The Path Of Lifelong Learning – Three Educational Search Engines For Online Courses

learning key   The Path Of Lifelong Learning   Three Educational Search Engines For Online CoursesThe path of learning is long and “costly”. Perhaps, that’s why we believe this too much and give up as soon as regular paychecks start hitting our accounts. But in today’s age, staying skilled and flexible is the mantra. You never know when the new kid in the next cubicle makes you redundant. It could be some new technology too. Scary thought isn’t it. The good thing about it is that it doesn’t have to like this. You can learn new skills, thanks to the same technological age that’s casting a shadow on your prowess.

Today, if you can just motivate yourself to self-learn, there are many ways to reach the promised land of knowledge. Free education is all around us. First, you have to get rid of the mind-paralyzing thought that you can’t do it alone. Second, you have to pick up your choice of course and stick with it to the finish. I can’t help you with the first. For the second, try out these three educational search engines which let you search the web for online courses.

Open Courseware Consortium

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OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a free and open digital publication of high quality educational materials for colleges and universities. It also means free education from some of the best universities in the world. If you have a web connection, then these open educational resources are just a click away. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is the name that’s invoked with respect and they were among the first pushers of sharing high academic knowledge and making it available worldwide without prejudice. Catch the entire list of participants.

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A variety of courses are available. The Open Courseware Consortium has an advanced search page which you can use to sift through the courses and find the needles in that large educational haystack. How big? The search index currently contains 7,588 courses from 68 sources and 20 languages. It’s growing as more courses and member institutions join in. The search results give you a relevance score along with the course and its details.

Skilledup

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Skilledup (beta) is trying to position itself as an educational search engine as well as a portal to “portals of wisdom” that is accessible on the web today. Searching for online courses with the help of the engine gives you free and paid courses and tutorials. Skilledup lists nearly 73,000 courses. Deals are advertised for some of the paid courses. You can use the search engine or browse through the courses by topic. If you go for either option, you can finetune your efforts with the checkboxes on the left which allow you to search for — among other things — live courses, massive online courses like (Coursera, edX etc.), talks and lectures, and open courses. You can also set it to display only free courses or any within specific price bands.

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The site has also set up a lot of its content around Skill Hubs. Skilled Up seems to lean more towards technical courses but they are building up the other areas as well. Check out this exhaustive list of 850+ free courses as profiled on this site.

Skilledup earns from affiliate links. The FAQ says -

So when you decide you like a paid course, you might click on a link that is called an affiliate link. The maker of that course pays us a portion of the course fee if you end up signing up. We can use this money to add more courses and help bring experts to rate and compare the best courses online — all for you! We might also be able to buy some ramen noodles and maybe go see a movie sometime.

Redhoop

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Redhoop is a new entrant in the educational search engine scene for courses. Like the ones above, Redhoop also takes you through the short cuts of educational course search. It taps into the massively online open courses offered by the biggies like Coursera, Udacity, and edX. Plus, the smaller but strong ones like Lynda.com and Khan Academy among others.

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You can go through the catalog of courses or use the educational search engine on the homepage. Redhoop is very neat – without any ads — and at a glance you can tell the source of the course and the cost (if not free) associated with it. There are the filters on the left to help you along as well. One of the better ways to use this site would be to sign up for the “new course” email alerts.

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” – Mark Twain

I couldn’t find a better way to end this post. This single quote says it all. Lifelong learning has tremendous benefits, from opening up unforeseen opportunities to holding back mental deterioration that comes with age. Are you looking to educate yourself in some area? Which courses have you picked? Try these three ways to search online courses and tell us if it helped to take you to the fonts of knowledge.

Image Credit: 3d Learn Key via Shutterstock

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26 Comments -

0 votes

Guy McDowell

I had no idea these tools existed. I was aware of Coursera, EdX, and some others, but not these.

Now if you could come up with a search engine that would find me the time to take the courses, I’d be set!

0 votes

Saikat Basu

Aah, that search engine is somewhere within us :) We just have to “search” it out with the keyword – “motivation”.

0 votes

techguyknows

Should use this to learn new things!

0 votes

Matthew P

I am loving the open courses movement but the biggest thing holding it back is getting recognition for courses that you’ve done. There are a few like Udacity that are making great leaps in this regard. There courses are high quality as well.

0 votes

Saikat Basu

I think recognition isn’t very far off. Technology is the big pusher and the rising cost of education will soon make it a viable second option.

1 votes

Alan Judson

I love these online services. Coursera is pretty slick.

0 votes

Scott Kupferman

Coursera is outstanding. I just downloaded the new iOS app “CoursePad” so you can learn on the go. I’ve been waiting for something like this for iOS for a while. It’s a great find.

0 votes

Saikat Basu

I wish they would bring one out for Android as well. Though there is the unofficial Coursera Companion. What type of courses are you trying to learn (on the go)?

0 votes

Scott Kupferman

Right now, I’m taking a Corporate Finance course. It’s just convenient to be able to watch the videos when I have dead time like waiting in a line or on my commute. I’d prefer to be at my desk to take notes, but I find it convenient to listen whenever I can to get through the lectures.

0 votes

Saikat Basu

That’s great. The positive push I have experienced is that when you finish one course, you are automatically motivated to take on another :)

0 votes

macwitty

I use to take a look at Open Courseware Consortium but will add Redhoop when looking for a new course.

0 votes

Justin Klyczek

Awesome finds. Thanks!

0 votes

israel

I have taken a few of the OCW courses, Coursera and now edX.
Some require u 2 spend quite a bit of time, learning is not easy (seriously), u must have time, patience, and will power, but it is
worth it

0 votes

Alexis Akridge

These are fantastic. I recently found the Khan Academy, and it just blew my mind. It’s unbelievable what is at our fingertips an FREE. If only this stuff had been around when I was in high school! Sometimes I forget just how much has changed since 2002!

0 votes

Saikat Basu

Today’s generation has so much help out there. I hope teachers are helping them explore these learning technologies.

1 votes

Damon Dye

Thanks!
The Promised Land of education indeed…
I will “make use of” this valuable information and without question pass it on.

-Damon Dye

0 votes

Nart Barileva

MOOCs are freakin amazing!

0 votes

Rahul Yadav

If only one has the sheer dedication to learn, we have come too far in the age of Cyber Schools where there are hundreds of tools and places available to learn and excel in every field without costing a penny.

I take pride in sharing my bookmarked educational places with ya’ll

MIT open Courseware
http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm

Mathematics and Programming
http://udacity.com/

A video library dedicated to maths and computer science
http://thenewboston.org/

Reddits very own University
http://ureddit.com/

Introductory courses for programming languages and web technologies
http://codecademy.com/

Need no introduction
http://lifehacker.com/

Collection of short videos dedicated to Technology, Science, Design…….
http://ted.com/

And finally an educational website that brings up the universities’ courses from around the globe on the Internet for us
http://coursera.org/

I hope it helps!!! :)

0 votes

Marc Stephan Nkouly

What about a Massive OFFLINE Open Course ?
I know online course are popular in the US but for us in Africa with our SLOW CONNECTION we can’t take advantage of it.
I know about KHAN ON A STICK but am asking my self if it’s posible to have other one’s as well ???

0 votes

Kamruzzaman Chowdhury

Thanks Rahul for sharing these useful websites. Thanks again.

0 votes

Nichole Fraser

Sweet!! Something I actually can waste time on while getting somewhere!!!

0 votes

Michael Rohde

This is awesome, what a resource.

0 votes

Kamruzzaman Chowdhury

These websites are very helpful. Thanks for sharing.

0 votes

Ali K

Cool …. gonna use them for programming courses. (:

0 votes

Jim

I’ve also been working on building a search engine for online learning resources http://edspire.com/ it has a focus on indexing a broader range or resources besides courses, and also building wizard style tools for recommendation.

I’d be very interested in any feedback.

Thanks

0 votes

Saikat B

Thanks for the link. It looks good, especially the user-friendly wizard…bookmarked it for future reference.