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Do you think that learning new things can’t be a fun experience?
Are you tired of the usual video courses that bore you after the first five seconds?

It’s normal: everyone has a unique way of learning!

Here I present you a list of platforms, websites, applications, interactive and with very original content! Just in case you want to do something different than the usual binge-watching on Netflix.

You’ll find that some platforms, with their gamification system, can become a real drug!

πŸ€– DATA AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

This is a topic so complex that it can raise anxiety, I know. But what if you could learn the basics (and practice) in a simple way?

LOBE.IT AND TEACHABLE MACHINE

https://lobe.ai/
https://teachablemachine.withgoogle.com/

Two projects: one from Microsoft and one from Google. Two applications to create your own machine learning model in three simple steps, without having to write a line of code. The only limit is your creativity. If you’ve ever wondered about the practical uses of artificial intelligence, these two sites provide several interesting examples.

DATAQUEST

https://www.dataquest.io/

Do you struggle to memorize information? Learn data science interactively with Dataquest: the site promises that you won’t spend more than 5 minutes not writing code.

SQL POLICE DEPARTMENT

https://sqlpd.com/

Solve crimes using SQL, the language used to query databases, the trusted sidekick of those in data analysis and business intelligence. Is there anything less fun you can learn while playing?

πŸ“Š STATISTICS

Do the statistics and probability formulas in books look like hieroglyphics to you? Then try a different approach.

SEEING THEORY

https://seeing-theory.brown.edu/

An introductory guide to probability and statistics created by Brown University. The interactivity makes it easier to digest the concepts.

πŸ’» PROGRAMMING

For many, learning how to program seems like an overwhelming hurdle. After all, learning to communicate with a machine is not part of human nature.

CODEACADEMY AND FREECODECAMP

https://www.codecademy.com/
https://www.freecodecamp.org/

But don’t worry! Codeacademy and FreeCodeCamp teach you how to program, in learn by doing mode, step by step. So you don’t have to bang your head on code that doesn’t work. You really see the progress, and moreover, the gamification system will get you addicted. Will you be able to stop?

♠️ GAMES

Training isn’t just for the serious stuff: hobbies, interests, sports. You can get better at anything: yes, even games!

CHESS.COM

https://www.chess.com/l/chess-academy

You’ve seen “Queen of Chess” on Netflix and now you’re starting to develop a growing interest in the subject? You’re not the only one: apparently, thanks to the successful TV series, subscribers to the platform have quintupled.

⏰ FOR THOSE WHO HAVE LITTLE TIME

And who has time? We are always busy and constantly running! But what if you only needed 5 minutes a day to know more?

HIGHBROW

https://gohighbrow.com/

Choose one of over 300 topics and each morning you will receive a 5-minute lesson in your email to read while you have your coffee. You can learn about anything: from science, history, personal skills. That’s a good and interesting reason to open your email in the morning (and to check your SPAM folder).

✏️ GRAPHICS

Everyone likes pretty things! And everyone likes to give their opinion on graphic matters: but in order not to hurt the sensibilities of the graphic designers out there, maybe it’s better to have some background.

IT’S CENTER THAT

https://www.supremo.co.uk/designers-eye/

Test your graphic eye: 10 different shapes and a black dot: can you tell if the dot is in the middle of the shape?

KERNTYPE

https://type.method.ac/

Learn what kerning is (hint: it’s the space between letters) and practice. Did you ever think it could be so complicated?

TYPEWAR

http://typewar.com/

One of the greatest loves of graphic designers is typography: at a glance, they can distinguish fonts. And you, would you be able to recognize Helvetica by the shape of the “a”?

πŸ’‘ UX DESIGN

Think graphics and UX design are the same thing? You are wrong! It’s time to lighten up!

10 MISCONCEPTIONS OF UX

https://10ideesrecuesenuxdesign.castoretpollux.com/en

10 misconceptions of UX design explained with some interactivity; the explanation that delves into each topic is interesting.

πŸ‘… LANGUAGES

There’s no better investment than learning a new language: would you like to leave for a new place without knowing at least how to order a beer and a sandwich? It’s all about survival! And just in case you want to take it a few steps further…

DUOLINGO

https://www.duolingo.com/

Very popular application, It is used to learn vocabulary effectively. Beware, the rewards mechanism can cause addiction. Oh, more good news for you: the app is free.

HELLO TALK

https://www.hellotalk.com/

Remember the “pen pal”? Well, now there’s the WhatsApp buddy. Learn a new language by chatting with native speakers from all over the world. And that’s not all: the app offers innovative tools for collaborative learning. Thus, it is worth discovering!

MEMRISE

https://www.memrise.com/

It helps you memorize words and phrases through quizzes, questions and flashcards. You won’t become fluent in a language thanks to this app, but it can be a good study support.

LANG-8

https://lang-8.com/

A community: you write in the language you are learning, then you get corrected by native speakers and in return, you help others learn your native language as well. Are you sure your English CV doesn’t need a revision?

RYPE

https://www.rypeapp.com/

There’s no better thing to do than have a conversation with a native speaker: find them on Rype and arrange for one-to-one video lessons. The website says that their method is 18 times more effective than apps and group courses, and that more than 1 million lessons have been booked. What are you waiting for? Your teacher is waiting for you!

πŸ“ WRITING

TYPINGCLUB

https://www.typingclub.com/videoscrittura

Face it: you also have a colleague who looks at you while you’re typing on a computer and says, “Wow! But how fast you type…I don’t understand how you can do it!”. It’s all about practice! Typing Club teaches 10-finger word processing, for free. And it’s available in several languages, including Italian.

HEMINGWAY

http://www.hemingwayapp.com/

Improve your writing style. Are you missing the red mark from your English teacher? Here, with Hemingway you can feel those chills again. And it gives you a grade, too!

LEARN CALLIGRAPHY

https://learncalligraphy.today/

Learn calligraphy with virtual reality: it’s innovative, we can say it without a doubt.

🌏 GEOGRAPHY

Did you used to turn lemons into lemonade during quizzes in middle school by answering with a “metal industries” and “sugar beet farming,” even when they had nothing to do with it? Pack your (virtual) bags and get ready to explore the world!

GEOGUESSR

https://www.geoguessr.com/maps/italy

If the planet is an unfamiliar world to you too, GEOGUESSR can help. How does it work? You are shown a picture taken from Google Maps and you have to guess where it was taken. You’ll be amazed at how green the forests in Afghanistan can be.

🎧 ELECTRONIC MUSIC

Is your dream to reach the top of the charts and perform alongside the big international DJs in the most fashionable clubs in the world? It was my dream too, but unfortunately, I couldn’t achieve it. Why is that? Well, I didn’t know the platforms below!

LEARNING MUSIC WITH ABLETON

https://learningmusic.ableton.com/
https://learningsynths.ableton.com/

Learn the basics of electronic music and synthesizers with Ableton, one of the most famous music production software. The two courses mix theory and very fun interactivity.

🎸 INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC

Maybe you’d rather get on stage and hold a guitar like a real rock star, but you don’t have much time and you don’t want to participate in a course or take private lessons? Don’t worry, the artificial intelligence is ready to listen… and correct you!

YOUSICIAN

https://yousician.com/

Learn to play and sing with the artificial intelligence that listens and corrects you, practicing with the songs you love and that you can choose from a vast selection. What else do you want?

Β 

πŸ“š BOOKS

Are you loyal to the old-fashioned printed paper and think a good book is invaluable for knowledge? Okay, we agree, but which ones are worth reading?

GOODBOOKS.IO

https://www.goodbooks.io/

Books recommended by successful people: find out what personalities like Alicia Keys, Scarlett Johansson, David Lynch, recommend. So that, in case you meet them, you’ll also have one topic to talk about.

BLINKLIST

https://www.blinkist.com/

Let’s say it once and for all: business, marketing, soft skills books, for most of them, focus on two to three concepts that are exploded into a lot of pages in order to publish a complete book. Blinklist has the solution: for each book, it offers the main ideas of essay books to read (or listen to) in 15 minutes. Problem solved, and money saved.

πŸ€“ READING

Turn your eyes to your nightstand and contemplate the column of books you still have to read. So now consider how long it will take you to do it. Thus, now I’ll give you a hint to get it done sooner.

SPREEDER

https://www.spreeder.com/

Learn to read faster and achieve knowledge faster. It works with all Western languages and can be integrated with several applications, such as Word.

BLINKLIST

https://www.blinkist.com/

Let’s say it once and for all: business, marketing, soft skills books, for most of them, focus on two to three concepts that are exploded into a lot of pages in order to publish a complete book. Blinklist has the solution: for each book, it offers the main ideas of essay books to read (or listen to) in 15 minutes. Problem solved, and money saved.

πŸ“Έ PHOTOGRAPHY

Do you have a digital camera that cost you more than $1,000, full of attractive (but dubiously useful) buttons, and constantly taking pictures in automatic mode? Take a few minutes to get into it.

PLAY BY CANON

http://www.canonoutsideofauto.ca/play/

An interactive site where you can learn the main commands of the reflex and mirrorless cameras (aperture, exposure time, ISO) and the effects they have on your photographs. Canon puts its signature on it.

Β 

🎀 PODCAST

Do you prefer listening to reading? Open your ears, this is the platform for you.

KNOWABLE

https://knowable.fyi/

Put on your headphones and turn up the volume. On Knowable you will find more than 200 audio courses taught by experts. This is a great solution if you want to isolate yourself from the world and listen to an interesting voice.

🍴 FOOD

If you’re a good eater, and if your priority when traveling is to taste the typical dishes that the country you’re visiting offers, here’s a site that will satisfy your tastes.

TASTEATLAS

https://www.tasteatlas.com/

An interactive map of the world to discover local ingredients, traditional dishes and authentic restaurants. Fulfill your curiosity!

Β 

πŸ”¬ STEM

Is SuperQuark making you sleepy? Check it out!

BRILLIANT

https://brilliant.org/

Math, science, and logic are taught through visuals and interactivity to make concepts easier to understand. This is the perfect opportunity to brush up on algebra…

NASA HOME & CITY

https://homeandcity.nasa.gov/

Are you one of those people who would wish a rocket on your teeth to someone who says, “Somebody explain to me what the point of spending all that money to go into space is!!1!”. Here, people who work at NASA probably think so too; but they’ve decided to try a less aggressive and more informative approach: in this interactive site you’ll discover the NASA technologies we have at home and can find around town. And be sure to share it with your space-skeptic friends.

πŸ•Ά PRIVACY

Definitely a hot topic: everyone talks about GDPR, but no one actually understands much about it! And how much do you know about it? Challenge yourself!

THE GRANDMASTER CHALLENGE

https://www.ogury-gdpr.com/

A simple quiz, very well done graphically, of 9 questions to test your knowledge of GDPR. Will you deserve the first prize? Be sure to share the result.

πŸ‘‘ LEARN FROM THE BEST

Yes, at the beginning of the article I had “slightly” criticized video courses, but these are really worth it.

MASTERCLASS

https://www.masterclass.com/

Study cooking with Gordon Ramsay, creativity with Anna Wintour, skateboarding with Tony Hawk. Do we need to say more?

πŸ§˜πŸΎβ€β™€οΈ WELLNESS

Learning to feel better. It might be a quote from some Eastern philosopher, but it’s not. You can do it, and it is real.

THE BIG KNOW

https://getbeing.thebigknow.com/home

Video courses and podcasts on wellness topics: stress management, healthy eating, resilience, conversation. Aren’t you feeling better already?

CALM

https://www.calm.com/

It calls itself the #1 app for meditation and stress, and the super positive reviews seem to back them up. It is a must-try on your next sleepless night.

βš’οΈ MANUALITY

If you are a digital native like me, you’ll probably type on a laptop as a machine, but a hammer in your hand could become a weapon of mass destruction… so why not get into cutting and sewing?

CRAFTSY

https://www.craftsy.com/

More than 1,500 courses on cutting, sewing, painting, decorating; a few short lessons, taught by experts. What if next Christmas you would be able to gift cacti jars with wool, all made by yourself?

πŸ‘©πŸΌβ€πŸ«πŸ§‘πŸ»β€πŸ« LEARN FROM OTHERS

When you are learning something do you prefer to take your own time? And maybe would you prefer to have a one-to-one teacher?

1ON1

https://1on1.today/

Search for private teachers in over 120 countries and learn just about anything. Anything more?

πŸ” BONUS

THE IKEA DICTIONARY

https://lar5.com/ikea/

Want to know where the iconic Kilby bookcase gets its name? Mystery solved!

LESSON FINISHED!

As we’ve seen, learning is an experience that can be tailored to each of us; and I hope this article is inspiring on that!

So, if you liked it ( and if you want to!) share it with:

  • Β those who want to learn something new and are looking for spurs;
  • those who work in training and are looking for new insights on how to design new learning modalities.

A little note: there are many other platforms out there, and certainly at the moment not all of them are listed, but I will try to add them overtime to keep the article updated and constantly improved. So, bookmark it and come back to check it out in a bit! 😬

Better yet, if you know of any platforms/websites/applications that you think are interesting, but have not been bookmarked, point them out by sending me a private message on LinkedIn – I’d really appreciate it! 🀩

All that remains is to wish you enjoy your time… er, enjoy learning! πŸ˜…

Happy Learning,
Nicholas

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