Online education is one of the many spinoffs that the Internet has brought about. With its wide and deep reach -today, there is almost no country on this planet without the Net -it was only natural that it could be put to use for one of the most useful of human wants: education.
Online education, as we all know, is education offered through the online medium. Starting with this premise; online education has metamorphosed over the years into quite an unbelievable number of combinations and variations. One can offer education through the Net in a number of ways, such as through Skype, for instance, and the whole look and feel of educational sites has changed almost beyond definition. The latest medium that education is being taught on a wide, global scale is what has come to be known as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC).
Again, this term too is self-explanatory. This is online education that is imparted on a massive scale. What is the definition of the term, “massive” here? The Net, as we know, is global in its reach. So, we can say that by this term is meant the capability of education to reach out to a global audience through the Net. Today, we have hundreds of sites for online education from many small and big companies, and from startups to Microsoft. So, which are the top sites for online education?
When drawing up this list, one has to mention a couple of points:
- There is no clear-cut and rigid set of criteria for classifying these sites as the top sites for online education. In other words, a few sites may qualify in this list of top sites for online education when some criteria are applied, and others may qualify when another set of standards is applied
- Today’s top sites for online education may not be figure among the top sites for online education when a similar assessment is done at some point of time in the future. this, of course, applies to any business.
So, based on popularity -again a very subjective and broad term-we have drawn up a list of top sites for online education. This is what our list looks like:
Simpliv: Simpliv is a platform for the online equation that makes it to our list of top sites for online education for one major reason: its intent. Its objective, it says, goes beyond the pure business, revenue-generating model. It wants to use this medium to take education to just anyone who wants to learn, the only criterion it applies to impart education. It is not going to be bothered by the social, economic, racial or educational status of it, learners. it wants to make education available to everyone on this planet.
Udemy: This is one site that should appear in any list of top sites for online education, no matter which yardstick one applies, no matter what one’s personal likes or dislikes are, and no matter how much weightage one may attach to the element of subjectivity. This is the real lodestar of this industry by a long stretch. Udemy has thousands of courses, almost all of which find favor with the learner community from around the world.
Coursera: Another of the very hugely popular online education sites, there should be simply no doubts about why Coursera figures in the list of top sites for online education. It too, has thousands of courses, collaborates with top universities, and has a highly accomplished faculty.
Codecademy: Codecademy is a play upon the words, code and academy, and this says everything about what this platform offers. Codecademy is purely about teaching coding online, and at this area, it beats everyone hands down. Of course, one can always say that this is so because of its specialization, but one has to give it to Codecademy for offering this exclusive subject.
Lynda: Lynda is no longer Lynda. It just keeps the name, but is now owned by Microsoft, which gained this status because it bought LinkedIn, which had earlier brought Lynda for a tidy sum of $1.5 billion. The change in ownership has made little difference to Lynda, and this continues to remain in the list of top sites for online education.