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Learn a New Skill During #SaferAtHome With These Great Online Courses

coffee cup next to notebook and laptop for online learning

Free Online Lessons and Classes to Learn a New Skill While Indoors

By Jordan Kapellusch, digital marketing specialist at Network Health
Originally published on 04/14/2020 at 11:00 a.m.

Whether you refer to it as social distancing, safer at home or simply preventive isolation, the “quarantine” under which residents of every state find themselves has led to some unexpected blocks of free time.

With streaming platforms experiencing a surge in viewership and reading lists getting knocked out left and right, people are doing everything they can to stay entertained and busy without leaving their homes for the typical plethora of spring activities.

Another way some are choosing to pass the time is by expanding skillsets and taking lessons that can be had in the comfort of one’s own home.

Committed to growing healthy and strong Wisconsin communities, we’re big fans of this idea here at Network Health. If you’re likewise looking to learn some new skills and to expand your range of hobbies, we’ve put together just the list for you.

Here are our favorite free lessons and courses you can take online today.

If You Want to Learn to Play the Guitar

Versatile and common in nearly every music style, the guitar is an instrument that has become synonymous with lifelong musical passion. If you’re wanting to dust off the old six-string during these weeks or months indoors and learn how to play along with your favorite songs, or even write some of your own, JustinGuitar is a great place to start.

With short and easy-to-follow lessons broken down into beginner, intermediate and advanced learning paths, JustinGuitar is also a great place to go if you already know a bit but want to use this time to expand your abilities.

If You Want to Learn to Take Better Photos

Digital cameras have made shooting landscapes, portraits and art photos easier than ever before. However, there’s still a lot that goes on behind and between the lenses to elevate a great subject and make a beautiful photograph.

Professor of photography at Harvard University, Dan Armendariz, has uploaded his entire lecture series to This website not only lets you take part by watching the lessons, but you can also download the accompanying documents and worksheets for the full classroom experience.

If You Want to Learn to Sew

Among the most practical things you can learn, sewing is more than just an expressive art. Learning how to alter and tailor your clothing and home textiles can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars over the course of a year, and that’s not to say anything about how rewarding it is to use or wear something you have crafted yourself.

Crazy Little Projects has a step-by-step guide on their website which allows you to learn everything you need from selecting and buying fabric to sewing ruffles and inserting zippers.

If You Want to Learn to Write Stories

Did that final book in your reading pile inspire you to create something bold and original? Are you dreaming of imaginary worlds you long to build and fill with characters, destinations and events? Have you had conversations in your head with characters you’ve thought of, yearning to see them breathe on a piece of paper or an online document?

If you answered yes to any of the above, but don’t quite know where to start, OpenLearn’s free ‘Start Writing Fiction’ course is a great place. You’ll learn the elements that make up a story, how to weave action and dialogue together to create cohesion and how to surprise your readers by avoiding cliché writing elements.

If You Want to Learn How to Make Things Online

A website, app or computer program’s code is like its DNA, making things work behind the scenes. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to create your own app or website, it starts with code.

CodeAcademy offers free online courses that teach you how to build things online. Whether you’re looking to build a website for your guitar/sewing/photography/fiction business or simply want to know more about how your favorite app works, these courses will give you the insight you need. Best of all? They don’t cost a thing.

If You Want to Learn How to Speak in Public

That nervous feeling you get before you deliver a presentation at work or give a toast at a friend’s wedding is shared among 75% of the population. While learning how to effectively communicate to a group may not make the jitters go away, you’ll learn how to overcome those nerves and make compelling and relatable presentations.

Dr. Matt McGarrity from the University of Washington has a free course through Coursera that will help you get ready for the next time you’re called upon to address a group bigger a few friends…once #SaferAtHome restrictions have been eased, that is.

If You Want to Learn Anything Else

If you’re thinking beyond the horizons of music, coding or public speaking, plenty of free options online exist. If you have an iPhone or iPad, iTunes University features recorded courses from notable public universities like Harvard, Oxford and more.

Other sites like TED-Ed and Udemy have a more curiosity-focused approach that lets you explore new skills until you find one that seems worth diving into.

Whatever you decide to do and however you decide to spend this time, we at Network Health hope it’s a meaningful and rejuvenating time for you and yours. Stay safe. Stay well. Reach out to us if you have any questions.

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