Top 5 Sites For Online Learning

A lot of you have been asking us for more things and activities to do in Riyadh. While we are tempted to suggest some adventurous ones, we are currently on a calming down phase in our lives. No, seriously, we don’t have the energy like what we used to have three years ago when we spend one whole day in the malls during the sale season or signing up on all the trips arranged by the workplace’s social club. There, I admit that I’m getting old in every sense of that phrase. Nowadays, a dinner with family or friends is enough for me to distract me from the busy and boring days (they alternate from time to time) I’m having.
With the Nitaqat and the labor laws in the Kingdom, many dependents have found themselves out of work. More wives became housewives and more people stayed at home. So what to do? Apart from the usual cooking, taking care of the family, reading, writing… what else? I say, learn something new! Study at your own pace! After all, there is no end to education. How? Online, of course!
Sampaguita Pride has discussed the University of the Philippines Open University before but this time, I’m writing about short classes that are usually free! Here are some online sites where you can take up a course or a craft or a few subjects. They’re all popular nowadays and I’ve been getting some lessons from them too. Most of them are free that’s why they’re so nice to enroll in.
This is my favorite website because their classes are more on the creative side. The mission of Skillshare is to reunite learning with education and make it accessible to every single person in this planet. Anyone can learn anything, at any age, at an affordable cost, anywhere in the world. Their classes comprise of creative lessons that are taught by people who are doing them professionally coming into mind the quote “the world is a university and every one on it is a teacher.” There’s no memorization or taking of quizzes. Achievements are measured, not by certificates or diploma, but by the photos you take, the makeup you put, the cake you baked, or the website to you created.
Their classes range from Business, Advertising, Design, Fashion&Style, Film&Video, Food&Drink, Writing&Publishing, and Photography. You can check out all available classes here. Classes are divided into Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced so you know where to start. They use videos in their teaching methods so it’s a self-paced process wherein your schedule depends on your free time! Awesomesauce! You also get a lifetime access to your classes. Paid classes are from $10-$25, pretty cheap if you think about it. They also have free classes once in a while so sign up now!
Skillshare: Learn from teacher you can relate to.
I am currently enrolled in Mary Kate McDevitt’s The First Steps of Hand-Lettering: Concept to Sketch (Lettering 1) and I’m enjoying it so far. My Sharpies and pens are put to use! I would like to enroll in ALL of Skillshare’s classes!
When you want courses that are on the same page as you studied in college, then Coursera is the website for you. Actually, even subjects that are a mile long away from the one you graduated from, you can take here and they’re all for FREE! Coursera is an education company that partners with top universities and organizations in the world to offer courses online. They have courses from Duke University, Standford University, John Hopkins University, Yale University and a lot more.
They offer a wide range of topics that you can learn any time, anywhere. Their categories includes Engineering, Biology, Chemistry, Economics&Finance, Law, Medicine, Mathematics, Social Sciences,and Humanities. Some of their courses are eligible for specialization certificates and verified certificates. There are courses in other languages too (check out the Arabic ones here). Most courses are open for a specific date only and run for several weeks so sign up early!
Coursera: The world’s best courses online, for free.
I’m enrolling in Crafting an Effective Writer: Tools of The Trade (San Jacinto College) that starts on February 7 and will run for 5 weeks.
3. EdX
EdX is a lot like Coursera but they have Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology backing them up. EdX is a non-profit online initiative that offers interactive online classes from the world’s best universities. You just have to choose the course or class you want to take, read the course prerequisites, register, and start studying online! All courses are FREE! Participating schools include Berkeley, University of Toronto, Kyoto University, Seoul National University, IIT Bombay, Peking University, and Dartmouth.
Topics includes Biology, Business, Chemistry, Science, Economics, Finance, Electronics, Engineering, Food&Nutrition, History, Humanities, Law, Literature, Math, Medicine, Music, Statistics, and more. Some courses start on a specific date and other courses, which are already finished, are only available as archive where you can watch the videos but some features are no longer available. Advance your knowledge and register now!
EdX: The world’s best universities at your fingertips
Our former boss encouraged us to enroll in the Principles of Written English class from Berkeley University of California, I missed the starting date last January 23 but I guess I can still try.
Khan Academy is one of the first online learning sites that provides free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. All the resources are completely feee forever. Everyone – from student to teacher to principal to retired people – can find something of interest in Khan Academy.
Topics include Math, Science, Economics and Finance, and Humanities. The provide an extensive library of content, including interactive challenges, assessments, and videos to aid students and coaches. Khan also provides statistics for you so you know how you are progressing on things.
Khan Academy: Learn now!
Some Interesting Classes: GMAT Preparation | Entrepreneurship | World History
I want to try my hands on Drawing and Animation. Haha! I hope! Computer Programming seems so cool. So cool that it gets its own website…
Code Academy wants to open up knowledge, instead of university. It believes that the public school system we have is outdated. It wants to build the education the world needs and create an engaging educational experience that is outside the classroom. The Net is the present and the future and so we need to know a lot about it.
Code Academy is backed by some great people and groups that help them in offering classes on HTML, Java, PHP, Ruby, Python, etc. including Union Square Ventures, Index Ventures, Thrive Capital, SV Angel, Vivi Nevo, Collaborative Fund and others. You can make mini HTMl and CSS projects in as fast as 30 minutes.
Codecademy: Learn to code interactively, for free
Some Interesting Classes: HTML & CSS (where you learn the building blocks of a website and create your own at the end of the course!) | Javascript (where you learn how to make your site interactive) | About You (make a website that is about you!) | Sun, Earth and Code!
I know I have to take that HTML and CSS course! Who knows? Maybe I can make The Pink Tarha into a website soon! Haha!
Other websites which are of interest are those which offers languages. 
Wanting to learn French or Spanish? Then Duolingo is for you! It’s a fun way of learning a new language. The graphics and simplicity of the site is a great way to know foreign words! As of now, Duolingo only offers Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Portuguese. To learn, you get to translate documents from all over the world. You can also download the mobile app so you can continue learning on the go!
Duolingo: Master a second or third language!
On the other hand, Livemocha, the world’s largest online language learning community, offers more languages. The learning process is more complicated but they have Arabic! You can join live instructor-led classes and choose from the 35 languages that are available to learn and master.
Livemocha: Beats coffee in conversations
I’m enrolled in French in Duolingo. So far, Bonjour, mon nom est Sundrenched! Sounds good? Haha! I know I should enroll in the Arabic class to prevent further curious stares from taxi drivers when I tell them I’ve been in the Kingdom for 6 years but still… mafi malum Arabi. Haha!
If you have $25 per month to spare then visit Lynda for more online classes.
One big boredom buster is to pursue something that you want to know and learn and with all these courses and lessons online (and for FREE!), you don’t have an excuse anymore. Wherever we are, let’s continue feeding our minds! Let’s be classmates! 😉 ~ Sundrenched

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The Editor-in-Chief speaks 7 languages: Filipino, English, Wit, Sarcasm, Truth, Creativity, and The Pink Tarha.

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