Building Your Resilience: Finding Meaning in Adversity–Take a Free & Timely Course Online

The Great Courses has made available a free and rather timely course–Building Your Resilience: Finding Meaning in Adversity. Divided into 24 lectures and taught by Molly Birkholm, the course gets introduced with the following text:

Recent research shows that we grow into our best and most joyful selves not when we avoid our problems but when we embrace them, confident that we are resilient enough to work through them to an appropriate resolution. Our problems are an important part of our path.

Resilience is our ability to physically, emotionally, and mentally bounce back from adverse circumstances. Without it, we would be down for the count every time we ran into a problem. Stuck in traffic and late for a meeting? It’s your resilience that allows you to make the necessary phone calls and keep moving forward, confident that you can handle this stressful situation as it evolves. Without it, you’d make a U-turn and give up. Recovering from the flu or recent surgery? It’s your resilience that helps you take care of yourself appropriately and look forward to a better future. Our capacity to thrive in life depends directly on our resilience.

Sharing her own fascinating journey, as well as the latest research by neurologists and psychologists, trauma specialist Molly Birkholm shows us how to gauge our current level of resilience and improve from there. In Building Your Resilience: Finding Meaning in Adversity, you’ll learn how all of our challenges—from everyday stresses to life-altering traumas—can bring wisdom and growth. In 17 fascinating classes and 7 “hands-on” practice sessions, you’ll learn about and experience the process of building the inner calm and clarity of mind that create greater resilience. With Ms. Birkholm’s warm and optimistic demeanor, you’ll feel her encouragement every step of the way as you move toward building your best and most fulfilling life.

Watch all 24 lectures above, or over on YouTube. Building Your Resilience: Finding Meaning in Adversity will be added to our collection, 1,700 Free Online Courses from Top Universities.

Find more courses in The Great Courses catalogue here.

Would you like to support the mission of Open Culture? Please consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere.

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Nikon Offers Free Online Photography Courses in April

A quick heads up. Through the end of April, Nikon has made its curriculum of online photography courses free. Normally priced at $15-$50 per course, this 10-course offering covers Fundamentals of Photography, Dynamic Landscape Photography, Macro Photography, Photographing Children and Pets, and more. Sign up for the courses here.

Would you like to support the mission of Open Culture? Please consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere.

Also consider following Open Culture on Facebook and Twitter and sharing intelligent media with your friends. Or sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox. 

via The Verge

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Coursera Makes Courses & Certificates Free During Coronavirus Quarantine: Take Courses in Psychology, Music, Wellness, Professional Development & More Online

Over the past decade or two, developments in the technology of the World Wide Web have made learning at home possible in a way it wasn’t before. Over the past month or two, learning at home has gone from option to necessity, prevented as many of us are from going out to a classroom by the coronavirus pandemic. If you’ve taken courses on the internet before — and especially if you’ve picked them from our selection of 1,500 you can take for free — you’ve no doubt heard of Coursera, one of the major online learning platforms. Now through May 31st, a period during which the number of potential students will surely remain high, Coursera has made more of its classes free for the taking.

“To help our community during this critical time, we’re launching new, free resources, as well as surfacing interesting course collections, community discussions, and expert interviews,” says the official Coursera blog. “While many courses on Coursera are already available for free without a certificate, this promotion enables you to not only access lectures and quizzes, but also to earn a free certificate for courses that offer them.” The blog highlights these collections of courses, describing them as follows:

The post also includes the following instructions for how to redeem a free course:

  1. First, click the link to visit a promotion page.
  2. From the promotion page, click to visit a specific course and wait for the page to fully load. Once loaded, you will see a promotion banner at the top of the page. If you don’t see the banner, please refresh the page.
  3. Next, click the “Enroll for free” button.
  4. Select “Purchase Course.” Note that with the promotion applied, there will be a message in parentheses that says “Your promotion will automatically be applied at checkout.”
  5. At checkout, your purchase total will read “$0.”
  6. Complete check out and start learning!

Among Coursera’s current free offerings you’ll find a host of courses including “Getting Started with Music Theory” from Michigan State University, “Social Psychology” from Wesleyan University, and “Cloud Computing Basics” from LearnQuest. You’re as likely to come across subject areas into which you’ve long been meaning to get deeper as practical education pertinent to the times we now live in. Take “Sit Less, Get Active” from the University of Edinburgh, or “Science Matters: Let’s Talk About COVID-19” from Imperial College London, a virus-related course of the kind we’ve previously featured here on Open Culture. The University of California, San Diego’s “Converting Challenges into Opportunities” is also not without its relevance, to the future as well as the present. After all, the coronavirus will hardly be the last challenge in which we’ll need to find our own opportunities.

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Use Your Time in Isolation to Learn Everything You’ve Always Wanted To: Free Online Courses, Audio Books, eBooks, Movies, Coloring Books & More

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall, on Facebook, or on Instagram.

How to Teach and Learn Philosophy During the Pandemic: A Collection of 450+ Philosophy Videos Free Online

The term philosophy, as every introductory course first explains, means the love of wisdom. And as the oldest intellectual discipline, philosophy has proven that the love of wisdom can withstand the worst human history can throw at it. Civilizations may rise and fall, but sooner or later we always find ways to get back to philosophizing. The current coronavirus pandemic, the most frightening global event most of us have seen in our lifetimes, doesn’t quite look like a civilization-ender, though it has forced many of us to change the way we live and learn. In short, we’re doing much more of it online, and a new collection of educational videos free online is keeping philosophy in the mix.

“In order to aid philosophy professors during the pandemic as they transition from in-person to online teaching, Liz Jackson (ANU) and Tyron Goldschmidt (Rochester) created a spreadsheet of videorecorded philosophy classes and lectures,” writes Daily Nous’ Justin Weinberg. At the time of Weinberg’s post on Monday, the spreadsheet, available as an open Google document, contained more than 200 videos, a number that has since more than doubled to 457 and counting.




You’ll find an abundance of introductory courses to the entire subject of philosophy as well as to subfields like logic and ethics, and also specialized lecture series on everything from Hume and Nietzsche to Stoicism and metaphysics to death and the problem of evil.

Weinberg adds that “anyone can add their own videos or ones that they know about,” so if you’re aware of any video philosophy courses that haven’t appeared on the spreadsheet yet, you can contribute to this ongoing effort in at-home philosophy by inserting them yourself. Even as it is, Jackson and Goldshmidt’s course collection offers more than enough to give yourself a rich philosophical education in this time of isolation — or, if you’re a philosophy professor yourself, a way to enrich any remote teaching you have to do right now. Putting as it does so close at hand lectures by such figures previously featured here on Open Culture as Nigel Warburton, Michael SandelPeter Adamson, and the inimitable Rick Roderick, it reminds us that the love of wisdom is best expressed in a variety of voices.

In addition to the spreadsheet, can find many more philosophy videos in our collection, Free Online Philosophy Courses.

via Daily Nous

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

Use Your Time in Isolation to Learn Everything You’ve Always Wanted To: Free Online Courses, Audio Books, eBooks, Movies, Coloring Books & More

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” Mark Twain may or may not have actually said that, but either way the sentiment resonates — and with a new strength now, since schools have closed all over the world in an attempt to halt the spread of the pandemic coronavirus. For many, this period of isolation (self-imposed or otherwise) represents an opportunity to rediscover the value of education: not the kind directed by an institution, but the much more valuable kind that runs on one’s own steam. If you count among that select group of self-educators (or educators of children whom you can no longer send to school), we here at Open Culture have spent nearly the past decade and a half amassing just the resources you need.

At our selection of more than 1,500 free online courses, you can take deep dives into subjects from archaeology and architecture to law and literature to physics and psychology. (We’ve even got courses specifically designed to help you understand the coronavirus itself.) If you’ve been meaning to catch up on the work of the aforementioned Twain — or that of Dostoevsky, Wittgenstein, Kafka, and Proust, among others — he appears in our roundup of more than 800 free eBooks.




Should you prefer reading through earphones while exercising or cleaning — especially important activities these days — we can also offer you more than a thousand free audiobooks, whether you prefer Isaac Asimov or Jane Austen, Adrienne Rich or Charles Bukowski. (You can also get audiobooks from Audible if you sign up for a free 30-day trial there.)

While quarantine puts a temporary stop to many of our usual activities, it shouldn’t get in the way of movie night. Our collection of 1,1500 free movies will cover all your movie nights through the time of the coronavirus and then some, including as it does classic films noirs, thriller and horror pictures (including some by no less a suspense master than Alfred Hitchcock), documentaries, and even the fruits of the film industries of countries like Russia and South Korea. And though we can’t get enough cinema here at Open Culture, it’s hardly the only visual art form we feature: you might spend some time, for instance, with this collection of two million images from 30 world-class museums. This range of art also appears in free museum-produced coloring books geared to all ages.

If you’d like to use your time of “social distance” to develop skills other than coloring, we can point you toward resources for learning to cook, to draw (like an architect, like a Japanese mangaka, like Lynda Barry), to play the guitar, and to practice yoga. Bear in mind also the online-education offerings from Masterclass we’ve featured here on Open Culture, from “Margaret Atwood Teaches Creative Writing” to “David Sedaris Teaches Storytelling and Humor” to “Werner Herzog Teaches Filmmaking.” (The educational offerings provided by The Great Courses also provide another good option.) Those aren’t free, but everything else in this post is, including our collection of online language-learning resources. Having spread through world travel, the coronavirus will keep many wary of going abroad in the foreseeable future. But when the pandemic ends, you’ll want to be prepared to enjoy foreign lands again. Italy, a country especially hard-hit by the virus, will surely welcome all the visitors it can get. Until then, why not get a grasp on its language — and its cuisine — with a course like MIT’s “Learn Italian with Your Mouth Full”?

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

Free Courses on the Coronavirus: What You Need to Know About the Emerging Pandemic

The coronavirus has spread out of China, into South Korea, Japan and now Italy. We’re settling into the reality that we’re likely facing a pandemic. It’s time to educate ourselves–to take some free courses on COVID-19.

In response to the outbreak, Imperial College London has put together a free course (offered through Coursera) called “Science Matters: Let’s Talk About COVID-19.” The course will teach you the “science underpinning the novel Coronavirus outbreak,” so that you can understand “how the spread of the epidemic is modelled, how transmissibility of infections is estimated, what the challenges are in estimating the case fatality ratio, and also … the importance of community involvement in responding to the epidemic.” You can get started with this course right now.

Alternatively you can sign up for COVID-19: Tackling the Novel Coronavirus. Created by FutureLearn and The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, this course looks at “how COVID-19 emerged, was identified and spreads, the public health measures for the virus worldwide, and what is needed to address COVID-19 and prevent it [from] spreading.” Although the course is now open for enrollment, it won’t officially start until March 22.

Both courses will be added to our collection, 1,700 Free Online Courses from Top Universities.

Note: The University of Hong Kong also offer a course on Epidemics.

Would you like to support the mission of Open Culture? Please consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere.

Also consider following Open Culture on Facebook and Twitter and sharing intelligent media with your friends. Or sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox. 

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Free Online Writing & Journalism Courses

Image by Book Mama, via Flickr Commons

Note: This section includes a lot of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). If you want to enroll in a free version of a MOOC, please select the “Full Course, No Certificate” (edX) or “Audit” (Coursera) option. If you opt to take the course for a certificate/credential, you will be charged.

See our meta collection–1,700 Free Online Courses from Top Universities–for a complete list of online courses, covering nearly every subject.

Would you like to support the mission of Open Culture? Please consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere.

Also consider following Open Culture on Facebook and Twitter and sharing intelligent media with your friends. Or sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox. 

Neil deGrasse Tyson Teaches Scientific Thinking and Communication in a New Online Course

One doesn’t normally get into astrophysics for the fame. But sometimes one gets famous anyway, as has astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space. But that title doesn’t even hint at the scope of his public-facing ventures, from the columns he’s written in magazines like Natural History and StarDate to his hosting of television shows like NOVA and the sequel to Carl Sagan’s Cosmos to his podcast StarTalk and his high-profile social media presence. Has any other figure in the annals of science communication been as prolific, as outspoken, and as willing to talk to anyone and do anything?

Here on Open Culture, we’ve featured Tyson recommending booksgiving a brief history of everythingdelivering “the greatest science sermon ever,” chatting about NASA’s flyby of Pluto with Stephen Colbert, “performing” in a Symphony of Science video, inventing a physics-based wrestling move in high schoollooking hip in grad schooldefending science in 272 wordsbreaking down the genius of Isaac Newtontalking non-Newtonian solids with a nine-year-olddiscussing the history of video gamescreating a video game with Neil Gaiman and George R.R. Martinselecting the most astounding fact about the universeexplaining the importance of arts education alongside David Byrnepondering whether the universe has a purposedebating whether or not we live in a simulationremembering when first he met Carl Saganinterviewing Stephen Hawking just days before the latter’s death, and of course, moonwalking.

Now comes Tyson’s latest media venture: a course from Masterclass, the online education company that specializes in bringing big names from various fields in front of the camera and getting them to tell us what they know. (Other teachers include Malcolm Gladwell, Steve Martin, and Werner Herzog.) “Neil DeGrasse Tyson Teaches Scientific Thinking and Communication,” whose trailer you can watch above, gets into subjects like the scientific method, the nature of skepticism, cognitive and cultural bias, communication tactics, and the inspiration of curiosity. “There’s, like, a gazillion hours of me on the internet,” admits Tyson, and though none of those may cost $90 USD (or $180 for an all-access pass to all of Masterclass’ offerings), in none of them has he taken on quite the goal he does in his Masterclass: to teach how to “not only find objective truth, but then communicate to others how to get there. It’s not good enough to be right. You also have to be effective.”

Note: MasterClass is currently running a holiday special where two people can get an annual pass to the entire MasterClass course catalog for the price of one. Get details on that here.

If you sign up for a MasterClass course by clicking on the affiliate links in this post, Open Culture will receive a small fee that helps support our operation.

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Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.