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Learn Online: More than 100 Sources – and Counting

I’m in the process of updating this post on places to learn online for free or at low cost, so if you have resources you would like to see added here – or updates/perspectives on the ones already listed – please be sure to comment or contact me.

I wrote the first version of this post more than a decade ago, when the options to learn online were starting to grow rapidly but were still nowhere near what they are now. We’re now at the point where, if you are a self-directed lifelong learner who wants access to online courses, the sky is pretty much the limit. There’s no way to capture everything that is out there, so this point it just intended as a good jumping off point for exploration.

Before you dive in, I always like to remind readers that courses – whether online or off – are far from the only way to learn. Indeed, they aren’t even the most common way we learn. Most learning comes just from living life. Still, courses are helpful, and you are bound to find sources for them here that are helpful to you personally.

To be clear, this is nowhere near a comprehensive list. There are who knows how many sites out there, and for the purposes of this post, I have confined myself to sites that offer relatively formalized free learning experiences and state this as their explicit purpose. Truth is, there is almost no place on the Web where you can’t learn something.

The list follows. Please let me know any major gaps you see – I plan to keep adding new sites over time. So, let me know any sites you think need to be listed here.

Jeff Cobb
Mission to Learn

Online Tutorials and How-to Sites

There are starting to be quite a lot of these sites and you have to wonder just how many can manage to stay in business. Still, I think a probable upside of all the competition will be an increase in expectations and the resulting quality of the offerings.

“Big Idea” and Debate Sites

These are places where you can see some of your favorite gurus being gurus and add your two cents.

Upskilling and Reskilling

Technically, pretty much any site listed here can be about upskilling and reskilling, but there are a growing number of sites that focus on these trends specifically. Here are some of the key ones:

MOOCs and Open Education

This list won’t come close to doing justice to what is going on out there in the world of open education, but suffice to say that between universities, NGOs, and foundation funded projects, there is practically nothing that you can’t learn online, and in many cases, take the underlying intellectual property and re-configure it to your own needs under an Creative Commons or other “copyleft” license.

Free CE,CME, and CEU

I could post another 100 links just in this area alone. It is tricky terrain though. You have to pay attention to the fine print that tells you things like when the availability of credit expires or whether just the course/article content and not the credit (or vice-versa) is free. Particularly in the health arena, most of the “free” CE tends to be sponsored by pharmaceutical companies and medical supply manufacturers–not necessarily a bad thing, but something to keep in mind. Health-related CE also tends to be some of the less-inspired learning out there–often, for instance, credit is attached to nothing more than a journal article.

Face-to-Face

Not all free learning happens online. There are also some great sites for finding learning opportunities in your city or town.

All of the above links are for destinations where a wide variety of topics are covered, but there are also any number of Web sites or YouTube videos covering a single topic or a handful of related topics. The list below is admittedly a fairly eclectic collection of examples.

Languages

Acquiring a new language or brushing up on one you learned back in school is among the most common pursuits for people who want to learn online.

See also our post on the best language learning apps.

Coding

Coding is (and has been) one of the hottest skill going and there are many people who believe that everyone should know how to code at least a little bit. Fortunately, there are plenty of sites where you can learn to code online. Many of the onese already listed above have online coding courses, but there are also site where coding is the sole (or main) focus.

Please be sure to comment and share your favorite sources for free learning.

Jeff

82 thoughts on “Learn Online: More than 100 Sources – and Counting”

  1. We just created a website with the largest directory of nursing ceus on the web. It’s called All Nurse CEUs, I think it would make a great addition to your list.

  2. Intiva Health offers free CME/CEU courses as well as a free credentialing management solution for medical professionals. intivahealth.com/free-ceus-for-nurses

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  4. Typing Tournament Online https://www.typingtournament.com is a new web service designed to teach children to type. It is suitable for use both at home and school and operates on Mac and PC computers, iPads and Surface and Android tablets. It is full of innovative features that combine to help children use the right fingers on the right keys and motivate them to learn. Uniquely it uses a bespoke on-screen keyboard to overcome the serious issues arising with the inbuilt soft keyboards on mobile devices. It uses a powerful combination of mastery learning, teaching sequences and games to motivate children to learn the vital skill of keyboarding. The fully featured school management system allows the importation of lists of children and has advanced reporting that put teachers in control. Typing Tournament Online is a truly revolutionary service that empowers children to learn the vital skill of 10 finger typing.

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  7. University of Oxford has launched its Great Writers Inspire Project website (writersinspire.org), which has Creative Commons essays, pictures, ebooks, and audio and video lectures from some of the great minds in literature studies.

  8. Hi – nice list Jeff – well done, must have taken some time.
    Can I just add https://www.freemoodle.org to the thread here – which provides completely free Moodle hosting for any courses that are free for others.
    It’s the only free Moodle hosting site that is backed by an official Moodle Partner.
    I got frustrated with so many ‘so-called’ Moodle hosting sites (that were usually just a ‘loss leader’ to selling services) and others that were just not professional, or disappeared overnight.
    Check-out FreeMoodle.org and read about why this is a very different approach, with unique aims.
    Stu 🙂

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  10. I am really glad that I am born in this generation where you can just look almost everything over the internet. Anyway, I admire the valuable information you offer in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and have my children check up here often. I am quite sure they will learn lots of new stuff here than anybody else!

  11. Well, this is new for me. Am glad to find something who sees what i see. Keep this just like its going. You are doing greate, and i´ll be reading always this blog.

  12. Excellent Opportunity to Study

    Thoughts that arise from the blending of original self-knowledge and other forms of consequent experiential knowledge provide the motives to take action to realize them in external tangible form. This is why the best of human thinking begins and ends with how to manifest one’s uniqueness in the world. When you realize the beautiful vision of your heart, of your true Self, you will rise to manifest the greatness of your dominant thoughts in all of your actions……….

  13. Hello,

    The Internet is currently providing many useful resources for us to learn.
    And some of them imply new methods, other than the traditional ones.
    Focusing on learning languages I would like to tell you about a site which is not a source of knowledge in itself but a link or way to get it, to approach it.
    No matter what language you are interested in, you will be able to find a native speaker of that language in this website.
    Just search for a language partner who suits your preferences, regarding the way you would like to pratice with your partner.

    I hope you like it, and it helps you a little bit to learn your favorite/s language/s.

    This is the address: https://www.sharinglanguage.com,

    best regards and good luck!

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  16. I strongly agree with the idea of the author in saying that its really difficult for most of our parents to find time for leisure such as reading books and other activities. However, doing this for sometime once you will will help you enhance your capacity to handle or communicate with your kids. Reading books that will advise you on how to approach or manage your children nowadays is really great. There are lots of books which will give you tips so that you can easily guide and go with your kids characters. As today’s new generation is totally different from the past. Through the rapid development of technology, most of the children nowadays are well exposed to computers and latest gadgets. For you to go with their trend and still supervise what they are doing you must also spend time for or enroll yourself in the offered courses online.

  17. This website can serve learners a lot. People can go to more than 100 Free Places to Learn Online. That means, this site alone is enough to serve 100 types of learners.

    And if anyone need to learn Mandarin Chinese, I can help to learn perfectly that language.

  18. I found many further and higher institutions offering free courseware. It is good of course, the bad thing is they do not grand you credit or certification, so you have nothing to put on CV. After long MONTHS! of research i found one further and higher education institution,that was granting certification upon successful assessment or exam from open courses. They do care about students are highly supportive staff and extremely active online community (im studying with them for my diploma now:P ) i found them by accident on one of free courses site, where they were posted as top partners and for small fee cant remember i think it was 20Euro that i paid for assessment they processed that final examination/assessment and after my successful completion awarded me certificate from their institution. I love them! their website is eden-institute.eu for some reason it is down 🙁 , probably upgrading or something , but as i can access my online area 🙂 id say its just upgrade or minor work, so check them out,i cant find that open courseware site that is associated with them,but i can guarantee that if you will write the institute they will assist you, cause their staff are great!

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  20. Cool.

    Here is another site you may want to consider. Its https://www.BridgeSA.net

    Its unique in the sense that the free resources it links you to are more interactive types – audios, TV programs, radios, readers, music, etc.

  21. Excellent Opportunity to Study

    Thoughts that arise from the blending of original self-knowledge and other forms of consequent experiential knowledge provide the motives to take action to realize them in external tangible form. This is why the best of human thinking begins and ends with how to manifest one’s uniqueness in the world. When you realize the beautiful vision of your heart, of your true Self, you will rise to manifest the greatness of your dominant thoughts in all of your actions……….

    http://www.sangambayard-c-m.com

  22. Hi Jeff! Magoosh is a new GMAT Prepoffering made by UC Berkeley students and GMAT veterans/experts. Our goal is to make high quality GMAT available to all by providing a high quality service at a low cost. On Magoosh you can answer 80 questions for free and get detailed explanations and analytics on your strengths and weaknesses. We hope this will help all who are studying for the GMAT!

    Hansoo Lee
    Co-founder, Magoosh.com

  23. Hi everybody;

    Please find below an excellent link to online free course on “First-Aid”:

    https://www.ambulance.net.au/onlinecourse/enrolled_courses_content.asp#

    I found it very useful.

    It basically provide basic information on life saving in the time of emergency. I recommend it by saying that this course is a MUST for the purpose of life saving.

    By the way successful completion of this course leads to a beautiful printable certificate.

    Best of luck and stay safe!

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  27. That’s certainly a well-organized list of resources with a great variety. I’d also like to add one to the Language category.
    http://www.italki.com (T,I) – Practice any language with global language exchange
    Thanks!

  28. I browsed some of the sites from this list and found that there are valuable resource materials here for learning and teaching.

    It is so hard not to be overloaded with information. It takes time to look for the one online education site that will provide the specific area where one is interested

    Thank you for providing a good and reliable list.

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  38. Jeff,

    What an amazing resource! – And yes, the trick is to figure out ways for users to easily discover and recommend all this content. I think aggregation and ‘digg’ style submission systems provide ways for users to recommend their favorites. Sites like the following, but with an education/learning focus, might provide a valuable way to find what’s relevant to the user:
    https://www.newsvine.com/
    https://www.nowpublic.com/

    I’ve been spending a lot of time exploring these issues and concepts in the world of Drupal (https://drupal.org/). As both a web framework and rapidly growing community, there’s a lot of exploration in development, and the business models around open collaboration and learning.

    Here’s a little resource page I constructed awhile ago:
    https://wiki.pepperalleyproductions.com/Learning_and_resources

    Enjoying the blog!

    Gus

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  40. Wayne–Thanks for dropping by. I’ll check out the WikiEducator offering and encourage others to do so as well.

    Ian–Yes, I completely agree. This is a pale shadow, the smallest fraction of what is actually out there–which is most of the point of even undertaking this exercise. The old mantra is that information wants to be free. Learning seems to have the same inclination.

    Thanks, Patricia–Heading off to the directory right now!

    Jeff

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  45. Wayne here from WikiEducator at the Commonwealth of Learning — a non-profit intergovernmental agency.

    Wow that’s an impressive resource! Just a quick note — if any readers are interested in free wiki skills training — WikiEducator is running a series free training workshops under the Learning4Content project.

    Folk register online:

    https://wikieducator.org/Learning4Content

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