Five ways to get into digital learning for free

Posted by matthew on Apr 24, 2017 in education
Article written for Life News, April 2017
Assoc Prof Matthew Riddle is Director of Educational Innovation at La Trobe University.  To read more about online courses at La Trobe, see http://online.latrobe/
Online learning has been around for over 20 years in Australia, but only recently has it started to receive a lot of attention.  In formal education settings it has now become a staple, either as a component of a traditional student journey, or as a preferred learning mode. Open Universities Australia (OUA) was the first big success story on our shores, offering online degrees from 10 Universities. Online students want an easier way to get into learning or finish a previously started course, maybe wanting a career boost, or are just passionate about learning something new.
What do you do though if you have the time, a good internet connection, know you want to learn something but you’re either not ready to pay for it, or want to try your hand before committing?
It turns out that these days you are in luck, as there are many ways to study online without needing to do an entire degree. Many of these do not attract fees at all. In no particular order, here are my top 5 free (or practically free) ways to study online for 2017.

edX – https://www.edx.org

Coming out of Harvard and MIT, edX is one of the most prominent online learning platforms in the world, partnering with many other renowned institutions along the way.  The model here is weekly engagement, and you will find a wealth of courses on a very wide variety of topics on offer for free, with the addition of a certificate for a price. More recently edX has gained attention with its micro-masters programs.  As with Coursera, the most successful courses have been around computers and programming, but take a look at some of their other offerings too, like The Science of Everyday Thinking.

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