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Online Professors: How to Use the Internet to Learn New Skills 


Online Professors: How to Use the Internet to Learn New Skills 

One of the most exciting things about the internet is the wealth of available information. With a few clicks, a wide variety of skills are available to learn. This can be even more fun if you have a group of similarly inclined friends to learn with you. Here are just a few of the cool things you can learn online. 

Play an instrument 

While instruments often require lessons to become truly proficient, online courses and videos can help you develop your base knowledge of music theory while learning how to read music. Both of these will put you well on your way to learning how to play an instrument. Playing an instrument, in turn, can help reduce stress and heighten cognitive functioning. The burst of dopamine released when you play a piece you love provides the feeling of a high that further heightens the emotional connection you may already have to the music. This can be a great activity for a group as well, because playing music has been shown to increase feelings of connection while releasing oxytocin, a hormone associated with bonding. 

Online tools can be helpful in determining what musical instrument to play.  First, how difficult would you like it to be to learn how to play the instrument? While some, like the piano, can sound decent in the hands of a beginner, others, like the violin, take months for new students to begin to master. Next, what kind of music are you interested in playing? If you like to listen to heavy metal, you may not be as interested in playing the oboe.

Similarly, if you like versatility, violins and saxophones can be used in many different contexts. Finally, what are your physical capabilities? Tubas and stand-up basses require a certain amount of height or strength, while a ukulele is small, lightweight, and portable. It might be helpful to swing by a local music store to see these instruments up close to select the right one. 

Once you’ve decided on an instrument, search for lessons online. There are a wide variety of teachers dedicated to different instruments, genres, and techniques. Find one that’s right for you! 

Learn a Practical Skill Like Sewing 

Basic sewing skills are something everyone should have, but unlike in generations past, many people grow up never learning even the basics, such as stitching a torn hem or adding a button to a shirt. Whether you want to make your own clothing or just express yourself creatively, there are plenty of great online resources that can help you get started. This collection from HomeAdvisor is a great place to start, as it offers resources for everything from sewing machine safety to working with different fabrics to beginner-friendly projects. 

Take an Online Course 

Many universities and colleges offer online mini-courses on their specialty subjects. Often curated and designed by experts in the field, mini-courses are a great way to get your feet wet in a particular subject without committing all the way to a full degree plan. Many of these courses are significantly discounted -- or even free! 

Learn a New Language 

Similarly, many language courses are available online. While many of these have an associated fee, they typically are great for beginners and intermediate students alike, offering a range of learning methods, including photographic recognition, audio cues, and direct interaction. If you just want to start educating yourself without taking a formal course, check out some of the instructional language videos on YouTube. 

Develop Your Career Skills 

You can also use this time to develop skills that can help you in your career. If you aren’t familiar with basic software, search for an introduction article. Several websites and apps offer timed games to help you develop your coding and website development skills. This can become a fun activity with friends to try to beat each other’s times. Many of these also offer more complex courses that end with a certification, which can be a great boon for your career advancement. 

There is no end to the fun skills you can learn online. With a few clicks and an internet connection, the results are limited only by your creativity. 

Photo Credit:

-Julie Morris

*Julie Morris is a life and career coach who stumbled upon our website and asked if she could write some articles of which we happily obliged.  She runs her own website and we highly recomend if you you swing over and check her out at