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Top 10 online learning resources

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October 12, 2020

“I’m still learning” Michelangelo once famously said. He was 87 at the time.

It’s a reminder that none of us are too old, or too talented, not to try and learn something new. And thanks to the internet, online learning at convenient times is easy, whether it’s for pleasure, upskilling your current expertise, or retraining for a new career as a result of Covid-19.

Set yourself up for success

For the best learning outcome, it’s important to create the right environment. Firstly, that means having the good desk set up, with adequate space for reading and writing materials, correct screen height, and a comfortable chair for sitting for extended periods. To help with this, check out ACC’s comprehensive Guidelines for Working with Computers.

You also need a reliable broadband connection, so there’s no disruption when you’re downloading content. Use our broadband checker to see which options are available in your area. A fast fibre connection is best for streaming video tutorials and downloading large PDF documents.

10 places to expand your mind online

From free explainer videos on YouTube to paid-for courses offering vocational qualifications - the internet is a giant online learning resource. Here are some ideas for places you can go to learn online:

  1. Youtube - free and unfiltered learning

With around 500 hours of new video uploaded to YouTube every minute, you’ll find everything from learning to paint watercolour like Turner to mastering Stairway To Heaven to baking the perfect sourdough. YouTube is great for tips, tricks and clever hacks - but it’s worth going elsewhere, and often paying, for more structured and professional learning resources.

2. Masterclass - insights from leaders.

Masterclass brings together ‘the world’s best minds’ in a range of sectors, all of whom deliver a series of lessons sharing their stories, skills, failures and successes. There are over 85 classes to choose from, including Martin Scorsese on filmmaking, Anna Winter on creativity and leadership, and Chris Hadfield on space exploration.

3. Skillshare - learn the how-to nitty gritty.

While Masterclass brings the big names with their visions, Skillshare drills down deeper into the how-to specifics of a wide range subjects such as graphic design, creating a modern ceramic mug, iPhone photography, building an e-commerce store and more.

4. LinkedIn Learning - 16,000 free and paid courses.

LinkedIn Learning offers video courses taught by industry experts in software, creative, and business skills. With thousands to choose from, there’s sure to be one to elevate your expertise. And if you have a LinkedIn profile - it will suggest courses which could be most useful to you.

5. Family learning - from Kindergarten to brushing up on your algebra.

IXL is a ‘family learning hub’ with online courses teaching 4,500 skills aligned to NZ National Standards and the NZ Curriculum. The content is designed for all ages up to year 13, so you can use it to support and teach from home, or to learn new topics you missed out on at school.

6. Languages - learn before you fly.

International travel may be out for a while - but the silver lining is you time to learn the language of a future holiday destination. There are plenty of online resources available, including Rosetta Stone, Duolingo, Babbel, Memrise and more.

7. Course directory - choose your perfect course and provider is a hub which allows you to browse and compare course options from a range of New Zealand’s best Colleges and Universities. Searching courses by subject, provider, qualification level and delivery method also makes it easy to find the right one for you.

8. Career Academy - upskill & retrain.

Career Academy is an internationally recognised online education provider, offering courses in vocational areas such as administration, business, and hospitality & tourism. Tutors support you towards your goal, with accredited courses and certificates helping to strengthen your CV.

9. Train while you work - from the NZ Government resource

An online resource offering support, advice and contacts so you can “continue to broaden your skills while working; you can become better at your job; increase your chance for a promotion”. If you’re looking to change direction, you can use this tool to see what kind of new careers match your skills.

10. Open Polytechnic - certificates, diplomas, degrees and graduate diplomas

The Open Polytechnic of New Zealand is the nation’s leading online and distance learning provider to around 30,000 learners each year. It offers a wide range of vocation courses - each ending with qualification - to help make you more employable.

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