For the first 18 years of our life we are focused solely on learning. Kids these days are learning every day by going to school, and still learning when they go home and watch cool songs with a learning theme. We study, make flash cards and brainstorm new ideas. For some of us this learning goes on well into our twenties with college. But once we leave university, most of us move on from learning into the workplace and never really go back.
I loved learning when I was a kid and I always make it a point to learn something new whenever I can. As a journalist I’m naturally curious and one of my favorite parts of my job is that I get to become an expert in many different subjects even if just for a day.
Just because you’ve left school doesn’t mean you have to give up on life-long learning. In fact, many of the long-term bucket lists that I see include learning a language or new skill. But these long term goals tend to get overlooked because they can be quite costly or because people don’t think they have the time to achieve them.
To encourage the lifelong learners, like myself, I’ve put together a list of FREE resources to check off your bucket-list items.
LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE
Duolingo – Have you had ‘Learn Italian’ on the bottom of your list for years? Now you can check it off. This website breaks down language courses into bite-sized chunks, encouraging you to study for 5-10 minutes every day. That’s a small and perfectly sustainable goal. It’s also available as an app so you can learn on the go. Learning a language is of course best done in childhood so if you’re a teacher looking for a classroom activity to help your students’ learning, you may want to consider this crossword maker which supports foreign languages.
LEARN HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL
Ted Ed – Everyone is familiar with TED talks, infact my good friend Terri Trespicio did a particularly good one that has over a million views! But the TED Ed website is designed to spark curiosity and promote learning. The site features nearly 200,000 short videos designed to explain everything from DNA to how the bra was invented. The site was created with younger students in mind, but it accessible to anyone who wants to learn. You can even learn how to be successful.
LEARN TO CODE
CodeAcademy – Coding is a hot buzzword right now, but to most of us all those letters and symbols are gibberish. However, coding can be very helpful, especially to newcomer entrepreneurs looking to start their own website or make their own app. You can learn over 10 different types of code at Code Academy, and it’s designed to be easily accessible to techie novices.
LEARN HOW TO MAKE A ROBOT
MIT Videos – MIT has thousands of videos available on their online resource. Many of these videos are used in their classrooms, but are also free for the general public. They have hundreds of different channels including biology, technology, arts, culture and more! You could even make your own robot.
GET CONTROL OF YOUR FINANCES
Learnvest – Everyone dreams of having more money. Sadly you can’t teach yourself to win the lottery, but you can learn how to make the most of the money you do have. Learnvest has plenty of classes to teach you how to budget, what to look out for when buying a home or how to start your own investment portfolio. All for free!
LEARN HOW TO COOK
Nikki Dinki Cooking – Making great food doesn’t always have to mean spending hours in the kitchen slaving over a pot roast. There are many simple and easy recipes that can make you look like pro – even if you’re prone to burning soup. Nikki takes you step-by-step through some of her classic recipes on her YouTube channel!
VISIT THE GREAT BARRIER REEF
Google Maps — One of the most popular items on everyone’s bucket lists is to travel. Okay so there’s no free way to fly to Australia, but you can visit the Great Barrier Reef with Google maps and a little bit of imagination!