Today, online educational platforms are gaining momentum as never before. And though COVID-19 pandemic has contributed greatly to this fact, there are other reasons, too. One of them is the modern idea that learning is a lifelong process and the more knowledge a person can absorb, the better.
Add to that the natural curiosity inherent in most humans, and the availability of all information on the Internet. You’ve got what it takes to make us a Wikipedia nation. There may be a lot that we don’t know, but we know we need to find it all out.
Every aspect of our lives seems to be moving online. So, if some students enter a “write my research papers” request in the search bar, don’t judge them hastily! They may have been actually doing their research but got sidetracked by the vast amount of information out there. Most probably, they even gained some knowledge in the process.
Still, there’s a more effective way to learn online than plain surfing. That is using educational platforms to obtain well-structured information that you’ll be able to use for your benefit afterward.
In this article, we’ll talk about some of the popular platforms suitable for practically everyone’s needs:
Read on to find out how you can use them to your benefit.
Coursera is one of the world’s most popular and largest MOOCs. It provides online courses from leading universities and colleges as well as from top companies like Google, IBM, and the like.
The courses are well-structured and come in different variations. You can choose a single course, a degree program, or a group of courses. The platform also offers certificates, and though their value is questionable for many, they can be useful in many cases.
Another advantage is that most courses on Coursera are still completely free. But not if you want to earn a certificate or a degree – in this case, you’ll have to pay.
This platform emerged in 2014 and became known to the public under the name MasterClass next year. It drew attention immediately due to its high-quality content and novel idea, although it never provided free courses.
MasterClass functions as a paid subscription platform and offers courses from leading experts in their respective fields. For example, there are programs from Neil Geiman, Hans Zimmer, Diane Von Furstenberg, and others. There are over 85 courses available. The catalog currently covers nine areas of knowledge, including music, writing, food, business, science & tech, and more.
TED is an American media organization that started as a conference on a narrow set of topics in 1984. Today, TED talks cover almost all areas of knowledge and are presented in more than 100 languages.
TED encompasses multiple programs and initiatives, from TEDx to TED Institute to the Audacious Project. For those willing to use it as an educational platform, TED offers a wide range of recordings known as TED Talks. The experts from various fields discuss sensitive and relevant topics of their choice.
Then, there’s also the TED-Ed project aimed primarily at students and teachers. It offers short, often animated, lessons on various important subjects. All videos are tagged to indicate the areas of knowledge that they are related to.
Officially, YouTube is an online video-sharing platform. Most people use it for entertainment purposes. Still, the significance of YouTube as a resource for self-education is hard to overestimate.
It won’t take anyone too long to find educational videos on any topic on YouTube, from tutorials on how to cook a meal for dinner to lectures on history, culture, science, or whatever.
A big advantage of YouTube is the fact that though all content is technically user-generated, there are also a lot of trustworthy verified channels. Those belong to educational organizations and well-known experts.
Wikipedia is where most of us go when we need information on practically any subject. And though it’s an online encyclopedia and not an educational platform, many people often try to use it as the latter. Still, it wasn’t meant to be used in such a way as there are no structured courses there.
Another thing that’s wrong with Wikipedia as a universal source of knowledge is the fact that its content is user-generated and requires double-checking. Still, there’s probably no better place than Wiki if you just need a general overview of a certain subject.
In this article, we’ve only listed a few of the most popular educational platforms or platforms that can be used as such – many more have been left out.
Every day hundreds of thousands of people discover online education as an engaging pastime with benefits. Some even consider it as an affordable alternative to traditional educational institutions.
Will it result in an overall better-educated society in the future? Only time will tell!
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