6 Cheap and Digital Ways to Learn a New Skill in 2014 (Because You've Always Wanted to Speak Russian)
Want to learn something new in 2014? Depending on what you aim to know, there are a number of technology-enabled ways you can do so for little or no cost. Whether at work, on your laptop, or on a phone or tablet, here are websites, apps, and hacks that can help you start learning new skills this January.
Through Open Courses
In Your Sleep
While You Work
Lifehacker recommends those learning a new language turn on Language Immersion for Google Chrome browsers. It turns select words on web pages into your target language, so you’re practicing your new language skills whenever you’re online. Listening to audio books in your target language while you work — even if you barely understand or pay attention — is another good immersion-learning tactic.
On Your Phone
Since your phone is always with you, you might as well put it to use in your quest to learn Italian/quantum physics/feminist theory in 2014. For language learners, there are tons of apps that could be of aid. A few of the best-reviewed free apps include Babbel Mobile, Duolingo, Wordpower, busuu and the Michael Thomas Method app. For videos and podcasts of all sorts of college courses on your iPhone (or iPad), check out the iTunes U app.
Skillshare is my favorite organization devoted to peer-to-peer learning. It started as a local New York group offering in-person classes and has since branched out into online classes. Most of the online classes cost money, but not much ($15 to $35); some take place in a finite timeframe but many are self paced. Classes are taught by professionals in advertising, art, design, publishing, fashion, technology, business and more.
Image: Annalisa Pino Ravelli, via Skillshare/Facebook