Top 40 Useful Sites To Learn New Skills
Forget overpriced schools, long days in a crowded classroom, and pitifully poor results. These websites and apps cover myriads of science, art, and technology topics. They will teach you practically anything, from making hummus to building apps in node.js, most of them for free. There is absolutely no excuse for you not to master a new skill, expand your knowledge, or eventually boost your career. You can learn interactively at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home. It’s hard to imagine how much easier it can possibly be. Honestly, what are you waiting for?
The web is a powerful resource that can easily help you learn new skills. You just have to know where to look. Sure, you can use Google, Yahoo, or Bing to search for sites where you can learn new skills, but I figured I’d save you some time.
Here are the top 40 sites I have personally used over the last few years when I want to learn something new.
Hack a Day – Hack a Day serves up fresh hacks (short tutorials) every day from around the web and one in-depth ‘How-To hack’ guide each week.
eHow – eHow is an online community dedicated to providing visitors the ability to research, share, and discuss solutions and tips for completing day-to-day tasks and projects.
Wired How-To Wiki – Collaborate with Wired editors and help them build their extensive library of projects, hacks, tricks and tips. Browse through hundreds how-to articles and then add to them, or start a new one.
MAKE Magazine – Brings the do-it-yourself (DIY) mindset to all of the technology in your life. MAKE is loaded with cool DIY projects that help you make the most of the technology you already own.
50 Things Everyone Should Know How To Do – While not totally comprehensive, here is a list of 50 things everyone should know how to do. It’s a great starting point to learn new skills.
wikiHow – A user based collaboration to build and share the world’s largest, highest quality how-to manual.
Lifehacker – An award-winning daily blog that features tips, shortcuts, and downloads that help you get things done smarter and more efficiently.
100+ Google Tricks That Will Save You Time – Today, knowing how to use Google effectively is a vital skill. This list links out to enough Google related resources to make you an elite Google hacker.
Instructables – Similar to MAKE, Instructables is a web-based documentation platform where passionate people share what they do and how they do it, and learn from and collaborate with others as the tackle new projects and learn new skills.
Merriam-Webster Online – In this digital age, your ability to communicate with written English is paramount skill. And M-W.com is the perfect resource to improve your English now.
Lumosity – Learn to improve your memory by playing a series of fun and educational brain training games.
100 Skills Every Man Should Know – Another compilation article with instructions to help you learn new skills. This one says it’s geared for men, but I think most of these skills are applicable to women as well.
5min Life Videopedia – Lot’s of great tutorials and DIY videos.
HowStuffWorks – Knowledge is power. While this site isn’t exactly geared to help you learn new skills, it contains so much useful information that you’re bound to learn a skill or two while you browse.
StumbleUpon – A collective set of recommendations from thousands of hours of searching by web users who share your interests. It’s basically a recommendation engine. Users add to this engine by providing their personal recommendations on what sites are worth your time. If you select topics and tags of interest like ‘Self-Improvement‘ and ‘DIY,’ you’ll be learning new skills in no time.
Work.com – An extensive directory of how-to guides for beginning entrepreneurs.
Howcast – Hosts professional how-to videos as well as how-to wiki tutorials. Howcast combines user ideas with the expertise of professional studio video to deliver what is nothing short of amazing, informative content.
VideoJug – The video content on this site covers a variety of topics including informative ‘How To’ and ‘Ask The Expert’ films that guide you step-by-step through everything and anything in life.
MakeUseOf – A booming daily blog that features cool websites, computer tips, and downloads that make you more productive. Lot’s of insightful tips and tricks to learn.
WonderHowTo – This site is focused on one clear organizing principle: aggregating and linking to truly great, free how-to videos from which you can learn new skills.
SuTree – Another useful aggregator of how-to videos from all around the web.
Zen Habits – The ultimate productivity and self-improvement blog. Zen Habits is about finding simplicity in the daily chaos of our lives. It’s about clearing the clutter so we can focus on what’s important, create something amazing, and find happiness. Lot’s of learning material here.
Academic Earth – Online degrees and video courses from leading universities.
About.com Videos – Another solid collection of how-to video tutorials.
PCWorld How-To – Lot’s of useful tutorials and guides related to fixing and modifying computers and other electronic gadgets.
Spreeder – This site is focused on teaching you one new skill: speed reading. And it does a great job of doing so.
Woopid – Watch free technology training videos. Get help and answer your computer and gadget questions with thousands of video tutorials for PCs, Macs, and various software applications.
DIY Network – A go-to destination for rip-up, knock-out home improvement projects. The site offers expert answers the most sought-after questions regarding creative projects for DIY enthusiasts.
Scitable – A free science library and personal learning tool that currently concentrates on genetics, the study of evolution, variation, and the rich complexity of living organisms. The site also expects to expand into other topics of learning and education.
All Recipes – A complete guide to recipes and cooking tips. If you’d like to learn to be a better cook, this site is for you.
43 Folders – This site is more about inspiring you to follow-through with your goals than it is about learning new skills. But I think following-through with your goals is a skill. Most people never quite get there.
Dumb Little Man – Another awesome productivity and self-improvement blog hosting lots of useful information.
iTunes U – Hundreds of universities — including Stanford, Yale and MIT — distribute lectures, slide shows, PDFs, films, exhibit tours and audio books through iTunes U. The Science section alone contains content on topics including agriculture, astronomy, biology, chemistry, physics, ecology and geography.
American Sign Language Browser – Teach yourself sign language online.
BBC Languages – Teach yourself a new spoken language online.
Delicious Popular DIY – Lots of popular DIY articles bookmarked by users from all over the web.
Khan Academy – Over 1200 videos lessons covering everything from basic arithmetic and algebra to differential equations, physics, chemistry, biology and finance. Lot’s of educational material to help you learn new skills.
The Happiness Project – Learn the skills necessary to create happiness in your life.
How To Do Things – Another solid collection of how-to tutorials.
ShowMeDo – A peer-produced video-tutorials and screencasts site for free and open-source software. The large majority are free to watch and download.
Also, check out these books for more ideas on pertinent life skills:
- 3,684 Things You Should Have Learned but Probably Didn’t
- The New York Times Guide to Essential Knowledge
- The Experts’ Guide to 100 Things Everyone Should Know How to Do