21 Online Services to Help You Learn, Well, Everything

They call it the information superhighway for a reason

By Eli London

21 Online Service to Help You Learn, Well, Everything
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06 August 2018

The internet. Heard of it?

It’s that all-consuming thing that lives on your computer, phone and maybe even your toilet.

And Americans spend a lot of time on it: according to an Annenberg report, we spend an average of 24 hours a week online. And the Pew Research Center says a quarter of us are online almost perpetually.

But what if instead of spending that time watching cat videos and taking quizzes to determine which member of the Jersey Shore you are, you put it to, you know, constructive use.

The information superhighway contains boundless resources help you learn that thing you’ve always wanted to learn but didn’t know where to start. Here to help you do just that: 21 top-notch services and apps to teach you how to cook like Daniel Boulud, code like Steve Wozniak and make love like Wilt Chamberlain.

Among many, many other admirable and useful skills.

Niche Learning Services

Panna
What It Teaches You: How to cook something your wife/kids/Tinder date will actually eat
What’s Great About It: They have more than 500 rotating video recipe tutorials from Michelin-starred chefs, along with specialty classes that teach specific cooking skills.
Platform: Website or mobile app
Cost: $6/month
What You Need: Your own cookware and food, a Guy Fieri-an catchphrase

ChrisFix
What It Teaches You: How to fix your car, whether you live in the garage or don’t know the difference between oil and gas
What’s Great About It: ChrisFix is like this generation’s Car Talk: appealing to the entire spectrum of automotive knowledge (from removing scratches to replacing intake manifolds) while keeping it pithy and supremely watchable. Even if you’re not a DIY guy, watch his videos before taking your vehicle into the shop to avoid getting screwed.
Platform: YouTube
Cost: Free
What You Need: A car, internet access and whatever tools you’ll need for the job. Don’t have them? He’s got links to buy in the video descriptions.

The Guitar Lesson
What It Teaches You: Acoustic/electric guitar basics, with some music theory and advanced techniques, all through easy-to-follow video lessons (and animated tabs)
What’s Great About It: You learn real, well-known songs right away
Platform: Website
Cost: Free for beginner’s courses, $9/month after that
What You Need: A guitar and a computer. And a desire to ace the riff on “Fly Away.”

Daily Art
What It Teaches You: Art history, heathen. E.g., the difference between Monet and Manet.
What’s Great About It: It’s just one great piece of artwork per day, and the story behind it.
Platform: App
Cost: Free with in-app purchases for advanced features (search, favorites, etc.)
What You Need: A smartphone and five minutes a day to appreciate the finer things.

TradeHero
What It Teaches You: Gamify your trades on the stock market (35 of ‘em) before spending real money. When you’re ready to crush it, you can trade for reals.
What’s Great About It: Did you mistakenly invest in MoviePass’s parent company? That’s OK, the money here is virtual! Learn from your mistakes before you throw out real $$$.
Platform: App
Cost: Free
What You Need: A smartphone and CNBC droning in the background.

Self Defense Tutorials
What It Teaches You: How to punch, kick, bob, weave and choke your way out of a dangerous situation.
What’s Great About It: When the holidays roll around, you have free access to “Ugly Christmas Sweater Jiu-Jitsu.”
Platform: Website, YouTube
Cost: The videos are free. The courses start at $97.
What You Need: Paranoia, basic coordination and a keen interest in topics like “how to use your head as a weapon.”

OMGYes
What It Teaches You: The great mystery of the world: the female orgasm
What’s Great About It: Unlike whatever you read in last month’s issue of Maxim, OMGYes is a sex-positive service made by women, for women. That said, about half of their users are male.
Platform: 62 short videos and 11 “touchable” interactive smartphone videos
Cost: A one-time fee of $39 for access to all the content
What You Need: The desire to please a partner. Also: a partner.

Typing.com
What It Teaches You: How to type with 10 fingers instead of two
What’s Great About It: It’s got a massive archive of interactive typing lessons for beginner, intermediate and advanced typists. Also, it’s free.
Platform: Website
Cost: Like we said, it’s free.
What You Need: A computer, an internet connection and a willingness not to cheat. C’mon, you’re not even being graded. Seriously, don’t cheat. There is literally no incentive to cheat. Stop cheating.

One Month
What It Teaches You: How to code (Python, Javascript, Ruby, HTML, etc. ) in 30 days
What’s Great About It: Besides the quick learning on coding, there are courses on startups, Bitcoin, Blockchain and productivity.
Platform: Website
Cost: $99-$299/month
What You Need: A computer, a calendar and maybe a good montage song.

iNaturalist
What It Teaches You: How to properly identify plants and animals
What’s Great About It: Millions of verified submissions from people all over the world means there’s data on wildlife wherever you are.
Platform: Website or mobile app
Cost: Free
What You Need: To get off your couch and go outside

General Learning Services

Masterclass
What It Teaches You: Very specific skills in very specific disciplines
What’s Great About It: Masterclass calls on industry leaders and celebrities to teach multi-part classes in their respective discipline: Steph Curry on jump shooting, Martin Scorcese on filmmaking, Annie Leibovitz on photography. Don’t count on getting a selfie with them, though.
Platform: Website or mobile app
Cost: One course for $99 or an All-Access pass for $180/year
What You Need: Depending on the content of the course, anything from a basketball to a camera to a notebook.

Udemy
What It Teaches You: What doesn’t it teach you?
What’s Great About It: Udemy is the world’s largest online learning place. It has more than 80,000 courses taught by experts. You buy per course and have access to that course for life once purchased. Very heavy in the development/coding region, though.
Platform: Website or mobile app
Cost: Anywhere from $20-$200 per course, but they often run promotions.
What You Need: Given the broad offerings, an idea of what you want to learn.

Skillshare
What It Teaches You: A whole buncha stuff
What’s Great About It: Similar to Udemy, Skillshare is a huge marketplace, with more than 22,000 courses available, but you pay a membership fee that gives you access to unlimited classes, rather than paying per class. Skillshare also has more of a focus on creative endeavors, while still offering tech and business courses.
Platform: Website or mobile app
Cost: $96 if you pay the yearly membership fee, or $12/month
What You Need: Unlimited courses, so, uh, the ability to freeze time?

Coursera
What It Teaches You: College level thinking
What’s Great About It: Coursera is another expansive online learning platform: the caveat here is that these are courses from legit universities. So a lot of them are more about learning for learning’s sake, rather than learning a particular skill. They also offer accredited masters programs.
Platform: Website or mobile app
Cost: Courses run $29-$99, Specializations (multiple courses in a discipline, e.g., data science) run $39-$79/month and an Online Degree will run you $15k-$25k.
What You Need: Friends willing to listen to you ramble about philosophy and complain about homework.

Tuts+
What It Teaches You: Specific tasks you want to get done
What’s Great About It: Tuts is another large marketplace, and while it offers courses like the others, it also offers short tutorial videos. Think learning how to run a specific script in your excel spreadsheet.
Platform: Website
Cost: $16.50/month
What You Need: Small tasks that you don’t know how to do.

Lynda
What It Teaches You: Everything from app development to Photoshop to training for promotions and even starting your own business
What’s Great About It: Besides being a crash course in getting nearly any digital venture off the ground, you get access to expert knowledge without a whiff or trace of judgment or condescension. The variety of courses is so diverse — from business and marketing to design, photography and even office diplomacy — that you’ll be equipped to become the world’s next best CEO.
Platform: Website or mobile app
Cost: You can get free access through certain local libraries and employers, otherwise it’s $29.99 a month (with a free month trial)
What You Need: Willpower, self-discipline and an internet connection.

Language Learning Services

Duolingo
What It Teaches You: Learning a language from scratch
What’s Great About It: Duolingo uses a gamified approach to learning a language, allowing you to essentially compete against yourself while learning. Not advisable: competing against your significant other.
Platform: Website and app
Cost: Free with optional add-ons
What You Need: Travel plans

Babbel
What It Teaches You: How to be confident speaking a language
What’s Great About It: They feature lessons made by language experts that feature native speakers, but the best part is their speech-recognition technology, which will ensure you know how to say Ibiza correctly before you go.
Platform: Website and app
Cost: $6.95/month, if you commit to a yearlong subscription
What You Need: The willingness to practice

Rosetta Stone
What It Teaches You: Don’t act like you don’t know
What’s Great About It: They’ve been around for a few decades, so they must be doing something right. Their method of immersion and “TruAccent” technology helps you master the most difficult sounds.
Platform: Website or app (or CD-roms, if you’re still using those)
Cost: Varies between level
What You Need: Time to practice

Fluent Forever
What It Teaches You: How to go from no knowledge to fluency in a foreign language
What’s Great About It: Instead of slogging through memorization like a bad flashback to high school, Fluent Forever relies on novel word and image association techniques. The multilingual creator wrote a book on it, but because it’s crowdfunded, the app is currently only in the development phase. A Spanish beta version debuts this month, with Italian, French and German coming next.
Platform: Mobile app
Cost: Subscriptions, from $50 for five months learning one language to $890 for an unlimited pass for multiple languages
What You Need: An iOS or Android phone and some patience until the app is finalized

Michel Thomas Method
What It Teaches You: New languages in an all-audio format ... and how to casually name-drop (“Emma Thompson swears by this course!”)
What’s Great About It: Thomas’s courses break down language into component parts, using small steps to build a speaker up to bigger sentences — no writing or coursework required.
Platform: A finicky app and see below
Cost: $15-$135 per course
What You Need: A drive that can play CD-ROMs, since that seems to be the preferred method here. 1998 called, they want you to learn French.

Additional reporting by Kirk Miller, Alex Lauer, Athena Wisotsky and Ryan Thaxton

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