With COVID-19 keeping the Principality and much of the world indoors, new resources are popping up online to keep our brains busy and to help us feel less alone. Schools and universities around the globe that have closed their doors are now offering their courses to the public online for free.
The best way to protect yourself, your family and your community during this pandemic is to stay indoors as much as possible. So why not venture into the world of your mind and learn something new? Perhaps something you’ve always wanted to learn but never had the time? We’ve scoured the internet in search of the best online courses for you and your family, to help you learn and grow during these difficult times.
Resources for kids
- Aimed at children and parents, Khan Academy is a nonprofit with the mission to provide free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere: https://www.khanacademy.org/
- Scholastic Learn at Home website provides day-by-day projects for children of all ages to keep your child reading, thinking and growing: https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html
- UNESCO has provided a list of educational apps and platforms help parents and teachers facilitate learning during periods of school closure. Resources include digital blackboards, google classroom, story weaver and much more: https://en.unesco.org/themes/education-emergencies/coronavirus-school-closures/solutions
Courses, certificates, and degrees online from world-class universities and companies: https://www.coursera.org/
Thousands of free online courses from top universities around the world like MIT, Stanford, and Harvard: https://www.classcentral.com/
If you are over-whelmed with choice, here are our top picks, 5 free online courses from Ivy League universities we think you might enjoy.
1. Yale University: The Science of Well-Being
(10 weeks long)
A series of challenges designed to increase your own happiness and build more productive habits. As preparation for these tasks, Professor Laurie Santos reveals misconceptions about happiness, annoying features of the mind that lead us to think the way we do and the research that can help us change. You will ultimately be prepared to successfully incorporate a specific wellness activity into your life.
2. Harvard University: Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science
(Self-paced, 6 weeks long)
Chefs reveal the secrets behind some of their most famous culinary creations, often right in their own restaurants. Inspired by such cooking mastery, the Harvard team will then explain the science behind the recipe. Participants will have the opportunity to become an experimental scientist in their very own laboratory: the kitchen. By following along with the engaging recipe of the week, taking precise measurements, and making skillful observations, you will learn to think like both a cook and a scientist.
3. University of Pennsylvania: Modern & Contemporary American Poetry (“ModPo”)
(5-10 hours a week, 10 weeks long)
ModPo is a fast-paced introduction to modern and contemporary poetry, with an emphasis on experimental verse, from Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman to the present. Participants need no prior experience with poetry. During the 10 weeks of the course, you will be guided through poems, video discussions and community discussions of each poem.
4. Princeton University: HOPE Human Odyssey to Political Existentialism
(3-5 hours a week, 10 weeks long)
Human Odyssey to Political Existentialism (HOPE) is a course anchored in political science and philosophy, a journey into the human condition and its politics, turning to existentialism for guidance. The course explores, on both individual and political levels, the following themes: Human / nature, identity & authenticity, freedom, reflection, happiness, death & dread, meaning, morality & ethics, truth & trust, God & religion, alienation & love, and finally—hope.
5. Harvard University: Justice
(3-6 hours a week, 12 weeks long)
Taught by Harvard professor Michael Sandel, Justice explores critical analysis of classical and contemporary theories of justice. Topics include affirmative action, income distribution, same-sex marriage, the role of markets, debates about rights (human rights and property rights), arguments for and against equality. The course invites learners to subject their own views on these controversies to critical examination.