Regardless of where you are right now, I am sure that the COVID-19 situation is impacting you in one way or another right now. From countries going under lockdown, to various quarantine measures and working from home, I won’t be surprised if many of you are actively looking for activities for you, or for children.
Here’s a quick compilation on some of the sites I’ve come across that may be of interest to you, or those around you!
Videos and Shows
Netflix – original shows, TV series, documentaries and variety shows. You can try it out for a month for free, and a monthly subscription fee applies after.
Prime Video – original shows, TV series and more, not as wide a range as Netflix but has some shows that Netflix doesn’t! It comes free for a month, and if you have an Amazon Prime membership, it’s free for you as well. Else, there’s a monthly subscription as well.
Broadway Musicals – with theatres and musical halls closed during this period, why not watch some of them online? They are currently offering a seven-day free trial followed by a paid subscription.
Virtual Disney World – this is a YouTube channel that has uploaded the different experiences in Disney World. From watching a Disney tour to the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, you can experience it all here! If you have a VR headset, plug your phone in and experience Disney World easily!
Audible – an initiative by Amazon is allowing children and teens free access to Audible, an audiobook site that has titles ranging from Winnie the Pooh to C.S. Lewis’ Surprised by Joy. Through this period of school closure, the site is granting free access to its books! If you have an existing membership with them, they will pause the membership during this duration for you as well.
SCRIBD – a platform that has books, magazines, audiobooks and documents. During this season, they have granted 30 days of free access to the site, and no credit card is required to enjoy this privilege.
Zumba! Burn it up – if you own a Nintendo switch, you can get this game on the Nintendo eshop! It’s fun, and has short classes that you can follow easily.
There are many more online resources available for free at this moment in time, and it is comforting to see how many companies are stepping up and providing access to others as we tide through this crisis. Now, enjoy and let’s have some fun during this period!
Many think that our learning journey ends the moment we step into the workplace, but with the increasing need to remain relevant, there has been a shift in mindset – and many explore options to further develop their skills. Be it professionally or out of interest, there are many online academies and platforms that have emerged over the past few years, and I’d like to touch on some which I think are useful.
I’ve turned to YouTube to look for quick solutions. For example, I’d type in “How to use XXX Excel Formula” and I’d get a quick simple guide with video examples on how to use the formula with use-cases.
Also, YouTube is useful to get simple guides on cooking and how-to videos. There isn’t a specific YouTuber which I follow on the platform for guides but there’s sufficient content on this platform for me to find solutions.
I’ve not seen many channels offering a fully curated course on specific topics that have interest me but for quick-wins, YouTube is definitely the go-to platform!
Skillshare is an online platform that has tons of curated, structured content. Unlike YouTube where it is easy to find self-help videos, Skillshare has structured courses on a specific topic that allows students to follow-through easily. From learning how to use the Procreate application to picking up photography skills, Skillshare is a platform where one can adopt relevant skills in a more systematic manner, and this tends to give a more holistic learning experience. I’ve personally watched a full beginner’s photography class where I learnt photography skills that’s meant for mobile phone users.
Another course of interest on this platform is the Business Analytics course – as you can tell, the range of courses are quite diverse. The ability to also interact with other users and sharing of projects set-up by the instructors also provide an avenue where students are able to learn from others and not just from the instructor himself.
A quick question from sceptics is – why Skillshare and not Udemy? In my opinion, both are pretty good in terms of the range of courses but Udemy is slightly more restrictive in a sense where you pay for each course you take. For Skillshare, you pay a monthly subscription fee for as many courses as you’d like – and it’s easy to cancel your subscription too!
Online Academies by Known Universities
This is the most expensive option for online learning, but you get instructors from renowned universities taking part in this. A platform/ school I’ve enrolled into the past year is Emeritus Online Certificate Courses. I completed my Digital Marketing course on this platform, and it cost around $1,500 for it. What I liked about this course is that each module had an assignment and the instructors went through them – not just over a video – but assignments are graded and returned to students. While tiring, the constant need to submit assignment ensured that students do not slacken, and I appreciated this. Materials were also relevant and real-life use cases were also provided to allow students to learn industry practices. It forced us to research on other companies while instructors reinforced the learning and practices.
Regardless of platform you utilize, I see the significance in remaining relevant and also picking up new skills. Who knows – you may end up in a different industry altogether after picking up new skills!
If you’d like a two-month subscription trial from Skillshare, you can sign-up using my referral code here!