There’s no two ways about it, being placed in lockdown can be boring. Necessary, of course, but boring. Whether you’re living solo or sharing with flatmates, family or partners, it can get very dull very quickly. Even more so if you’re one of the millions of people to have been placed on some colourful variation of temporary leave!
Let’s face it, we’d all rather be going about our normal routines whether that’s eating out, going to the gym, going on holiday etc. etc. I do however have a suggestion of how to fill your new-found free time… upskill and learn something new! Maybe you’ve been talking about learning Spanish or you’re interested in photography but never found the time. Well, whatever it is, now you have the time!
And you also have the means. I’ve put together my top 5 online courses to help level up during the lockdown. I know it’s not the time to be splashing the cash for most of us, so to make it onto the list, the course not only had to offer top-quality content, but it also had to be reasonably priced. Ready to get started?
Learn a language with Duolingo
First up on my list is the language-learning app Duolingo. How many times in the past have you tried and failed to learn a new language? Maybe you want to learn a few phrases to get by on your next holiday, or for professional reasons. Whatever the reason, learning a language is a hugely rewarding thing to do and something you won’t regret in the slightest.
There’s no magic trick to learning a language, it requires dedicating time to it on a daily basis for an extended period of time. Before the lockdown, spending an hour or two per day was probably an unreasonable target. That combined with the fact you didn’t know where to start, well, it never happened!
That can change now. Thanks to Duolingo you have the means and thanks to the lockdown you have the time! The app expertly breaks down languages into bite-sized chunks of info that you learn little by little, with the necessary amount of repetition to make sure everything you learn, sticks! It gamifies the whole language-learning experience meaning, now that you have the time, you can easily spend an hour or two everyday learning your language of choice without getting bored at all. I challenge you to spend 2 hours a day from now to the end of the lockdown on Duolingo, I think you’ll be surprised by the results!
Learn to build apps with Udemy
Learning a language is great for many reasons, but maybe you had something more directly career related in mind. If that’s the case, you could learn to build apps with the “iOS 12 Developer: From beginner to paid professional” course on Udemy. Udemy has an impressive collection of online courses related to all sorts of professions. Each course is 100% online, making use of downloadable files, videos and instructions. Many also offer direct contact with the course creator.
I’m recommending this course in particular because I know it works from first-hand experience. But if app development doesn’t interest you, check out the other courses they have on offer! This app-building course costs between €5 – €20 depending on when you buy it. If you’re thinking about a career switch or just interested in coding, it’s a bargain, trust me!
It really does what it says in the name. If you spend the rest of the lockdown on this course, you’ll end up with the skills you need to build an app from scratch or start working as a paid developer. Now’s a better time than ever to learn a skill in high demand with which you’ll be able to work remotely or find a job anywhere in the world.
Learn all things art with New York’s MoMa
Next up, an option for art lovers. Have you always had an interest in art but never had the time to dedicate to it? Great, then here’s your chance. Head over to the dedicated MoMa section of Coursera.com and get stuck in.
Coursera.com teams up with world-class universities and organisations to offer top-quality, affordable online courses. You’ll find brilliant courses such as “Fashion as Design” and “Modern Art & Ideas” carefully crafted by the experts at New York’s world famous Museum of Modern art.
With this Coursera-powered MoMa course you’ll even come away with an official certificate issued by MoMa!
Learn digital marketing with Google
Want to boost your digital skills but don’t see yourself as a coder-in-the-making? Then give this one a go. Completely free and created directly by Google, you’ll be learning from the best.
By the end of this course you’ll have covered all the fundamental aspects of digital marketing, from analytics and data insights to content marketing and everything in between. Whether you want to improve in a job you already have or want a career change, this course will help you achieve it.
The whole course takes about 40 hours to complete. Once you’ve finished it you’ll be issued with an industry-recognised certificate to add to your LinkedIn profile!
Learn to cook with Creative Signatures
Last on our list takes us into the kitchen! Maybe you’re missing your dinners out and your cooking isn’t what you’d like it to be. If that’s the case, take your new found free time and have a go at these virtual cooking classes.
It’s a great collection of easy-to-follow recipes brought to you by some of the world’s top chefs, including Catalonia’s Michelin star winner Jordi Roca. There are plenty of free video classes to work your way through. If you finish them and decide to continue, all the paid courses are very reasonably priced and only cost about €20 on average. You won’t get a certificate for completing this one, but you will be able to organise a post-lockdown party to impress your friends and family with your newly-acquired cooking skills!
That brings my list of top online courses to an end. We all hope the situation improves as soon as possible and we can go back to our normal lives. But in the meantime, hopefully these recommendations have given you a bit of inspiration on how to make the best of the situation by gaining a new skill or two.
On the other hand, if you’re not in the mood for learning and just want to have some fun as you pass the time with your flatmates, partner or families, you can read our top 10 board games blog for some inspiration!
That’s everything for this post, happy learning!