Spring Cleaning Of the Mind: The Best Online Platforms For A Better You

Spring Cleaning Of the Mind: The Best Online Platforms For A Better You

Apparently, spring is coming- our calendars and weather apps tell us so. That usually signals our bodies to wake up and do something with ourselves- do the spring cleaning, exercise, learn new things, go to unexplored places. In the not so distant past we wrote about the best apps that will help you with New Year’s resolutions, and now we’re going to expand that bunch of helpfulness with some online platforms that will make you better. In what sense? Every sense! Maybe you have already heard for some of them, but we’re going to make sure that you find something new and exciting. So let’s start.

Khan Academy

khan academy

Starting big, Khan Academy is a non-profit educational site created in 2006 by Salaman Khan, a graduate of MIT and Harvard. It has thousand of educational resources, lectures and tutorials about math, medicine, history, chemistry art history etc. This source of everything educationally awesome reaches 10 million students a month- are you among them?

Lumosity

lumosity

From serious smarts to fun smarts. Lumosity is online brain training and neuroscience research company that offers a brain training program. It consists of more than 40 games in the areas of memory, attention, flexibility, speed and problem solving. As you progress, the software figures out your weaknesses and strengths and assigns games accordingly

HowStuffWorks

how stuff works

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it won’t harm you on HowStuffWorks, an educational entertainment website. It uses various media to explain complex concepts, terminology and mechanisms. It has several podcasts and blogs and it even had its own documentary television series on Discovery Channel in 2008. This is a site for things that you didn’t know you wanted to know more about.

Coursera

coursera

Back to the online education, one of the most famous platforms is definitely Coursera. Although it is a for-profit, all of the available online resources are free. Founded by Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller from Stanford, this platform works with some of the best universities in the world to make their courses in physics, humanities, biology, business and other fields of study available online. Recently, they launched their iPhone app as well so you can learn on the go.

TED Talks

ted talks

No talk about talks could go without TED Talks. Under the motto “ideas worth spreading” is a global set of conferences. TED, shortened for Technology, Entertainment and Design, covers much more than those topics, with various more or less famous, but equally engaging speakers. All the talks are available online, but if you want a more hands-on experience, there are also independent local events near you called TEDx, so check them out.

MIT OpenCourseWare

MIT OCW

MIT OCW for short, it is the initiative of MIT to put all of the educational materials from its courses online, free and open to everyone, everywhere. However, you probably didn’t know that the project was launched all the way back in 2002. Utilizing all media, it is literally the mother of all of free online educational platforms. Yup, this is the one that started online education.

Project Gutenberg

project gutenberg

If you always wanted a library with all the classics, but never had the room for it, just bookmark Project Gutenberg and voila- there you have it! It is the oldest and biggest online digital library. Founded in 1971 by Michael S. Hart, it is mostly comprised by public domain books in English language, but there are many non-English works. Releases are in plain text, but also other formats such as HTML, PDF, MOBI etc.

Anki

anki

If you are the type of learner who benefits from flashcards, Anki is the right place for you. It is a spaced repetition flashcard program that helps you study. The name stems from the Japanese word for “memorizing” and it allows you to flash your cards using HTML. The cards can include text, images, sounds and video and your notes are stored on an online server so you can access them anywhere.

Mind Tools

mind tools

Among all of these professional sites that there is also one blog: Mind Tools. Don’t let yourself to be fooled by the “blog” mark, it is a serious place that helps people around the world to learn the practical skills they needed in their career. It is a great source covering a variety of topics and if you are an entry-level workers who want to make a good impression, this is a place you should visit.

Cooking for Engineers

cooking for engineers

And a bit of indulgence for this installment: Cooking for Engineers is a cookbook for people who have analytical minds. Founded by Michael Chu, this site is aimed at helping you make delicious food, but also at changin your approach to cooking  because it has analytical take on ingredients and the whole process. Who would have known that flowcharts and food make such a good team?

This is it for now, but don’t forget to tune in next week for some more advice on online platforms that will make you better!

Author:

Hrvoje Hrsto

Hrvoje is BA audio engineer graduate from SAE Institute in Ljubljana, currently freelancing and writing. His interests are music, television and all things geeky.

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