Learning during lockdown
Online courses that broaden your horizons right now
Why not use the next few weeks to learn a new skill? With so many online learning options, this has never been easier.
The FM rounded up a few, including some child-friendly options to keep the younger members of your family out of your hair — for a couple of minutes, at least.
MasterClass is, as the name suggests, a class taught by an expert — and we really mean expert. This carefully curated and stylish offering invites you to pursue your passion through online lectures, taught by award-winning chefs, writers and performers.
The options are staggering: you can take a photography class with Annie Leibovitz, a tennis lesson with Serena Williams or a course on creativity and leadership with Vogue’s head honcho, Anna Wintour. If you fancy yourself a writer, why not dabble in some storytelling with Good Omens co-creator Neil Gaiman?
Prices start at about R1,500, but you can buy a year pass for R3,000, which will give you access to over 80 classes.
The Idler Academy
Doing less is definitely more if you follow the ways of Tom Hodgkinson, the journalist and founder of British magazine The Idler. He and his team are proponents of the idea that life needs more fun, time out, moments of contemplation and, well, doing nothing. They argue that this is what makes us calmer, more creative and ultimately more productive. You can read the mag they produce but also, to go full tilt, do one of their online courses. The lectures are wide-ranging and encompass everything from Hodgkinson’s brief introductions to anarchism and calligraphy to learning to make your own sourdough bread and getting your bee-keeping game on. The FM’s personal favourite is the wonderful psychotherapist and expert on the history of philosophy, Mark Vernon, who will clue you up on Romantic philosophy and the likes of Descartes, Bacon, Rousseau and Wordsworth.
He’s a calming tonic in times like this.
This is one of the biggest e-learning sites in the world. It offers more than 100,000 online courses to 30-million students in over 50 different languages. Courses start at about R160 and cover a huge variety of topics. From "MBA in a Box: Business Lessons from a CEO" and "Get Wine Smart" to "The Coloured Pencil Drawing Course" and "Guitar Masterclass".
If you feel you have a skill to share, why not become one of Udemy’s instructors and create an online video course yourself? Mad skills with the ukulele or recorder? Now is your time to shine.
This site gives you the option of learning online with one of the world’s leading universities. The aim is for you to add to your skills set and advance your career with a relevant short course. MIT, Harvard and Cambridge offer courses on the platform, and the enrolment criteria, duration and price vary according to the course you choose. The University of Cape Town offers a number of courses on GetSmarter, including one on digital marketing suitable for business owners who are looking to boost their brand’s online presence.
Trying to keep the kids entertained while schools are shut is quite a task. Tekkie Uni focuses on educating children and getting them prepped for the digital future. This platform believes in the importance of a teacher’s role and the support of a small group, and so the courses aren’t done through online videos but rather in a real-time class setting.
The lessons are suitable for eight-to 18-year-olds and the themes relate to app development, robotics and — for the future vloggers — a module on how to create artistic and professional YouTube videos.