Make no mistake, self-directed learning is in vogue. Smartphones and the Internet have revolutionized what used to be an onerous, frustrating and sometimes expensive process; with an Internet connection, as well as sufficient initiative and persistence, one can learn all that he (or she) desires, from Spanish to statistical mechanics. But with millions of resources available on the Internet, separating the wheat from the chaff can be difficult. Here’s 5 of the best.
Ask A Question On Quora
The definitive Q&A platform on the Internet. Get those burning questions answered by a vast community of thoughtful, well-informed users, including luminaries such as Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and ex-Reddit CEO Yishan Wong. Follow topics of your interest, and marvel at the sheer amount of wit, humour and intellect on show. Classics include Oliver Emberton’s answer to “What’s the best way to stop procrastinating?” and Jack Dahlgren’s poetic response to “What’s the purpose of reading?”.
Get Inspired With TED Talks
Photo: Flickr user TEDxSomerville
Stuck in a rut and in desperate need of a pick-me-up? TED Talks is here to help. Some of the bravest and brightest take to the stage in TED’s conferences, sharing fascinating ideas and experiences that are bound to move, educate and inspire. Talks are downloadable from the TED website, as well as their Android and iOS apps, for shots of inspiration on the go.
Code Like A Ninja With Codecademy
In a world where entire businesses are run on the Web, knowing how to code can set you apart from the competition. But for newcomers to web development, learning code can often feel like steering a boat through uncharted waters – chaotic, frustrating and unpredictable. Fret not; Codecademy’s here to help.
Watch Something Educational With UnplugTheTV
UnplugTheTV’s got a simple premise – instead of wasting your time on mind-numbing television, why not watch something educational? Catch the featured video on their site, or if you’re up for something different, their archives contain hundreds of horizon-broadening videos, curated from sources like TED and the Khan Academy.
Speak A New Language With Duolingo
Ever wanted to learn a new language, but found lessons too expensive, boring and hard to stay committed to? DuoLingo might be the solution. Complete fun exercises designed to help you practise reading, writing, speaking and translating the language of your choice. Gain XP for completed lessons, build streaks and compete against your friends in the rankings – it’s language-learning, gamified. It’s available for Android and iOS devices as well, so you can stay on top of your gramática, wherever you are.
Have a great online educational resource to recommend? Let us know in the comments!