How many times did you hear the phrase “I wish I listened more at school” from adults when you were growing up? When we are young we find it difficult to comprehend just how valuable an education can be. But when we get older most of us seem to embark on a quest for knowledge and rediscover the joy of learning.
Fortunately, the Internet has awarded us plenty of opportunities to boost our brain power. No longer do we have to trek to the library or wait for the evening news to get our daily top-up of information. In today’s highly connected, digital world it’s as easy as switching on a phone or browsing the web.
If you want to get a free education, the following resources will help.
1. Wiki How
Ever wondered how to install a wall mount for a flat screen television, or hang a painting on drywall? The millennial generation are, quite frankly, useless when it comes to DIY (author included). We just haven’t grown up with that hands-on attitude that our fathers and forefathers grew up with. Wiki How is perfect for DIY newbies and avid life hackers. With its simple picture-based instructions it’s easy to follow and highly accessible.
2. Video Jug
From cooking tips to workout routines, the whole life hack industry has taken the Internet by storm. If you’re looking for little tricks to, well, just make life easier, then Video Jug is the site for you. With over 60,000 professionally shot how to videos available at the click of a button, it’s ideal for filtering out the fluff that clogs up the YouTube search rankings and finding tutorials of true value.
If you’ve come up with a neat invention yourself be sure to share it on Instructables. This huge community of do-it-yourself gadget makers and life hackers has a vast array of step-by-step content in illustrated format. Guides are not only easily digestible, but can be downloaded in PDF format for offline viewing and printing.
With over one million articles/videos, eHow is one of the largest how-to sites on the web. Once the jewel in the Demand Media crown, it grew considerably in its early years. Nowadays it’s focus is on quality rather than quantity. While much of the information is outdated you can still find some excellent articles and videos if you shift through the old back catalogue.
5. Fab How
For quick, clear and simple solutions to everyday problems visit Fab How. Categories include: home and garden, health and beauty, cooking, self improvement and life hacks. Here you will find factual, step-by-step guides that contain clear images and are backed up by credible references.
6. iTunes U
On the move a lot? Not a problem. iTunes U is a free online educational application for Apple phones and tablets. The app collects and hosts educational audio and video content from colleges, universities, museums and libraries from all over the world. There are currently in excess of 100,000 files available for download, ranging from creative subjects such as playwriting to academic masterclasses in quantum mechanics.
7. Monkey See
Looking for a new hobby? Look no further than Monkey See. This site is amazing if you’re looking for a new hobby. Unlike most other video streaming sites, which rely on quantity, videos on Monkey See are created by experts in their field. From mastering sand castle construction to learning small-talk hacks, it’s a great place to start if you want to hone a random skill that isn’t covered elsewhere.
8. How Stuff Works
Owned by the company behind The Discovery Channel and Animal Planet, How Stuff Works is an educational website that will teach you all about the wonders of the world in layman’s terms. The content is produced by specialists, often contains professional photographs and illustrations, and is edited to be easily digestible
9. Expert Village
With over three million subscribers, Expert Village is one of the largest YouTube channels out there. Here you can learn literally anything, from baking a simple sponge cake to mastering the martial arts. Although Expert Village is primarily a user-generated content mill, the videos boast a very high production value.
Learning doesn’t need to be difficult. We are living in a digital age with a wealth of free resources at our disposal. In fact, it’s never been easier! Whether you want to brush up on your general knowledge, master an art form that you’ve always admired, or simply expand your skill set where it’s lacking, the resources featured in this article are a great starting point.