5 Effective Ways to Learn Outside of the Classroom

Learning does not always need to take place inside a classroom. In fact, for a growing number of students, the classroom is not a possibility. Luckily, the options for independent learning are growing everyday. From online and mobile learning options to more traditional methods such as internships, here are five great options for learning outside of the usual classroom environment:

1. Internships 

While many internships are tied to college credits and require school enrollment, other internships are independent. Either way, students who opt for an internship earn the opportunity to learn on the job directly from experienced professionals. Not only can internships prepare students for a career; they can also teach them valuable lessons that can enhance their overall education -- and their resume!

2. Service Learning

The same way an internship can give students real life experience with their desired career, service learning can give students real life experience in problem solving. In addition, while these students are earning expertise in a particular field, they are also assisting in strengthening a community and giving back to those in need.

3. Free Online Courses

A growing trend among universities has resulted in free classes posted online. Some of these are called Massive Open Online Courses (or MOOCs) and online organizations, like OpenCulture.com have collected many of these courses in one place, allowing students to find everything they might need in a single online location.

4. TED Talks

TED is a nonprofit dedicated to discussing and sharing ideas with the world. These events have been going on since 1984, and many subjects have been covered. Now a wide array of the videos are available to everyone through the main website. Students can independently use these videos as a study aid where needed.

5. Mobile Learning

While this term can apply to a wide variety of independent learning tools, mobile options can provide on-the-spot problem solving or training methods that students can take with them wherever they go. This could apply to learning apps, books, podcasts etc. This visual offers an in-depth view at the state of mobile learning today.

Have you used any of these methods for learning outside of the classroom? Tell us in the comments!

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