Thousands of Australians are finding themselves with extra time on their hands as the once-typical tasks of commuting to work or dropping off the children to school disappear.
While some are lucky enough to do their job from home, others have been left out of a job and seeking to up-skill as lockdown measures during the coronavirus pandemic trigger business shutdowns.
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If you’re wondering where you can learn in-demand skills for free, or where to find resources to give your small business a bit of a boost, here’s where to look:
UPDATED: 30 April 2020
TAFE NSW releases another 13 courses for free
TAFE NSW has announced that it is releasing another suite of courses after “overwhelming” uptake of the first batch of 21 saw a number of the courses booked out.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that 85,000 people had enrolled in the free courses since they were announced earlier this month.
“The incredible uptake to the initial 21 fee-free short courses shows that while many businesses across NSW are in hibernation there is a strong desire to upskill and gain new qualifications during this challenging time,” Berejiklian said in a statement.
“Some courses have reached their capacity for now so they have been replaced with new courses so that we can continue to provide opportunities for people to upskill during this time.”
Among the new 13 courses, topics include:
Digital Security Basics;
Build your Digital Literacy with Coding;
Create a Brand Presentation; and
Undertaking Projects and Managing Risk.
You can find all of TAFE NSW’s free courses here.
UPDATED: 7 April 2020
Pluralsight releases all 7,000 tech courses for free (April only)
Just for the month of April, online learning platform Pluralsight, which specialises in tech skills, has made all of its courses and skills assessments – of which there are more than 7,000 – freely available for learners who don’t already have a paid subscription.
For the month, you’ll get full access to dozens of courses on rising areas of technology such as software development, programming languages, cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, and more.
“With this free offering, we want to encourage technology enthusiasts to stay home and improve their skills,” said Pluralsight CEO Aaron Skonnard.
“Technology can help us build a better tomorrow when we’re able to return to normal, and we want to provide as many people as possible with the opportunity to stay safe, stay home, and skill up.”
6 April 2020
TAFE NSW releases 21 courses
The NSW Government today announced that TAFE NSW would make 21 online short courses available, free of charge, for individuals and business owners.
“The TAFE NSW fee-free accredited courses will contribute to helping businesses stay in business and people stay in jobs,” said NSW Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee.
“It’s vital we keep people employed and ensure we have the ability to rebound when things do improve.”
The short courses include topics such as eMarketing for small businesses, engaging customers using social media, introduction to accounting, pharmacy training, team leader skill sets, and administration skills.
You can find all 21 free courses through their website here.
Udemy launches Free Resource Centre
Online learning and up-skilling platform Udemy has created a hub of more than 250 curated free courses to help keen learners come out of the other side of the pandemic more skilled than before.
These courses will be a hit for those seeking to brush up on their tech or coding skills, with dozens of courses on web developing, IT and software and programming languages.
You’ll also find courses on photography, time management, productivity, personal success, public speaking and even learning an instrument or digital painting.
“In this resource center, learners will find courses to help them adapt to working from home, search for a job, stay active and maintain balance while spending time at home,” said Udemy CEO Gregg Coccari.
“As the world changes and our course catalog evolves, we’ll add new courses and more resources for leaders on an ongoing basis.”
Coursera releases more free content
While all the online learning platforms already have a number of courses that don’t cost you a thing, they’re now releasing even more for free, with Coursera providing additional learning resources free of charge until the end of May.
“While many courses on Coursera are already available for free without a certificate, this promotion enables you to not only access lectures and quizzes, but also to earn a free certificate for courses that offer them,” according to a Coursera blog update.
Through Coursera, you can access free courses for career development, cloud tech, public health, science, soft skills, and even poetry and the human brain. Students of universities and colleges can get their hands on even more free courses.
Udacity offers Covid-19 discounts
Not-for-profit education organisation Udacity is big on turning the extra time at home into an opportunity to upskill. The platform is offering a discount to new students (so those who are already enrolled with Udacity miss out).
“Learn at your pace and on your schedule while still receiving fast, personal feedback on your work from our team of mentors and project reviewers,” wrote Udacity brand communications manager Ritika Pradhan in a blog post.
“Build hands-on experience with the types of problems you’ll face on-the-job through our real-world projects designed by industry experts.”
FutureLearn provides educators with free resources
London-headquartered social learning platform FutureLearn is making a number of courses free that will help educators and frontline health experts as well as help the general public better understand Covid-19. Here’s what they’re doing:
You can study an online course called COVID-10: Tackling the Novel Coronavirus for free on the platform. The course is a partnership between FutureLearn and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and covers what’s known about the disease so far, what the practical implications for response are, how to prevent the spread, and what’s needed for the future.
Educators can take part in a free course called How to Teach Online: Providing Continuity for Students designed to help educators switch to online teaching as everyone practices social isolation.
FutureLearn has also created a summary of the best resources to complement online teaching, such as the best platforms, software, and tips for parents.
EdX promotes free resources
While university-level online learning platform edX isn’t making any more courses free of charge, it has highlighted some of its free resources to help learners, such as its Facebook community, its tips for successful online learning, its live Facebook webinars and more.
Education Perfect makes platform free for schools
Global K-12 education software provider Education Perfect has made its platform free for all schools until the 1st of May.
The platform helps teachers deliver curriculum-aligned lessons and assessments remotely and also helps teachers monitor students in real time.
More to come.
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