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5 of the best free learning resources to get you through isolation

If you’re anything like us, everyday you wake up thinking that today is the day you’ll start learning something new, only to be hit by the isolation lethargy at around 2pm. One way to combat this self-development trap, is by having amazing free learning resources on hand to keep you motivated and make taking in information a little easier. 

Once you’ve dedicated some time to your learning, the last thing you want is to be traipsing the net bouncing from one dodgy free learning resource to the next. To help you find the best free learning resources out there quickly and easily, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite learning resources to use in isolation. 

The best bit? They’re free!

1. Open Culture

Admittedly, the website isn’t the easiest to navigate and looks very low budget, but that’s kind of why we love it. This site has been created purely to open the world up and allow everyone to access free courses from global universities. On this incredible website, you’ll find links to all of the free online courses available from top Universities like Stanford, Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and Yale, amongst many more.

This site is ideal for anyone who is looking to broaden their horizons and learn something new when in isolation. There really is something for everyone here, as Open Culture scours the web for the best educational media across a range of topics. Whether it’s biology, psychology, philosophy or art you’re into, you’ll find a course on Open Culture. Discover their free online training resources here.

person using MacBook Pro

2. Jstor

If you went to University and did an arts degree, you’re probably already familiar with Jstor. This incredible array of journals and essays brings together knowledge at your fingertips, and they’ve recently opened up a variety of resources on their website for free.

Head over to Jstor’s open and free page for access to 6,000 of its eBooks and over 150 journals that will keep your mind engaged over the quarantine period.

person holding ballpoint pen writing on notebook

3. Internet Archives

Internet Archives is an entirely not-for-profit company that compiles the best archived digital content on the web. The website features millions (no literally, millions!) of free learning resources that can be accessed online. 

What we like about this resource is that it offers a variety of formats, so there’s something for everyone. Whether you are looking for free books, movies, software, audio or websites to learn from, Internet Archives has got you covered. Discover what it’s all about here.

smiling woman using MacBook


We love ALISON for learning resources that are tailored to what you need to know, and are completely free! They’ve partnered with publishers like Macmillan and Google to bring you courses on a wide variety of topic areas from HR to business to nursing. 

Whatever you want to brush up your skills on, ALISON will help you stay on track. Lots of their courses also offer certificates and even diplomas in some cases, so you can leave quarantine with a certified skill to add to your CV!

quilted white mattress with spiral notebook and green comforter beside round yellow end table inside room

5. Coursera

Coursera is ideal for those who are looking for more career-based learning, rather than recreational reading. With hundreds of free courses from institutions from around the world, Coursera brings you a library of knowledge that you can dip in and out of whenever it suits you. It’s ideal isolation content that will give you the ability to learn the latest, in-demand skills that employers are looking for right now.

Although Coursera claims that 87% of people using the resources are doing so for personal development, there’s no reason you can’t just dip into some of the courses to learn something new and try out a new skill. Lots of the courses are quite advanced, but with extra time to dive straight in, there’s no reason not to just go for it!

woman sitting around table holding tablet

From everyone here at HowNow, we hope you’re making the most of this period of isolation and staying strong in this crazy time. Hopefully this article helps you relish this time for what it is – an opportunity to learn and grow, whilst remaining inside and keeping safe and isolated.