While lockdown for many means isolation, loss of work, and lots of time to binge-watch boxsets on Netflix, this time could also be used to develop your skills or learn something new entirely to keep your mind healthy and working during the downtime.
There are also so many free courses, as well as free tools that could help you that I thought I put together a list of a few courses, ranging from improving your photography, SEO skills, social media mastery, graphic design skills and developing your online writing to something a little different like how to write your first novel, fashion business, poetry, history, wellbeing, or how to create stunning flower arrangements.
The beauty about most of these free courses, they aren’t overpowering, most are just a few hours a week, and best of all you can learn at your own pace, so if you want to complete the whole course in a day, or take four weeks that’s OK.
For me, I’ve been dipping into a number of courses about fashion, writing a novel, SEO and photography – all areas that will assist my work, as well as floristry masterclasses.
Courses on Photography & Video
There are lots of great resources and courses for photographers – from Nikon, Skillshare, and Adobe, on how to take better pictures as well as how to use software like Lightroom and Photoshop.
Nikon’s Online School – here you have classes on creating video content great for Vlogging, shooting environmental portraits, children, pets, and landscape, doing your own music videos, as well as learning the fundamentals of your DSLR. These easy to follow classes and until the end of April, they are free.
Final Cut Pro X – Apple is offering a free trial on their Final Cut Pro X for 90 days, so you can use the time to have some fun editing videos and audio. Worried you don’t know how to use? They have a great collection of resources with detailed online tutorials.
Skillshare – has lots of courses dedicated to photography, and film and video to get stuck into, from learning portraits, styling food for Instagram, and capturing your pets, as well as how to create engaging videos for YouTube, creating cinematic videos with your phone, and how to do easy stop-motion videos. There are also lots of resources on Lightroom, Photoshop, Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro.
Skillshare are also offering 2 months of Skillshare Premium for free for new members, meaning you can take as many courses as you wish with ad-free content.
Adobe Creative Cloud – Do you use Lightroom or Photoshop and wish you could use their full potential? Well, Adobe has a great range of free tutorials on its website from getting started with Lightroom to quick generally under 10-minute project-based learning such as adding warm light to dark photos or enhancing the colours of a sunset, as well as tutorials to inspire you such as how to create the perfect pet portrait. They also have a great photography tips section from foundational skills to specialised techniques.
Courses To Improve Your Digital Skills
Master digital marketing, SEO and social media skills with numerous free resources offered by Google, LinkedIn, and Moz.
Google Digital Garage – here you can find certified courses on topics such as the Fundamentals of Digital Marketing, accredited by Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe and The Open University. This free course has 26 modules with bite-sized video tutorials on areas including building your web presence, planning your online business strategy and making the most of video content.
Other courses include how to promote a business with content, understanding the basics of coding, speaking in public, business writing, and an introduction to cybersecurity.
LinkedIn Learning – offers personalised learning experiences, courses taught by real-world professionals and currently the website is offering those course free for a month. Popular courses include marketing on Instagram, writing a press release, storytelling for social media, and how to create a brand strategy.
FutureLearn – has a wide range of practical courses to improve your digital and business knowledge from learning how to effectively use social media for business, from creating a social media presence to measuring success to how to create great online content with a course from the University of Leeds.
Moz – want to improve your search engine optimisation skills then you need to check out its free SEO learning centre as it has guides on ranking and visibility, how to change your website to earn more relevant search engine traffic and learning about keywords. For more training sign up to the Moz Academy, which is currently free with the promo “wegotthis” until May 31, 2020.
Courses on Creative Writing
Want to have a little fun with your writing, whether you just want to try something new like poetry or are thinking of writing a book there are a lot of course out there to help.
Start Writing Fiction – an OpenLearning free course that will give you an insight into how authors create their characters and settings, as well as a look at the different genres for fiction.
How To Make A Poem – learn how to ‘make’ your own poetry by exploring different poetic techniques and styles in this three week course.
An Introduction to Screenwriting – an online course exploring the key concepts and fundamental principles involved in the process of screenwriting from The University of East Anglia.
Creative Writing – Writer’s Block Workbook – five weeks’ worth of beginnings to create 100+ new pieces perfect for anyone who struggles to get ideas but wants to embrace writing more.
Creative Writing: The Craft of Character – study the choices a writer makes to bring all characters to life on the page, and perform written exercises in order to develop a variety of writing and pre-writing techniques to create a variety of characters.
Writing for Young Readers: Opening the Treasure Chest – a course aimed at aspiring authors with a passion for writing for young readers.
Learn more about Fashion
Love fashion and want to learn more about the business of fashion, history, and even how the industry can become more sustainable then I have a great selection of courses for you to try.
Fashion’s Future: The Sustainable Development Goals – a course on FutureLearn that explores the fashion industry’s impact on people and planet, what the Sustainable Development Goals are, and how they are linked from Fashion Revolution.
Understanding Fashion: From Business to Culture – this course from Paris-based Institut Francais de la Mode looks at fashion’s impact on culture and society to consumer behaviour with input from fashion industry leaders, including designers such as Simon Porte Jacquemus, Christelle Kocher, Paul Smith, and CEOs at Chanel, YSL and Hermès.
Fashion and Sustainability: Understanding Luxury Fashion in a Changing World – an introduction to issues, agendas and contexts relating to fashion and sustainability in a changing world from London College of Fashion’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion, supported by luxury fashion group Kering.
A History of Royal Fashion – a course exploring how British kings and queens have influenced fashion over 500 years, with exclusive access to the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection, experts at the University of Glasgow and Historic Royal Palaces.
Other Free Learning Resources
Open University – has eight subject categories, money and business, education and development, health, sports and psychology, history and the arts, languages, nature and environment, science, maths and technology, society, and politics and law, which contain thousands of free resources, including some Badged courses that can be shared on LinkedIn after completion. You can search for courses using the categories, as well as ones that are introductory, intermediate, and advanced.
WishPond – have lots of free course about various subjects like e-mail marketing, Instagram marketing, how to create contests, and Facebook, for free.
Harvard – yes, you could add an ivy league school to your CV with Harvard’s range of free online courses from programming to business, health and medicine, exploring religion, science, art and design, and data science.
Coursera – collaborates with 190+ leading universities and companies and they are offering a number of free courses for wellbeing and career development until July 31, 2020 – see their blog post for more details.