[LEARN] Online Schools For Adults and Kids

Category: Education

Online schools (also known as distance learning) are one of the fastest-growing and most useful applications of the Internet for school-age children and adults pursuing continuing education. No matter what your situation or preferred learning mode, there is probably an online school or university that can accommodate your needs. Read on...

Is Online School the Right Choice?

This Fall, "back to school" could very well mean "back to the laptop" for lots of people. Many parents choose home-schooling for a variety of reasons, and many adults are looking for new skills to improve their employment prospects. Here are some online programs for students of all ages.

K12.com is widely used by public school districts to provide distance-learning to school children who need this option. Consequently, K12.com’s programs are free to families, paid for by local school districts.

According to the company, “Master teachers, cognitive scientists, subject-matter experts, technologists, interactive designers, writers, and researchers—who share a deep expertise in their areas of focus and a passion for shaping young minds the right way—develop the K12 curriculum.” Interested parents can find a K-12.com program that is tailored to their local school board’s requirements at K-12.com’s site.

Online School options

Private, tuition-charging online schools for the K-12 demographic are also available. They range from religion-oriented home-schooling curricula such as that offered by Heritage Christian Online Homeschooling to K12 International Academy, which is accredited in the U.S. - meaning its diplomas are accepted by colleges, an important factor to consider when choosing an online school.

Adult learners have a vast array of online education options from which to choose. Associate, Bachelor, and Master degrees are available through the Ashford University program website, Arizona State University Online programs, and many others. US News and World Report has a ranked list of the best accredited online colleges.

Give Me Some Credit!

See my previous articles Free Online College Courses, Free Online College Courses - Part Deux and Free Online College Courses - Part Three for even more online learning options, from top-ranked colleges and universities.

But be careful when shopping for such a program; read my article, “Are Online Universities Accredited?” to learn how accreditation affects transferability of credits and eligibility for financial aid and scholarships, and how to avoid financial aid scams pushed by some online schools.

MOOCs - Massively Open Online Courses - have proliferated as popular continuing education opportunities that satisfy informal autodidacts as well as career-minded professionals who need certified courses to maintain their licenses. My article, “More Online College Courses” delves into the MOOC world to explain how to get an advanced degree or just stay current in your field.

One of the best-known MOOC providers is Edx, which partners with colleges such as Harvard, CalTech, Columbia, and many other top-tier institutions. Edx’s Global Freshman Academy offers over 500 courses; some are free, the rest cost less than half the typical credit-hour price charged by physical schools. It’s a good option for getting basic freshman course credits or brushing up on skills that may have rusted over the past few years.

Coursera is an online education platform hosting free courses from hundreds of universities all over the world. It’s served nearly 14 million students so far.

Khan Academy offers a wide range of free online courses, with the promise that "you can learn anything." Math, science, computer programming, history, art, economics are just a few of the online classes you can take here. Khan is a great resource for high school or college students who need help with a subject, or for adults who want to learn a new topic or skill.

Udemy offers over 100,000 online courses taught by experts. You can learn computer programming, web design, photography, business skills, music and many other topics. If you have expertise in a certain field, you can even create your own online course at Udemy.

And of course there's Youtube. You can find lots of really helpful "how-to" videos on almost any topic. I find Youtube especially helpful when I need to fix something. I've found instructional videos that helped me repair my own washer, dryer, and lawn mower, without calling in a repair technician. You can find videos that show you show to play songs on the guitar or piano, or how to make a cup of coffee float in the air.

Distance learning options are abundant. While they do not provide “the college experience” of physical schools, many students would prefer to skip the distracting hijinks of a typical college campus. Working adults appreciate the option to take classes at a flexible pace that accommodates their schedules. Overall, online education just keeps getting better.

Have you taken an online course? Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...

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Most recent comments on "[LEARN] Online Schools For Adults and Kids"

Posted by:

Jerry Barnes
28 Jun 2019

Bob, I believe the link "K-12.com" should be "K12.com". "K-12.com" was flagged as invalid by Bitdefender (certificate only valid for "K12.com").

Posted by:

28 Jun 2019

When I put K-12.com in the address field of Firefox it redirected to k12.com.

Posted by:

Herb Klug
29 Jun 2019

Bob - you continue to impress with the breadth of topics you address and the depth of your discussions... And the clarity of those discussions no matter how deep you dive. It seems inadequate to just say "Thank you for all you do," but I'm lost for other words. You are appreciated and admired.

Posted by:

Mike and Diane
29 Jun 2019

We studied the youtube videos on installing a metal roof for our home. After a couple weeks of watching in our spare time we ordered the material and went to work. The estimate for professional installation was 22,000. we spent 6500 and did it ourselves. Perfect roof. Not bad for a couple of 71 year olds who have been married for 51 years.

Posted by:

Jay R
30 Jun 2019

Mike and Diane- very impressive. Thumbs up!!

Posted by:

Stella St Amour
05 Jul 2019

V'been following you since Tourbus. You're still ON TOP. Thank you

Posted by:

Data Bear
22 Aug 2019

“Nice info!”

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