I never thought that someday I would find holidays boring, but towards the end of Easter even the thought of returning to a virtual school became increasingly attractive! With social distancing regulations imposed, and with no garden or gym, boredom can easily creep in. However, I have discovered a handful of websites over the past few weeks that offered some fantastic opportunities for continuing learning during lockdown.
Coursera.org is a well-known site offering a huge variety of different courses, including many taught and supported by top international universities. I recently completed a Philosophy course from the University of Pennsylvania, a wonderful experience. The user interface, the teaching, and the discussions with other participants were engaging and a great way to extend my learning. Most courses are free, and all courses have an optional certificate of completion, with some even offering credit and degrees. One of the many advantages of Coursera is that it is widely known, yet its inclusion of more eccentric topics is also an advantage, I ran across a course which studied the emotions of dogs, for example! Find more information here.
EdX.org is a similar platform to Coursera, covering a broad range of topics taught by elite universities such as Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Most courses are self-paced and very flexible, making it very convenient for users. Once again, all learners, no matter how advanced, are able to find suitable courses and achieve different certifications. Find more information here.
For students wanting more challenging academic courses, which often build upon the concepts and ideas we learn about in school, Khan Academy is worth a visit. It offers free courses across a range of academic subjects, and is known for its interactive videos and accompanying practice questions. It also offers a preparation course for any A-Level students who are thinking of applying to America for university, with a focus on the SAT.
As we advance into an increasingly technological era, many students are benefitting from learning to code. The free Codeacademy service includes many courses teaching students the basics of coding in a variety of programming languages. For more advanced students, you could try courses learning a new programming language to improve your foundation understanding. Find more information here.
Undoubtedly, there are an enormous variety of websites which offer engaging courses and interactive platforms to continue learning during the lockdown, these are a sample of some that I have explored during my holidays this past month. Other notable mentions include the online courses offered by universities directly, such as Oxford’s online courses, Stanford Online and FutureLearn, which is at the forefront of providing courses about global pandemics, the NHS and the impact of Covd-19 on mental health. Experimenting with virtual money on trading websites such as Plus 500, where you can attempt trading live stocks and see how much money you can make (or more likely lose), is another excellent resource. One of the benefits of living in this era is that there are so many online options for you to discover, so I strongly recommend you consider the advantages of directing your own learning during lockdown.