Let’s face it: times like these are lacking motivation.
Whether you’re stuck on a project while you work from home, or you can’t find the drive to get off the couch, it’s safe to say that most people around the world are in the exact same boat. Mornings start late, lunch breaks happen four times a day, and evenings turn into a Netflix marathon that drags on until your eyes can’t handle it.
All this time at home is the perfect opportunity to dive inside the world of online learning and online educational platforms. While these options have been around for a few years, there’s been a significant increase in the number of students enrolled and in the type of courses offered. Let’s call this a “silver lining” – and, boy, do we need those!
These online learning platforms have become a staple in the world of many digital nomads, and they’ve helped cement the idea that working or learning from afar – no matter how far that is – has more upsides than most people think.
So, why not make the most of all this free time at home by learning something new? How about maybe even becoming a nomad yourself? Because, let’s be honest, this is the perfect time to maximize on various skills that might make you a more desirable remote worker once all this blows over.
Sounds good, right? I thought it would. Here are a few options you can check out, depending on what you’re in the mood for.
Sign up for free online classes, just for fun!
No matter what the little kid inside your head keeps saying, learning can be done for fun! This rings especially true when your days are spent going from the bedroom to the living to the kitchen and back. Exercise your brain and get the ball rolling by enrolling in some of the best online courses out there.
Websites like Coursera, Udemy, EdX, to name a few, have become increasingly popular platforms for students to learn about – and I’m not exaggerating – whatever they like. With thousands of online courses available, most of them accredited to some of the top universities in the world, people worldwide can tune in to lectures about Greek mythology, superheroes and their impact on pop culture, learning how to learn, and even the science of beer.
Another great choice for these trying times? A course that teaches you to be happy! Yale’s most popular class, The Science of Well-Being, takes students on a journey within themselves, and lectures them about the true meaning of joy, the mind games the brain plays that lead them to believe they’re unhappy, and how to build a more productive lifestyle. This class has been lauded as one of the best online courses out there, and the lessons seem fitting for a moment like this.
Now, for all you die-hard scholars out there, there are also tons of online classes that could prove helpful in order to further advance your career. Whether you’re looking to learn more about marketing, data analytics, business and finance or healthcare management, there’s a 99% chance you’ll find a course that will teach you something new about the field you work in. Broadening your knowledge might even give you bonus points when applying for your next job or returning to your previous position after the quarantine ends.
Plus, the other great thing about these online courses is that they’ll also help push you in the right direction if you’ve been looking for new ways to finally live out the coveted digital nomad fantasy! They’re a great way to expand your horizons, broaden your knowledge, and increase your chances of switching up that 9-5 for a career on the road. All in all, by improving your skills during lockdown, you’re basically preparing yourself for a work-travel lifestyle that’s looking better and better by the minute.
Learn how to code using some of the best online courses for web development
If you’ve been wanting to give coding a try, now might be the perfect chance. There are currently hundreds and hundreds of online resources aimed at helping the average person code up a storm. One of the best online courses you can take? CS50’s Introduction to Computer Science. Taught by Harvard University, the online class is a basic introduction to the “art of programming”, designed for coders and non-coders alike. According to experts, this is one of the best courses you can take in terms of cost (it’s free!) and the information you receive.
Signing up for an online coding academy is also a great way of loading up on some extra knowledge that can open the doors for a career change in the future. Nowadays, most coders and web developers have the incredible opportunity of working from wherever they want. Wouldn’t you want to spend the rest of your days working remotely from dreamy locations like Monteverde, Medellín or Maderas?
Plus, learning the basics on your own will make hands-on coding camp experiences, like the Selina Coding Bootcamp in sunny Panama, all the more worth it. This three-month experience is dedicated to learning all the necessary skills to become a full-stack web developer. Working alongside a coding specialist, you’ll also put your knowledge to the test by partnering up with local NGOs and business owners to help them improve their presence online. Not only do you have the opportunity to do good, but you’ll also leave camp with a hefty portfolio to showcase your talents.
Prepare for future travels with some free online language lessons
When life goes back to normal, a lot of people out there will be looking for ways to shake off the quarantine blues. A 2-week trip abroad, a short road trip to a nearby town, a full-on 6 month excursion…the possibilities will seem endless! In order to be prepared for an international getaway, why not take the time to learn a new language? It’s a win-win! You’ll be expanding your knowledge and, at the same time, you’ll also learn how to order that extra-large cocktail you’re dreaming of sipping by the beach.
Apps like Duolingo are perfect for beginner learners, plus they’re also easy to access, and have tons of fun challenges that will keep you busy and on-track. Their mascot will be sure to let you know when you’re slipping, and with so much free time, there’s no excuse if you don’t complete your daily lesson.
Another great platform is HelloTalk. Not only does the language app put you in touch with a native speaker, but you also have the opportunity to connect with someone new outside of your living room. In times like these, even virtual connections are a godsend.
Strum along with online music lessons
If finding solace in academic learning isn’t for you, how about a more practical experience? With concert halls and music venues shutting down, all this quietness might seem deafening. But have no fear, online music lessons are here.
For all you future and stay-at-home rockstars, Fender is giving away three months of free online guitar lessons. The coronavirus lockdown seems like the ideal time to get back into that old hobby, and what better way than do it while you learn from one of the biggest names in the business?
If guitars aren’t your thing, I suggest heading over to YouTube. The video platform has long been a space for musicians to share simple tutorials with viewers worldwide. Chances are, whether you’re looking to learn the piano, the flute, or the ukulele, there’s a longtime pro out there with a step by step guide ready to help you do it.
While I can’t promise these will make you a professional musician, I can promise they’ll help you pass the time and get those creative juices flowing. Just try and be weary of your neighbors. They’re locked at home too, and they don’t necessarily want a symphony of noise while they go about their day.
Taste the world with some cooking lessons online
Now, moving forward with hands-on learning, if there’s one thing everyone should know for a period of self-isolation it’s how to cook a decent meal. While pasta and junk food might seem like a good idea for the first few days, rest assured even the most delicious bowl of tomato sauce and cheese won’t cut it forever. Luckily, chefs and restaurants have come to the rescue!
One place to start? The Borough Market Community on Facebook. Created by London’s famous Borough Market, the new page was created for people who wanted to learn how to cook while stuck at home – much like yourself. There you’ll find recipes, tips, and videos that will teach you how to prepare delicious and easy meals at home. They’ve also started to stream live cooking classes, so grab a bowl, a spoon and get stirring!
With so many restaurants closing down for the time being, chefs are also making the most of their free time and giving the people what they crave. Food personalities like Massimo Bottura and Antoni Porowski have taken to Instagram to share quick tips and tasty homemade recipes with their followers.
Learn how to capture the best moments with an online digital photography course
We’re all looking forward to the day when travel bans are lifted and it’s once again safe to go about our adventures. When that day comes, you’re going to want to be prepared for it. So, why not take up photography and videography as a quarantine hobby? You might leave the house a pro!
Online platforms like SkillShare offer some of the best online digital photography courses out there. Made for beginner, intermediate and even professional photographers, these online classes teach everything from framing to editing, and they’re packed with top tips that will help take your passion to the next level. Want to know the best part? Some of them are free! All you need is a camera – or your phone, if you’re into that – and a desire to tell a story.
Plus, who knows? A few months of testing and learning could lead to a very coveted spot in the Selina Film Residency. Travel, create and stay, all for free? Yes, please! The program offers photographers and filmmakers the chance to stay for free at any of the Selina locations in exchange for content. If you believe your inspiration peaks while you’re on the road and you’re constantly on the hunt for new adventures, this is the perfect chance to bring incredible stories to life!
Quarantine days might seem endless, but I recommend them turning them on their head with a little help from the internet. There are so many different resources out there to try – more than could ever fit into a list – and this is definitely the perfect moment to do so.
Broaden your horizons, try out that thing you’ve always wanted to try, and take time to grow yourself for yourself. Who knows? You might even discover a new career path in the midst of it all.
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