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How Online Learning Has Increased
You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again: college degree aren’t worth anything. The entire point of higher education nowadays is to work off student debt, get your career legs under you, and learn so you can pay off your debt with your potential for future earnings.
It’s a fact the old fashion way: attend a local community college and get yourself set for life and all that.
It’s a fact the new way: know what you want to do, and go for it. You can build your worth as a lifelong learner in college or beyond by gaining great skills while earning an authentic life. In fact, we recently discovered this study that might just convince you that earning a degree in college isn’t such a bad thing:
We’ll save you the academic math lesson on how to break it down, but bottom line is that the online and experiential learning that’s been going on all along might actually matter more now. No matter what your age or previous experience with education (or lack thereof), you can access some of the same learning and professional growth opportunities that could be yours if you go to college, and a surprising number of them just happen to happen to be online.
Regardless of the outcome of your post-college career, even non-traditional learners will be able to enjoy a wealth of time, skills, and opportunities that would take years in a traditional classroom or institution of higher learning. From books and podcasts to formal courses, we found the best places to get your skills on these four fascinating and inspiring levels.
The online, online-learning site that supports you: Coursera
While some campuses or institutions might be struggling to keep their doors open in today’s economy, online learning and simulation education, that can help students earn an affordable bachelor’s degree without owning an actual campus. Now you have the freedom to learn at your own pace, and from your home computer, in many cases. Coursera has all you need to learn (and show off) with a stack of courses ranging from psychology and humanities to computer science and engineering.
The open web, open web-learning project that’s gaining momentum: Open University
Spending most of your time online is important to helping you engage with various educational opportunities, and some would argue that the best way to learn is from all sources, rather than a curriculum that makes sense based on teachers’ storied expertise. That said, an open and global course catalogue is a welcome step towards leveling the playing field and sharing learning opportunities, along with both professional contacts and professional knowledge with all corners of the globe.
The company that is transforming industry expertise: Edmodo
As you read this, Edmodo might be deep in beta testing, which is a neat thing, but it’s also a great signal that they’re completely serious about becoming the go-to platform for all of your educational and personal social needs. Edmodo doesn’t just host social networks (social networks, that is) for schools and universities, but also gives their members the ability to share their professional expertise with colleagues or job applicants. This allows them to help others achieve success in their fields, share professional success with peers, and really connect with people on a level that professional and personal networkers alike can relate to.
The collaborative, collaboration-based learning platform that’s helping adults learn in better ways: Coursera
Pro-tutor and not-for-profit learning platform Coursera has been about the power of collaborative learning ever since its inception, aiming to help users teach each other so they can bond and improve their skills and knowledge. It features an extensive library of courses that are different from those offered by universities because they are focused on collaboration between learners. It uses highly responsive peer-learning solutions that work best on mobile and even in real time, so if there’s a question or an obstacle you have to deal with while taking a course, you can easily find the answer and pivot in the quickest way possible. In the end, you’re benefitting from better connected expertise and the friendship of classmates, and it’s all the better because of this non-traditional approach.
One network with the best channel for better classroom learning: Minerva
Amassed entirely by the millennials, Minerva provides some impressive data about self-expression and learning. Students have been exposed to high-profile professors by way of opportunities for real-world-experience credit and opportunity for curation of opportunities through their website. They’ve created communities of students from across the world, along with an innovative social network, and some of their own services, making them the ultimate option for any student that doesn’t have an immediate path to an educational place or program.
In the words of one of their few alumni, Minerva is “one of the most radical efforts at democratizing the knowledge economy and reimagining higher education by addressing it as a social and community rather than a product.”