Quarantine is no excuse to stop learning!
When you’re stuck at home, working and relaxing aren’t the only two things you can do. It’s also very possible to use the internet to learn new things.
In particular, plenty of websites offer online classes or online courses, so you can learn new topics in a staggered and easy-to-digest way. This is ideal for taking quick lessons during a busy day or letting you do your own research between lessons.
There are online courses on a variety of topics, from sciences and technology to arts, humanities, and creativity, and while some of them are quite academic, teaching you a scientific tradition or literary period, others are more life-skilled focused, like helping you be creative or write the perfect resume.
To help you find the best online class for you, we’ve listed some of the best that are worth checking out.
MasterClass Online Courses
You might have heard of MasterClass, thanks to its ubiquitous marketing. It’s an online site with plenty of courses, and each is taught by a celebrity in the field. Gordon Ramsay teaches cooking, Chris Hadfield teaches space exploration, Martin Scorsese teaches film-making, Margaret Atwood teaches creative writing, and there are around 80 more.
Each lesson has plenty of classes in bite-sized chunks, along with supplemental material (workbooks, writing excerpts and recipes) and community areas where you can discuss the classes and talk to other people who are enrolled.
MasterClass has more courses in some areas than others, so if you’re a fan of film, cooking, writing, business or arts, you’re sure to find something here that’s useful to you.
FutureLearn Online Courses
FutureLearn hosts courses from some of the biggest universities from the UK and abroad, on a host of topics in categories like healthcare and medicine, IT, computer science and teaching. There are some arts and humanities courses too, but the number and breadth of topics have certainly gone down over the years.
FutureLearn breaks its courses into bite-sized lessons, some of which are quite long. Many can be easy to get through in one sitting, though, so it’s easy to consume. Once you start a course you have access to it for fourteen days (or more, if you have Unlimited mode).
It’s actually free to do lessons on FutureLearn, unlike some other platforms, but you can unlock many benefits with a paid subscription.
Unlike many of the online course sites on this list, Skillshare lessons aren’t taught by universities but everyday people, who earn a living in the field. It’s a different perspective and is probably more useful for some people.
Some of the classes offered include illustration, photography, using particular software like Adobe After Effects, and self-improvement, so there’s a broad mix of practical skills on offer here.
Most classes consist of between 10 and 20 lessons (roughly 5-10 minutes long), so they’re very consumable. That’s the perfect amount of time to use them to guide you along with your own projects or creative sessions too.
Skillshare has lots of free lessons when you sign up, but the vast majority (around 20,000, according to the website) are available if you buy a Skillshare Premium account.
Coursera Online Courses
Coursera is another online class site that offers courses organized by universities, in this case primarily US institutes, on topics like Machine Learning, creative writing, and digital languages.
There are two extra reasons you might want to check it out, though. Firstly, it offers ‘Specializations’ or collections of courses that you can chain together to properly hone your skills in a certain area. Secondly, it offers actual online degrees from top universities if simple courses are too lightweight for you.
Some lessons on Coursera are free, but if you pay, you can access extra quizzes and teachings, and you get a certificate at the end as well.
edX Online Courses
edX, like Coursera, offers plenty of vocational skills from well-known universities in the US and abroad, so if you’re looking for online courses to improve your resume, this might be a website worth checking out.
There are a few reasons to check out edX over some competitors. It offers courses in different languages (not just English), the courses are all free to access and open-source, and it has a wider range of subjects than any one of the other sites.
Udemy Online Courses
With over 100,000 courses in 50 different languages and 42,000 instructors, Udemy has become a staple for people looking to learn new things online. The majority of the content – a whopping 22 million minutes of video instructions are created by colleges and universities. If you’re an educator or a thought leader, this is a perfect platform to share your ideas too!
There are several sites offering a wide array of online courses. All you really have to do is choose what suits you best. So stay safe, wash your hands, and never stop learning!