With the cost of university education rising and more people wanting to fit studying around their working hours, learning online is growing in popularity. There are even schemes which offer free online education through the use of written materials, audio, video and sometimes group participation. In order to prepare effectively for studying online, it is wise to do some preparation. After choosing the right course of study you should ensure that you have checked whether you have the correct hardware and software needed to access the course materials. You should also perform a broadband speed test to ensure that video streaming will be quick to access and uninterrupted.
Are You Ready?
Searching the internet for free online education classes will reveal numerous options in a wide variety of subject areas. Choosing options which interest you or which will help you to further your career or personal growth will depend somewhat on what is available, but increasing numbers of academic institutions, making their course materials available, such as Open Learn from the Open University [and Stanford University [ .
Is Your Computer Ready?
Once you have chosen the course you would like to take, the next step is to ensure that your computer is powerful enough and contains the correct software. If you are accessing a predominantly text-based course then computer specification is unlikely to be significant. However if there is live streaming or pre-recorded videos then it is worth checking the recommended computer capabilities which are advised for this course of study. If specific software is required, check how your easily available it is, and whether it is expensive. A free course which requires very expensive software becomes less accessible to the majority of people. Open source software or freeware options are often available, with equivalent versions of many types of software available for free.
The broadband speed test is the next important step for courses which include a multimedia element. Although these will still be possible with the low broadband speed, the higher the speed, the easier it will be to access the wide variety of materials available on the course you have chosen.
With these aspects of preparation in place, free online education can be accessed and used to boost career prospects and keep the mind active. More educational institutions are offering their teaching materials in this way, so the range and variety of topics which will be made available to anybody with the right software, hardware and broadband connection could revolutionize the way we learn.
The Author: Charly Wargnier is a freelance copywriter based in London, UK. He writes and tweets about all things Digital & Electronic Music. Drop him a line on Twitter!