Distance Learning: How to take online courses

To be honest I had no clue about Online Learning when I first started. I hadn’t the foggiest idea when I sat at google and punched in “how to take online courses” what would come up in my search. I had no idea how it would even be feasible. I was surprised I must admit when I first found Udemy and it’s a vast array of free starter courses. Introductory courses that pave the way for stepping into larger, and more taxing learning areas. Yet, the surprising thing is that all I needed to undertake these courses were:

  • A computer
  • A quiet room
  • People in your household with the understanding that you are studying

No need for huge glossy notebooks or notepads. These were always the bain of my life in the past. My paper used to get everywhere and I sucked at referring to my notes. Online Learning is completely different, and when I started to answer my question of “how to take online courses“, I quickly realized that absolutely everything was completed online.

Especially when I learned with Udemy. Udemy to me was like a godsend. It required nothing but myself and a small room with the proper functionalities of a working computer with the specifications acceptable for what I was undertaking. I expect if you were to take a course on graphic design then you would need a higher specification computer than if you were undertaking a course on learning How To Become an Amazon Affiliate (for beginners)

Be wary too. Anything that requires creating images or videos on your computer will require an above-average PC. I only say this because I’m frequently creating videos and pictures. Yes, you can, however, create them on a less compatible PC. In my earlier days when my PC wasn’t up to much, I would often find myself having to leave my PC alone for a long time whilst it renders and processes my data. Stalls, and the likes.

Learning in 2021 has taken a very modern route. It has given rise to online establishments such as Udemy, Lynda.com, and Shaw Academy and seen the fall of community learning where money was ripely available to study in community establishments all around the country. Yet, I don’t feel this is a bad thing, I feel that it is a different route we’re traveling with Learning. One that is seeing a great rise to learning on your own, but in a group. If that makes sense? My last course was one on writing. I learned with 3,000 other people at the same time yet because I understood the course material I felt no need to join in with the community.

And that’s the beauty of it. You have more choices and more options available. And, you can come and study as you wish. Take a break for three months and come back later. A really, really good venture if you ask me.

Learn with Udemy

Udemy is distance learning for the distracted. I really, really enjoyed learning with Udemy because of the unparalleled support and guidance I received from taking their courses. You see, at Udemy I had direct access to my tutor and could leave questions about any of the course material and beyond. The best part was that if I was busy and didn’t have the time to sit at my computer and learn for a couple of hours I was able to come back at any point in my life. The beauty is that it’s always there. Always. Forever. So when you delve into that student room it will be there for you until it’s closed. It’s an awesome learning tool and this is why I’m telling you about it.

learn with udemy

Udemy is more swayed to people that want to learn technical subjects relating to work on a PC. After all, you are learning from a PC so the subject matter would be quite fitting. There are a HUGE range of courses at Udemy spanning from Business all the way to Computer Programming. Yes, that’s right, you can learn what the professionals are learning. The only difference is, is that you won’t receive a recognised qualification at the end of it. But you will know the subject and that’s what matters.

However. Udemy isn’t just limited to Computers and Business. You can find a range of courses that can take you on a journey to free you from the internal shackles that bind you, to cross-stich your way to a lovely picture or learning more in-depth techniques on dating and relationships.

Some of the best Internet marketing courses have come out of this learning platform. Tutors such as Alun Hill that teach you how to make the best out of all your social media and Amazon accounts. Courses are expensive but worth it in my opinion because you can’t just learn this stuff from browsing the web. There is always an avenue to make money and there are so many people browsing the web as we speak. Wouldn’t it be nice to grab a piece of that pie?

If you fancy yourself as a teacher you can always teach for Udemy too. I would highly suggest that you undertake one or two courses from other people first to get an idea of what people will want and expect from you. But Udemy offers a range of support and guidance for people that want to make it as a teacher. I will dedicate a post to this.

All in all one of the better learning platforms because once you part with money for the course, a one-time payment then it’s yours forever. To read and re-read whenever you want. Amazing. Some learning platforms like Lynda.com don’t offer that support which is a shame.

Learn with Lynda.com

I dare say Lynda.com was one of the first online learning portals that I turned my head to. It was back in the day where I had a thirst for all things new and exciting. I couldn’t get enough information in my head fast enough. I’m still like that now but it’s a bit more low key.

So what is Lynda and what should you expect? Well, it’s another online learning platform that you can come and go as you please. There are no time limits if you keep up your monthly subscription and you’ll more than likely to get some serious grade tutoring here. It’s harder to be a tutor on Lynda because there are far more hoops to jump through. I think you may even have to produce your teaching affiliation (but don’t quote me on that)

When you finally go into training you’ll be presented with a YouTube-like video player that will teach you the skills that you need in a do-as-I-do fashion. If you’ve paid for the Premium option then you will have little tutorials to work through that are made as templates for you

Lynda is highly geared towards the technical side of computing and business. Basically, anything that uses a computer. But the really nice thing with this platform is that by having a subscription you have access to every tutorial there is. So you can start with total beginner and end up expert on Computer-Aided Design, or web application development. The list is endless.

Subscription is relatively inexpensive too and you can sign up for a week free trial. All in all? Worth it for the wealth of material on the platform and the ease in which you can access it. All for a small monthly subscription. I’ve even used it to give me the answers that I needed for the work I was doing at the time. Brilliant!

Learn at Shaw Academy

I must admit that I’m always skeptical when I come across new learning arenas. I have been scammed too many times by this industry. There is a lot of unemployment right now and people wanting to do better with their life, that opportunities like learning a new trade need to be out there. I once had a young gentleman make an appointment with me at home. He came in and sold me the world. I ended up thinking that after my qualification I would be super employable. Then I sheepishly turned to Google and oh, the scam reviews were piling up thick and fast. But when I tried to get out of my clause it was a case of, no. Fuck you. pay me.

So when I found out that there was a Photography Course from Shaw Academy For Only $2 available I jumped at the chance to have a little look. $2 seems very small for serious learning. Actually, it didn’t stop there either. There were so many avenues and courses to try for peanuts it was too good not to miss, right? I’ve always wanted to better myself in various ways and I was DEFINITELY down for trying five courses that would cost about $20 in total. That isn’t much right?

Taking that first step into learning and training can be daunting. Especially if you haven’t taken to learning in the last 20-30 years and your memories of classroom teaching is a bitter old woman with a cane and you with a sore bottom. Well, rest assured that most people taking the courses with you will be exactly in the same position as you. Adult Learning has been transformed into an empowering and positive environment that exists now. There’s no more caning, and teachers actually care about your success and wellbeing.

Take that step. Go for it.

Here are some of the great deals that you can find yourself signing up for if you decide to learn at shaw academy:

  • Foundation of Mobile App Development For Only $5
  • $2 Foundation Trading
  • Mastering ADOBE Lightroom For Only $5
  • Sports and Exercise Nutrition Programme For Only $2
  • Diploma in Social Media Marketing For Only $2
  • Introduction to Graphic Design and the Adobe Creative Suite For Only $5
  • LIVE Digital Marketing Course 99% Off with CPD Accredited Certificate
  • The Art of Wedding Photography course for only $2

Technically if you were to sign up for every one of these courses you would end up paying no more than 30 dollars. That’s an absolute steal considering the normal price they advertise them at. But don’t hold on too long. I don’t know how long these links will be valid!

There are also full price courses there. They normally retail between $100 and $400 which is the standard deal for a professionally recognized course. Which all of these are. Every module of my Degree when I did distance learning was priced between $400 and $1000 depending on the difficulty of the course.

The website we have here is absolutely amazing and takes the shape of a regular learning platform with a regular time frame. Courses are divided into sections and start at certain times. Don’t worry if you miss them because you’ll be able to watch the recordings – however you just won’t be able to ask questions in class! Asking questions in class is a great learning tool, and you can judge the diverse opinions of your classmates. Learn from them! Each section lasts up to one hour per week or perhaps more depending on how intensive your training is.

It’s really amazing that the modern web has been able to synthesize modern in-classroom training. 20 years ago we would have laughed at this concept but there we are, 20 years later with our distance learning and webcams and webinars. It can be daunting for some, and very awesome for others. Actual accredited courses that will look absolutely awesome on your CV.

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