Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 1 April 2020

Coronavirus: 10 top e-learning platforms for kids and adults

The majority are free to use and offer a range of courses

Online classes and distance learning have caught on during the coronavirus epidemic. Pawan Singh / The National
Online classes and distance learning have caught on during the coronavirus epidemic. Pawan Singh / The National

With distance learning and the UAE's ‘stay home’ campaign in full swing, there are plenty of e-learning platforms people can use to learn new skills.

Here, The National has put together a list of the online learning tools, the majority of which are free.

From mastering new languages to learning how to code – there are a wide range of platforms available.

For kids

Kids can learn about different animal species free of cost. Courtesy: National Geographic Kids
Kids can learn about different animal species free of cost. Courtesy: National Geographic Kids

National Geographic Kids

Youngsters can go on a virtual safari with this free-to-use website.

It’s got educational videos and articles on different animal species, including mammals, reptiles and amphibians.

There is also an ‘explore’ option where kids can read more about the natural world.

A series of fun games can then be tried to put newly gained knowledge to the test.

This e-learning platforms offers an education on programming, web development and game development. Courtesy: Codecademy 
This e-learning platforms offers an education on programming, web development and game development. Courtesy: Codecademy 

Codecademy

This partially free website allows you to learn programming language, such as HTML and CSS, Python, JavaScript, SOL, C++ and Ruby.

The basic account is free, otherwise it’s Dh58.73 ($15.99) a month for a 'pro' account.

The free service offers lots of educational content on coding and programming. It’s designed for people with zero to intermediate experience and has hundreds of exercises and quizzes.

Subjects available to users include web development, data science and design and game development.

Meanwhile, the pro account teaches users how to apply new skills in real-world scenarios.

Launched in 2017, this website is meant to empower the youth in the Arab world through free videos on a range of subjects. Courtesy: Madrasa 
Launched in 2017, this website is meant to empower the youth in the Arab world through free videos on a range of subjects. Courtesy: Madrasa 

Madrasa

This one is just for Arabic-speakers, but it’s an impressive e-learning platform with more than 5,000 free educational videos.

The website was launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, in 2017.

It includes videos on a variety of subjects including biology, physics, chemistry, general sciences and maths.

It's user-friendly and also has fun ‘missions’ pupils can complete to earn points.

“Building a better future for our region starts in the classroom and e-learning can bridge the knowledge gap in the Arab world,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

Khan Academy is a not-for-profit organisation and is free of cost for users. Courtesy: Khan Academy
Khan Academy is a not-for-profit organisation and is free of cost for users. Courtesy: Khan Academy

Khan Academy

One of the most popular e-learning platforms is the free-to-use Khan Academy. It caters to young students, teachers and parents.

It’s an educational project by a non-profit organisation and has nearly 10 million users worldwide.

Anyone taking advantage of the platform can personalise the course they want to study according to their age and grade.

Subjects such as math, arts and humanities, computing, science, economics and finance are all available.

FunBrain offers creative videos and education tools to users who are interested in game-based learning. Courtesy: FunBrain
FunBrain offers creative videos and education tools to users who are interested in game-based learning. Courtesy: FunBrain

FunBrain

If you’re looking for game-based learning, FunBrain.com is the go-to site. It’s designed for pupils from kindergarten to grade 8.

Offering free access to educational games, e-books, videos, a maths zone and a creative online playground, the platform has been operating for more than two decades.

“Funbrain offers hundreds of games, books, comics and videos that develop skills in math, reading, problem-solving and literacy,” the website said.

EdX has videos of university lectures from some of the top universities in the world, including Harvard and MIT. Courtesy: EdX
EdX has videos of university lectures from some of the top universities in the world, including Harvard and MIT. Courtesy: EdX

EdX

Founded by Harvard and MIT, this non-profit and open source website allows users access to pre-recorded lectures from 140 universities around the world.

It’s free to use, but for unlimited access and to actually get the completion certificate, prices range from Dh551 ($150) to Dh5,059 ($1,500).

With more than 20 million users, EdX has interactive online courses on law, history, science, engineering, business, social sciences, computer science, public health and artificial intelligence.

The free access does the job if you’re not looking to get a certification of any sort. It’s also useful for high school students who are exploring university options as they can virtually sit in on lectures.

Duolingo has 35 different languages available to users. Courtesy: Duolingo
Duolingo has 35 different languages available to users. Courtesy: Duolingo

Duolingo

This one’s for adults and kids who are looking to learn a new language.

Duolingo is free to use if you’re okay with pop-up ads, but premium subscription is Dh36.73 ($10) per month.

It has 35 language courses available, including Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Irish and even Latin.

The website works well, but the brand’s mobile app is eve more popular, with 100 million downloads.

You can also choose your level – beginner, intermediate or expert.

Udemy has more than 20,000 educational videos. Courtesy: Udemy
Udemy has more than 20,000 educational videos. Courtesy: Udemy

Udemy

Known as the largest online education platform, Udemy has more than 150,000 courses in 65 different languages.

There are free and pay-for video lessons in a variety of different subjects, with top categories that include business, marketing, IT and software, design, photography, personal development and music.

Other interesting programmes include cryptocurrency, mobile app development, meditation, nutrition and herbalism.

Prices for courses vary. Teachers can also upload lessons.

Leading experts globally are instructors on this e-learning platform. Courtesy: LinkedIn Learning
Leading experts globally are instructors on this e-learning platform. Courtesy: LinkedIn Learning

Linkedin Learning

This e-learning platform offers 5,000 videos from experts around the world. The focus is mainly on business, technology and creative skills.

Some of the instructors include senior level staff from companies like Facebook, the New York Stock Exchange and Harvard.

You can access some of the videos in the month-free trial. Then, the courses are available as a premium monthly subscription for Dh110.15 ($29.99).

You can add the lessons you’ve completed to your LinkedIn profile.

SkillShare helps users with their creative skills, especially in the multimedia area. Courtesy: SkillShare
SkillShare helps users with their creative skills, especially in the multimedia area. Courtesy: SkillShare

SkillShare

For those aspiring to become social media influencers and content creators, SkillShare workshops seems to be the most popular among YouTubers.

It has more than 20,000 videos on how to develop creative skills and has a strong focus on film and editing.

You can try it using the two-month free trial. After that, it’s Dh55 ($15) per month or Dh30.30 ($8.25) per month, billed annually.

Updated: March 26, 2020 01:41 PM

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