Education is one of the sectors in which innovation in technology is changing the rules of the game faster than ever. The appearance of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course) questions the unaccommodating nature of the present educational system and instead offers us an updated, more accessible and more affordable way to learn.
MOOCs take flexible education to the extreme; you can choose what content you want, how you take the info in, and in many cases, how much you pay for it. This type of "à la carte" education is designed to be used whenever and wherever the user decides, and so it fits in perfectly with the roaming nature of us and our mobiles.
If you're ready to jump on board this new trend in learning, don't miss today's list: 5 of the best MOOC apps for Android and iOS.
Coursera opens the virtual doors to more than a hundred universities and educational institutions of the highest standings (like Princeton, Stanford, and Michigan). There are more than 1000 courses available in more than 20 different languages, professors with great reputations, learning resources, and even official certificates up for grabs.
The courses themselves are free but you usually have to pay for the certificates. The app’s design is really well finished, so it’s actually a breeze to move between courses, to make content accessible without a connection, to share courses with friends, and to participate in the forums with professors and students. This is one of the best options for those who prefer courses which are backed by official institutions.
EdX is the alternative non-profit to Coursera. It’s got a load of quality courses from real study programs given by prestigious universities from all over the world. In fact, many of the credits earned on these courses are accepted as university credits.
EdX has a catalog of 1200 courses in several languages, and it gives us the chance to get certificates for free, along with the guarantee from the MIT and Harvard University that these are quality courses. EdX is an app which lets you follow the courses from anywhere, download the lessons and get notifications on any topic related to the subject you’re studying.
Udemy’s approach is very different. The courses found on Udemy are designed and distributed by individuals, who could be certified teachers or simply self-taught with the desire to share their knowledge and wisdom (and in that way, earn some cash).
That means that you usually have to pay for Udemy’s courses. OK, so there are free ones too and you can find some offers which let you sign up for courses for a few dollars, although the average price of a course is around 75 dollars. The list of courses is really quite impressive (at more than 30,000 at the moment) and it just keeps on growing. That means you can find decent courses on just about anything that comes to mind.
Lynda.com is another MOOC platform along the same lines as Udemy: paid courses given by expert professors who aren’t necessarily tied to any institution. This is a good option that not only competes with the previous apps as far as variety and quality of the content is concerned, but which stands out from the rest with its awesome app too.
Lynda.com’s app is one of most thorough out there when it comes to features. You can look for, sign up and follow the courses easily thanks to its smooth design. You’re also able to make video playlists from your courses so you can watch them while offline. And to top it all off, everything is always synchronized with all your devices too.
Last but not least, we’ve got Udacity - a MOOC platform that’s got courses related only to ITC and technology. Actually, Udacity has designed its own programs called nanodegrees that combine elements from different courses. These are aimed at students who want to gain the necessary knowledge and skills in order to become a developer (frontend, backend, Android/iOS) or a data analyst.
Udacity’s app is one of simplest to use as it’s really comprehensive with its lesson-example-exercise format. It makes it really easy to find and to choose courses, follow them with- or without an internet connection and keep track of how you’re getting on in each of your nanodegrees.