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Make The Most Of Time At Home: Online Learning Resources

Make The Most Of Time At Home: Online Learning Resources
By Kristina James
Published by Ruby

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Home is a wonderful place to be. We put a lot of thought and effort into our spaces—from the garden to the kitchen, you’ve probably tailor-made your home to suit you. Still, too much of a good thing can be, well, a challenge. If you find yourself in a situation where you’re at home more than usual—whether that is the current COVID-19 pandemic or a well-deserved retirement—it could be the opportunity to dive into hobbies or interests you’ve always wanted to. Pick up speaking Portuguese, short-story writing, or woodworking. Now that you have the time, the sky’s the limit.

 

Learning a new skill or craft keeps your head and your hands sharp.

It’s more than just “staying busy”; it’s far more than just “something to do”. Learning new skills sharpens our brains’ functionality and health. A 2013 study published in Psychological Science found that participants who engaged in hobbies for about 15-17 hours a week had not only memory retention, but significant memory gains. In the study, activities that required active engagement of the mind, hands, or both ended up being the most cognitively beneficial for participants. Science backs it up over and over again: active learning maintains and improves memory and overall brain health.

If you're not sure where to start, we put together a list for you.

So, the sky’s the limit, right? Well, that can be daunting. What do you do when you can do anything?

First, make a list of things you’ve already enjoyed doing in your life and the things you’ve always wanted to do. This will help you narrow down your options. Next, weigh your list against your own personal boundaries. Though there may be endless options, each individual is subject to their own limits—whether it’s money, location, physical capability, or some other factor. (Don’t get discouraged here! Everyone has boundaries to consider!) Then, explore the wide world of resources around you for learning. Here are just a few:

 

Skillshare

Well-made, high-quality tutorials and project-based learning online with topics from photography to calligraphy, from writing to interior design. Skillshare has a free trial period and requires a membership to access its content-rich library full of expert-led classes and community engagement.

 

Lynda

If your goals run in the tech or business gamut, check out the online learning platform from the folks at LinkedIn. Lynda brings you a deep library full of resources business, technology, and creative learning. They offer courses in 5 different languages, so their material is accessible to a wider range, and they offer group prices if you have a group with whom you’re working on a project.

 

itunesU

Perhaps higher education strikes a chord in you—studying philosophy, political science, art, and culture. The app iTunesU (available if you have an iPhone or an iPad) allows you to explore university-quality lectures, lessons, and books from institutions around the world—for free. That’s right, they have a catalog of free educational content that will have you filling your brain for days on end.

 

Masterclass

The thing that sets Masterclass apart are the instructors. In countless, subscription-based courses, you’ll see recognizable faces sharing industry knowledge. Like Gordon Ramsay teaching pasta-making, Annie Leibovitz teaching photography, and Dr. Jane Goodall teaching conservation. It’s a landmine of experts and the expertise they have to share.

 

Outliers

The internet is chock full of options for learning—most often with directives to take your lessons away from the screen and into your life. Some other, more niche resources to check out are the toolkits from WWF on biological subjects like biodiversity; DuoLingo for accessible, user-friendly language-learning; or Codecademy for learning how to build websites.

 

You’re never finished with learning.

Education didn’t stop at grade school for you. It didn’t stop after college, either. Or grad school, law school, even in the continuing education you invested in while working a career. We are never through with learning. Picking up a class or a craft will enrich your days, yes, but it will also keep your brain sharp. So, now you’ve got the time… what are you waiting for?

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