Millions of people around the world have been asked to stay home to prevent the spread of COVID-19. After you clean your house, scan old family photos, and binge a show on Netflix, social media isn’t the only answer. Instead, educate yourself. Here’s a growing list of free online classes and seminars adults can take.
There are plenty of educational resources for K-12 students, too. I have those listed here.
- You can take a virtual wine tasting! A group of winemakers from Slovenia and Croatia are hosting a virtual wine tasting on June 5th, and you are able to try the wines they’re chatting about! Those in the Twin Cities have until May 31st to pick them up. If you need them shipped, you need to place your order by May 24th. The event is broadcast on Zoom.
- Learn how to be a better cook. My employer, Open Arms of Minnesota, planned a virtual cooking class with Yia Vang, owner of Union Hmong Kitchen. Yia has been featured on CNN, and his food was featured on the May 2020 issue of Bon Appetit Magazine. Yia teaches you how to make Fried Instant Ramen, which enhances the instant ramen packages you made in college. The event, Hungry to Connect, benefits the nonprofit, which makes and delivers meals to those living with life-threatening illnesses. You can watch Hungry to Connect on Facebook or YouTube. The full ingredient list is available online.
- Skillshare offers classes ranging from “How to Take Pro Photos on Your iPhone” to “Learn How to Mix Music” to “Happy Houseplants: Caring For Your Plants”. You are able to watch the introduction of each tutorial for free. As of March 17, Skillshare is offering new members two months of Skillshare Premium for free.
- You can take a free class from an Ivy league school! Five hundred courses from Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton and Yale are available online. Some classes, like “American Capitalism: A History” are self-paced, while others, like “Improving Communication Skills” have specific start dates. Many start in March.
- edX offers over 2500 free online courses from MIT, Harvard, and other institutions.
- Don’t forget about TED Talks. They’re free online, ranging from “How Boredom Could Lead to Your Most Brilliant Ideas” to “Where Joy Hides and How to Find It”. There are some COVID-19 themed TED talks if that’s what you’d like. Do you get overwhelmed by lots of options? Start with their list of the 25 most popular TED Talks of all time. TED Talks does have a TED Talks for Kids website.
- It’s a great time to learn a new language! Duolingo offers you the chance to learn over 30 languages, breaking it down into lessons as short as 5 minutes per day.
- Want to do some research on your own? Residents of Minnesota are able to use the Minnesota Historical Society’s digital resources to search their family’s history for free. Local birth, death, marriage, census, immigration and military records, along with newspapers and historical photos on their website. Note, once it’s safe to venture back outside, head to the Gale Family Library at the Minnesota History Center in Saint Paul. There, Minnesotans are able to access ancestry.com for free. Learn more here.
- Need to get off the couch? Planet Fitness is offering free 20 minute at-home workouts on their Facebook page.