Learning platforms respond to COVID-19 with free resources

With days flying by as quarantine continues, you may find that you finally have the free time to develop skills and learn about topics you’re passionate about. Luckily for you, many online platforms are ready to meet the needs of communities impacted by COVID-19. With free online courses, certifications and programs, there are plenty of options to keep you occupied while you’re stuck at home. 

Sofia Leotta, AP Editor

Disclaimer: The following websites are recommendations by the author. Both Nordic News and the author were not sponsored by any of the following organizations to review their services.  

With days flying by as quarantine continues, you may find that you finally have the free time to develop skills and learn about topics you’re passionate about. Luckily for you, many online platforms are ready to meet the needs of communities impacted by COVID-19. With free online courses, certifications and programs, there are plenty of options to keep you occupied while you’re stuck at home. 

Chief among these is Coursera. While the learning platform normally offers some free courses, they have greatly broadened their offerings during the coronavirus pandemic. Available content ranges from STEM topics to graphic design and language learning. 

With university classes and certificates that would normally cost $50-$200 available for free, Coursera is dedicated to ensuring accessibility during uncertain times. Check out Coursera’s list of resources to learn more.

Coursera, along with other platforms, have resources that can not only help you gain knowledge, but also acquire new languages. Rosetta Stone and Babbel are offering paid-subscription services for free over the next few months. With tailored plans in grammar, verbal comprehension and speaking, both platforms have abundant resources to take your language learning to the next level. Both Rosetta Stone and Babbel have wide ranges of offerings. Rosetta Stone has 24 languages available for users and Babbel has 14 with a focus on European languages. 

If you are more interested in developing technical skills, one option is Lynda. Sign in for free and gain experience in a wide range of topics including CAD, web design, music producing, photography and more. Lynda, along with all King County’s Library’s digital resources, can be accessed through a general library account or a student library account with Northshore School District. For information about your account with NSD, look under King County’s Student Accounts page. Make sure to use NSD’s identification number, 417, along with your student number for the barcode. For the pin, enter the last four digits of your student number.

With technical skill courses for illustration and graphic design available on a wide range of online platforms, you may be wondering how you can start creating your own work. Adobe meets this need, providing free software downloads for schools impacted by COVID-19 when you sign in with your student email and password. Once you’re logged in, simply click “View account” in the upper right corner of your screen and then click “View and download my apps” under the “Common Tasks” column. 

If you’re interested in acquiring a valuable skill for the workplace, consider learning how to code during quarantine. Develop your abilities with coding courses on EduCode Academy, App Brewery and Edhesive. EduCode is offering two free months of access for coders from beginner level to advanced. App Brewery follows a similar approach, but is focused on teaching you to develop your own IOS or Android apps over a 10-hour course, even if you have no prior experience in programming. Edhesive, free through Amazon’s Future Engineer initiative, offers content that ranges from basic coding to AP Computer-Science principles and teaching preparation. 

Whether you want to expand your knowledge in science topics, pursue fluency in a language, develop design skills or learn coding, online services providers have stepped up to provide you with a unique opportunity—an abundance of free resources that would normally cost hundreds of dollars to access. If you find yourself bored out of your mind during quarantine, look no further. With the amount of content now available, there’s sure to be an online program right for you.