By Maurice Scaglione, Contributor
Researching a subject used to involve a trip to the library. Continued education can come in many forms including going to a physical location such as a school.
Today, with our digital world, you can get an instant answer on the internet. A search engine like Google, Bing, or Yahoo can provide answers, but what if you want to learn something with more extensive knowledge?
The online version of the encyclopedia is Wikipedia.org. It is free but donations to support it are welcome. Please don’t confuse this with WikiLeaks, they have nothing to do with each other. Wikipedia is a user-updated encyclopedia. You type a subject matter and can find in-depth information. Now, if you are a former teacher or a subject matter expert you can correct or add to the content.
Learn Most Anything Via YouTube
To learn about nearly anything, the video free resource to consider is YouTube owned by Google. You will have commercials served while watching, but it is completely free. On a computer open your browser and type, YouTube.com. On a smartphone, download the application called YouTube from the Apple or Google store. Now in the search bar, type what you would like to learn.
Example: Type in any of these words followed by “Tutorial:” iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, Excel, iCloud, Mac, Windows 10, Alexa, Google Home, etc., but don’t limit yourself to technology. Any subject matter that is of interest will bring up a result. How to paint? How to change a faucet? How to repair a Maytag washer? How to become an accountant?
Anything you want to learn can be found on YouTube. But what you have to remember is that the content is all user-generated. The quality of the sound and video may, or may not, be the best. And sometimes the solution may not be correct. After you type in the search subject matter, several videos will be listed. Each will show you the number of minutes for the video. Read the title or just watch the video and move onto the next one.
If you find a channel, as YouTube calls them, that you like, you can click the “subscribe” button. Then you will get an email to let you know that your favorite creator has uploaded a new video. I recommend “dottotech” for technology.
But what if you want to take an education course? You can search the web for many companies that offer various training. Lynda.com has been an excellent professional site that charges a monthly fee. You can see the table of contents on the subject matter. If you want to learn how to create a PowerPoint presentation, look at the table of contents and go directly to the area that interests you. But if you want to go through a normal learning structure for Photography from A to Z, then Lynda is very good.
Learn A Language Before Traveling
Want to learn a new language? Look into Babbel.com, a subscription-based website that can help you learn 14 different languages.
Colleges offer online classes, but before you invest money in earning a degree, do your research that the online institute is accredited and that the degree is worth the money.
Apple offers iTunes University, a free repository of college lectures from renowned schools.
Another method of learning is listening to podcasts. A great application for getting all your free content is called Pocket Casts. On the web go to www.pocketcasts.com, and listen on your computer. It will let you search for any subject matter which you would like to listen.
If you use a web training site that you feel is wonderful, please email me and we can try to put a more complete list together for the future.
These are just a handful of digital resources out there for continuing your education in ways that interest you. For more engaging opportunities to nourish your mind and broaden your horizons, call John Knox Village at 954-783-4040 to find out what is coming soon, either in person or virtually.
About the author
Maurice Scaglione is a 25-year veteran of the computer industry. He runs Stupid Computers LLC, offering personal computer training in home or office. He resolves problems and instructs on the use of computers, smartphones and tablets such as iPhone, Android, iPad, etc. You are welcome to send your questions to him at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will attempt to include answers in future articles.