Dependant on your age, looking back on all those years that you spent sitting in classrooms at high school may bring back some daunting memories. Working by set rules, not being allowed to do what you want, yet at the same time it may be possible that you are feeling a sense of regret; a sense that comes with maturity when you look back and thing I could have utilised that time better and learnt something instead of mucking around. In previous years, the only options to enhance your education would be to go to night classes or take up a part time degree at a university, yet that is now a thing of the past. With aid of the internet comes unlimited potential to learning online, and people have started picking up on this fact providing services to help enhance our education. In fact, by reading this article you are already proving how versatile the internet can be at providing an education, and when you finish reading this, you should hopefully be raring to go to set out and learn something new!
When it comes to the internet and education, it really boils down to what you are looking for. If it is a formal qualification, then there are sites out there that will teach you online and either provide a test via the internet, or arrange an exam in a public exam room. However, if its just pure knowledge you want instead of the credentials, then you have got a mass of information at your finger tips ranging from full depth tutorials to short 101 sessions to help teach you something new. There are topics from learning a new language by use of audio, to teaching you how to fix a car. It really does depend on what you are after.
For instance, if you are a coder and you are looking to learn a brand new language, then the best way to proceed is probably through online tutorials. Most of the tutorial sites online list tutorials written by people like you and me, attempting to pass their skills on. For example, www.w3schools.com provide in depth tutorials to nearly every single web based language out there. Each tutorial is broken down into key parts with examples how the code works, making it easier for you to learn. The worst tutorials are where they show you something and do not explain how it works and you should steer clear of these types.
When it comes down to it, if you are just looking to enhance your education using the internet, the best way to go about it, is searching for information on that topic using a search engine like Google. There will be a guarantied chance that you will find some information on what you are looking for, however it is important to understand that to get the best possible education out the internet, it pays to use more than resource. A lot of the sites out there providing you with the education are written by average people, just like the tutorials I mentioned earlier. There are no standards or specifications they have to abide by, so if chance would have it, you may stumble onto a site filled with incredibly well articulated rubbish. In other words, it looks good but the information is worthless. Cross referencing your information is a key point to good research and learning!
Now reading this, you may still feel a little lost as you might just want an online reference you can go to. Well, to help you along, www.eliteskills.com/free_education is an excellent free reference site. It has tons of links to help you get started on what you want to learn, linking to genuine university sites where they put their lectures online for students and anyone else interested to learn from. A lot of the information on there leads to pod casts where you can download entire lectures via Itunes. Examples would include their language section. If you click on their basic French link it will open up Itunes and provide you with over 100 tracks containing individual lessons from a French Teacher.
For those of you who want to actually earn a degree online, or get some qualifications, there are options for you to. However it is important to note, that for a degree or qualification, you are going to have to spend money on it. Free sites offering free qualifications are probably fakes trying to draw you into their ad venue scheme, and they are just not worth it, so please be aware that it’s going to cost you money. How much depends on what you want and who you go with.
One of the best sites out there to obtain a degree or a course is the Open University. While based in the UK, international students are always welcome, and all their courses can be done online. This would appeal to people who are serious about gaining some extra qualifications alongside the ones you have already got (or have not got if that is the case). They offer nearly every type of practical degree from languages to sciences, and are an excellent choice if you want to have a job alongside it.
If you do not fancy joining the Open University, then have a look around your countries universities and see if they offer any degrees or courses online. It is not guarantied that they will, but you might get lucky and find a few that do some courses.
Basically, using the internet for an online education is an excellent idea if you approach it with an open mind. Never take anything for granted on it, and be wary of cheap deals to get you a qualification. If you see a course you want to do on a site, then search about for other people who’ve done it and see if they would recommend it to you.