Online courses to educate and boost skills
Found yourself floundering on furlough, or struggling to fill evenings at home? There's a wealth of online courses to boost your career, teach new skills or hone personal development. We round up the best
Whatever skill you want to master, there's a free OpenClassrooms course for it. The options span human development skills such as public speaking to ultra-specific tech expertise for particular tasks and programmes. Each course description has a brief overview of the learning outcomes and the prerequisites, making it easy to choose a relevant and achievable challenge. The commitment varies, but courses typically represent between five and 15 hours spent reading, watching videos and answering questions.
Harvard has dropped the paywall to make many of its online courses free during the coronavirus crisis. You could learn about the interplay between science and haute cuisine with a physics course about how modernist cooking techniques can illuminate basic scientific principles. Or perhaps now is the time to think deeply about Religion, Humanity and Peace? And what about a very timely education in preventing the next pandemic?
Of the many language-learning apps on offer, we like Memrise for the emphasis on communicating and understanding rather than too much grammar and spelling. The website and app are based on clips of people speaking their native tongue, so you get a good grounding in pronunciation and intonation. After listening to new vocab, you get to read a written transcript of the words then finally type them, so they lodge in your brain. Correctly typed words earn you points, which count towards your goals and help incentivise you to keep logging in. The free version of Memrise has plenty of content to occupy you, but there are also options to upgrade.
Now that our work meetings and social life play out on screen, video is becoming a bigger part of daily life. Whether you want to supercharge your Instagram lives or bring a more dynamic element to your business communication, it's a great time to master the art of video production. Skill Share has a great selection of free video-content courses, from storytelling and editing to creating professional standards with just an iPhone.
Whether for your own self-care or as a way into a new career, an understanding of nutrition can be useful. FutureLearn has a wide selection of nutrition-focussed courses, from food to boost mood to a guide to infant nutrition. And with the saturation of phoney wellness claims and fad diets, we especially like the sound of the four-week nutrition and wellbeing course compiled by academics at the University of Aberdeen. You can access a full course for free, with options to upgrade if you'd like to continue to education with further courses.
Hone your side hustle with the help of an expert, from the comfort of your own home. MasterClass is a revolution in online tutorials, where you can access video courses curated by famous faces. Margaret Atwood, Judy Blume and Malcolm Gladwell will show you how to write, Martin Scorsese teaches filmmaking, Annie Leibovitz instructs on photography, Helen Mirren and Samuel L Jackson reveal how to act… With a year’s subscription you can absorb wisdom from the world’s greatest minds. Unlimited access to over 80 courses is £170.
Feeling stressed? Master the art of mindfulness and meditation with online courses from London Mindful. From lunchtime meditation sessions to more specific courses tailored for new mothers, graduates and insomniacs, there is something to suit everyone. Courses are free, quick to join and easy to fit around daily life.
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