Eight Best Websites to Learn Incredibly Useful New Skills

The newest avatar of education, online education, is certainly here to stay. When the online medium shows no sign of slowing down, and its uses can only go on getting expanded, it is but natural to feel that this medium is not going to die anytime soon. In, fact, on the contrary, one can expect online education to burgeon in the years to come. It may be prone to its pushes and pulls, and ups and downs like any other industry, but there is no wishing it away.

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Why would one want to do that, when this medium has a global reach, and can bring more and more people from the remotest corners of the world into the learning mainstream? Online courses imparted through the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) platform are doing wonders to education all over the world. There is enormous spread, interest, growth and investment going on in this area, simply because the market is enormous, and its reach is spread out to almost every part of the world and is not restricted to pockets. All these factors make online education a tempting proposition to work on for everyone concerned: learners, teaching experts, investors, employees, and other stakeholders.

Online certification courses are one thing; new skills are another

Online courses that impart learning or knowledge of a certain industry or area of learning and prepare learners for a career with a supplemental certification are one thing, but are there courses that offer specific learning of life skills? This is not the same as augmenting your existing qualifications or knowledge, but giving you completely new skills. For example, let us say you are an engineer, and you want to add a narrowed down learning to your profile, say Java programming. There are enough platforms that offer these kinds of courses.

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But what we are referring to here are websites which teach you incredibly useful new skills. We are talking about skills that may have nothing to do with your professional profile, and are standalone learnings that help you acquire new life skills with which you can make a new career or grow in the profession you already are in. We have made a list of best websites to learn incredibly useful new skills that may not be amongst the lengthiest, but ones that we believe are going to help you choose a new skill that could be of use to you in your life, as well as in your career:

Codecademy: Coding is certainly a skill as well as a qualification. So, learning coding is a life skill for sure. Codecademy easily figures among our selection of best websites to learn incredibly useful new skills, as it offers learning almost exclusively on all aspects of coding, a skill that is complete in itself, or can be used as a supplement to your existing knowledge and skillset.

Duolingo: Duolingo has a brand name that quite suggests what to expect from this learning platform. It is a platform that teaches you new language skills. New language skills are never going to become redundant in this globalized world. We still don’t have a universal language, even if the current language we are reading is a top contender for this post. It is going to be a while before we can see that happening. Till then, Duolingo is a great website to have for learning a new life-skill.

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Simpliv: We chose Simpliv simply because this online platform for video libraries has courses for just everyone on this planet. In fact, it is distinguished from other platforms for this important reason, as it wants to destroy the barriers to education, be it race, religion, location or financial. It finds a mention in our selection of eight best websites to learn incredibly useful new skills because it has plenty on offer when it comes to courses that offer life skills. Life skill courses that you can learn include psychotherapy, yoga, painting, art therapy, acupuncture, Java programing, and lots more.

Babbel: Babbel finds mention in our list of eight best websites to learn incredibly useful new skills list because it is a website meant for language learning. One can master many languages with Babbel’s website. These languages are varied and are at various levels. Babbel is a platform that has made quite a name, having completed a decade of existence early in 2018.

Udemy: In which list on education does Udemy not appear? It makes it to our pick of best websites to learn incredibly useful new skills because its courses are not restricted to the technical ones. It has courses on topics such as photography, which can be a life skill for many people, who can take off on a career with this skill. Udemy has courses in almost every faculty of human knowledge, and that is saying a lot about it.

Skillshare: Skillshare is another website whose mention will not lead you to ask why we have chosen it in our best websites to learn incredibly useful new skills. Here is a platform for sharing skills with a difference. Like Wikipedia, whose content anyone can edit, so long as the right things are done and done right; with Skillshare, you can create courses for anyone who wants to learn. Life skills such as SEO, 3D printing, online store setup and lots more come to life on Skillshare.

Udacity: Udacity has a funny association for learning: it wants to teach learning to anyone who has the audacity to learn! Well, we don’t know if one needs this quality to push oneself into learning, but Udacity has courses that offer life skills, such as physical therapy, Java programming, yoga and so on. Udacity has a wide assortment of courses that can teach you life skills, using which you can make a living.

Treehouse: Treehouse teaches you everything that you may call life skills. Treehouse figures in our list of eight best websites to learn incredibly useful new skills because it teaches you important present-day skills such as how to build an app for a particular purpose, how to design a website, and how to write effective marketing content.

 

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Best Websites for Free/Paid Online Courses

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Online courses are catching up in a big way globally. An offshoot of the technological developments brought about by the Internet; the rise in popularity of this medium of education is not really surprising, considering the features these online courses come with:

They are incredibly easy to find and affordable to enroll for

The spread and reach of courses offered by the online platforms through the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) mode is enormous and is set to grow. It is like having access to hundreds of courses from a university right at one’s fingertips

Most courses are certified. This lends a touch of credibility to these courses

Many online courses are taught by university professors since many MOOC platforms collaborate with universities for creating their curricula and teaching them.

These being some of the advantages of these online courses, the next question that comes to one’s mind is: which are the best websites for free/paid online courses? This question is natural for two reasons:

One, as soon as one gets some idea about this medium of learning, it is but natural to find out if one can enroll for the best online platforms

Two, many of these platforms offer courses free. While these courses may not be certified, they are from the same platform nevertheless, and enrolling for even these free courses comes with its value.

A look at the best websites for free or paid online courses

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So, which are the best websites for free/paid online courses? We suggest the following for your reference, which we believe will facilitate your decision-making in enrolling for these courses:

Udemy: Udemy is what one may call the grandsire of online course platforms. It easily makes its entry into any list of the best websites for free/paid online courses, because its spread of courses and the quality of its training are simply superior, making it the numero uno among platforms that offer free or paid online courses.

Codecademy: Like other platforms for learning, Codecademy is also a reputed one, albeit in only the area of coding. Codecademy is fine with this specialization, which places it among the top list of best websites for free/paid online courses. Some of its free courses are pretty valuable, especially for someone who has just entered the coding profession and wants to know more. This is good marketing sense, one may say, but it certainly helps the learner in not only gaining elementary knowledge but in also deciding if making a career in coding is going to be her cup of tea.

Coursera: Well, asking if a learner has heard about Coursera is a bit like asking if a film buff has heard about Hollywood. Coursera needs no introduction to any learner serious about taking up a course in any area of her liking. Coursera’s free courses are also quite fine and serve a specific purpose to the learner. The reasons for its popularity: the quality and expanse of its courses, its credibility, the certifications which give its courses value, and its being tagged with top universities.

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Simpliv: Simpliv has an impressive collection of courses in just about any area of learning one is interested in: psychotherapy, acupuncture, public speaking, yoga, Java programming, handling depression, to name just a few. What sets it apart and gives it the qualification to be included in our list of best websites for free/paid online courses is not only that its courses are of relevance and value; its mission is laudable. Simpliv wants to expand the concept of taking education not just to the masses and wants to make sure simply anyone who wants to learn should be able to.

Khan Academy: Khan Academy has been at the forefront of online education, and if it is not included in the list of best websites for free/paid online courses, then the writer must either be burning with prejudice or should be completely ignorant of the market about which she is writing! Khan Academy in a sense is the pioneer in offering valuable free online courses. It’s being a nonprofit organization makes it so. So, no matter which platform one wants to include or exclude in the list of best websites for free/paid online courses; one can simply never overlook Khan Academy.

 

Top Sites for Online Education

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.

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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?

Fluid criteria

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.

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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.

 

5 Best Online Learning Platforms

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Online learning platforms, as is evident from the name, are a source in which the student can learn online, without having to go to a classroom. Doesn’t this sound like something totally off the beaten track, and isn’t this rather unusual? Is it possible to learn without having to get to where one learns? But then, that is what online learning platforms have enabled.

Online learning platforms offer courses that any learner, without the barriers of age, sex, or geography should be able to take up. This is the power of the Net. But wait, the day has not yet come where one doesn’t simply need to send one’s kids to school and see them graduate when they have reached their twenties. Online learning platforms are, at least at this point of time, not yet a medium that have replaced the traditional learning mode. That may yet take some more time to happen. As of now, online learning platforms are at best supplements to the physical, offline learning that is still very much the medium the world prefers for getting educated.

Online learning is sure to catch up in a big way

Considering the fast pace at which smartphones -one of the major mediums in which online learning is being imparted -is growing all over the world, and also taking into consideration other factors; online education is sure to see a very high growth pace over the next few years. These other factors include:

  • The credibility of the courses, since many universities have jumped on the bandwagon and are collaborating with online platforms to offer education that is tailored to the audience they have in mind

 

  • The authenticity of the courses, by which is meant the fact that most courses are certified, meaning that learners don’t necessarily take these courses up purely for academic interest, but also to gain practical knowledge of nearly the kind they would gain if they attended regular classroom courses.

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So, who are the top learning platforms in the market today? Which are the five best online learning platforms? We took a look at some of the prominent ones that have been gaining in popularity with the learning communities across the world, and this is what we feel like sharing with our readers:

Udemy: Undoubtedly, in terms of popularity, Udemy takes the cake. It is an indisputable fact that any learner who wants to go online for enrolling for almost any course will find Udemy at the top of mind recall. To state that its collection of courses is expansive is to make a real understatement. With thousands for courses and hundreds being added each month, and with tie-ups with well-known universities, Udemy tops our list of the five best online learning platforms.

Coursera: Another of the highly visible and recognizable platforms for online learning, Coursera is in our list of five best online learning platforms because, like Udemy, its collection of courses runs literally into the thousands. Coursera too is known for both the spread and the quality of its courses.

Simpliv: Simpliv is a Fremont, CA-based platform for online learning that makes it to our list of five best online learning platforms because it claims to carry a mission that extends to more than just being in business. It wants to take education to the remotest corners of the world and wants to make a difference into the lives of anyone who wants to learn anything. Its spread of courses is amazingly vast, and the learner is likely to find courses in any subject ranging from psychotherapy to management and from reiki to financial management.

WizIQ: WizIQ is a neat platform of online courses. Its interface is neat, and its courses are packed with the essentials needed for enhancing the learner’s knowledge or skill in an area of her choice. WizIQ offers a combination of free and paid courses. While its free courses are good enough, its paid courses offer real value for money.

Academy of Mine: Academy of Mine is a very interactive and fun-to-use platform that adds some zing into one’s learning experience. The learner can opt either for the academy course, which is a prepared text course, or the virtual classroom, where there is a teacher who teaches through a video. This choice can be a good one for those who want to either learn through the text mode or through the video classroom mode.

Best Platforms You Can Use to Host Your Online Courses

Best Platforms You Can Use to Host Your Online Courses

Are you one of those who has the skills or knowledge set that someone else could want to learn from? Always, where there is a teacher, there is a learner and vice versa. This much is true, but how do you find out where to locate your learners, and how do you reach out to them?

It is here that online learning platforms are of invaluable help in helping you reach out to an audience that you want to, but don’t have to resources to do so. With the explosion of the Net, tremendous opportunities have presented themselves. Online learning platforms stack video libraries with which they impart education via the Net to a global audience. It is with such platforms that you can upload your courses and start selling your courses, through them, to your select audience across the world.

Putting knowledge to good use

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But then of course, as with any such effort, it is important to understand how to frame and create your courses. Knowledge about a topic is great, but it also has to be structured and organized in a manner that it acceptable to these platforms. But don’t worry, each of these online video libraries has its own set of rules and methods by which it expects its courses to be shaped. They have guidelines that they will offer you at the start of the working relationship and expect you to adhere to them.

So, which are the best platforms you can use to host your online courses? From the past few years, there has been the advent of the learning model called Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC). The kind of changes this medium has been bringing about into teaching is nothing short of the phenomenal. The reach and breadth, and the innovativeness MOOC offers are all simply radical, to say the least. This has the potential to change the way people are going to learn in the future.

Let us take a peek into the best platforms you can use to host your online courses:

Coursera: One of the most prominent names among the best platforms you can use to host your online courses; Coursera has a collection of thousands of courses, which brightens the chances of your courses being accepted by them for distribution. The payment system is pretty transparent, and there should be no hassles for signing up or getting used to its system of uploading and payments, with some practice.

Udemy: A platform with perhaps the most universal reach among the present top online video platforms; Udemy has a system by which it initially keeps half the fee every student pays for your courses. But then, this decreases over time, and there is a good bargain to be had as you work with them. Obviously, Udemy’s idea is to incentivize long-term teachers, and one cannot fault them for it.

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Simpliv: This Fremont, CA-based platform is a cause-driven platform. It wants to leverage technology to take education to simply everyone on this planet. Its target audience: the entire world. Doesn’t this fact place Simpliv among the best platforms you can use to host your online courses? It has targeted a very large market with no fillers such as geography, age, income and other such barriers. There is another reason to work with Simpliv: their working arrangement with their teaching partners is pretty flexible and transparent, in some cases assuring a 97% share in the revenue of the expert.

Lynda: Who would not like to work for a LinkedIn company? When LinkedIn brought Lynda for a total value of some $1.5 billion, it signaled the distance this company, which started off with an enthusiastic teacher and her husband, had traveled. Not that the fact of Lynda having now become a Microsoft property matter, but it doesn’t dilute the ease of the working arrangement with this company.

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WizIQ: An online video library that offers easy access and operability; WizIQ can qualify for a place among the best platforms you can use to host your online courses. Why? The scope and breadth of its collection of courses have been on the rise, and this means enough opportunities for experts.

Skillshare: Skillshare is another of the best platforms you can use to host your online courses. It has an expansive collection of courses that come in all near subjects and topics. As an expert, you can upload your courses on Skillshare and see the revenues coming by soon.

Top five online Python course platforms

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The defining hallmark of the Python program is its versatility, power and breadth of usage. Because of this, it can be used for a range of applications and in several languages, which include C. And, one of the highlights of this program is that it is object-oriented program, which allows the programmer or coder the freedom from worrying about the language. In being built to think like humans, Python can handle syntax and other commands without a whimper.

So, where does Python find usage? Today, the social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and many others, which are part of the lives of billions of people across the world, are built on Python. It has the resilience to handle anything from simple texts to heavy videos, and this explains its connection with the social media.

There is another plus with Python: the extremely vast stack of libraries it has. Any user can use this stack to install on any system.

The real good online Python platforms

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So, what do you do if you want to take up a course in Python programming? Simple: look out for platforms that offer this. This should appear simple, but how do you choose an appropriate platform? Online trainings are a good choice because these courses are easy to access, are very inexpensive, are taught by acclaimed experts, can be learnt at your own pace and location, and what is more; they are certified.

The next step to take is to decide which online platform to choose from. If you want to scour the www, we can assure you one thing: you’ll end up wracking your brains, because you are likely to find literally hundreds of courses. So, make your choice simpler, we have made a list of just five of these best platforms that offer training in Python. Take a look:

Coursera: Why not start with the platform that almost anyone who decides to take up online learning has heard about? One of the most popular online learning platforms; Coursera is every bit designed for the vast student community, millions of which it caters to. The biggest advantage you get by enrolling in Coursera’s Python development program is that you learn courses that are designed by professors from some of the most reputable universities.

Udemy: Neck and neck with Coursera in a number of important aspects is Udemy. Udemy has a really massive collection of courses, too. One of the big things about Udemy is that its courses are whetted by being peer-reviewed. This gives it terrific credibility. There is a really expansive bouquet of courses to choose from.

Simpliv: Simpliv should be treated as another reliable and valuable platform mainly because of the spread of courses it brings, and its intent. It has courses on almost any topic that comes to mind, with Python being just one of these. And then, it wants to take education to the deepest and remotest corners of the world. Its Python program courses are taught by a panel of well-heeled experts.

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Pluralsight: This is the platform to choose if you are looking for no frills, no big interactivity, and or no colorfulness. What is wrong with having a bland platform such as this, you might ask. None, we would say, except that it is just this kind of presentation that is best suited for the Python kind of courses. Pluralsight has left all the excitement and interactivity to its courses on topics that warrant these features. When it comes to Python, the site is very focused and staid. It comes with forums and plans, which is a great thing to have in a medium in which there are no deadlines or supervision.

SimpliLearn: A platform that has been growing in popularity; SimpliLearn has a cool collection of Python courses. It has dozens of them, in fact. The highpoint among its collection of Python courses is the comprehensive suite it has for this language, which contains all the features of Python, and also has Django and other learnings.

 

Top 5 Amazing e-Learning Websites That Offer Valuable Alternative Mediums of Education

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Technology…well, which area of human life has it not changed? People who have no idea of how a mobile phone works use smartphones for everything ranging from choosing the best weather conditions for harvesting and finding the nearest market for the grains they have grown to knowing exactly where their children’s school bus is located at any point of its journey. Given the multitude of ways in which technology has pervaded our lives, does it surprise that this tool should also become a force to reckon with in the education industry?

Education is such a huge and heterogeneous market that trying to make an estimate of it is something like asking how much cotton the world grows. One may produce figures, but making sense of these figures requires some element of discernment. The sheer variety and nature of educational systems around the world baffle the mind. Given this humungous diversity of the spread of education globally, it is not surprising that technology should make sharp inroads into this field.

Enter, the idea of MOOC

The infusion of technology into education has led to the birth of what is called MOOC -short for Massive Open Online Courses. The name is pretty much suggestive of what this means. Like every other offshoot of technology; MOOC too, brings its share of pluses and minuses. But then, as in the case of most other such developments, its benefits clearly outweigh its drawbacks. To start on the benefits side, the whole rigidity surrounding traditional education can be broken with online education. Governments and private educational institutions can save massive amounts of money that they put on making education possible, in the form of buildings, maintenance, expenses on administration, etc.

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The biggest thing with MOOC is that reputed universities have jumped on the bandwagon, which means that someone in a remote village of Africa can learn a course structured and taught by some University of the reputation of Yale or Stanford! Of course, we are still not yet there, but this scenario is a perfect possibility, given the extent to which technology is penetrating the remotest areas of the world.

One may argue that the discipline and standards associated with the present system of education may be lacking in online courses. While this point is very valid, one has to see how this can be overcome. There is enough reason to believe that the community of educators will join hands and come up with some kind of a viable solution to this problem at a not-so-distant point of time in the future.

Well, that brings us to the next question: if one has to take up online education, what should she look for? Which are the top online course platforms that offer relevant and high-quality education through this alternative medium? We have assembled here a small, but very pertinent list of five amazing e-learning websites that offer valuable alternative mediums of education:

Udemy: One wouldn’t be exaggerating if one said that today’s online education market is synonymous with Udemy. This is an online educational platform whose name just anyone who has heard of online education is likely to have heard.

Simpliv: Simpliv has a lofty goal-that of bringing education to simply anyone and everyone who wants to learn. Its objective is to remove the elitism out of education and offer any course that anyone wants to learn in her areas of interest.

Coursera: Coursera is another solid name to reckon with in the area of online education. Its spread of courses is simply amazingly vast. One is not likely to miss any course on any topic of one’s interest.

Khan Academy: Another name for reliable and high-quality online courses, Khan Academy is known more for the enormous collection of its free courses.

Academic Earth: This is one of those rare learning platforms, and is chosen to complete our list of five amazing e-learning websites that offer valuable alternative mediums of education simply because it wants to take education to the most disadvantaged sections of the world’s population. This aim is certainly laudable, and if it succeeds, this online platform would have made quite a difference to the world of education.