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Today there’s only one reason not to learn new things: because you don’t want to. The Internet is a never-ending series of sites and apps designed to help you to acquire new skills, painlessly
If you want to improve yourself, it’s seriously wonderful.
Last month we went over sites that quickly teach you new skills, and you guys seemed to really like it. Knowing this, today Cool Websites and Apps will show you five more sites with five more skills. Learn to play guitar, mod Minecraft, touch type and more – easily.
Instinct: Guitar Tutorials with Realtime Feedback
Playing guitar is fun, but getting started can be overwhelming without a proper teacher. Instinct is a web app that makes the process easier, offering a variety of tutorials designed to teach absolute beginners how to play guitar. Follow along with the lessons – the site will use your computer’s microphone to let you know how you’re doing in real-time.
If you’ve been dreaming of rocking out, this could be a great place to start. You’ll need a guitar, obviously, but beyond that all you need is a computer with a working microphone. The site requires flash.
LearnToMod: Learn How to Mod Minecraft, Quickly
Minecraft has entertained millions since its 2011 release, and I can’t begin to list the reasons for that here. A big part of the appeal, though, is how flexible the game is: you can play it pretty much however you want. Just one aspect of this flexibility is mods — software made by users that give Minecraft a whole new life.
If you like to create your own mods, but don’t know where to start, LearnToMod is a great site.
This is fun for adults and kids alike, but the target audience seems to be on the younger side. Which is part of the point.
If your kids are really into Minecraft, don’t discourage them: point them to this site. That love of a video game could be the beginning of a lifelong passion for programming, which will lead to all kinds of benefits later – higher pay, sure, but more importantly the ability to add a Portal gun to Minecraft.
Be sure to also check out these sites for anyone interested in learning to make games.
TweetType: Learn Typing While Reading Tweets
If you want to learn how to touch type, you’re going to end up typing the same thing over and over again. Even if the sentences manage to be entertaining, they probably won’t be current and/or informative.
Unless, of course, you use TweetType. This site lets you learn to type using Tweets. You can sign in and type your timeline or, if you’d rather not sign in, simply pick a pre-compiled list of recent tweets.
Grammarly (Chrome): Spell Check and Grammar Check for Your Browser
Trying to become a better writer? Relying too much on spelling and grammar checks is a bad habit, unless you actively try to note which mistakes you’re using. Grammarly is a Chrome extension that not only points your mistakes out, but also explains them.
We reviewed Grammarly Lite back in 2013, but a lot has changed since then. On the downside, the extension for Firefox and Safari is gone. On the upside, there’s an improved user interface and a dedicated editor. This dedicated editor makes it much easier to see the explanations for your grammatical problems, which is perfect while you’re proofreading.
WaysWeWork: Weekly Interviews with Productive People
Productivity is weird because basically no advice works for everyone – we all need different things from an organizational system. If you’re constantly trying to improve and speed up your workflow, reading about how other people get things done can be really helpful.
Ways We Work is a blog and email newsletter featuring one interview every week. Interview subjects discuss what they do, and how they do it, breaking down all sorts of workflow details and tools as they do so. It’s not for everyone, but I’m sure a few MakeUseOf readers will really like this site.
What Skills Do You Want to Learn?
I love finding sites that help teach specific skills, and would be happy to dig some more up for you. So I want to know: which skills do you wish you could learn? Let me know in the comments below, and I’ll compile the answers for a future edition of Cool Websites and Apps. I look forward to the conversation!