Learn to play the guitar, learn Spanish, learn to swim…you may have had some of these on your Bucket List but haven’t really made much head way!
We understand it’s difficult to find time for learning new skills especially from a busy full time work or study life. But most of the trouble usually, is in getting started. Thankfully, there area host of learning tools online – where you can get started on learning a new skill from the comfort of your home, at any time that you choose to and very often, free!
Apart from skills like sports (like swimming) or driving – where it would be absolutely tricky (and risky) to learn online, most skills today can be picked up through online tools.
Here are some online tools and channels shared by Itch List users. So get started and scratch those resolutions off your Itch List:
Learn a new Language:
This is one of the most popular Bucket List items – learning a new language. Many wish to learn a new language before traveling to a country, or for better communication with offshore partners at the workplace and some, generally for a flair of the languages. The most popular being foreign languages like Chinese, German and Spanish. Here are some tools to get started on learning a new language.
- Duolingo: Has a host of language courses, but the most popular for Spanish, French and German.
- Edx: Includes language courses for Chinese (Mandarin) and Spanish. Some courses are free while others are charged.
- Pleco (App): An extensive tool that can be used for Chinese (Mandarin) learning as well as a dictionary. This is usually used as a complementary tool to other online courses.
- BBC online courses: Learn Spanish, Italian or French on the online courses offered by BBC. An assessment at the end of the 12 week course gives you a BBC certificate!
Learn a Musical Instrument:
Music is the best therapy when you re stressed, bored, sad (and you don’t have to be all that to learn music!). To get started, you can pick up some of the instruments that are popular these days – like the guitar, the keyboard or the ukelele – which are relatively easier learnt online.
- Free online lessons at Guitar Tricks
- Learn to play specific songs or a genres that you prefer. Jam Play has a variety of genre and song option, although is not free (it has membership options from monthly to annual, so you can try for a shorter period).
- Keyboard School has paid keyboard lessons. Mainly for beginners, it offers a free trial period for 14 days.
The Ukelele is gaining popularity in music schools and here some online channels for basic Ukelele lessons:
If you love photography and have got yourself a cool the latest gadget, a good way to orient yourself on the basics can be through some of these courses:
- Creative Live: Courses range from basic for beginners to specialised courses like wedding photography, newborn posing, studio lighting and food photography. Most of the courses are charged
- BestPhotoLessons: These are free lessons on basics of photography (notes as well as a video). While these are free, donations are encouraged.
Growing your own Garden:
With growing interests in window sill gardening, growing your own kitchen garden and horticulture in general, here are a few online courses for gardening orientation:
- BBC: Free lessons from Alan Titchmarsh who shares basics and tips and tricks.
- ACS Distance Education: Free lessons on horticulture, especially growing your own vegetables and herbs. Although this is a less interactive format with lessons being in the form of a PDF document. They do have interesting tips though.
Creative Writing & Writing your own Book!
There are online courses for general creative writing – from scriptwriting, copywriting to writing your novel that is almost ready for publishing!
- NowNovel: Step by Step process to write your own Novel, get it run past other authors for opinion and get it ready for publishing. The first 3 steps are free, after which it is a paid process.
- BBC: Courses like screenwriting are facilitated by BBC, most of them are free.
- Copywriting Academy: has a free 5 day mini course on copywriting. The extensive courses are paid ones.
As you now know (if you didn’t already) that you can learn almost anything through online courses, especially interests that you are itching to pursue over weekends. Like playing chess, painting your own canvas or learn to cook:
- BBC: Has courses including food techniques, health courses, languages and gardening.
- Chess: Basics of chess, most lessons are free.
- Paint on Canvas:
While nothing comes close to learning a new skill from a real coach or teacher, with our busy lives forever procrastinating our itches to learn something new – learning skills online is a great way to stop procrastinating and get started!
What are your itching to learn?