Type in ‘free online courses’ in Google’s magical little rectangular block and in no less than 0,38 seconds you will have at your disposal approximately 23 800 000 results.
Rather daunting. But not as daunting as typing in ‘what should I do with my life’ which generates a whopping 816 000 000 results in a centisecond less.
The world wide web couldn’t be a more apt description of what can be found when searching for a free online course. At times, one can’t help but feel as if you’ve stumbled upon the online home of a gargantuan digital tarantula. There is a lot out there and sifting can be tough. We know the value of stretching the brain with a course, even if it be a short one, but making the time to scour the web to find something leaves us thinking of forfeiting the entire operation before we’ve even began.
Below you’ll find five free online courses that have caught our attention recently. While we can’t yet vouch for each course itself, we do however share what coaxed us into clicking on the ‘read more’ button. If you know of great and interesting examples of free online courses please do share them with us.
1. Becoming a changemaker: Introduction to Social Innovation – UCT
“The Becoming a changemaker: Introduction to Social Innovation MOOC is a free six-week course for anyone who wants to make a difference.”
Need we say more?
“This class is for you! If you’ve always wanted to create social impact in your community or your business but didn’t know where to start, the skills, tools and methodologies will help you get going. If you are already involved in a social business and want to take it to the next level, you’ll find a supportive community, examples and case studies to inspire you. This course is suitable for business students, business owners, start-ups, entrepreneurs and professionals in any sector seeking to bring about social change.”
For many people, web code is simply…cryptic. Its rep is not dissimilar to how Vegan recipes are looked upon by carnivores – to be avoided at all costs.
Why you should give it a bash?
“The demand for coding skills is skyrocketing, and not just for developers — programming is playing a bigger role in every career path. Add the right technical skills to your résumé so you can pursue a more fulfilling career.”
3. Udacity’s ‘How to Build a Startup’
We came across this review for Steve Blank’s ‘How to Build a Startup’ course and we have to admit that we were instantly curious:
“Steve Blank is on a mission: to get entrepreneurs (and would-be entrepreneurs) to stop thinking about their ventures as smaller versions of bigger companies and instead look at startups as a unique kind of entity that follows a different set of rules than do traditional businesses.”
Timeframe is about a month. Find the lowdown here
4. Bookkeeping for Personal and Business Accounting – Future Learn
A basic understanding of bookkeeping can only benefit you whether you make use of it at work or simply for keeping in line with your monthly budget.
This course from Future Learn gives a straightforward description which is exactly what we’re after.
Learn how to balance your books and develop the skills to manage finances in personal and business environments.
Timeframe: 4 weeks. More info here
5. Learn a new language with Duolingo
It is something we’ve all considered at some point. Learning another language. The Telegraph gives the following motivation for why learning a foreign language is beneficial:
“Physiological studies have found that speaking two or more languages is a great asset to the cognitive process. The brains of bilingual people operate differently than single language speakers, and these differences offer several mental benefits.”
There are tons of apps that offer lessons but Duolingo is one we’re going to be testing out. We also love that they throw in a ‘competitive’ angle.
“Learning with Duolingo is fun and addictive. Earn points for correct answers, race against the clock, and level up. Our bite-sized lessons are effective, and we have proof that it works.”