Over 95% of Americans are under varying degrees of stay-at-home orders as a result of the coronavirus, formally named COVID-19. In an effort to slow the virus' spread, cities, counties, and some entire states have ordered residents to quarantine. Schools are closed, many people have been furloughed or laid off, and employees who have been kept on are largely working remotely. The bottom line is that the vast majority of the population is spending a lot of time at home these days.
At first it may have been fun to sleep in, binge-watch, well, everything on Netflix, and perfect your dance moves for your TikTok debut. However, the world will return to normal and you'll be donning your favorite wrinkle-free suit again in no time. Wouldn't it be cool to have something to show for your time under quarantine? The world is in a strange spot, but it's never been so easy to live your best life – literally.
Whether you want to perfect the art of croissant making, learn a new language, or finally, start that business you've been dreaming about for decades, here are the 10 best online learning resources to help you do it.
Learn a new language
In today's ultra-connected global economy, learning a new language is one of the best things you can do to increase your marketability as an employee – aside from wearing your sharpest stain-resistant suit to a job interview, of course.
Thanks to its stringent pace, after a few months of studying regularly with Rosetta Stone, you'll be speaking, understanding, reading, and writing more than you might imagine. One thing that makes it so effective is the ability to add one-on-one online tutoring. Plans vary, but there are options ranging from three months of one language for $11.99 to a lifetime unlimited membership for $199. Available online and on iOS and Android.
It's easy to see why DuoLingo tops so many "Best Language apps/programs" lists. The free program is just as good as – and in many cases, better than – any paid one. There are currently 35 languages offered for English speakers, but there are many, many more for different base languages. All lessons are self-paced and many languages include podcasts and interactive stories. Use DuoLingo online or get the app for Android or iOS.
In addition to working on your physical best self (Keeping Off The Quarantine-15), this is an excellent time to sharpen your brainpower and expand your horizons.
The "Happiness class"
A follow-up to the most popular class in Yale's history, The Science of Well-being, is being offered completely free. The self-paced course teaches you practical ways to be more productive, change bad habits, and generally lead a more fulfilled life. Sign up free on Coursera.
Are you interested in honing your knife skills or learning how to take Instagram-worthy photos? Perhaps you want to understand how to care for houseplants. Whatever you have in mind, Skillshare's got you covered. There are thousands of courses in different formats, but all are self-paced. Get two months free, then a subscription is $15 a month or $99 per year. Skillshare is available online, on the App Store, and on Google Play.
If you've thought about going back to school, now is the time. Coursera gives you access to a huge range of individual courses and degree programs at just about all the major universities. It's free to join and some courses are free, while others require fees. Get it on the web or for iOS or Android devices.
Playing an instrument is one of the only activities that uses nearly every part of the brain. If you've ever wished you knew how to play, Fender Play is making it possible with three free months of lessons. Choose from the guitar (electric or acoustic), bass, or ukulele, as well as a genre of music. Professional-taught lessons are available on the website or for mobile devices through the Play Store or App Store.
Have you ever wanted to learn from Aaron Franklin of Franklin BBQ in Austin? Or have Steph Curry teach you how to handle a basketball? MasterClass makes it possible via browser, Apple and Android devices, and some smart TV apps. There are single class and pay-by-month plans, or buy a one-year, all-access membership for $180 and get one free.
Formerly called Lynda, this extensive program is career-focused. The entire library of more than 15,000 courses is available to all subscribers and topics range from coding to entrepreneurship. Take one-time, individual courses or create a "Learning Path," a group of themed classes. Get a free 30-day trial, then choose a monthly or annual subscription. Available online and on Android and Apple devices.
Starting a business
In light of everything happening as a result of COVID-19, many people are seriously considering launching a business. Whether it's a side hustle or you're looking to replace your current job, the internet is full of fantastic resources.
The range of courses on Udemy is tremendous, but the business content is particularly great. Classes and workshops such as How to Come up With Killer Business Ideas and How to Make a Living Online make it well worth the time and investment for any entrepreneur, rookie, or veteran. Many of the self-paced classes include a certificate of completion. Course prices vary from free to a couple hundred dollars and change periodically. To sign up, check Udemy out online or get the Apple or Android app.
HubSpot has taken a ton of valuable digital-age business content and turned it into 60-minute webinars. You'll find topics including How to Build a Successful Startup and Actionable Lead Generation Tips for Startups and Entrepreneurs. The company also offers a wide range of certificate programs, teaching things like how to get website traffic and how to build an app. The best part? It's all free. Check out HubSpot Academy online.