Work From Home is a new vertical dedicated to life and culture in the strange and unprecedented situation of self-quarantine that many of us are dealing with right now. From what to watch to how to get a fit off and how to not think about anything, this is our guide to the great indoors. For updates on the spread of Covid-19 and how to keep yourself safe and informed, consult WHO and the CDC.
Chances are you’ve already exhausted your Netflix options and, in the absence of sport and regular programming, you’re looking for alternative ways to spend the coming days and weeks alone. While you’re under no obligation to use self-isolation for self-optimization, your brain, like your body, needs a work out every now and then.
The world is going to look quite different when we eventually emerge from our bedrooms, and it can’t hurt to have a few new skills under your belt when that day comes. Thankfully, many prestigious, expensive, and often restricted courses have been made available to encourage people to stay indoors — so now it’s easier than ever to skill up. Unsure where to start? Here’s a list of some of the best free resources to try right now.
Get a fashion education with Jacquemus
Kicking off March 30, The French Fashion School IFM (Institut Français de la Mode) is offering a free online course entitled, “Understanding Fashion: From Business to Culture.”
Under the supervision of Benjamin Simmenauer, with exclusive input from designers such as Simon Porte Jacquemus, Christelle Kocher, Paul Smith, and CEOs of Chanel, LVMH Fashion Group, Yves Saint Laurent and Hermès, the course offers a transdisciplinary approach to the phenomena of contemporary fashion.
Make the Great Quarantine Film
Apple has announced free 90-day trials for two of its professional creative apps, Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X. Users can already enjoy the 90-days trial for the video editing tool, Final Cut Pro X, while the trial for the music production app is expected to launch very soon.
Should users want to keep using the tool after the trial expires, Final Cut Pro X and Logis Pro X can be purchased for $299.99 and $199.99 respectively. Download the free 90-day trial here.
Master a few chords
Now is the time to start that solo project, or at least master a few chords. Guitar manufacturer Fender is offering three free months of lessons to the first 100,000 new subscribers to their Fender Play platform. To sign up for the guitar lessons, go to the Fender Play website and get your free code.
Ok, now here’s “Wonderwall.”
Elevate your selfie game
Graduate from Yale
Depending on how long you’ve been isolating, that existential dread may be setting in already. Thankfully, Yale’s most popular class, The Science of Wellbeing, is enrolling for free now. So why not “increase your own happiness and build more productive habits” today?
There’s also Academic Earth, which delivers hours of free lectures and course materials from leading universities. Open Culture gives you access to 1,500 free, online audio and video courses from top universities, as well as 1,000 free audiobooks. And the Smithsonian Institution’s Learning Lab, also offers free online resources as well as activities.
Become a Photoshop Wizard
Following widespread school closures, Adobe stepped in to offer students free access to its Creative Cloud until May 31. And now every subscriber is eligible for two months of free subscription, you just need to follow the plan cancellation process until it offers you 60 days of free membership. There’s also a tonne of different specialized YouTube master classes you take to take your skills to the next level.
Be Your Own Boiler Room
For those looking to launch their music careers, Ableton is offering a free, fully-featured 30-day trial of a Live 10 Suite, They also have a whole array of educational resources to help you go as well at their Learning Music site.
If you want to get even more experimental, Moog is offering its digital-Minimoog synth for iPhone and iPad, for free. And for a limited time, Korg has made its iKaossilator for iOS, and Kaossilator for Android available for free, too.
Learn a language
Scientists have discovered that learning a foreign language can increase the size of your brain, and now is an ideal time to start or pick up where you left off. There are a number of free apps that gamify learning to keep you engaged all the way through the lockdown.
Duolingo‘s simple yet intense lesson format has made it a forerunner in the field. If you don’t mind the ads, you can learn 94 different languages for free right now (and no, you don’t need to know English first — you can learn Spanish from French, for example). Drops is also free and offers five-minute-per-day lessons for 36 languages. Babbel, on the other hand, offers 14 languages, and while it’s free at the beginning you’ll need to subscribe to unlock all of its lessons.
Learn to code with Bill Gates
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates taught himself how to code, and he’s kindly shared his favorite resources so that you can do the same. He recommends Code.org as a terrific resource for learners of any skill level – and he even contributed his own lesson.
There are many resources to help you learn in-demand skills like coding in different programming languages. You’ve probably heard of Code Academy, which offers free access to basic lessons, with the option to pay for more advanced courses if needed.
Harvard’s Computational Thinking & Scratch – Intro to Computer Science is one of the best resources out there, and it’s fun too. You can access the full course playlist here.
Access millions of eBooks
Internet Archive is temporarily eliminating waitlists for over a million ebooks. The National Emergency Library is available to anyone with an internet connection and will run until June 30 or the end of the emergency.
If that’s not enough for you, head over to JSTOR for access to 6,000 of its eBooks and over 150 journals. This part of JSTOR’s library has actually been open for a while. However, the preeminent digital library is bringing out 26 public health journal archives, which you can read until June 30.
Google Scholar is a great alternative, offering a simple search engine for locating articles, legal documents, and other scholarly pieces. CORE is a multidisciplinary aggregator of open access research. It allows users to search more than 66 million open access articles.
Don’t forget to take your reading offline occasionally. Now is a great time to re-read your favorite titles. And if you’re looking for inspiration, browse our staff picks for the best books to read while you’re self-isolating.
Make like Bear Grylls and learn some survival skills
Coding and Photoshop skills are all very well, but you might want to learn some more practical skills, too. There are a lot of preparedness resources on the internet but they do tend to get a little weird. For now, why not learn how to build a fire using the bow and drill friction fire technique or let Bear Grylls show you where to find fresh drinking water in the wild.
Got any other ideas? Sound off in the comments.