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The best free resources for students learning from home
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and school closures across the globe, learning at home is currently the new norm. The great news is that whether your or your child’s school offers distance classes or not, there are a ton of online learning resources you can utilize. The choice might be a bit overwhelming thanks to the sheer number of study materials and courses, but we are here to help! We have compiled a list of the best free online learning resources for students of all ages.
The best free online learning resources:
1. Khan Academy
Students of all ages have a lot to gain by using Khan Academy. This study online platform provides courses with instructional videos on variety of subjects. From programming, math, and science, to history, art, and writing, it’s an invaluable resource that lets students learn at their own pace. The best part is that all courses are available for free. Don’t let that make you question their quality, however. Khan Academy has partnered with many institutions like NASA, MIT, California Academy of Sciences, and even Pixar, to deliver world class education for free. Khan Academy is also currently offering planned daily schedules for children from preschool to first grade.
Coursera is yet another online course platform which offers a great variety of educational programs. Founded by two Stanford university professors, the website focuses on higher education and professional training. Its free courses provide in-depth learning for many in-demand skills. Those include machine learning, data science, programming, social media marketing, and more. You can even build your own Android app with a free project-centered course, which provides great hands-on learning. This makes Coursera a great choice for college students that want to expand their knowledge and prepare for their future career.
3. Project Gutenberg
Nothing can expand your horizons and broaden your knowledge quite like reading. This is why every student needs to check out Project Gutenberg. This online library offers more than 60,000 free ebooks in an epub or Kindle ebook format. Downloading them is easy, free and legal. You will find pretty much all public domain classics — from fairy tales and fables for the younger readers, to classic works from authors like Jane Austen, Edgar Allen Poe, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, and many others. English is not the only available language either. Project Gutenberg offers books in Portuguese, German and French too. It’s an incredible free online resource you should be taking advantage of. If you want to find even more kids content, we also recommend checking out The International Children’s Digital Library. It offers digitized children’s books in 59 languages.
4. Online university courses
In recent years, universities from across the globe have made many of their lectures available online for free. This includes world-renowned institutions like Harvard, Oxford, MIT and many others. The best way to access them is through Open Culture. This website has gathered over 1,500 courses and helpfully separated them into different categories. You will find video lectures on almost anything — from Archaeology, to Physics, to Linguistics. It’s one of the most valuable free learning resources on the web.
5. Google Scholar
If your university’s online library is not the best, you might be struggling to find sources for your college essays and papers. This is where Google Scholar comes in. Instead of using Google’s regular search where news articles and other posts will inevitably spring up, this tool allows you to search for scholarly literature only. You can find reliable information from peer-reviewed scientific papers quickly and easily. You might bump into some pay-walled content, but Google Scholar is still one of the best free online resources for college students.
Even in the midst of a pandemic, many students are currently working on their dissertations. With the closure of libraries, many are predominantly using digital sources. That can make it harder to keep track of things and stay organized. This is where Zotero comes in. This free software is an essential tool in any college student’s arsenal. It allows you to create bibliographies, keep track of sources, and save any article with a single click. It is available for PC, Mac and Linux, making it one of the best free online resources for university students.
8. YouTube Learn at Home
Launched last month, this tool was created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Google or YouTube Learn@Home is designed to assist families in home education. It helps students and their parents find the best educational content on the video platform. You can explore learning by subject and by age — from preschool to 13-years and above, there is something for everyone. Content is sourced from great channels like PBS Kids, Sesame Street, Crash Course, and many others. YouTube Learn@Home also has compiled a great list of virtual “field trips” which can be enjoyed in VR or in 360-degree videos.
9. Scholastic Learn at Home
If you are a parent looking for study online tools for kids in elementary to middle school, you can’t go wrong with Scholastic Learn At Home. This website offers free daily courses with engaging exercises and articles on a variety of subjects. Kids can participate in age-appropriate reading and writing, take virtual tours and play educational games. There also are homework activities with print-out materials which students will enjoy. It’s great free resource for any parent helping their kids study at home.
Do you want to give your children a more rigorous STEM study at home curriculum? Then you need to check out CK-12. This non-profit offers open textbooks for K-12 students legally and for free. They are aligned to state curriculum standards, with a focus on math and sciences. They also offer study guides, personalized practice questions, and interactive concepts that make learning fun. Simulations are another great CK-12 addition — they help students of all ages understand physics and chemistry better through real-world simulations. All of the content is engaging and educational. It’s one of the best learning resources for parents and students alike.
If you are a parent with children aged two to eight years old, look no further than ABCMouse. This subscription-based service is great for early education and offers a one month free trial you can take advantage of. It features more than 850 lessons structured in a gamified learning path, which keeps kids motivated and engaged. Science, math and reading aren’t the sole focus either — there are plenty of creative art and writing exercises, making it a well-rounded learning resource that both parents and kids will love.
This award-winning platform was designed to help struggling students fill gaps in their learning. However, in the current situation, Mobymax is the perfect free learning resource for K-8 students that aren’t getting the proper schooling they need. The platform offers access to 27 complete subjects, with personalized learning and test prep included. Students are engaged with a variety of exercises, educational games, and interactive lessons. This makes Mobymax one of the best free learning resources on the web that every student and parent needs to check out.
13. Crash Course
Although we previously mentioned Google and YouTube’s learn at home program, we have to highlight Crash Course. This YouTube channel is among the best when it comes to free educational content. As you can guess from its name, it provides crash courses on multiple subjects. Currently, students can find courses on world and European history, Physics, Philosophy, Psychology, Literature, Media Literacy, Astronomy, and many many more. Playlists usually include over 40 videos, which start from the basics and move on to more advanced material as they progress. Their lessons are engaging and accessible, making the channel one of the best online learning resources for students of any age.
14. Coolmath Games
Math is not many kids’ favorite subject, but some gamification can make the material more fun and easier to understand. Coolmath Games does just that. It offers a variety of strategy, logic and numbers games that anyone aged 13 and above can enjoy. Don’t worry if you have a younger child struggling with math though. The Coolmath network offers a dedicated website for kids under 12 too, with games designed to make math fun. It’s a great educational resource that has been around for ages and one every student should be taking advantage of.
Learning a new language or refreshing your existing knowledge is never a bad choice for students of any age. Duolingo is one of the best apps for the job. It is completely free and offers a variety of exercises which will help you master grammar and vocabulary alike. It also has a simple gamified interface, which will appeal to kids. The best thing about Duolingo, however, is the sheer variety of languages on offer. Apart from the standard Spanish, German and French you’d find on any other app, Duolingo offers courses in dead languages, endangered languages and even fictional ones like High Valyrian.
16. Color our Collections
Coloring is a fun and relaxing activity both kids and adults can enjoy. So, if you want to learn about art and do something creative at the same time, you can’t go wrong with Color our Collections. This website has aggregated content from various libraries, museums, galleries and cultural institutions around the globe, transforming it into free coloring books. With plenty of images of animals, castles and nature, even the youngest students can enjoy what Color our Collections has to offer. It’s a great free resource for anyone looking to do something creative.
These are our picks for the best free learning resources students can use when studying at home. There are plenty of other great online learning platforms, so feel free to share your favorite in the comments.
Want to learn even more? Check out our other lists of educational apps below: