Your mind doesn’t have to be in lockdown: Free online courses to keep you busy

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Whether you’re still working from home or on corona-leave at the moment, we all have additional time on our hands. You know how you’ll put things off until ‘you have more time’? And now that you do have time, you can’t get yourself doing anything noteworthy? It’s the sad reality of facing a global pandemic — you’re stressed, and that tends to be unproductive. Push through it though and there is a myriad of free resources online that’ll keep your mind busy. 

Online universities and training platforms have realised that this is the perfect time to do humanitarian work and make some courses free. We can’t have the world’s whole workforce go numb with boredom. We need those hamster wheels running for when things become normal again. We’re the glass-half-full guy here, saying things will get better. And we’re keeping it that way. 

Our new normal of self-isolation has prompted a few well-known online platforms to make its resources free. This includes courses from coding to game building and cloud training, to marketing, business and even physics and astrology. 

While the kiddos train their brains using various online resources, this may be a great time to skill up a bit. 

Pluralsight

Interested in anything tech? Well, you’re reading Stuff, aren’t you? One of the best online resources to tech-based courses, Pluralsight, has announced it is making all of its courses free to access for the month of April. Yeah, its library of more than 7,000 tech courses is open to access for a whole month starting right now. 

“I’m so excited to see what you learn, and what you create this month,” Pluralsight co-founder and CEO Aaron Skonnard said on Twitter. 

Anyone who’s previously had a Pluralsight account, or anyone who signs up for the service in the month of April, will receive free access. You won’t even be prompted to enter payment information — so it’s truly free. 

You’ll find some useful Google-certified courses here, on topics like software development, IT ops, data processing, information and cybersecurity, or machine learning and artificial intelligence.

CTU Training

Even though it hasn’t announced complete free access to its courses, CTU Training revealed that it is hosting a free coding workshop for children (but we’re sure grown people can join in). This may be the start of a few free workshops in the future. 

The upcoming course will run from 3 to 5 April, and you’ll need to make a booking to secure a spot. The topic is “Hour of Code: Minecraft Education Edition”, so it’s bound to be hella interesting. 

CTU is a tertiary institution and is Microsoft-certified. Even though you won’t receive actual certification after completing these workshops, it’s a great way to pick up a new skill while you have time. 

Nikon courses

Keen on sharpening your photography skills? Nikon has made its entire curriculum of online photography classes free until the end of April too. This is open to anyone, and would normally cost anywhere between $15 to $50 per course. 

There are 10 courses, all taught by a professional photographer. They offer in-depth lessons that’ll help you understand more of the technical aspects when it comes to photography.  if you’re a complete novice, it even includes beginner lessons, like one that covers personal photography (like taking pics of your children or pets).

Even if you don’t own Nikon gear, these classes will help anyone interested in photography — even if you just want to up your Instagram game.

iStore Meets

The South African iStore group has moved to offer free workshops online. Yeah, the same ones they’d normally host in-store. 

The workshops include a variety of short training courses, including topics like photography and editing, product information and understanding and coding workshops for kids. To sign up, you’ll need to register on the iStore website and book a slot that suits you. 

Obviously, the courses are based on Apple hardware and software, so these are ideal for anyone toting the Apple logo. 

Udemy free courses

Probably one of the most well-known online resources for trustworthy and established courses is Udemy. While its focus is mainly in tech and programming, it’s offering free courses in a variety of industries. It’s even got some mental health and wellness options — which may not be a bad idea right now.

There are courses in practical soft-skills like working from home, how to speak well on camera and a small course on time management. If that’s not your thing, and you want to pick up a new skill completely, it offers courses in programming, astronomy, prototyping in Adobe XD and even digital painting.

Using online resources to learn new skills is by no means new, but it’s one of those things that people tend to put off while they focus on more pressing life issues. Right now, however, you have no excuse.

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Deputy Editor at Stuff. Nevermind the fancy title, I like writing about things that are cool. Like games, gadgets and sometimes even software. Depending on how cool it is.

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