APRIL 16, 2020

Top of the class

BY ELLA RIVERA
ILLUSTRATIONS BY GIAN NICDAO

Learn new habits and skills with these free online courses.

Fortunately, a number of online learning platforms have made their courses accessible and free, all in response to the pandemic. You can choose to learn from various courses that specialize in certain topics in science, humanities, technology, and many more. So if you’ve ever wanted to acquire a skill or just plain curious about a subject, now’s the time to learn new information and explore different ideas.

However, take it with a grain of salt. If you’re dealing with productivity-related anxiety, there’s no need to rush. Treat it as if you’re browsing a catalog — pick what you like, try it out and see what works. To get you started, here’s a list of online courses that you can check out and try for yourself.

It’s been a month since the lockdown was implemented, and the slow passing of time is restlessly felt by all. We’ve revisited all the corners of our houses, stared at the same walls and interacted with the same people. It’s a dreadful routine — and while we still don’t know what the future holds for our safety and economy, we might as well utilize the free time that we currently have (if you do have so) into something productive.

inQluded

If you’re looking for a platform that will celebrate your unique identity, then inQluded can be your safe space to hone skills and curiosity. It’s a platform and indie literature magazine for and by queer, trans and Black, Indigenous, and youth of color. Their mission is to empower these individuals through endless possibilities of creativity, and they’re providing classes hosted by YA authors and mentors from underrepresented communities.

You can bring a project you’re currently working on and get input from other writers constructive criticism be a part of a community, and meet new friends. It’s a great opportunity to tell your story — one where your voice is heard.

You can sign up here.

Coursera

Coursera probably has one of the most diverse and vast selections of online courses that you can enroll in. It currently boasts about 4,000 classes in every subject imaginable from top universities worldwide. Coursera courses usually last for four to ten weeks, but you can choose the pace of your learning. You can also acquire a certificate, which can serve as an added bonus to your resumé.

One class that you might want to check out is The Science of Wellbeing, arguably Yale’s most popular class. It teaches students how to deal with anxiety, stress, and depression in concrete and practical ways while dismantling biases and misconceptions about happiness. It currently has 1.3 million students enrolled, and get this — there’s no required reading.

You can sign up here. Check out the full list of courses with free certificates here.

CodeAcademy

Venturing into the world of coding can be intimidating — it’s quite technical, after all. If you’ve ever customized your profile pages and blogs and wondered what it’s like to do more, then CodeAcademy’s beginner and in-depth classes can help you learn the ropes of coding. They offer basic code foundation classes to help you get started, and you can then continue to more advanced topics like computer science, data science, and web development.

In response to the pandemic, CodeAcademy is also offering 10,000 scholarships to high school and college students for free, and all you need is a valid student ID, so get your back-up coding knowledge ready.

You can sign up here.

YouTube

YouTube can basically teach you anything —  from cutting avocados, playing guitar, to getting a cat to like you — it’s pretty much all in there. You can also learn a new language, whether it’s Mandarin, German, or Korean. If you’ve been itching to diversify your meals at home with simple ingredients, there’s also a channel that can teach you how. However, if you want to stay fit, there are also fitness gurus out there to your rescue. There’s an abundance of content to choose from, and you can learn from professionals or enthusiasts alike, all from the comfort of your home.