Whether you are a student, already in the workforce or retired, you will always benefit from continuous learning. Lifelong learning is the best way to keep on growing both mentally and spiritually. It can also help in several ways such as: improving your health, improving your relationships with others, gaining further insights on how a tool works, getting a job promotion, getting a job, and so on. Just like Brian Tracy stated in his article continuous learning will give you the opportunity to gain a “competitive advantage”. Fortunately for us, we are lucky to have a wonderful resource of knowledge thanks to the internet, which provides free online learning tools. In this article, I will share with you several platforms you can use to improve your skills and gain knowledge for free …
Coursera is one of the most famous MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course). It is an education organization headquartered in California, US. It was founded by Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller which are both professors at Stanford University. They partner with universities and schools all around the world to provide those online courses. As of January 2016, there are more than 1,500 courses from 28 countries on Coursera.
Coursera offers a wide range of specialities: Marketing, Management, Biology, Nutrition, Leadership, Environment, Physics, Maths, Psychology, etc. If you would like to earn a certificate or online degree, you will have to pay a certain amount. If you only want to enjoy the courses, most of them are free. Another great additional feature is that If you are commuting to work by bus, subway or taxi, you can download their app which is available for free on Itunes and Google Play.
I actually took a course on Coursera and earned a certificate from McGill University (Canadian University) in health and nutrition back in 2014. It was a great way for me to gain more knowledge about a subject I love from specialised experts.
EDX is, in contrary to Coursera, a non-profit organisation which offers free and paid courses online. It is a MOOC created by the MIT and Harvard university in 2012. There are now more than 7 million students and 700 courses on the platform. They also collaborate with universities and offer a variety of courses on Business, Health, Maths, Finance, etc.
It is less known that EDX and Coursera, but has more than 7 million users. It was created in Ireland by Mike Feerik, a social entrepreneur in 2007. Their “motto” is: “A new world of certified learning”. They offer free courses in different areas such as Change management, Six sigma, Banking, IT skills, languages and even Yoga! You can register with your google+ account or any other social media account.
4: Free podcasts
Do you have to take the subway for one hour? Do you like to listen to the radio while cooking or doing your laundry? If that is the case, listening to podcasts will not only entertain you, it will also help you to expand your knowledge. There are many free podcasts online delivered by a diversity of field experts. I personally enjoy :
- Harvard Business School Idea cast
- The Tim Ferris Show
You can even find podcasts dedicated to Youtube creators, entrepreneurs, etc.
5: Online magazines
If you enjoy reading magazines about Psychology, Science or any other subject, a webzine published by a trusted institution is the best way to go to learn new things about an industry or field. There are several webzines out there, but I think that the best and actually most famous ones are :
- Forbes Magazine
- Fast Company
- The Economics
- Harvard Business Review (mostly best-seller authors)
- Science of Us
6: Expert blogs – Email courses
One way to gain even more valuable insights from your favorite bloggers is by subscribing to their email list. Most of them offer a free email course spanning across 7 days or even 40 days to give you tips about their field of expertise. The one I took were to learn languages efficiently, learn Chinese, learning how to doodle (40 days course ! ), health related and so on.
Here a few of my favorites email courses:
My favorite blogs:
- Seth Godin (not an email course – but very interesting blog posts sent straight to my email box :D)
- Dr. Josh Axe
- Jeroen De Flander
- Brian Tracy
- Every Vowel (especially the cartoons)
7: Free webinars
Lately, I have been delving into listening to more and more webinars about different subjects such as career advice, finding a job, and health and nutrition.
These webinars are usually offered by bloggers and specialists who would like to present their business to potential customers while providing valuable advice.
The last ones I really enjoyed among others were from:
8: Youtube channels
YouTube, the google owned video platform is a great tool to learn for free by watching videos. Many YouTubers are also entrepreneurs who own their own business. Some are even schools (such as the School of life) and big institutions (Ted talk).
- If you are an aspiring entrepreneur or want to know more about how to have a job you love : Marie Forleo
- If you want to improve your health: Dr. Josh Axe
- Want to get better at communication and body language ? Vanessa Van Edwards
- Get more advice about life : The School of Life
- Learn about wonderful though leaders all around the world about different subjects : TED Talks
Hope this list provides enough resources for you to expand your knowledge and enjoy continuous learning.