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The best online learning platforms: Homeschool and learn new skills

There’s never been a better time to learn something new and exciting. While once upon a time, online learning platforms were considered inferior to conventional learning, this isn’t the case anymore. There are plenty of great ways to study from home via your laptop or tablet, learning interesting new things that can improve your career prospects or simply enrich your life in some way. They are a great way to supplement your child’s learning in an engaging way, too. But with so many different options out there, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin so we’ve taken a look at some of the most popular and best online learning platforms available right now and pinpointed exactly why they’re so great. Read on to improve your life immeasurably.

ABCmouse

ABC Mouse

ABCmouse is a fantastic resource for children aged between 2 and 8. A colorful website from start to finish, it offers over 850 lessons and more than 9,000 individual learning activities for your youngsters. Through the system, your child can improve all their key skills. A reading curriculum offers more than 450 books for a variety of different ages with lessons on sentence structures, the different parts of speech, rhyming words, word families, along with phonics, and uppercase and lowercase letter recognition.

Alongside that is the math curriculum which works its way up from teaching kids how to recognize and count numbers from 1 to 120, along with addition, subtraction, and how to measure lengths, time, and money. There’s also a science curriculum that checks out the body, health, plants, animals, weather, and then moves onto social studies with the regions of the United States, the solar system, and more. Finally, there’s an art curriculum that explains all about primary and secondary colors while making it fun for kids.

ABCmouse is an ideal learning platform for children under 8 years old who love to have fun while they study. It’s particularly great for homeschooling purposes and relatively inexpensive with an annual subscription costing $60 right now.

Coursera

antonioguillem/123RF / Coursera

If you’re looking for a series of courses that are conducted in collaboration with many leading universities and companies, then Coursera is a great bet. Coursera offers the flexibility to learn a little or a lot about just about everything. You can choose to sign up for individual modules if you simply want to brush up your knowledge in certain skills. For instance, you can take a short guided course in Python and other programming languages, or you can study up on business skills or arts and humanities skills. Some of these courses are free too, making it a no-risk proposition that’s sure to help.

Alternatively, Coursera also enables you to sign up to a full degree course online with a well-known University or educational institution. While the degrees certainly aren’t cheap, it’s the ideal opportunity to enjoy a full degree’s worth of studying all from the comfort of your home. Currently, degrees in computer science, electrical engineering, and much more are available through the platform. Coursera is perfect if you’re keen to make your resume look more impressive than ever before.

Join Coursera

Khan Academy

Khan Academy Kids App
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Khan Academy prides itself on being created by experts, offering a library of trusted practice and lessons which cover a wealth of different subjects. It’s also entirely free, although right now, it is accepting donations due to a rise in the number of people using its services. Its thinking is that it helps fill in the gaps you may have from conventional studying with courses that work for any age from 1st-grade learning right up to college level of study.

Courses include extensive Math syllabi for every age range, science courses for every ability, along with computing, economics, and more. Arts and humanities are also catered for here with AP history courses and even life-skill modules for those trying to understand how to juggle their personal finances or in need of career advice. It’s a well-rounded learning platform that’s best for anyone who feels like they’ve missed out on a key component of learning, and it’s even more appealing as it’s free.

Join Khan Academy

Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone on smart phone
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Consistently a well-regarded learning platform for those keen to study a new language, Rosetta Stone approaches language learning differently than other options out there. That’s because it actually prepares you for real-world conversations rather than simply teaching you the individual words and lacking the key nuances involved.

Focused squarely on speaking the language rather than reading or writing, Rosetta Stone uses its TruAccent speech engine to help you fine-tune your pronunciation and accent so native speakers will actually know what you’re saying. It’s perfect for when you want to travel to new lands and actually feel immersed in the culture rather than stumble through the words. With downloadable lessons, a phrasebook, and an audio companion, there’s no better way to learn a new language than through Rosetta Stone. There’s a 3-day free trial to get you started.

Skillshare

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Many online learning platforms focus on science or engineering-based subjects. Skillshare is different from those in that it focuses on more creative parts of learning. It offers plenty of courses on a range of subjects like animation, creative writing, film and video, fine art, graphic design, photography, and much more. Whether you want to learn how to compose music or how to animate the next big thing, there’s a class for you.

Skillshare also has a diverse group of teachers. You learn via watching videos made by people who have experience in the relevant field potentially giving you some insight that only comes from first-hand experience. That does mean that the courses here aren’t accredited in any way but if you simply want to learn about something new, Skillshare is a fantastic resource. It’s possible to enjoy a lot of it entirely for free too. If you simply want to embrace your creative side, this is the platform to go for.

Join Skillshare

Udacity

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Udacity has a strong reputation for providing industry-leading programs that are recognized by some of the biggest names in the world including Google, IBM, and AT&T. As you can guess from those companies, Udacity focuses on the sciences, computing, and business.

It has extensive programming and development courses covering subjects as varied as data structures and algorithms to blockchain development and C++ coding. A series of artificial intelligence modules ties in perfectly with a lot of what you learn here, getting quite complex as you progress. Cloud computing and data sciences also feature, ensuring a rich and well-rounded set of courses that are perfect for those keen to get involved with tech companies. Udacity isn’t cheap and you really need to be able to devote a lot of time to some of the courses to get the most from it, but if you want to upgrade your technical resume, this is a fantastic resource.

Udemy

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Udemy is the online learning platform to choose if you don’t entirely know what you want to study but you know you want to learn a lot. It offers the world’s largest selection of courses with over 100,000 online video courses with new ones published every month. Each course is well priced so you can easily dip into learning something new regularly if you want.

There are courses on business fundamentals along with insightful courses on how to master Adobe Photoshop, learn to code, or even how to draw well. There are also courses on how to learn to market properly, master SEO, or simply work on your personal development via management skill courses or time management studies. If you want to learn something new, Udemy is an appealing place to browse and discover something exciting about yourself.

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Jennifer Allen
Jennifer Allen is a technology writer with over 10 years of experience. She primarily writes about the best deals coverage…
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