Our thirst for learning never really leaves us and it's always great to pick up a new skill or some fresh knowledge. The advent of the internet has opened up a world of possibility for keen learners to soak up information, but there's so much of it out there and it can be difficult to focus on one particular area. That's why we have collected a list of some of the best websites that can teach you a new skill...entirely for free. Simply click on the links or pictures to be taken directly to the sites where you can find out more. Now there is really no excuse not to get your learning cap on and see if you can pick up a new hobby, no matter how old you are!
Duo Lingo is a free resource where you can learn one of thirteen languages online, including Spanish, French and German. If you want a really unusual skill that will impress your friends, you can even learn Esperanto, the proposed 'one world language' which never caught on. The website's popular because it's so easy-to-use; you can set yourself weekly goals and take tests as you learn, with full feedback provided. The site is one of the best free learning tools on the web.
If you watch with envy while speedy typers work a computer keyboard so quickly that their fingers are a blur, then help is at hand. There are a number of online courses you can take to turn you into a master typer, using the 'touch type' techniques now taught across the world. One of the best is Type Fu which offers five groups of lessons, with individual tutorials within each group getting progressively harder to test your skills as they develop.
Photography is a hobby that never goes out of vogue, and fancy, digital SLR cameras have never been more affordable. At first glance, they seem complicated and it is tempting to just set them to auto and shoot away. But until you learn more about the manual settings, you will be benefiting from only a small percentage of the camera's capabilities. Udemy is designed to help beginners start shooting in manual modes through step-by-step lessons that can help you learn gradually. You will soon be able to capture those perfect shots you always wanted.
Psychology is an increasingly popular subject to study. Humans are a product of their brains; our brain gives us our personality, stores our experiences and controls our emotions. Understanding more about our minds can in turn help us understand ourselves and the wider world much better. Masters in Psychology Guide offers a breadth of resources for beginners, with nearly 60 fascinating courses and seminars relating to numerous different aspects of psychology available for your education. This is definitely the place to go if you want to be learn more about the brain.
Knitting sometimes seems to be a dying art, but Instructables is doing its best to bring it back. The website is actually a treasure trove of useful information, and its knitting instructions come in the form of a series of videos that allow you to develop your skills at your own pace. It's a hugely relaxing (and not to mention useful) pastime that anyone can learn with a bit of patience.
We all feel like our memory fails us on occasion, especially as we get older. But help is at hand in the form of a series of lessons designed to keep your skills of recollection intact! The free courses are provided by Kwik Learning and cover a range of topics, including quick recall, speed reading and creative thinking. Try them yourself and see if they make a difference!
As children we scrawl, scribble, sketch and experiment with drawing all the time, but as we get older, most of us stop altogether (aside from the odd doodle to waste time when we should be working!) But drawing is a fantastic hobby that not only gets the creative juices flowing, but provides a superb distraction from life's everyday stresses. Draw Space is a great tool for starters and teaches you all manner of techniques. You never know, you could be a budding Van Gogh without realizing!
Speaking of hobbies that are good for your relaxation levels, you can even learn how to meditate online using the resources at onlinemeditation.org. There are ten sets of lessons in total, all created by Shri Mataji, a well respected spiritual teacher. Each lesson is organized into a video for you to watch, some reading for you to absorb and some tasks so you can practice.
If you fancy your chances as a trader, then Investopedia offers a wealth of resources for you. The site contains huge amount of information about the stock market, all presented in simple terms. Most importantly for any newcomer, there is a free Stock Market basics course to get you going. Just be careful should you decide to start investing money in the real markets!
Academic Earth was established according to the principle that 'everyone deserves access to world class education'. The site collects together the best free online college and university courses from around the world, all available to browse via an easy three-point search mechanism. Whether you want to explore a new topic or improve your understanding of one you already know a little bit about, this fantastic resource will have something for you.