Apr 10th, 2018, 12:40 PM

Education Online

By Valeriia Serova
Image Credit: Pixabay/ User27707
“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.” ― Isaac Asimov

Are you a student with a double major who barely has time to sleep? Do you like to be around people and try to attend every single party? Or do you find yourself on the plane more often than anywhere else? When every minute counts, online learning does not only save you time but makes your university experience better. We no longer need to go to the library to get a book; lectures become available on the internet with exams being moved from on paper to the web. The idea of self-education is getting more and more popular, especially among university students. Online learning has a lot of benefits, the most obvious of them being the ability to adjust the schedule to your lifestyle. Let’s take a look at the three platforms for self-education that have an impressive range of lectures and master classes. Plan a class schedule and remember: "Live and learn."

1. Lynda.com 

"Learn a new skill online, on your time."





Image Credit: Web/Rotorua Library

Description: singular lectures and full courses in programming, web design, 3D graphics, animation, photography, audio and video recording, business, education.

Languages: English, German, French, Spanish.

Subscription: paid/required

Lynda.com is a veteran in the online education industry. It was founded in 1995 by multimedia specialist Lynda Weinman and artist Bruce Heavin as a resource for their books and other educational materials. Today around four million people use Lynda.com in order to master new knowledge and obtain professional skills. Most courses are aimed at acquiring specific skills in the development of computer programs and their use. Video lectures and manuals are offered as well. Lynda.com helped me to study different Adobe programs such as InDesign, a useful skill to have up your sleeve and on your CV. By the end of the course, the user must learn to perform a specific task. In addition to general information, the course often allows lecturers to share personal experience and opinions despite being so distant from the student. Moreover, since AUP has a deal with Lynda.com all students are granted free access to the website. All you need to do is to login with your university account information.

2. Coursera

"Take the world's best courses, online."





Image Credit: Web/Ethan Partners

Description: university programs in the format of online courses with video lectures, teaching aids, exercises for independent work, reviews, tests and final exams. 

Languages: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Hebrew and some others. Subtitles in different languages created by users of the resource.

Subscription: free, optional payment for completion certificate 

Coursera is perhaps the most recognizable and credible project in the entire online education sphere. Created in 2012 by the professors of computer science at Stanford University, it has already gained the attention of nearly 16 million users. This educational technology company has online courses from the world's leading universities with a broad selection of topics. Personally, I find that the wide range of courses from some of the most prestigious universities enables everyone to get their desired level of education no matter where they are, who they are, and what they are studying. 

3. EdX

"Advance Your Career. Improve Your Life."








Image Credit: Web/The Harvard Gazette

Description: 140+ online courses from MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, Georgetown, Rice and Kyoto University. Subjects: computer science, biology, chemistry, mathematics, history, law, literature, economics and many others.

Languages: English

Subscription: free, optional payment for completion certificate

Edx was the very first educational platform that came to my attention due to its easy access and large collection of certified online courses. It is a nonprofit organization, a result of a joint collaboration between Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard University and Berkeley University in 2012. By mid-2015, the site counted for over 60 partners including Stanford University, Microsoft, and University of Arizona. This platform offers a large number of programs and courses from various prestigious universities. The most distinctive feature of the EdX service lies in the fact that each class, lesson or program is far more demanding compared to the other online training courses. Therefore, in order to receive a certificate of the successful completion of the course, you need to be able to demonstrate an outstanding level of knowledge obtained during the program.

Education is an essential process and should be easily accessible to everyone, everywhere and at any time. Such an approach guarantees considerable benefits in both career and personal life and helps to increase productivity, thus becoming more successful. Moreover, this way of learning is not just flexible and simple, it is also financially attractive and time-saving.