do need to work on your skills. It takes time to type fast but, practice makes perfect!

                                          More Tips About Typing Faster

                                          Featured photo credit: Cytonn Photography via unsplash.com

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