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The best free ways to get smart

Author: The Simple Bit

Category: Short Cuts

A lot of us have some more time on our hands, and big plans for when all this is over. So it’s never been a better time to study something. Here’s a bunch of free online courses to help you upskill in lockdown.

The simple bits:

  • More time at home has meant more time to study for some people
  • A lot of courses and classes have been made free recently
  • Here are some ideas to fill your days and your brain

There’s a bit going on for a lot of us right now, and it’s making a lot of us think about change. According to a recent study, as many as 45% of millennials are planning on a career change when the lockdown ends, and 28% are already learning a new skill to get there. Plus, some of us have more time on our hands, so it’s never been a better time to learn something new. And luckily, a lot of it is free at the moment. So here’s a list of some free ways to get smart online.


Take a free Ivy League College course

A lot of time on your hands? Always wanted to go to an Ivy League University? Well now you (virtually) can! Universities like Harvard and Yale have opened up a heap of courses so you can finally study European Antiquities or Entrepreneurial Startups 101.

Click here to get clever.

Age limits don’t apply. Pic by Rohit Farmer


Well, how about a TAFE course?

Looking for something a bit more practical and closer to home? TAFE NSW has also opened up a heap of courses for free. Boost your office skills, finally learn your way around Excel, or work on your personal brand to start a career in design.

Click here to get practical.


Get your head around COVID

Online education aggregator Coursera have gathered together a list of free public health courses to help you navigate the health challenges we’re currently facing. Learn COVID-19 Contact Tracing from Johns Hopkins University, Essentials of Global Health from Yale or Disaster Preparedness from the University of Pittsburgh. 

Click here to get prepared.


Up your tech game

Great Learning has freed up a bunch of courses in data visualisation, coding, AI and cloud computing. And given a bunch of workplaces have suddenly become virtual, the timing is pretty great. They don’t seem to have a course in unmuting yourself in Zoom chats though.

Click here to see inside the Matrix.

Todd, you’re on mute. TODD. Pic by Fabian Grohs.


Get to know the planet

Netflix have added about 20 hours of nature documentaries from its Our Planet series to YouTube. Jungles? They got it. Climate Change? Covered. The frozen world? Yep, that too. So if you’ve got the time, they’ve got the knowledge.

Click here to go global.


Dust off the camera

Got a camera that you never learnt how to use properly? Don’t know your F Stops from your Apertures? A bunch of the major camera manufacturers and software platforms are providing free classes, workshops and tutorials at the moment. So you’ll be able to take awesome photos of all that sourdough.

Click here to get snappy.

Capture every bubble. Pic by Alexandr Bormotin.


Learn to shred (on guitar)

All that too dry for you? Guitar powerhouse Fender has freed up its Fender Play guitar lesson app. (It’s capped at 1 million users, so you might want to jump on it in a hurry). Learn Creep by Radiohead or even Creep by TLC on guitar, bass or ukulele.

Click here to get shredded.


A bit of simple can go a long way right now. Click here for details about how ahm can help you. Let’s try make these difficult times a little simpler together.