Get Schooled: 4 Free & Affordable Ways to Learn More

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Get Schooled: 4 Free & Affordable Ways to Learn More


Whether you have just begun your solopreneur business or are a seasoned professional, there is always room to grow professionally and personally. One of my favorite ways to do this is through online learning. That’s because there are a plethora of online learning resources available that are free or affordable, can be done independently at your own pace, and are packed with information from business management to personal development. That’s a win-win for any One Woman Shop!

Ready to get your study on? Try out these free and affordable ways to learn more:

1. Coursera

The beauty of Coursera is that it has a catalog of scheduled sessions in various areas of study. Each course comes with lots of structure, including a syllabus, audio and visual lectures, quizzes and tests, along with an online instructor from a qualified institution.

Before you join a course, Coursera provides you with: available sessions (current and future), the length of the course (in weeks), hours of study suggested per week, and a brief overview. Taking classes through Coursera gives you the opportunity to earn a course certificate with valuable credentials from the best universities. In addition, they also offer a Specialization program which includes select courses in a given topic, a capstone project and a specialization certificate.

Personally, Coursera is one of my favorite online learning resources because it marries lectures, self-study and resource reading in a way that best suits me. I like to be at a desk with my Coursera class on my laptop and a notebook to take notes.

Cost: Free to Variable

2. iTunes U

I was overwhelmed (in a good way) when I was first introduced to iTunes U a few years ago. Available via the iTunes Store, iTunes U allows you to subscribe to classes and curriculum from some of the top universities. Primarily used as an extension for instructors to bring their curriculum together on iPad, the app is complete with an index of areas to learn from, lectures, notes, quizzes, tests, webinars, documents, books and resources. When you see the structure of the courses and the subjects available, you will certainly understand why much of the younger generation is provided with iPads over traditional textbooks.

Because the iTunes U App is from Apple, the design is similar to the iTunes Store App and Podcasts App, making it easy to use for any one familiar. Many of the iTunes U classes I have taken are provided as lecture videos while others emulate a condensed ebook with assignments. Due to this format of online learning through the app, it is much easier to take the course(s) while on an iPad.

Cost: Free

3. Khan Academy

Khan Academy has self-paced videos to learn, interact and assess your knowledge in different areas. The site has over 4,300 videos to learn from and skills to practice for students, parents, teachers and the lifelong learner. Topics they tackle range from math and science to history, and the Academy's resources are being translated into more than 36 languages. A fun feature Khan Academy provides is a way to track your progress on what and how you have been learning.

One of the best things about Khan Academy is they have no ads and no subscriptions because they believe in a free forever world-class education for everyone!

Cost: Free

4. TED

TED began as a Technology, Entertainment and Design conference. The purpose of a TED Talk? To share ideas worth spreading. TED Talks are driven, concise and inspiring from the most renowned leaders, movers, and shakers in the world. Today, TED covers almost all topics in powerful talks of 18 minutes or less. Topics range from consumerism to activism and productivity. These talks will instantly inspire you to engage in conversation or take action.

TED provides TED Talks and Playlists for free. You can also attend TED Conferences, TEDx Events or TED Live at additional costs.

Because of the length of time given to do a Talk, it breeds more passion and intensity from the speaker and in turn, has the listener more engaged and in tune with what is said.

Cost: Free to Variable

What are some of your favorite ways to engage in lifelong learning, fellow solopreneur?

PS: Looking for more great sites to learn from? Check out past posts here and here.

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Ashlee Chu is a Marketing Consultant and Registered Paraplanner® in Southern California. She markets the worth of others at Ashlee Chu Marketing, her social media marketing and resume strategy business.

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  1. Jill says:

    I recently started a business and have taken a lot of skillshare classes, which have been a great resource to help me keep up to date and learn new things. I’m going to check out these other sites next. Thanks for the great list I love that you can learn how to do anything!

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