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  • Writer's pictureElena K.

What I learned in a Free Online Class - You can too!

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This graph is considered to be the best statistical graphic ever shown - "a map by Charles Joseph Minard that portrays the losses suffered by Napoleon's army in the Russian campaign of 1812."

Summer 2020, most of us are sitting home wondering whether schools will open, whether we'll get a job, an internship, whether life will go back to normal. After having been through months of quarantine, we've exhausted our list of home activities and we've reached a breaking point. Don't worry if you don't have a job, and you're tired of baking or playing video games. You can start working now from home to make yourself employable in the future.

Coursera is a website that offers tons of courses in all subjects from universities around the world.

And the best thing? It's actually free! All you need to do is make an account, search the subject that you're interested in and register for the course. During registration, there are two options: free or paid. The only difference is that the free option won't give you a certificate in the end, and your quiz won't be graded. But other than those two things, everything else, including syllabus, exercises, readings, lectures, etc. are available to you without any cost. You can complete the course at your own time and take as many classes as you want.

While you won't get a certificate for the free options, it's a great way to practice and learn useful skills.

For example, I took a course in visualization for digital journalism from the University of Illinois. In the course, I learned how to read graphs of all kinds, which graphs are best for what journalism stories, the history of creating graphs, basic Python, and fun optical illusion discoveries. During my exercises in Python, the site allowed me to save my homework on my Desktop. The Python application was provided for free via the course, and I didn’t have to download it.

I hope that you’ll dive into knowledge and learn something new.

Questions? Feel free to message me.

P.S. I wrote this because I had a great experience with the site. I'm not in any way associated with it.


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