Remember the time when you bought that DSLR? After the initial enthusiasm of getting it out of the box and showing it off to your friends, your will to learn how it works wore off quickly enough as you just didn’t want to take those boring evening classes. Now the camera lies dusty and neglected in the corner of your cupboard, containing just a couple of holiday pictures of you and your family.
The same holds true for your chef’s hat and apron, the moldy books of French and that rusty chessboard. But what if we told you that you don’t need a drooling old teacher to learn these skills? What if your smartphone could be your teacher and you could go from novice to pro in just a couple of weeks? Behold the 35 sites that teach you something new in the most fun-filled way possible!
Udacity has been developed by industry greats such as Facebook, Google, Cloudera, AT&T, and Salesforce, and it features several courses on various subjects. You can get ‘nanodegrees’ (as they term it) and become a data analyst, a web developer or even a mobile developer. The courses offered by Udacity while being top quality, are a little on the pricier side of the horizon. Each course will cost you $200 a month and will come loaded with features such as quizzes and video lectures that help you understand the subject better.
Coursera is aimed at teaching you all the courses you can get at a university, and you can take your pick from more than 1500 subjects. Subjects on offer include social sciences, business, math, humanity, biology, etc. The good thing about Coursera is that it is partners with 140 renowned universities and colleges from all over the world and provides quizzes and video lectures with the expert help of the faculty of these institutions. Plus, you get the support of other fellow learners and graded assessments of your work by your peers. However, for certain courses, you may have to dish out $400, while others will be free of cost. With the paid courses, though, you get a Certificate of Completion.
WikiHow is your go-to platform when you need how-to guides on just about anything under the sun. Whether you want to learn how to write an essay or need some expert study tips do well in your exams; from cat grooming tips to how to shampoo your hair the right way, wikiHow has it all.
Cody is a self-improvement tool that is determined to make you fitter and healthier. It makes use of a combination of technology and your physical movements to help achieve this purpose. Weight training and yoga are emphasized upon, and the tool also provides video lessons on meditation and weight-lifting. Paid plans are widely featured on this site, and users can take their pick from plans such as Power of Ceremony, Gymnastics Core Virtuosity or FitFlow, etc. for $39.99 each.
Woopid is for the tech-savvy geeks who love machines more than anything (even humans perhaps). On this site, beginners, as well as experts alike, can find all the info they need on how to fix their MacBooks, PCs or even get software applications running on their systems.
At Skillshare you get the opportunity to learn thousands of skills with help 2500+classes on different areas such as entrepreneurship, creative arts, lifestyle, technology and design. You get over 200 free classes but you have to pay for the rest of them, or you can even unlock all of them by being a member of the site and paying a fee of $10 a month. Users can also turn into teachers if they have relevant experience.
Spreeder is the perfect tool for students. It aims at increasing the speed of your reading so that you can skim through matter quicker and still retain the information you went through. Speed reading can help students save up a lot of time considering the tons of reference material and books they have to go through for their assignments.
Udemy has the largest repository of fun-filled courses, and you can pick your poison from among the 35000 courses they offer. They also have 19,000 instructors who teach the classes on these courses. The subjects on offer include technology, language, entrepreneurship, the arts, academics, music, fitness, and health. You can take your pick between free and paid courses, but that depends on the instructor you choose. These courses start from $29 and go up to $299.
9. Zen Habits
This is a blog you have to get on to if you want to improve yourself and increase your productivity. This stress-buster blog aims to reduce the chaos of daily life and offers amazing lessons on how to go about doing that every day. Zen Habits teaches you a new habit each day that can help you reduce the mess in your life so that you find happiness and peace.
Hackaday is perfect for those engineers and engineering enthusiasts who want to learn something new about the field but just don’t have enough minutes to spare on longish articles. What Hackaday does is it delivers bite-sized instructions on various hacks to its users. You can even upload your projects and post instructions on skills you’ve learned and share them with others.
Oddly named, Lynda is the oldest site of the lot with 20 years of providing educational content to its users. All of the video courses on this site have been prepared by leading professionals in their field, and you can learn how to design, become a developer, learn photography and even polish the soft skills you require for your business operation. Lynda offers you more than 4000 video-based courses that you can take from the comforts of your home. On Lynda, you get a 10-day free trial first, after which you need to pay $25 per month.
Here’s a site on which you can get access 1000+ videos on coding for the beginner as well as intermediate levels. By using their services, you get the chance to sharpen your web designing and developing skills. Treehouse offers you various tracks such as web design track or ruby web development track, which you can choose based on your interests. The courses at Treehouse start at $25 per month.
13. Academic Earth
If you wish to get an online degree from some of the most renowned universities in the world, Academic Earth is the site you must visit. You get original video courses on a variety of subjects such as marketing, accounts, business, finance, psychology and more. You can find universities like Walden University or Capella University offering their courses here. In fact, universities such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology offer 232 courses, Berkeley offers 64 and Stanford has 161 courses in its kitty. All courses over here are paid, though.
If you love literature and are ever hungry for some literary knowledge, you can check out LitLovers and its free courses. The courses are short (they take up only 30 minutes of your time), and the best thing is that whatever you’ve learned is not tested over here, so you have no pressure to perform. It’s just pure and simple fun!
The name is a giveaway, and at CreativeLive you get live broadcasts of a range of educational workshops on a variety of topics. Expect some unusual broadcasts on software, design, music, business, crafting, audio, and photography. You also get reading materials if you opt for their classes. You can either watch the free broadcasts or go for any of the 600 classes they offer by paying $100 or $200 for them.
Scitable is for the science geeks. Its free library can be used as a learning tool to understand the concepts behind evolution, genetics, and living organisms in general. You can use Scitable for your other interests too as apart from science; it even provides online reading material on various other subjects.
Learnist is not just confined to educational learning. You can even acquire new skills like understanding the basics of how to win a game or rustle up a scrumptious meal. This crowd-sourced site makes use of ‘learnboards,’ which feature a range of engaging content in the form of videos, texts, and images. And there’s so much to learn here! From art and craft and history to cooking and technology, you can find useful and never-seen-before information on your passions over here. The unique thing at Learnist is that fellow learners help each other by uploading how-to guides. However, you can get expert manuals if you’re willing to subscribe to premium boards for 99 cents.
18. 43 Folders
This website is different from the rest. At 43 Folders you don’t learn any new skills per se, but you do get inspiration to stick to your goals. Since acquiring a new skill is all about setting goals to achieve proficiency, 43 Folders keeps you motivated to stick to your goal and make it to the end. The primary focus of this site is on helping you to accomplish creative projects.
Curious will keep your curiosity to know about things alive with its bite-sized lessons. They have 20,000 lessons under their fold, each of them prepared by 1700 teachers. You can learn some pretty cool stuff here like baking a wedding cake or tying a camp knot. They have some memory exercises too to make your brain sharper than ever before. After a 30 day trial that doesn’t cost you a penny, you can subscribe to their lessons for $89.99 per year. Curious gives 70% of this fee to its team of teachers.
20. iTunes U
An excellent knowledge platform for all Apple users, at iTunes U tons of well-known universities, provide lectures on several exciting topics. The information comes straight from the professors of Yale, Stanford, and MIT. Science enthusiasts will love this tool as you can find articles on ecology, biology, astronomy, chemistry, geography and agriculture.
21. GMB Fitness
Love a particular activity in the gym? GMB Fitness will make you the best at it, no matter what it is. Once you subscribe for $995, you get unlimited access to this site’s library, its training plans, tutorials, and articles. GMB Fitness can assist you in improving your body control, flexibility and core strength.
22. American Sign Language Browser
While not an everyday skill that everyone needs, for those who like to assist people with special abilities can make use of this site. This site will offer you comprehensive lessons on sign language that make it easy to learn. The only drawback of this site is that you can only learn America-specific sign language.
You need to give this one a shot if you want to start your own business. Guides.co will teach you the basic steps of starting your business and attracting a loyal customer base. The guides provided here are very simple and follow the format of an instruction manual. There are interactive discussion forums as well where you can post your queries and get answers from experts. Besides, the content on this site is updated by the authors from time to time so that you get only the latest trivia. Most of the guides here are free, but for some, you have to cough-up up to 200$.
24. BBC Languages
This is an initiative of the BBC, and you can get make use of it to achieve fluency in over 35 languages. Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Greek, Chinese, etc. are some of the popular languages on offer. You can even get mini lessons if you don’t want to be an expert in these languages.
25. America’s Test Kitchen Cooking School
For all you aspiring master chefs, America’s Test Kitchen School is your key to knowing about the secrets food station. The culinary courses offered by this site come in 200 delicious varieties. Loads of delightful recipes are on offer, and you even learn how to use various instruments that are employed in cooking fancy food. There are two membership plans- one will cost you $19.95 a month, and the other is priced at $179.95 per year, and you get unlimited access if you opt for the yearly membership.
26. Khan Academy
Khan Academy is a non-profit website, which means you don’t have to spend a dime if you wish to learn something from them. However, you can donate them money so that they can provide quality education to anyone who has a thirst to learn. The common subjects are on offer, and you even get preparation material for entrance exams such as MCAT, SAT, and GMAT.
Another non-profit website, Code.org lives up to its name and aims at getting everyone interested in coding. Affiliated to Kahn Academy and Grock Learning, you can expect beginner level lessons that progressively advance so that you turn into an excellent coder.
If you have an artistic bent of mind and are always enthusiastic about creating beautiful objects out of scrap, give Craftsy a try. This site can teach you to make just about anything, from sewing your underwear to creating home décor items. Craftsy can very well turn you into a Martha Stewart.
This brilliant website and app presents the most enjoyable way of learning a new language. No longer will you be confused between Pulpa and Pulpo (Spanish for pulp and octopus in that order). You need to spend more than maximum 20 minutes of your time on their language lessons as each has been designed to be fun-filled activities.
428 lessons in total are offered by Drawspace that has been named as one of the respected educational sites of all time. 15% of these courses are free, and for the rest, you have to pay a nominal amount of $150 to get unlimited access to.
Don’t have enough time to spend hours each day on tediously long learning sessions? Have no fear; Highbrow is here. 56 courses that are free of cost, 10 lessons planned for each day, 5-minute sessions that barely take any of your time are the features of Highbrow.
The content you’ll find at Zitbits is not only educational but is also fascinating. Zidbit is your online fun-fact book, an encyclopedia of the truly bizarre to the totally helpful. You get answers to tons of science-based questions on this site.
33. Rouxbe Cooking School
Now this one is a little exclusive, and you have to be a member to reap the fruits of the culinary knowledge Rouxbe Cooking School provides. This site concentrates on providing you the intricate techniques behind each mouth-watering recipe. To become a member, you will have to shell out $299.95. There are other costs too such as monthly fee and certification programs, which cost more.
34. TED Ed
TED Talks has help thousands worldwide learn about things they didn’t even know existed, and TED Ed is just the same. Users upload answers to interesting questions on this site that are cross-checked for authenticity and accuracy.
The last one on this list, edX is the joint initiative of MIT and Harvard. Courses are mostly free of cost since it’s a non-profit organization, but if you want a certificate, you will have to pay $50.
In today’s competitive world, the use of these sites can provide you an edge above the rest. They not only get you closer to your passions and help you realize your dreams, but they guarantee you success and growth as well, as you keep on polishing your skills and expanding your knowledge skills.
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