We are blessed to live in a world where sharing is natural and easy. Through a wide array of online platforms and social media sites we are able to connect with and learn from each other. One of the most beautiful aspects of the world of sharing is the seemingly endless options of learning new tricks, skills and engaging with new ideas.
A quick Google search will offer thousands of options on how-to do just about anything and this is something I truly love about this world I am blessed to be in. There is amazing potential to learn and grow and do so for free.
Around two months ago, after getting my first payment from Upwork, I could not figure out how to get paid immediately. The review and payment process was long and the system instructions claimed that I had to wait another week and half to access the money I had been paid for my freelance writing assignments. Somehow, I thought that there should be another method, an instant payment option. But none of the examples I found on official Upwork forums used the payment method I had selected. So I turned to YouTube. And sure enough there was a solution to my challenge. I learned how to get paid instantly from a Bangladeshi man whose video wasn’t even in English. Luckily, he used step by step screen shots and I could follow along and that same day I transferred the money to my Payoneer card.
YouTube is a great resource for DIYs , recipes, quick refreshers on just about anything.
There is a world of free skills sharing and this is something I just recently getting into and so far I am enjoying it.
Last week I signed up for Skillshare which promises 15-minute bite size lessons for creative skills. So far I’ve started, “Writing For Consistency: Finding Your Creative Voice” with popular wattpad contemporary romance writer, Ninya Tippett. Now 15 minutes isn’t going to offer the most thorough exploration of any subject matter but it is a quick inspiration and an offering to get engaged and learn something new.
Another wonderful free learning resource is FutureLearn. This massive open online course system has a diverse selection of classes from universities and cultural institutions worldwide. The courses are delivered through step-by-step weekly modes that can be done on a PC, a tablet or a phone.
The set up is really simple and the system is user-friendly. Interested persons can quickly sign up with an email account, create a password and confirm. Then login to the selected course. Classes, I have seen so far, range from two to eight weeks. Each class begins with a video overview with the main instructor’s introductions of the course objectives and the tutors. Students are encouraged to interact in the comments section, to answer questions and to give and get feedback. Some courses have weekly tests, while others, have assignments and peer review sessions. After successfully completing at least 90% of the course work and scoring at least 70% on tests and assignments, individuals can pay and receive a Certificate of Achievement.
The first FurureLearn class I completed in 2014 was “Introduction to Journalism” from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow . Since then, I have signed up for several classes and completed a few, it is a great option to explore. For me FutureLearn helped me realise that I was not ready for online graduate studies, that I could not commit to that method of learning, and, that I did not want to do development studies. So far my favourite class has been the Open University’s “Start Writing Fiction.”
These free resources are great for beginners who have a vague interest in a particular subject or skill, it could also be good pre-university exploration for secondary school students or a booster for professionals.
Hold firm to this, live and love freely and boldly, learn and grow and give back.
PS: It is the third Sunday of June.