Why not learn a new skill over the summer break?

Are you itching to learn something new? Whether you want to master a new skill or are looking to take up a hobby, there are plenty of online resources that can help you do so.

The new year is a great time to master a talent or wrap your head around a subject. Things have (hopefully) gone quiet and afforded you at least some time to focus on yourself instead of work.

Here are a handful of ways that you can learn online and some fun ideas if you’re not sure exactly what hobby you want to take up.

Podcasts 

Experts in almost every subject host educational podcasts, which are audio files that you can stream or download and listen to while you at home or on the go.

There are often even multiple options to choose from in each topic, letting you pick the style of delivery you prefer from pure fact right up to downright entertaining.

Some popular podcasts for learning include:

  • The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show
  • Grammar Girl (tips for better writing)
  • Stuff You Should Know (filled with a diverse range of facts)
  • Hidden Brain (exploring psychology and behaviour)
  • CarCast (weekly shows from a car enthusiast)
  • The Splendid Table (recipes, produce talk and more)
  • Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History (for history buffs)

But don’t limit yourself to just these few. A quick online search for many topics should reveal a horde of options to choose from.

YouTube 

You can learn how to do an astounding range of things for free through tutorials on YouTube.

Teach yourself to apply makeup like a pro, play an instrument, or maintain your bicycle, choosing from hundreds of different options.

Popular ‘how to’ searches on YouTube include how to perform magic tricks, how to be better at drawing and, perhaps ironically, how to upload videos to YouTube.

Apps 

You can go very niche with what you want to learn thanks to the world of apps.

Some popular and highly rated options to fill your phone with include:

  • Ab workout X free (to strengthen your core)
  • BRiN (for free small business education videos)
  • Hello Cupcake! (Decorating cupcakes, to the extreme)
  • iSurfer (a surfing coach in your pocket)
  • Craftsy tutorials (painting, sewing, baking and more)
  • Animated easy origami (we can’t wait to try this one!)
  • Golf Channel Academy (instructional videos to improve your technique)

Once again, there is a multitude of options available out there, so jump online and get searching!

Online courses 

There are thousands of courses on the internet that you can access for free to help you with your hobbies.

From refurbishing furniture to writing your autobiography, you’ll find all manner of training materials online.

The following are some of the websites you may want to check out:

Within these and some of the many other learning institutions that you can find online, you’ll find everything from free online pottery courses to how to master HTML5 or understanding Japanese culture and art.

There are courses covering how to build a website, how to master Photoshop... even how to print 3D body parts!

Join an online community 

Ravelry is an example of an online community that has been well and truly embraced by hobbyists.

This knitting and crocheting hub has over 6 million registered users and the content is all user driven, including patterns, tips and forums. 

Communities are great for boosting your understanding of a subject or your skills at a particular activity, often without having to spend a cent to join.

In Australia, there are communities and forums for motorcycle enthusiasts, photography aficionados, caravan and even Kombi Van owners.

Those who work in or are looking to join the digital industry also engage in online discussions, giving each other tips and ideas to improve their abilities in building websites, software and apps.

Many of these groups hold get-togethers and events that give hobbyists the chance to meet up and share information and ideas.

With all these incredible online resources, it could be easy to get so carried away learning your new hobby that you find yourself engaged well into the new year and beyond!

Planning some relaxing time off, minus the travelling? Check out these five online activities for a fun-filled staycation.

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