A world of online learning

Last updated: August 06. 2013 3:29PM - 248 Views

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Do you want to get a jump on things you’ll be learning in school this year? Are you having trouble with that algebra homework, but your parents don’t get it either? Look online.

With an internet connection, you can access lots of educational websites. One of them is Khan Academy (www.khanacademy.org). In 2006, Sal Khan started Khan Academy, and later expanded it with a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Now, the website contains 4,300 great videos you can watch for free. The topics include math, computer science, art history, cosmology, and SAT prep. On Khan Academy, you can create a profile and avatar where you keep track of your progress, practice your math skills, and score points. Or, if you need help with your homework, you could search by keyword or subject to find your answer.

Then, there’s the world of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). With a MOOC, you are immersed in the college-level course without leaving your own home. There are video lectures with a college professor, group chats, reading lists, quizzes, and more. It’s like taking a college course, but without the time and cost commitment. Over 700,000 teens in the U.S. are taking one or more online courses. You can see a list of the web’s best MOOCs at www.mooc-list.com.

One popular MOOC program is Coursera (www.coursera.org). Three million people all over the world have taken Coursera courses, with topics ranging from foreign language and engineering to art and law. Sixty-two colleges including Penn State, Pitt, and Duke in 16 different countries work with Coursera to create courses for people like you to take for free anywhere in the world. Most of the courses are four to 14 weeks long.

It might seem unfamiliar or nerdy now, but look into the world of online learning. You might surprise yourself.

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