Educational learning platforms

Stuck at home and eager to learn something new? Our list of free online learning platforms offer thousands of classes from top universities and world-renowned institutions you can take now from anywhere you wish at anytime you choose!

Are you stuck at home with feelings of cabin fever, not knowing what to do with your time?

How about learning something fun which will help you with your educational and career goals after this is all over?

And, what if I told you they’re all free?!

Our guide below lists the best free online learning platforms, MOOCs (massive open online courses), and other websites and tools available to give you the education you want when and where you want it.

Let’s get started!

1. Coursera

Coursera is just about the best online learning platform out there, as well as one of the most popular. They collaborate with over 190 top companies and universities, such as Google, IBM, Stanford, and the University of Pennsylvania, and they have thousands of courses and specializations to study completely online.

On top of the regular free online learning courses, you can also earn professional certificates and full university degrees for a nominal fee. Or, you can join Coursera Plus, which is around $59/month, where Coursera offers unlimited access to take as many courses and classes as you want with full certificate benefits! You can get a 7 day free trial here.

Some options on their online learning platform include:

  • Google IT Support Professional Certificate
  • Negotiation, Mediation and Conflict Resolution Specialization
  • Master of Computer and Information Technology
  • Introduction to Physical Chemistry

Visit their website »

2. edX

Just as powerful and feature-rich as Coursera, with some top-tier schools in their course catalog, edX offers more than 2,500 massive open online courses (MOOCs). With courses put on by MIT, Harvard, UC Berkeley, and Boston University, you can get a world-class education from the comfort of your own home.

Beside their standard courses, they also offer professional certificates, a MicroBacherlors program, a MicroMasters program, and their Global Freshman Academy. Definitely one of the best online learning platforms out there, though you’ll have to pay to take some of their university-level certificate and degree programs. But if you want to learn a new skill from one of the best video-based course platforms, edX is hard to beat!

Some options on their online learning platform include:

  • Marketing Analytics: Competitive Analysis and Market Segmentation
  • Instructional Design and Technology
  • Cosmic Rays, Dark Matter, and the Mysteries of the Universe

Visit their website »

3. Khan Academy

Khan Academy is one of the most popular online learning platforms on the internet, serving just about everyone, from preschool through to adult learners. As well as all the free online classes you or your children can take, they offer the site in Spanish, French, and Portuguese, and they are currently translating their online resources into more than 30 other languages.

During the coronavirus crisis as everyone is working and studying from home, they even have daily learning schedules and resources for children aged 2–18, so high school students, middle school students, and their younger counterparts can effectively learn online, as well! All are free courses you can do self-paced, a perfect online education for busy students and young professionals!

Some options on their online learning platform include:

  • Macroeconomics
  • Trigonometry
  • AP Biology
  • Finance & Capital Markets

Visit their website »

4. Canvas

Unlike edX or Coursera, which each have big names on board as far as universities, Canvas is a MOOC platform with smaller local universities and community colleges teaching its online courses. Some of these include the University of Colorado Boulder, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, and the Swinburne University of Technology. Also, rather than simply offering courses for anyone, Canvas caters more towards teaching current instructors as well as the next generation of educators.

Some individual courses on their e-learning platform include:

  • University Governance and Academic Leadership
  • Safe and Resilient Schools: Threat Assessment and School Safety
  • Writing In The Disciplines Professional Development Course

Visit their website »

5. FutureLearn

FutureLearn lets you learn online from universities and companies all over the world, including Anglia Ruskin University, King’s College London, Monash University, and the University of Wollongong. On top of their university partnerships, they also partner with specialist organizations such as Accenture, Amnesty International, the British Library, and UNESCO.

From personal development video lessons to employment-related course content, FutureLearn definitely deserves its place near the top of our best online learning platforms list.

Some options on FutureLearn’s online learning platform include:

  • Understanding Fashion: From Business to Culture
  • Work-Life Balance and the Impact of Remote Working
  • Allergies: When the Immune System Backfires
  • Cognitive Behavioural Skills to Treat Back Pain: The Back Skills Training (BeST) Programme

Visit their website »

6. Codecademy

As their name suggests, Codecademy teaches millions of online learners the essential skills behind coding, as well as classes in the larger IT world. You can sort their course catalog by educational subject, such as web development or data science, or you can sort by language, such as Python, JavaScript, or PHP.

Codecademy Pro ($20/month) gives you access to members-only content, real-world projects, step-by-step guideance, and certificates of completion. Eligible college students can get access to Pro at a 35% discount, making this e-learning platform a top contender.

Some options on their online learning platform include:

  • How to Analyze Data With Python
  • How to Create a Back-End App with JavaScript
  • Learn How to Build Websites
  • Data Science & Computer Science Certificates of Completion

Visit their website »

7. Udacity

Udacity is a mix of paid and free online courses, but they also have some great partnerships, especially in the tech sphere. A few of their partner organizations are Google, IBM, AWS, and Lyft. They specialize in high-quality technology courses, but they also offer many courses in business, career advancement, product management, and more.

Some options on their online learning website include:

  • Front End Web Development
  • Data Science / Data Analysis
  • Flying Car and Autonomous Flight Engineering

Visit their website »

8. Kadenze

Kadenze bills itself as “the future of STEAM education,” and they collaborate with leading institutions around the world to offer courses in science, technology, engineering, art, design, music, and math. Their partners include Princeton University, Berklee, Paris College of Art, Calarts, and RISD.

Some options on their online learning platform include:

  • Introducing Entrepreneurship for Musicians
  • Harnessing the Power of the Team: Teacher, Child, and Parent in Beginning Piano Study
  • Introduction to 3D Modeling and Animation with Maya: Tradition Meets Technology
  • Charting the Avant Garde: From Romanticism to Utopic Abstraction

Visit their website »

9. The Open University

The Open University is headquartered in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, UK, but operates primarily online. Through their program OpenLearn, they offer hundreds of free courses online in childhood and youth studies, education careers, working with young people, and other educational development fields.

Their learning materials include a wide range of video courses, university-level activities, and the ability to download courses in more than 10 formats, including PDF, Word document, Kindle, epub, and others. Certainly one of the best online course platforms of 2021!

Some options on their online learning platform include:

  • Exploring Books for Children: Words and Pictures
  • Looking Globally: the Future of Education
  • How to Take Your Teaching Online
  • Making Sense of Mental Health Problems

Visit their website »

10. YouTube Learn@Home

Learn@Home is a YouTube initiative to make online learning fun and engaging for younger school children. They have curated a list of playlists and channels in science, math, the humanities, and electives, and they offer some truly great “virtual field trips” to take, such as going through desert canyons with BBC Earth, walking with elephants with the Discovery Channel, and learning about the world with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Some options on their online learning platform include:

  • What is Artificial Intelligence?
  • Foundations of American Democracy
  • Canada’s Wild Rivers 360

11. TEDEd

From TED, the founders of the world-famous TED conferences and TED talks, comes TEDEd, an initiative that aims to encourage and enable young people to learn interesting topics online for free. Unlike most other MOOCs on this list, the topics here are more everyday and conversational.

Some options on their online learning platform include:

  • How One Scientist Took On the Chemical Industry
  • How Can We Solve the Antibiotic Resistance Crisis?
  • Why Isn’t the Netherlands Underwater?
  • What It’s Like to Be a Muslim in America – Dalia Mogahed

Visit their website »

12. Code.Org is one of the best online learning communities and e-learning platforms for younger students or adults who want to learn computer science and coding. On top of the free online courses, they also have plenty of resources for teachers and educators looking to instruct on the fundamentals of computer science and coding, as well.

Some options on their online learning platform include:

  • AI for Oceans
  • Coding in Astronomy
  • How the Internet Works

Visit their website »

13. Udemy

I’d be remiss if I didn’t include Udemy on the list, but I have some reservations. Although it offers tons of online courses in everything from business to marketing to personal development, almost all their courses are for a fee and taught by anyone rather than renowned universities. On top of that, they seem to price everything as if it’s a bargain, like a perpetual going-out-of-business sale.

However, that being said, there are some gems to be found. Since you may not be familiar with the instructors’ names, I suggest making sure the online class you want to take has a relatively large amount of good reviews.

Some free options on Udemy’s online learning platform include:

  • HTML5 and CSS3 Fundamentals
  • How to Use SMART Goals: Achieve More in Less Time
  • Art Fundamentals: Building Blocks of Digital Painting

Visit their website »

14. Wide Open School

The Wide Open School provides a free collection of online learning resources and experiences for parents and teachers to use to educate their students and children. However, if you’re a student yourself or just looking to brush up on a particular topic, the Wide Open School would still be a great choice for your studying from home needs.

Some options on their online learning platform include:

  • Trade and the Black Death
  • Problem-Solving Robots
  • What’s Inside a Nuclear Reactor?

Visit their website »

15. DataCamp

To get the full DataCamp online learning experience, which includes over 300 interactive tech courses, 14 career tracks, skills assessments, and more, you’ll have to pay a monthly subscription fee. However, they do offer a free option which gives you one skill assessment, the first chapter of any course, and all coding challenges.

Some options on their online learning platform include:

  • Introduction to Databases in Python
  • Introduction to Scala
  • Writing Functions and Stored Procedures in SQL Server
  • Machine Learning for Business

Visit their website »


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