The following is a guest post written by Rachel Bartee, an ESL teacher, freelance writer, and passionate blogger. She is constantly looking for ways to improve her skills and expertise. Her life principle is “Always do more than you can”. If you would like to submit a guest post, please contact us.
Today, lifelong learning and self-improvement is not just an option, it is a necessity. Perhaps Albert Einstein put it best:
“Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.”
If you are a student, this is inarguably the best time in history to be one. If any previous generation of students from any point in history could witness the wealth of knowledge available today and the ease through which it can be accessed, we are willing to bet that they would gladly trade. And really, in this day and age, there are so many different resources and opportunities students can take advantage of to expand their knowledge on just about any subject.
Below is a list of 20 web platforms that will help aspiring minds learn new skills and improve existing ones:
1. Big Think
Although conceived as an Internet forum, this resource is so much more than that. Featuring interviews, presentations, and discussions with some of the significant figures of today (like Ralph Rivera, Director of BBC Digital or Stefan Weitz, Senior Director of Search, Microsoft and many others), Big Think covers a myriad of subjects across differing areas of expertise. With over 3,000 interviews available for viewers to explore, it is an endless source of knowledge, and has been rightfully dubbed the “YouTube” for ideas.
By providing interesting facts on five subjects every single day, this app, just as its name indicates, will satisfy your daily curiosity for knowledge. It covers a wide range of topics, presented in text or video form for easy viewing. There is also a great “Key Facts To Know” section with pertinent information that any trivial pursuit buff would love.
BrainPump contains tons and tons of videos on various educational subjects such as physics, biology, history, technology, and nature, among others. Learning something new every day by watching a video is a breeze, and this is a great resource to help accomplish that goal.
Socratic is an advanced digital tutor and homework assistant. Using its unique algorithms, it can help students overcome their academic challenges by providing them with the most comprehensive and easy-to-read topics, articles, and data on any given subject.
Here you can find some of the most detailed and in-depth answers to complex question by simply asking. Post your question to the site and it will be answered, edited, and expanded on by community members and experts in that particular field.
6. Mental Floss
One of the best online magazines, Mental Floss covers a range of topics that could be of interest to students. Apart from interesting articles, the magazine also provides quizzes and videos, which are guaranteed to keep students glued to their screens.
Check out the blog section on this site which offers advice on how to write effective and A+ rated college and university papers. With tips on writing last-minute essays or dissertations, and info on how to improve your literacy level, this site provides articles that students are sure to find interesting and insightful.
The webisodes on this site are presented by two fantastic hosts, Tracy Wilson & Holly Frey. Sit back and enjoy as they walk you through parts of history which haven’t found their way into history books, yet are equally relevant and intriguing. The episodes are interesting and will teach you new lessons while helping separate facts from fiction.
Hosted by Wolfram Research, this projects uses Demonstrations, interactive programs, to visually present a range ideas from different fields of science. The project is open-sourced, and currently offers over 10000 demonstrations.
Here you can choose to register for and attend over 100 courses on a variety of subjects. There are no boring or endless lessons, only the stuffs that interest you and will help boost your knowledge and skills. The project is crowd-sourced, as well as open-sourced.
WikiHow is probably the best online forum for learning new skills and crafts. With detailed descriptions, graphics, and videos, the site is intended to help you master just about anything. The content is informative, easily digestible, and highly recommended.
The TED platform is famous for its TED Talks, which are hosted by some of the most progressive and prominent experts of today. But, the platform has also launched an educational website, where users can create lessons based on a particular TED talk, article, or YouTube video in order to help others learn new facts.
Memrise boasts a strong community, which allows it to be one of the best online learning tools and a place where you can find numerous different courses created by its members. Although it focuses primarily on teaching and learning new languages, it also provides resources for other academic subjects, in addition to helpful mnemonics-enhanced flashcards.
Dubbed the “Pinterest for education”, this resource acts like a clipboard for knowledge. Here you can find and share interesting pedagogical content, follow experts from all over the globe, and post the information that you find most educational and informative to your board.
Created at MIT, Scratch is a visual programming language that enables students to enter the world of advanced programming through a more engaging and unusual means. By creating animations and games, among other things, students can cultivate and develop new coding skills while enjoying the sometimes less-than-enjoyable process. It is a free platform, making it the ideal place for students, experts, and teachers to come together and work towards a common goal.
16. Knowledge Lover
Knowledge Lover is an online editorial that will help you learn and beef up your knowledge through new subjects, ideas, and articles provided on a regular basis. It is also a content-curating platform.
17. Wise Geek
One of the downsides of having more than a billion websites available on the web is that it can be hard to find a great source for short, simple answers to basic question. Wise Geek remedies that problem by providing concise and informative facts, gathered and shaped by their researchers, writers, and editors.
Duolingo is one of the most popular and effective language-learning tools available online. The process of learning is broken down into four sections: listening, speaking, translating, and answering. Instead of focusing on tedious grammar rules, Duolingo teaches languages as they are used in real life.
With FutureLearn, you can choose from a large selection of different courses, and watch lectures given by some of the top academic institutions in the world. Each course is divided into easy-to-learn lessons and can be taken on any platform.
20. How Stuff Works
Interested in how things work? This is the best place to find answers and explanations in the shape of brilliant articles, podcasts, and videos. Learn something new and then quiz yourself on what you have read/watched. Working to expand your knowledge, their writers really know how to make every topic interesting and engaging.
These helpful tools and resources can help quench your thirst for new knowledge and motivate to continue your learning. Check them out today and catch up on all the facts and skills you may have been missing out!
Author’s Bio: Rachel Bartee is an ESL teacher and a freelance writer who finds her passion in expressing own thoughts as a blogger. She is constantly looking for the ways to improve her skills and expertise. Her life principle is “Always do more than you can”. You can reach Rachel at Facebook.
Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.