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BEACON Senior News - Western Colorado

Technology resources for lifelong learners

May 31, 2018 04:07AM ● By Adam Cochran

My best friends in school were typically goofy intellectuals, but I spent my weekends playing pool while listening to Black Sabbath and Anthrax with chain-smoking teenage goof-offs.

In class, I had friendly relationships with my teachers and fellow students, but I rarely did the homework. Like most grownups, I regret the time I wasted crafting projectiles from ballpoint pens and paper clips rather than taking advantage of the unrestricted access I had to experts who were begging me to learn from them.

But it’s not too late to learn. Some of these websites are educational in the traditional sense, some are for discovering new interests or hobbies, and others are simply for broadening your horizons.

Short for Technology, Entertainment and Design, TED is a great place to listen to entertaining lectures from people who are changing the world.

Free for anyone with a Mesa County Libraries card, Lynda offers hundreds of online courses in technology, such as Microsoft Office or Adobe Photoshop, but it also offers courses on general topics such as marketing and social media.

Khan Academy provides assessment-based lessons and activities in math, science, economics and dozens of other topics.


YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine. Sure, it’s full of funny videos of cats and skateboard accidents, but it also has videos about how to change the lightbulb in your oven or build a better irrigation system for your garden.

This channel offers hundreds of entertaining abridged lessons in over 100 subjects. It’s sort of like Schoolhouse Rock for those wanting to learn the nitty gritty details of a subject.

Udemy contains online courses with full curriculum and video instruction on over 50,000 topics. The courses are designed and taught by professionals and expert educators.

Audible is the Netflix of audiobooks. Download the app and listen to the largest selection of audiobooks.

This site deserves its own column. The collection includes specialized databases, online courses, multimedia content and countless other resources you wouldn’t traditionally associate with the library.

This list doesn’t even scratch the surface of online learning resources available. If you are passionate about music, woodworking, pickleball, photography or any other subject, you will find that there is an online portal dedicated to learning more about your particular interest. If you’re not sure where to go, is the gateway to grownup knowledge.

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