Best Online Educational Resources for Students
Online or distance learning has become a significant factor in educating students all over the world. Both students and their teachers have the need to engage in online education in order to make learning more interesting, particularly in this pandemic period where classroom learning has been put on hold.
Online educational resources are resources made available online on educational platforms. They involve courses, lecture notes, research materials, projects, assignments, answers to questions, among others. They could also be any digital materials that are used to support and enhance students’ learning. With the help of the internet, learning has been made open and available to everyone. This has brought a great revolution to the educational environment as well as provided amazing opportunities for traditional learning.
Online education is very accessible and convenient for anyone, irrespective of location. There are free and paid online resources for students and they are both accessible and complimentary, depending on the subjects offered by individual students, affordability of the resources and learning style of the student.
Importance of Online Education
The people who truly understood the importance of e-learning have taken advantage of both the paid and free courses to upgrade their academic pursuit and also learn other courses on various topics. Hence, no one has any excuse as not to grow academically and otherwise because the barrier of distance has been bridged. The importance of online education cannot be overemphasized and the following are some of them:
- It is accessible to all: Before the advent of online or e-learning, people would need to leave their location to another town, city, country, or even continent in order to achieve their academic dreams. Today, the reverse has become the case as they can access any subject even in the comfort of their bedrooms or offices at any time. Therefore, online education has brought a total elimination to the barrier of learning both socially and physically.
- You can learn anything you want: Even world renowned universities have brought their learning online to make it easier for people who aspire to acquire their certificates have access to their learning materials. Anything that triggers your curiosity can now be learnt online and the good news there is that some of them are provided free of charge.
- It is comfortable and flexible: The problem of waking up in the morning and rushing out to meet up with time is eliminated. You can actually learn at the comfort of your home. Some online educations are flexible and the students can learn at their own time and pace. You will also be able to cut cost by saving money meant for commuting to school or any learning centre.
- You have the choice of learning about anything you like: Online courses allow you to study anything you like. Whatever you have the prompting to learn will be achieved as long as you wish to. Interestingly, most of the online resources are free for all.
The Following are the Best 10 Online Resources for Students
Founded by two professors of Stanford University, Coursera offers one of the best online education programs. It provides free courses that focus on professional training and higher education. Machine learning, social media marketing, programming, data science, among others are some of the in-demand skills offered by Coursera. Students who want to expand their knowledge are advised to make Coursera their number one academic site which provides all learning resources that are project-centred.
- Khan Academy
Khan Academy is a study platform made available to students of all ages. The courses are offered with instructional videos on different subjects like math, history, science, art, computer programming, writing, and so on. The good news about Khan Academy is that students learn at their own pace and time. Not just that; all courses are made free for all.
There are many institutions that have partnered with Khan Academy to provide quality and affordable educational resources for students. California Academy of Sciences, MIT, NASA, as well as Pixar, are some of the institutions in partnership with the academy.
- Google Scholar
Google Scholar allows students to search for only scholarly literature. It provides resources for students who wish to write essays or scientific papers. It is different from the regular Google search where you would find all manner of articles which could even confuse you. Google Scholar has free and reliable information as well as paid contents in any field. This is why it is one of the best online educational resources for students.
- YouTube Learning at Home
YouTube Learning at Home is a tool which was recently launched in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. It is designed to help students at home during this period in order to keep busy. It makes use of only videos in carrying out its teachings and it is accessible to all ages, right from pre-school. Its contents are sourced from PBS Kids, Crash Course, Sesame Street, and other channels.
- Project Gutenberg
Project Gutenberg is a reading platform which helps the students to increase and widen their horizon. There are above sixty thousand free e-books that are accessible to all in Kindle e-book format. It is also very easy to download and there is no fee attached to each book. All kinds of classic books from different authors are made available to you. In addition, kids’ contents are also made available in Project Gutenberg.
- Online University Courses
Top universities in the world like the University of Oxford, Yale University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Harvard University, and the rest, made their lectures available online at no cost. The Online University Courses have about 1,500 courses available at different categories for students. Better still, the lectures are available in videos and almost any subject can be accessed on the website. To access the website, it easier to go through Open Culture. You will also find Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and the courses they offer at the website.
- Academic Earth
Academic Earth provides a variety of both traditional and modern learning options to students. It is in conjunction with renowned universities like the University of Oxford, MIT, Stanford University, and others to provide materials in different subjects. Videos and podcasts are also made available to students in all the subjects. Subjects are listed according to the schools offering them, so it will be very much easy to locate what you are searching for in Academic Earth.
- iTunesU Free Courses
The website provides online education by integrating uninterruptedly with iPod and other Apple mobile devices. Learning materials are categorized according to subjects, topics, genres, and so on. But it is important to note that the website contains both paid and free courses and uses a mix of videos and podcasts. iTunesU does not integrate with Google, Android or Windows mobile devices.
You can download the app on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. If you are making use of desktops, iTunesU can be accessed on the upper right-hand corner of the iTunes Store.
Brightstorm provides references to high school students to aid their learning. It makes learning easier by breaking down intricate technical terminologies which, ordinarily, would have been a big issue in terms of comprehension to them. All subjects are represented from mathematics to arts, science, history, and so on. The website arranged the topics in each subject symmetrically in order to help students who want to write entrance examinations.
Students can learn a new language online with just their data at no extra cost. One of the best recommendable apps for learning any language is Duolingo. There are apparently different exercises on the languages and they are very interesting too because you will be able to master vocabularies and grammar of your chosen language. Standard languages like German, French, Spanish, and others are learnt on Duolingo, as well as dead, endangered and fictional languages like High Valyrian used in the Game of Throne, Song of Ice, Fire series, and so on.
Skills Needed for Online Education
To be a successful online learner, you will need certain skills to succeed. Time and energy are required, as well as concentration. There are also specific or technical skills required in order to navigate through the courses and online sites. Such skills required for online education include:
- Basic Computer Skills
Every online student needs the basic computer knowledge to excel. The ability to create new documents, use a word processing software or app, download software or app, navigate the internet, and so on are key to learning efficiently and effectively. In addition, ensure your personal computer meets the requirements of the online schools or resources so as to be able to study effectively.
- Reading and Writing Skills
As an online student, majority of the courses are going to be in written form, though videos and podcasts are also available. In order to fit in properly, you will need to be able to read efficiently. Furthermore, you will need typing or writing skills in areas as tests, quizzes, assignments, and so on because many of your questions would require writing long and short answers.
- Effective Communication Skills
Online students must seek help when they need it and this can be achieved when they have good communication skills. You will need to use the appropriate communication style and language required by the school to communicate with teachers and fellow students.
- Time Management Skills
A student studying online must be able to manage time effectively. You must be able to stick to the scheduled time for learning each course. Procrastination and inability to stick to time must be dealt with.
- A Good Study Environment
Even though it is an online learning, the environment must be conducive enough to the students. You will need to avoid playing games or checking your social media notifications or chats for new messages. If possible, turn off your phone. Set up good lighting and comfortable seating. Adjust your seat or table so that you can be comfortable while viewing your screen. You will also need a peaceful and tranquil environment for maximum concentration.
- Other skills like persistence, motivation, independence, among others are also required in order to utilize your resources and learn effectively.
There is no barrier to what anyone can achieve today as long as you put your mind to it. Online educational resources are made available to you so as to achieve your dream, despite the distance and financial resources