By: Serge Guenette

Free online classes


The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives considerably over the last month, forcing us to adjust to a new way of living rather quickly. Social distancing and staying at home are what we need to do to help flatten the curve and make sure those around us stay healthy.

We see articles online of people picking up new hobbies around the house to keep busy, watching more television series to distract them, and connecting online with friends and family to keep in touch.

And there has also been in increase in free online courses popping up as a way to not only keep busy, but to connect and create a sense of community, as well as to keep learning.

We thought it would be fun to have a look around and see what is out there, creating a list of some of the best resources to use in order to find free online courses that can help you learn something new as we all do our part and stay home:

  1. Coursera: There are hundreds of free courses available through Coursera, all taught by top instructors from world-class universities and companies. They vary from design classes to animal behaviour, personal branding to human physiology — there is a class for everyone to enjoy.

  2. Algonquin College: Right here in Ottawa, Algonquin College recently released word that it will be bringing a few courses online for free. These courses are specifically designed around business, from managing projects to the fundamentals of business analysis. As of now, the courses are booked up, but the college is looking at offering and releasing more dates and times for additional courses.

  3. Alison: Alison is one of the largest free learning platforms in the world that provides an opportunity to build a skill or educate those who wish to learn. There are over 800+ courses to choose from, which vary in interest, career choice and more.

  4. Nikon: Nikon is offering many of its paid courses for free. If you appreciate the art of taking photos and learning more about how to capture the best moments with your camera, these courses are worth checking out. For the month of April, Nikon is offering a range of courses from photographing children and pets to exploring dynamic landscape shots and much more.

  5. Skillshare: This online platform has an abundance of free online courses for creative individuals or people looking to learn a new skill. They offer courses for photography, art, music, graphic design, animation, creative writing and more. This is a great platform to find inspiration and help to build a new skill in the creative field.

  6. Develop that hobby: Got a guitar kicking around that you always wanted to learn how to play? Or maybe you want to learn how to become an ace scrapbooker or crocheter. You’d be surprised what you can find on platforms like Facebook and YouTube (there’s a YouTube video for just about everything!). Take advantage of the extra time on your hands to develop that new hobby. Even some businesses like fitness centres are starting to offer online assistance to help keep the public engaged.

Make the best out of this unique situation that COVID-19 has placed us all in and take advantage of the many free online learning opportunities that have surfaced over the last few weeks. Learning a new skill or furthering your skillset with more courses in the same field can benefit you and keep your mind busy throughout your time at home.