Free online courses
2020 has been rubbish in so many ways, and it’s yet unclear how long restrictions will continue. So why not take your life into your own hands for 2021 by brushing up on your skills and knowledge?
There is a huge variety of free online courses available, removing any accessibility issues – perfect for helping you to get back on track for the new year. Here are 8 interesting websites offering FREE courses to whet your appetite.
- Ted-Ed PIC/Utube link
Ted-Ed, the spin-off from Ted Talks, hosts thousands of video lessons for free. Topics range from art to mathematics and most subjects in-between.
Most of the lessons are animated and under 10 minutes long. I found this lesson on How The Food You Eat Affects Your Brain both informative and entertaining.
- Future Learn
Filter by topic to get more of a general idea of what’s on offer or simply search for your subject of interest using the search bar. Be aware that the paid courses will be shown to you as well.
If your focus in 2021 is your career, then look no further than Alison. It has a huge range of free courses on anything from project management and human recourse to mental health and nutrition. You can view all its courses by:
- category – including health, marketing, science and IT
- whether it is a certificated course, a diploma or ‘learning path’ (niche courses)
- job/career so that you can find a course that will help you get into your chosen field.
There is also a section on careers advice and guidance based on what stage of life you’re at, for example, a graduate, wanting a career change or re-entering work.
This is a fun way to learn a language, either through the website or by downloading the app for your phone and tablet, which is available on both Google Play (for Android phones) and the Apple Store (for iPhones).
To make the learning fun and interactive, Duolingo uses a questionnaire format with pictures. I spent five minutes on my first Spanish lesson and was quite entertained.
Its lessons are always free, but there is a paid option should you wish to access more content.
- Skill Share
Skill Share is all about creativity – learning new skills and deepening passions. So if you’ve ever wanted to learn how to draw a deer skeleton with ink, your dream can come true!
It also offers courses in writing, animation, lifestyle and business, should an anaemic deer not be to your liking.
You can search for free courses, or view all courses (including paid ones) by category or using the search bar at the top of the website.
The first session of the paid-for courses is free, and you can sign up for a free 14-day trial to access the rest and all other classes.
All lessons are in video format and you can download the Skill Share app for Android and iPhone.
Brush up on your digital skills with free courses from iDEA. Through the platform, you can learn anything from how social media works to coding.
In order to see the courses available, you do need to sign up for a free account. You can also earn badges as you work through a course to keep track of your achievements and progress.
- Open Learn
But there is so much more available, all broken down into eight categories, including ‘health, sports and psychology’ and ‘society, politics and law’.
All courses give you a Statement of Participation at the end to prove you have completed the course, and some come with ‘digital badges’ too, which offer additional proof of the commitment to the course.
If you’re stuck at any time, there is a huge FAQs section to help answer any query you might have.
- Open Culture
There are so many courses to choose from, but I found the art of storytelling by Pixar particularly interesting as I love animated films. The courses are free, but if you would like a certificate at the end, there is a fee.
Coursemarks have a giant master list of 4,881 open courses by top universities that is searchable by University and by Subject. The site gives each course a score. There are student ratings also for about half the courses.
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FREE online courses to up your skills and knowledge in 2021
Disability Horizons 01/01/2021 By Lucy Currier