April 17, 2020
Today it’s clearer than ever that we must evolve and re-conceive of how we navigate the world as it continues to change around us. New skills, new tools, and new approaches can help keep us be more dynamic and even better equipped to face the future.
After all of your new daily responsibilities are attended to, if you find you have some downtime, there is no better moment to learn something new. Below are a few thought-starters and resources for online learning.
Build Digital Skills
More and more of life is now online – personal, social, business, and medical care, to name few. Just think: only weeks ago most people had never heard of, yet alone used Zoom. In a brief time, innumerable people have learned how to use it. Whether it’s learning about a new program or app or mastering an existing program – digital resourcefulness, tools, and skills are key.
Grow with Google
General digital skills are especially useful. Grow with Google is offering free online workshops to learn and develop skills for staying connected and productive while working remotely. Sign up for any or all of the Grow with Google virtual workshops.
G-Suite, Google Drive and Google Docs
Shared documents are becoming more the norm. Explore how to access and use Google Drive and Google Docs. Google can help with the basics of how to work from home with G-Suite or help you learn by industry what might be the best application of this resource for you.
Expand Knowledge of Computer Programs
For most, computer programs like Microsoft Office have untapped capabilities which are only limited by us as users. Up your game, get more out of the programs you have, and become more valuable to your business or organization.
Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, and more)
Microsoft offers a wide range of online training and certifications for a variety of levels. This training overview might help you find what’s most relevant to your situation.
More specifically, Learn Excel Now offers live e-training and self-paced online training for Excel. Courses are aimed to help increase productivity and gain new insights from data. If paid learning is not in your budget, they have a library of free content and resources with commonly requested templates.
Upgrade Your Social Media
Social media has become even more influential in how we communicate with customers, clients, and the world at large.
One online course for Social Media Marketing is offered by Learn@Forbes, an alternative to traditional online schools. Forbes Media and a global network of educators and executives are behind the courses offered. Courses can be taken at any time on any schedule. It offers a 14-day trial to access many courses for free.
Develop Website Skills
There’s no better way to learn than by doing. Try building your own site for an idea, service, or product you want to share with the world. In no time, you’ll be far more expert.
You don’t have to be a computer programmer to up your website savvy. Programs like Squarespace, Shopify, and Weebly are among some of the most-used and most popular. Format may be better for online portfolios, like photographers. They are very user friendly.
There are more sophisticated offerings like WordPress – its basics are not difficult to learn. If your site or your company’s site uses it, WordPress offers free learning on How to Get the Most from WordPress.
No one has THE answer on how to best approach SEO (Search Engine Optimization). But resources and tools like SEMrush can help improve your site and product search. An upcoming free course offered by SEMrush on improving your site’s E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness) can be accessed here.
Industry Specific Educational Opportunities
There are more industry-specific learning resources available, too. Below are just a few:
RESTAURANTS & FOOD SERVICE
The Restaurant and Food Group is offering a webinar series: Resetting the Table During the COVID-19 Crisis, in which they webcast discussions on changing leadership strategies and operational solutions for food service.
The National Restaurant Association offers free webinars and free podcasts on a variety of topics, including Practical Health for the Food Service Industry, covering tips and tricks for managing your own mental health as the industry moves through this time.
INTERIOR DESIGN & ARCHITECTURE
IDS is running a Virtual Educational Series of webinars. Access recorded webinars when the time is right for you. Sample webinars include:
- eDesign 101
- Website Essentials to Survive an Economic Recession as an Interior Designer
- 7 Digital Changes to Help Your Business Survive and Be Better Than Before
- What You Can Do Now to Stay Focused and Keep Your Business Active
- Managing Your Players From a Distance
AEC offers many live webinar courses or free self-paced online CEU courses so design professionals can earn credits as time is available. A full list of CEU courses can be found here. Courses can be easily searched by the following categories:
- Interior Design
- Landscape Architecture
Brushing up or expanding your skills with key programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Acrobat can only make you more useful and better able to express your vision.
Below are a few places to explore learning:
- Photoshop: WordStream recommends 6 places to learn Photoshop for Free (or Almost Free)
- Illustrator: Udemy lists Free Adobe Illustrator Courses and Tutorials
- InDesign: DigitalDefynd e-learning hub highlights the 9 Best InDesign Tutorial & Classes
Of course, you know what interests you most and what might best help feed your soul, your career, and your vision of the future you. So Google away and find what’s right for you. When so much of the world seems closed around us, keep your mind open and active to a world of new ideas.