9 free online learning platforms you should check out this summer


Torn between being productive this summer and just staying home and surfing the web? Why not do both?

Ngai Yeung |

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After all that hard work during term-time, you’ve definitely earned a break this summer. But if you don’t want to let your brain completely languish between now and September, why not try learning a new skill from the comfort of your own home? We’ve picked some of the best online learning platforms out there to get you started. And best of all, they’re free.

Khan Academy 

One of the biggest online learning platforms around, Khan Academy offers tutorials on a vast range of topics, from science to history to preparing your university application. But the site is best known for its expansive maths programme and SAT prep package: each course provides step-by-step explanations and countless practise questions.

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Coding fanatics and beginners alike are welcome at Codecademy, where you can learn programming languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Python, SQL and more. You won’t need to download any software to test your code either; you can simply run it in your browser.


EdX is pretty much like going to university, but via the internet. There are classes on almost any and every topic, where students can engage in virtual group discussions. What’s more, the courses have been designed by some of the best academic institutions in the world. How cool would it be to tell your friends you’ve just finished taking an ethics class taught by a professor from Harvard University?

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Looking to indulge in your creative streak? Head to Instructables for all things cooking, crafting, electronics tinkering, and more. The site is also home to a vibrant online community of DIY-ers who host regular themed contests where you can show off your latest creations.

First Aid Web 

If you’re looking to acquire a specific skill set, First Aid Web can give you not only valuable training but real-life qualifications, too. These courses can help you to obtain CPR and first aid certificates that are valid for two years from the date of issue – another snazzy item for your resume.

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To all the budding musicians out there: this site might very well change your life. Teoria breaks down long, dense music theory topics into bite-sized explanations. Whether you want to learn the basic mechanics of music or complex harmonic functions, this website has got your back.


If learning a new language is something you’ve always wanted to do but never quite got around to, this site could be the motivation you’ve been missing. Duolingo provides structured lessons for an impressive 28 languages, including High Valyrian and Kilngon (looking at you, nerds). It’s also super user-friendly, setting daily targets, tracking your progress and giving you rewards.

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Photography Course 

Want to polish your photography skills? Whether you like taking professional photos or simply snapping on your iPhone, Photography Course’s helpful articles cover all bases, with a bunch of handy photo editing tips thrown in, too.

Ctrl Paint

Become a master illustrator with Ctrl Paint’s expansive collection of drawing tutorial videos that cover traditional pen and paper techniques as well as digital drawing.

Edited by Charlotte Ames-Ettridge

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