Education should not be limited to the classroom. Working on new skills and learning about things that interest us is just as important. Listed below are 6 virtual courses that you can take to expand your knowledge. Don't feel limited to only these courses, as there are many more available just a google search away.
1. Free self-paced courses from Yale
I chose Yale, but numerous universities have recorded and uploaded the lectures, syllabi, and readings for some of their most interesting classes for free. Below is the link to a list of all of Yale’s courses, but the one that interests me the most is ‘The Psychology, Biology, and Politics of Food’. Due to the self-paced nature, teens have a chance to truly absorb the material and take their time with what they are learning, while hearing from some of the world’s most renowned professors. Check out their courses here.
2. Intro to Filmmaking
Film School For Teens offers an Intro to Filmmaking class for only $275 that is self-paced and doesn’t require any special equipment. Founded by 1 life-long educator and 1 professional filmmaker, the curriculum is easy to understand and gives insight into the industry of filmmaking. Some may hesitate at the price, but they guarantee money back for anyone who is left unsatisfied, and the majority of online film classes come in at a much higher price, so this course is perfect for beginners who want to dabble in film-making. Check out the course here.
3. Graphic Design Basics: Core Principles for Visual Design
This short and sweet introduction to Graphic Design offers 9 videos for students to identify and explore the 5 basic design principles: symmetry vs. asymmetry, scale, framing, hierarchy, and grids. After making an account with Skillshare, this course is totally free. Plus, once you’ve created your account, you gain access to tons of other free workshops and classes that cover all sorts of subjects on their website. Check out the course here.
4. Gallaudet University Sign Language
For anyone who wants to dabble in another language, sign language is a unique way to broaden your communication skills and try something new. Gallaudet organizes their videos by theme, like Family, Sports, or Emotions, making the website very user-friendly and a good place to begin for people who just want to pick up something simple in their spare time. For people who are certain that they are incapable of picking up another verbal language like French or Spanish, sign language comes with the simplicity of being nonverbal, making it a good choice for adults whose brains may not be successful in developing proficiency in a new verbal language. Check out their website here.
5. Climate Change: The Science
The University of Exeter’s free course on the scientific side of climate change is perfect for young people curious about the current biggest threat to Earth. This course is perfect for anybody interested in science that feels relevant and useful. Through the 4 week calendar, students will be introduced to climate science, examine proof of the issue, analyze its impacts, and hear about the world’s most popular proposed solutions, making this course the perfect starting point for people who are passionate about the climate crisis and want to learn how they can make an impact on climate reversal. Check out the course here.
6. Flower Gardening Simplified
So far, all of these options have required even more inside time, which may come as a drag for people who want to get outside and get their hands dirty. For those looking to get some outdoor time, this video bundle on flower gardening is the perfect introduction to foliage, flower gardens, shade plants, and perennials. The beautiful foliage and petals come as a rewarding treat for all of the time and hard work spent caring for these plants. At roughly $30, this course comes with an excess of information useful to beginners. Check out the video bundle here.