One great way to find a new and better you is to learn something – anything! But not everyone has the time to sign up for face-to-face classes or wants to take formal courses. Check out these on-the-go solutions to learn anything from ancient philosophy to web-building to sautéing techniques.
You may have heard of Lynda.com, which focuses on business, technology, software, and creative courses. It’s been around for 20 years and recently became a LinkedIn company. Lynda focuses on video tutorials, sometimes supplemented by written materials, that range from a few minutes to a few hours in length. It’s a subscription-based service, which means you pay a monthly fee, then have unlimited access to tutorials for the month. You can catch tutorials in photography, animation, accounting, architecture, audio, automotive design, career development, cloud computing, CSS, design, email marketing, music editing, print production, public relations, social networks, web development, and a host of other areas. Subscriptions are available for individuals, companies, and other entities and tutorials are available in as many as five languages. Plans start at $19.99 per month and you can check it out with the site’s free 10-day trial. Visit lynda.com for more details.
Udemy is a web-based tutorial platform that allows individual instructors to create and offer tutorials on an incredible range of topics. The site boasts more than 40,000 courses and includes not only business and technology options, but also language courses from French to Hebrew, test prep and academic support classes, health and fitness options from nutrition to yoga to first aid, and “lifestyle” interests such as pet care, makeup and DIY. They also offer a “personal development” section that includes topics such as finance, career planning, and leadership, but also happiness, creativity, and self-esteem. Courses are individually priced and vary in length. Some are free, the site often runs specials, and Groupon often has discounts available. Individual courses are also user-rated. Bonus: if you know how to do something and can put together a video on it, you can earn some extra cash! Explore the options at udemy.com.
If you’re highly visual and you need to learn how to do something quickly and easily, YouTube is the go-to source. It also has the advantage of being totally free. You can search for just about anything from braiding hair to arranging flowers to taking a screen shot on your Mac. You’ll find thousands of craft, beauty, software, cooking, and other how-tos. You can even find videos on how to conjugate and pronounce some foreign words. eHow alone has more than half a million subscribers on its channel and LiveStrong Woman’s channel is a great option for health and fitness. Just visit YouTube.com and search away.
If your interests lean academic, you want to know about Coursera, which facilitates MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) for almost 150 universities including almost all the Ivy League schools, top-ranked state universities (including Georgia Tech), and several international universities. Coursea offers about 1,800 courses on everything from data science to project management to medical neuroscience. You can also choose Buddhism and Modern Psychology (Princeton), Cryptography (Stanford), Calculus (Ohio State), English Composition I (Duke), Korean (Yonsei University), Greek and Roman Mythology (University of Pittsburgh), and many more. Looking for something fun? How about Duke’s Dog Emotion and Cognition, The University of British Columbia’s Game Theory, or Wesleyan’s Understanding Memory: Explaining the Psychology of Memory through Movies. You can also pick multi-course specialization series in things like construction management, business and finance modeling, virtual teaching, and music production. No matter the subject, you’ll watch video lectures, take quizzes, complete assignments, and receive a certificate of completion (if you’re successful). Courses are available to anyone and you can access financial aid. Check out coursera.org for more.
Want more? Check out CreativeLive, iTunesU, Codeacadmey, Treehouse, DataMonkey, Duolingo, Memrise, Babbel, TED-Ed, and Pianu.