So you’ve heard of Mooc’s right? No? Gosh they’re all the rage right now (says whilst quickly reminding herself what the hell they are again –massive open online courses apparently).
There has been a huge increase in online courses over recent years, which is transforming the way people learn and I believe having a really positive impact on the accessibility of opportunities. For mothers who want to learn something new but require flexibility and want to avoid the issue of childcare they can be a huge positive.
Within one section of our Game Changers programme (now an online course in it’s own right – check us) we list a load of simple, quick ways that you can increase your knowledge or skills and help you work out exactly what it is you want to do next or test out a business idea without spending masses of time or money.
One suggestion is to sign up for one of the many freely available and often inexpensive online courses now available. It’s a brilliant way to find out more on a topic before committing (or you might even find you know enough without needing any further development).
An online course is also an excellent way to start a new hobby (which is in itself another suggestion for testing out alternative career options), learn something in an area that you’ve always been interested in but have no background (start being more curious and thinking differently), gain new skills for your career or if you’re thinking of starting up on your own a brilliant way to gain basic business skills in a straightforward structured way (I know I could probably research how to use Facebook ads for free but I’ll be honest I have neither the time nor the inclination. Give me a short course on the basics any day).
I chose hand lettering as a new skill I’d like to learn in 2017. I’m currently doing a £25 online programme with Brit & Co (cheeky hint, sometimes if you sign up to a provider first there can be a discount heading your way), which is hopefully going to teach me the basics. I have some new pens, pads and all the enthusiasm of a new starter before any of the frustration kicks in (or my pens are destroyed by small people).
I’ll be honest, ideally I do like to attend workshops in person. I really enjoy the community and social aspect of development (it’s for this reason that we will still do some ‘in person’ Game Changers workshops). But there are clearly benefits from an online course that can’t be denied – the fact that I am able to spend just an hour once a week, in my jammies, playing with pretty pens without leaving the house is one. And if I like it I’ll be saving up and checking out longer workshops run by some of the amazing creatives more locally later on in the year.
So if you are up for giving it a go, where to start? Here is a list of some of the main and most interesting online course providers I’ve discovered so far. If you know of any others too do let me know….
Future Learn provide hundreds of free online courses from top universities. They tend to be a little more niche but I’ve heard really good stuff about them…and they are free so what’s not to love.
Described as ‘curated classes by the world’s top experts’ you can get some pretty special stuff on here whether it be on business, the arts, music, money etc. They tend to be a bit more expensive but you might just find something from a favourite author or world renowned speaker.
I can’t even begin to tell you the sheer volume of courses on this, one of the biggest places to find online development. Everything from selling products on Etsy through to creating videos on an iphone. And whilst you try it out you can get 3 months premium membership for free using this link – plus I’ll get a month too!
Courses on everything from Project Management through to Nutrition. I’ve not done one to be able to give you any insight into the quality and the website isn’t the most inspiring but there are plenty that are free so surely worth a gander. Describe themselves as ‘A massive online learning community and social enterprise committed to helping people to develop workplace skills’.
Tons of cheap courses on stuff you may well need, particularly if starting out on your own business – I am about to try one out on SEO, something I have happily ignored for a long time but know I need to get sorted. You can do one on digital marketing, branding, all sorts. They are largely under £20 so I reckon worth a bit of a gamble if you haven’t got loads of money to spend.
Recommended by one of the members in our Facebook group this company claims to help you learn to code interactively, for free. What’s not to like?
Obviously we have our very own Game Changers programme which is now an online course for anyone wanting to figure out what they want to do next, be that start a business, change careers or do something entirely new. Helping mothers become unstuck and go after what they really love doing. We think what makes it special is that you do it with a small group of other mothers, we do live group coaching calls, you are supported along the way within a private Facebook group and build this sort of tribe providing ongoing inspiration and accountability which makes a huge difference. Not to mention of course the brilliant content which actually works!
We are also about to launch a new online course called ‘Organise your Entire Life’ – if you’re feeling like you are battling a never ending to do list, constantly fire fighting to keep everything together or want to know what all the hype is around bullet journalling you will LOVE it. Register with us to hear first when we go live.
Digital Mums specialise in training Mums up to be social media managers. Committed to supporting women find #workthatworks they are pretty cool all round and deliver all their development online which means full on flexibility. We’ve heard really great things about the programme from a number of women who have completed it.
So there’s a start, if you know of any others or can recommend a good one then please do get in touch and let us know.