When it comes to private tutoring, the US loves it! In fact, of a market that is valued at around $100 billion globally, the US accounts for about a tenth of it! With ever-changing standardized tests becoming more and more common, this industry is only set to grow and become more competitive.
That’s great for the tutors but what about the parents who have to pay them? Depending on where you live, it can be pretty expensive to hire a tutor for every single subject. Don’t worry! Here at Superprof, we’ve decided to put together a few sites, apps, and on-line videos for those on a budget.
It's all well and good doing a few quizzes, puzzles, and educational games online but if you want a more complete learning experience, have a look at some of the best educational websites, apps, and courses online.
Online Courses: The Big Names
Given the popularity of massive open online courses (or MOOCs), you have plenty of option when it comes to learning on your own. A MOOC is an educational website usually with video lessons provided by a teacher from a well-known college or university. As the courses are usually a library of online videos and multimedia activities, you don't get the same textbooks or the resources you'd get with a tutor.
However, there are a number of benefits to these education websites and if your budget doesn't stretch to getting a private tutor for everything you want to learn, an online course and a few printable worksheets might be just what the doctor ordered. If you're interested in supplementing your learning with a MOOC, here’s a list of the some of the most famous ones.
Coursera brings college-level courses to everyone around the world for a fraction of the cost of a college education. In fact, there are a number of courses offered by the colleges themselves across huge range of different subjects and topics and there are also communities of learners and teachers available to help.
When Coursera was founded in 2012, Princeton, Stanford, the University of Michigan, and the University of Pennsylvania all provided content.
The courses on Coursera are mostly provided by universities and is one of the best websites for higher education. The lesson plans and courses are put together by some of the best teachers and while there aren't free courses, they do start as cheap as $29 per course. These standard courses last between 4 to 6 weeks.
Starting at $39, specializations will cost you a little more but are also more intensive and last between 4 and 6 months.
There is also an app for iOS and Android and support is provided by Course Mentors and the Learner Support Team.
According to Khan Academy, “You can learn anything.”. Khan Academy provides free courses for a variety of levels and ages. There are also resources for teachers, making it one of the best websites for any educator or student.
Khan Academy is dedicated to providing free online education and is one of the best educational resources for online learning. Khan Academy offers courses in a number of subjects including Math, science, and history. With so many different courses available, it’ll be hard to choose just one. Not that you have to...
Note: You can find out about tutoring near me here.
There are a huge variety of courses available with a wealth of resources and an active community of students learning together. Completely free! Let's have a look at some of the other websites offering education on a budget.
Udemy, pronounced YOO-duh-mee, dubs itself as a site for online teaching and a learning marketplace. It currently offers over 55,000 courses which includes both free courses and courses subject to tuition fees. What makes Udemy different to some of the other platforms we've seen thus far is that Udemy courses focus on professional development rather than providing a learning environment for kids and college students.
Even though the founders initially struggled to get funding, when Udemy was launched in early 2010, it grew quickly. This growth allowed the company to gather more funding and grow further.
Since the courses on Udemy are created by instructors, it is up to the instructor whether or not they want to charge for their course. Like most of the other sites we've looked at, signing up to Udemy is completely free and you only pay for the aforementioned courses with tuition fees.
Academic Earth offers a variety of different video courses from universities. At the time of writing, there are around 15,000 videos featured on the website. The free online courses featured on Academic Earth are from a number of the world's top universities including (but not limited to): Harvard, MIT, NYU, Princeton, and Yale.
One of the disadvantages of Academic Earth is the lack of variety when it comes to content. You won't find anything like interactive games or worksheets on this site and you can't get college credit for any of their courses. However, as a virtual video library for those wanting to learn on their own, it does the job.
edX is probably one of the most famous MOOCs. It was founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012 and has since expanded to include courses from over 100 different universities and educational partners. EdX, unlike Coursera, for example, is a non-profit.
edX currently has around 10 million students taking over 1,000 different courses divided into introductory, intermediate, and advanced levels. Students can take courses in art, science, economics, engineering, philosophy, and music, for example.
For more information, check out their website.
Learning Apps for Children and Teenagers
Of course, these MOOCs aren't great for younger children but don't worry! Your computer isn’t the only place you can learn. There are more and more academic support apps where you can learn new things or study the old.
Here’s a small list of some of the apps for kids and teenagers that you can get on your smartphone and learn for free.
Lola's Alphabet Train
This app is available for both iOS and Android and is geared towards children under 5. Children can discover the alphabet while having fun. There are a variety of different literacy games and a good number of different levels, too.
Your child will discover the joy of forming words and sentences while having fun. The app only costs $2.99.
Elmo Loves 123s
Thanks to a variety of different games and activities, children can learn a variety of numeracy skills. Children can learn about identifying numbers, tracing them, counting, adding and subtracting, and solving problems. This app is available for both iOS and Android.
Cookie Monster’s Challenge
Another Sesame Street favorite. Cookie Monster’s Challenge includes a series of mini-games to help young children learn. Much like the show, it’s aimed at children aged between 3-5 years old though it does include a variety of different levels, too.
As children progress through the levels, they earn pieces to build a cookie-making machine so that they can make cookies for, you guessed it, Cookie Monster! Just like Elmo Loves ABCs, it's also available for iOS and Android.
USATestPrep, unsurprisingly, is an app focusing on preparing students for standardized tests. However, unlike some of the other apps we've looked at, this is a tool for teachers, rather than students. While it's not free, there is a free trial available. The pricing of the app will depend what state you're in and which standardized test you're preparing for. Since the app is web-based, it can be used on both Apple and Android devices as well as computers.
Free Video Tutorials
Is a private tutor the only option? With apps and on-line video, there are plenty of different resources you can use for either teaching or learning.
The Internet is a veritable source of information, after all. You can read books without buying them, watch news reports, and talk to people from all over the world.
When it comes to academic support, videos can be really useful for learning new things or just going back over something you’ve already studied.
There are plenty of educational websites for kids with games for studying, instructional videos, and worksheets you can download and print out. YouTube is also becoming a valuable resource for learning with a number of educators taking to the channel and helping spread knowledge.
Here's a couple of YouTube channels that I thought were worth mentioning.
This network of YouTube channels covers a variety of topics from history, mythology, computer science, and literature. No matter what subject you're interested in, Crash Course has probably done a series on it. For younger children, there's also Crash Course Kids.
If you're interested in physics, this channel covers interesting physics topics in videos that usually last only a few minutes. If nature's more your thing, you should check out their sister channel, Minute Earth.