Learn new skills, increase your job prospects, and even find ways to earn money during quarantine with these free online classes from Coursera, Skillshare, Yale, Harvard, and more.
Now that you’re settling into quarantine, have watched all of Tiger King, and attended more Zoom cocktail parties this week than actual cocktail parties before, you need something else to do. Why not take an online class?
It’s the perfect time to explore areas you never got to when you were in school, pick up a new skill, and maybe even prepare to switch careers since quarantine gives you lots of time to think about what you really want in life. We’ve found some free online classes that will put the present in perspective with history, improve the cooking you’re doing so much of lately, and even help you earn money from your abode.
Introduction to Python: Absolute Beginner
Python is probably the best programming language you can learn. It has lots of applications and clear language that makes it accessible for beginners. Introduction to Python: Absolute Beginner is a free Microsoft class, but you can pay $99 to get a certificate of completion at the end.
Introduction to Game Development
You have never been so grateful for your game console. Level up and learn how to create games. Harvard’s Introduction to Game Development delivers lectures and leads you through projects so that by the end you’ll have created several games for yourself.
How to Vlog
There’s no reason to be camera shy anymore since everyone has seen you on Zoom. And if you’re like everyone else and posting your attempts at bread baking on Instagram, then you’re an influencer, too. So why not start vlogging? Skillshare has a class that teaches you all the basics. You just have to find a (captive) audience.
Create Illustrations and Sell on Society6
Turn your art and illustrations into items to sell on Society6. This Skillshare class covers all the basics about transforming your creations into some cash. You’ll learn how to create, prep, upload, and market your work.
The Rise of Superheroes and Their Impact on Pop Culture
We all need a hero right now. And while Stan Lee isn’t around to create one for these times, he did preserve his knowledge in a SmithsonianX course, The Rise of Superheroes and Their Impact on Pop Culture. Aside from learning about what conditions led to the heroes of the past, you’ll gain the knowledge needed to create ones for today.
The Science of Well-Being
The Science of Well-Being is known as “Yale’s happiness class,” and if this isn’t the time for it, I don’t know when is. It debunks misconceptions about happiness and imparts strategies to achieve an improved state of being. A bonus: there’s no required reading.
Interior Design Basics: Simple Steps to Your Perfect Space
You’re spending more time at home than ever, and while it’s likely your living space is as clean as it’s ever been, it might not look the way you want it to. Considering that quarantine isn’t ending any time soon, and there could be more such periods ahead, make your space look its best with a Skillshare class designed to help you figure out your style and apply it to your home.
Knife Skills: A Mini Class to Chop Like a Chef
One of the fundamentals of cooking is knife skills, yet it’s not something that’s covered in cooking shows or on recipe blogs. Skillshare has a six-part series that comes in at 12 minutes for the whole thing and covers cutting techniques and tips.
Modern poetry—which was created in the midst of world wars—is an inoculation against these uncertain times. You can take a class that encompasses the modernist period of poetry, with special attention given to topics like the Harlem Renaissance and World War I, on your own time by following the posted syllabus through Yale’s open courses program. (Note: the videos on the course page do not seem to be working, but you can find the entire playlist on the YaleCourses YouTube channel).
Pyramids of Giza: Ancient Egyptian Art and Archaeology
The past, present, and future are all sort of blending together these days. But focusing on the distant, distant past—we’re talking Ancient Egypt—can take your mind off things. This Harvard class covers the art, archaeology, and history of the Giza Pyramids and how technology is being used to uncover more about them. Don’t let the Ivy League pedigree keep you from taking it; it’s a self-paced class that runs over eight weeks and you’re only answering to yourself. The class is available on the edX platform, where you can register and take classes for free.
In the Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting
The Museum of Modern Art is closed for the time being, but you can learn from their excellent curators and conservators on Coursera. In the Studio: Postwar Abstract Painting is particularly relevant at this current moment since after World War II abstract artists confronted an event that changed society worldwide with bold new types of expression. This class explores the materials and techniques used by artists like Jackson Pollock and Agnes Martin.