A new year has arrived, and with it the promise of turning over a new leaf, taking up new habits or acquiring new skills. Yet many people stumble before they even get the chance to take meaningful steps towards their new year’s goals.
One of the most popular resolutions people take on, outside of health related concerns, is to learn a new skill or ability. Yet it can be tricky to know how to start, especially with so much information at our fingertips supposedly there to guide us. The truth is, information overload can often lead someone to abandon their plans – but this needn’t be the case.
In recent years, platforms, apps and services dedicated to learning online have grown increasingly affordable and accessible, holding out the prospect of supercharging your learning journey. Below we’re going to take a look at some of the best options out there to help you acquire new skills in the new year.
Explore Dedicated Learning Apps
Just about everyone knows, or has tried, Duolingo. This immensely popular language learning app has helped thousands around the world acquire new languages with its compelling ‘gamified’ approach to language acquisition. And while language learning apps may well be the most popular type of e-learning apps out there today, they’re not the only ones.
A quick survey of the education sections of the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store will show you an impressive array of specialist learning software. Take Brilliant, for example – a STEM-focused learning app that assists users in learning everything from calculus to applied logic and the basics of engineering.
Elsewhere, for those who prefer their information in high density, the platform Blinkist provides its users with condensed 15-minute long summaries of popular non-fiction books. This is perfect for those who don’t have time for, or struggle with, long-form reading or audiobooks.
Prioritise High-Quality Resources
The internet is home to thousands of resources, from how-to guides to instructional videos. Yet it can be difficult to tell, at first glance, which of these are worth following. After all, learning from a poor resource can not only hamper your learning journey, but could even lead to you developing bad habits that you’d have to undo later.
To get around this, however, is fairly simple. All you need to do is prioritise learning from resources that are known to be trusted in the field they’re covering. Say, for example, you finally wanted to get to grips with how to play Texas hold ‘em – while you could easily find a WikiHow explaining the basics, going to an industry leader like PokerStars is always going to put you in better stead.
The same goes for gardening, for instance. Dedicated charities working in this space, like the Royal Horticultural Society, are always going to be a safer and more reliable choice than unverified internet users.
Make the Most of eLearning Services
Specialist eLearning platforms like Skillshare and Udemy are an incredible resource for learners of all persuasions. Each is home to over 30,000 separate courses covering everything from in-depth software tutorials, to plant care, art journaling and cookery.
What’s more, with a structured curriculum, easy access to the course teacher, and homework and projects throughout, for certain learners this is the perfect way to set about making good on their new skill resolutions.
Seek Out a Video Tutor
In spite of the fact there is an incredible array of learning resources now available online, certain subjects still require a more hands-on approach to tuition. Complex skills, like learning an instrument, are best tackled with the help of a professional in a one-on-one setting.
While in the past this meant travelling to find a tutor in your area, which was far from a foregone conclusion, nowadays, you can easily find teachers all over the world with the expertise you need. Platforms like TutorHunt connect learners with tutors over video conferencing software like Zoom, giving you on-demand access to high-quality and focused training, no matter where you are.