Many institutions and organizations around the world are offering free online courses so that folks stuck at home can add to their skills. Photo from Pexels
Culture Spotlight

Free online courses you can take while in community quarantine

Learn new skills to enhance your career, self and lifestyle with these free virtual classes. By FRANCES SALES
| Apr 15 2020

It’s a month since the enhanced community quarantine. You’ve finished all the Netflix shows you never had the time to binge on, fixed all the broken stuff at home, and even participated in a political debate on Facebook even though it left a bad taste in your mouth. Now what?

Well, why not take an online class? Now that ECQ has been extended, we’ve all got an extra few hours to devote to the pursuit of knowledge, or, given the deadly nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, to think about what you really want to devote your life to. Here are a few free online classes you can take to ease boredom while pushing you to what you ought to be doing in life.

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Career enhancement

Take courses that will up your pro game. There are thousands upon thousands of online courses on business, management, marketing, communication, data analysis, programming, and more. Or perhaps you can take a course unrelated to your profession. If you’ve been wondering about changing careers, now is the good time to learn something about the new job. Check out Udacity, which is offering their nanodegrees for free for one month.

 

Financial literacy

We’re living in economically uncertain times. Let’s hope you have a nice nest egg stashed away to tide you over. Whether you do or not, check out personal finance courses to equip you with important money lessons. Khan Academy is a free platform offering many courses on math, science and technology, and economics plus arts and and humanities. It’s also geared for all ages so you can learn with your kids or even with your parents.

 

Vlogging

If you’re like everybody these days posting your culinary creations on Instagram, why not try the insanely new career of influencing? Choose a platform—there’s Instagram for the visually creative, Blogger and Wordpress for the wordsmiths, and YouTube for those who love making videos. Don’t know where to start? Skillshare has thousands of videos for beginners in the creative industry like you.

 

Culinary arts

It seems like everyone on social media has discovered their kitchen. Every day, we’re treated to the sight of a home-cooked meal or freshly baked bread. If you’re cooking up thoughts of leveling up your culinary game, you’re in luck. Master chefs forced to close their restaurants are now offering online cooking classes via their IGTV. Check out “Kitchen Quarantine” of Massimo Bottura or “Quar Eye” of Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski. Looking for a website so you won’t have to squint at your phone? The classes over at The Culinary Cook are always free.

 

Decorating

Since you’re stuck at home for who knows till when, you might as well improve your digs big time. Learn interior design now. You might even make a career out of it since we’re now all suddenly thrust into the age of the indoor lifestyle. Oxford Home Study Centre can send you on your way.

 

Health and wellness

The adage “health is wealth” has never rung more true than these days. Eat healthy, exercise, and take up a course on improving one’s health to fully equip yourself and your loved ones with vital information. Popular platform Coursera offers almost 4,000 courses on nearly any topic under the sun and taught by experts from many of the world’s esteemed universities. Check out the Science of Well-Being course from Yale University. Known by over two million students as “Yale’s Happiness Class,” we can all use some joy these days. You can also learn more about the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, in Science Matters: Let’s Talk about COVID-19, a course from Imperial College London.

 

Everything from practical skills such as cooking and basic agriculture to more academic pursuits like history and culture courses are available online. Photo from Pexels

Arts, music, and literature

Tired of your job and anything related to it? Then let your mind wander to the humanities. Fill yourself up with the arts from Kadenze. A free account grants you access to 250 courses on the arts and creative industry. Choose from fascinating topics like Cinematic Storytelling, Music Theory for Beginners, Pen& Ink Illustrations, Watercolor Magic, and more.

 

History and culture

When all of this is over and we can meet friends again, impress them all with your newly acquired in-depth knowledge on the Giza Pyramids. You can tell them you studied Egyptian art and archeology at Harvard, too. Choose from the many free courses on art, history, culture, philosophy that edX offers—all from the best universities worldwide.

 

Agriculture

If there’s anything the COVID-19 pandemic taught us, it’s our vulnerability when supply chains slow down or break. Those with gardens are suddenly grateful for their little hobby of growing vegetables in their backyard. Even Spider-Man actor Tom Holland is now the proud owner of three chickens so he could always have eggs. Ready to become a farmer? Check out the free TESDA Agriculture course. TESDA Secretary Isidro LapeƱa says, “We assure our kababayan that this online program is a good channel for them to be productive inside their homes, while our front liners and our government continue to secure the communities from harm brought by COVID-19.” You can also enroll in short courses like Preparing Cakes, Preparing Meat Dishes, Food Processing, among many others.

If you want to learn new things without having to sign up on new academic platforms, there’s always good old YouTube. You can find everything there—from skills-based tutorials on cooking, makeup application, cutting and styling hair, drawing, painting, and building robots to educational content on history, mythology, the arts, foreign languages, and even sex. Just look it up. There are so many things to learn online!