Want to Learn Something New? 6 Ways to Learn Cool Skills From Home
Learning something new is supposed to be easy on the web. But often, you don’t know the next cool thing you want to learn. There are so many of them that the glut of choices can even make you procrastinate.
There are beginner guides for almost any skill you can think of. Then there are MOOCs which can give you a Master’s level education at the cost of a single book.
To go through the fog, you need to first do your groundwork and decide what you want to learn. The six websites below will help you cut the noise and focus on the one skill you want get better at.
How easy is it to learn something new when the path is laid out for you? Learn-Anything is an Open Source web app that is built on that simple idea. Enter the topic you want to learn more about in the search box.
Learn-Anything then creates an interactive mindmap of a few sub-topics with the resources it finds online. This relationship between the topics can be the learning path you follow.
The learning path may or may not be the most efficient step by step way to master a new subject. But it points you to sites, articles, and software you can jump to immediately.
Learn-Anything is community-powered and it is still a work in progress. But take some inspiration from the interactive maps and create some of our own. Also, log in and contribute to the content by adding resources you come across.
OpenCulture is a massive compilation free courses offered by universities The subjects are arranged alphabetically in a linear list. You can drill down the list and see the media type of the the lecture. For instance, it can be a YouTube video or a podcast on iTunes.
OpenCulture also offers free audio books, free textbooks, and free language lessons. Of particular interest are the curations of Great Lectures, Great Recordings, and Reading Lists.
You might have to hunt a bit among the riches on this site, but it could lead to a few gems. For instance, you can learn all about Game Theory from Stanford University. And then, you can also learn how to win at Texas Hold ‘Em from a MIT lecture.
Want to keep your kids engaged? You will find links pointing to 200 educational resources for kids that include video lessons, apps, books, websites and more
The age of lifelong learning has started. Degreed can be your springboard with its learning pathways. The learning platform helps you construct a personal feed of resources around a topic.
Your personal feed can have articles, videos, podcasts, books, and courses. You don’t have to hunt them down yourself as the site’s algorithm curates them for you. But you can also add any material to your profile too.
Think of it as a combination of a Facebook like learning network and place to capture all the best learning materials from anywhere. Use Degreed to follow people who are on similar learning journeys.
Organizations can use it as a learning management system. The platform can also be used to track and measure skill improvement.
I would recommend that you also keep an eye on Degreed’s deep dives into specific topics with the Degreed Does Data series. The series takes a complex topic (like Data Science) and breaks down how it will change an industry.
Massive Open Online Course platforms like Coursera, Udacity, and Udemy have their own search tool. But Courseroot does a good job of tying them all together (and a few more) under one massive MOOC search engine.
The database lists the best courses on offer from the likes of FutureLearn, Springboard, edX, Skillshare, and Khan Academy too.
Search for the subject you want to learn. Filter the results according to price, difficulty, certificate quality, duration, and the platform you want to be on. Then, click the blue button to scoot to the source.
But again, you may not know what to study in the first place. Head to the A-Z list of all courses that Courseroot has cataloged. It could even be an arcane skill like Ancient Greek, or cutting edge like Xamarin.
It’s tough learning alone. Often, you don’t even know how to take that first step to learn something new without some hand holding. So, how about an entire learning community to help you out.
As the video above shows, P2PU not only curates open educational resources but also facilitates free study groups in public spaces like libraries. You can be a part of such a group or a learning circle and learn together.
For instance, you can take common online classes and then meet up to work on it further.
Social learning experiences are one way to find your blind spots. Also, you can avoid “dropping out” of a course as P2PU combines free online courses with the stickiness of learning with your peers.
You can ask the 600,000+ members about any subject you want to know more about, or you can just lurk. The subreddit is all about advice from those who have come before you.
As their charter says, it’s about learning a concrete, useful skill, or a form of art, which usually takes time to master.
The sidebar lists several other interesting educational subreddits like r/FrugalLearning if you want to pick up skills without spending a bucketload of money.
Use the search box to find discussions around your topic of interest. You can also lurk efficiently by sorting the threads to the “Top” of all time. You might be amazed that most of us want to learn how to stop procrastinating!
Learn Something New Every Day
School is failing us. That’s why you need to take your learning in your own hands. A well-laid out plan, a bit of time management, the discipline of a schedule, and you can finish a complete college course online these days.
But I know you just might come back to the same old question—what do I want to learn? How about taking on a new skill as a 30-day challenge and see where it takes you.
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