Investing in You During Down Time

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Even if you’re working from home, you probably have lots more free time on your hands. No commute, no socializing, no appointments, no clue what to do with all those extra minutes. You may be focused on just surviving this time, but what if you could actually be thriving?

Remember all those things you were going to do “when you had the free time?” Guess what? You’ve got plenty of free time now. And there’s never been a bigger or better set of options for online enrichment.

Learn New Skills, At Your Own Pace

Udemy

If you’ve never heard of Udemy , you’ll be surprised at the variety and quality of courses the company offers. From business, finance, productivity and specific business skills to personal development, creative skills, and health and wellness, Udemy offers over 150,000 courses in 55 languages, many taught by leading industry experts and by rock stars you’ve heard of like Seth Godin  – and rock stars you’ve never heard of who’ve taught millions of students. Many are low cost or free, and Udemy has even collected the free courses in a single site to help out during this stressful time. Find the collection here: https://www.udemy.com/courses/free/.

Coursera

Coursera.org is one of the leading providers of MOOCs – massive open online courses offered by some of the top universities and colleges around the world, including Stanford, Penn and Duke, and companies like IBM and Google. You’ll be able to take courses in business, computer science, data science, languages, and more. You can even earn a certificate or degree at your own pace, working online from home.

Not sure what university courses might be the best fit? Openculture.com has aggregated 1,500 online courses from universities like Stanford, Yale, MIT, Harvard, Oxford and more.  You won’t have to visit each university’s site to browse lectures and classes. The site also offers video lectures by world-renowned experts like Carl Sagan, Leonard Bernstein, and writers like Toni Morrison and Margaret Atwood.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy was about online learning for students way before we all became home schooling parents. The Academy is a nonprofit with the mission to provide a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Students practice at their own pace, first filling in gaps in their understanding and then accelerating their learning. The site offers resources for teachers as well, helpful if you’re suddenly tasked with helping  with 8th grade homework.

Get Inspired by TED

Of course, if you’re like us, you’ve watched some of the most interesting ideas in the world come to life on the TED stage. TED talks can inspire you, uplift you, and make you think differently about the challenges you’re facing. During this COVID-19 crisis, TedEd is working with expert educators and TED speakers throughout the world to create high-quality, interactive, video-based lessons on a daily basis for free at teded@home.

Hasn’t learning to code been on your to-do list for, like, forever? Codecademy is a website dedicated specifically for teaching coding. Codeacademy focuses on the most useful languages – HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, Python, Ruby, and PHP, using interactive tools within your browser. You learn by doing, with real-world projects and tests of your knowledge with quizzes. Your code is tested and checked right after you submit it. You can upgrade from the free plan to a $19 per month plan if you’d like unlimited practice or want to get serious about a new IT career.


This may be one of the hardest months any of us have had to live through, and many of us have heavy hearts. Self-improvement is not only a good way to spend your extra free time. It can also give you a sense of accomplishment that binge watching Netflix can’t.