Top 7 online learning resources for kids and adults

Thanks to the internet, it has never been easier or cheaper to learn something new. Whatever you want to learn, there’s at least one online learning resource teaching it. Often, you’ll have dozens of courses to choose from.

The quality of the teaching has never been higher, either. Online education has greatly improved over the past 10 years, writes Kaplan University Partners president Brandon Busteed. Now, some online courses even outperform traditional ones.

That’s important since online education has been thrust into the spotlight because of the coronavirus pandemic, says Larry Dignan at ZDNet. Schools and universities are rushing to put online learning solutions in place. Not to mention all the people stuck at home with more time than ever to learn something new or improve their skill sets.

Whatever you want to learn, these online learning resources can help.

Pro Tip

For an insightful look into the future of higher education, explore “8 Top Trends in Higher Education to Watch in 2024” on Jotform’s blog.

Learn to code with Codecademy

Codecademy teaches you how to code for free. It’s one of the most well-known learn-to-code platforms, but it’s also one of the best. Aspiring programmers can choose from a dozen coding languages, covering areas like web development and data science.

The beauty of Codecademy is that you learn by doing. You’ll be writing code in the very first lesson. Instant feedback helps you learn faster, while real-world projects let you put theory into practice. So far, the platform has taught more than 45 million people to code. What’s stopping you from being next?

Anyone can start learning to code for free. Developers who want to speed up their learning can pay $19.99 a month for the Pro plan.

Study at leading institutions with Coursera

Coursera offers courses from the world’s elite institutions, including Yale, Stanford, and Imperial College London. Currently, almost 4,000 courses are available, along with 13 professional certifications and more than 20 degrees and certificates.

Whatever you choose to learn, you’ll be able to learn from anywhere in the world at your own pace. Each free course is taught by a leading instructor through an on-demand lecture series. If you want to take your learning further, paid courses include interactive quizzes and hands-on projects.

It’s free to start learning with Coursera. Degree and certificate programs are priced individually; there’s also a Coursera Plus plan that provides unlimited access to certain courses.

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Learn a language with Duolingo

Duolingo is probably the best-known language learning app on the planet. The free-forever app helps kids and adults learn any of the world’s most spoken languages, as well as fictional favorites like Dothraki.

The app uses gamification features like instant feedback, rewards, and streaks to encourage and improve learning. These are both effective and addictive, so don’t be surprised if you become obsessed with keeping your streak going.

Duolingo provides an ad-free Plus version for $6.99 per month, as well as a free podcast and a free flashcards app, Tinycards.

Become a better marketer with HubSpot Academy

HubSpot Academy is an inbound marketing-focused online learning resource. It provides a range of free courses and comprehensive certifications to help marketers take their skills and their careers to the next level.

Free courses cover everything related to inbound marketing, including content marketing, inbound sales, SEO, and social media marketing. There are 16 professional certifications that can be completed for free. These are widely recognized and highly valued in the digital marketing industry, making them a great addition to your resume.

Free education for the world with Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a massive online learning resource that helps students learn everything from math and science to history and art. There’s also a wide range of specialty content produced by organizations like NASA and MIT.

The platform is aimed at younger students but anyone can sign up and learn for free. Each course is video-based and personalized to each student, recognizing that everyone learns at their own pace.

Teachers can use Khan Academy in the classroom thanks to partnerships with school districts. In 2018, over 200 Compton teachers were trained to use its tutorials, reports Chalkbeat’s national education reporter Kalyn Belsha. A year later, Khan Academy helped high schoolers in the same school district prepare for the SAT.

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Progress professionally with LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning is a professional development platform aimed at individuals looking to learn new skills and businesses that want to train their employees. A significant part of the platform is content from, the massive online learning resource that LinkedIn purchased for $1.5 billion in 2015.

As a result, the platform offers educational courses on a huge range of topics. These include business-focused courses like accounting and programming, as well as more creative courses like writing.

LinkedIn Learning costs $29.99 per month, with a one-month free trial.

Esoteric education from TED-Ed

TED-Ed is an online learning resource from the organization that runs TED conferences. Unlike other online learning resources in this list, TED-Ed covers a vast range of weird and esoteric topics. Featured lessons include how to build a tunnel underwater, how alcohol makes you drunk, and why we have leap years.

The production quality is incredibly high, and the videos are short and digestible. There are also accompanying quizzes — to make sure you’ve actually learned the topic — and a discussion section where you can add your own comments.

TED-Ed is free to use.

A world of education really is at your fingertips. What will you learn next?

Images by: Annie Spratt, Frank Romero, William Iven

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