How to Use Online Educational Resources

These days, there is a whole world of educational materials available to you if you have an internet connection. However, these resources are probably not used to their full potential. If you want to learn how to use these resources, continue reading!


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    Overcome the mistaken assumption that online resources are inferior to books. They are just as good, if not better, since online resources often have interactive tools that books don't have (not to mention that you have to pay for books, while online resources are quite often free).
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    Locate various resources and decide which one you like best. Feel completely free to pick more than one, if you like. For a teens, adults, or just those wanting to get ahead, there's OpenCourseWare sites from MIT, Yale, Carnegie Mellon, and much more. There are also websites who have a large collection of free college courses from different universities, like Academic Earth and the Open Education Consortium. Some of these have courses from Ivy League universities. For young and old alike, there's resources like Khan Academy. There's many more, so research it!
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    Bookmark your favorite sites.
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    Sign up if the website requires it. If not, continue reading.
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    Explore the site a bit. Watch some of the videos or read their books. Play around with some of the tools. Being familiar with all this will help you when you jump in. But, this step is actually optional. You can jump in right away if you want.
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    Find some courses you want to take. This can be overwhelming, since there are so many. Just choose what looks particularly interesting or something that you've always wanted to know.
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    Start! Watch the lectures (or whatever teaching form they have), take some of the exams, if there are any. Some sites offer quizzes and exams to go along with the learning material.
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    Enjoy yourself. You now have access to a huge collection of learning materials, so learn that thing you've always wanted to learn. Most importantly, don't forget that online education is intended to be flexible, so don't burn out.


  • Choose well-organized, superior quality sites. Some sites are poorly organized and some of the videos are very blurry. Unless that doesn't bother you, you're probably not going to enjoy it very much.
  • If you're around just for certificates, you'll be disappointed. With the exception of a few, most sites don't offer awards. They are there to help you learn. The only proof is usually just your exams (if you printed them).
  • Remember that learning and retaining something is better than just learning for a certificate and forgetting it all later.


  • Don't burn yourself out. It's supposed to be enjoyable, so don't lose your enthusiasm by doing too much. If, however, you enjoy doing it, by all means continue!
  • Verify the authenticity of any site you use. Be especially careful about "diploma mills".

Things You'll Need

  • Computer
  • Internet connection

Article Info

Categories: Distance Learning