At Map Creative we’re determined to rise out of the COVID-19 downturn stronger than before. Join us on this growth journey with a superb suite of online learning resources to help keep you productive. We’ve partnered with our friends at The Weekend Edition to bring you the best online learning resources to upgrade you brain game during these crazy times…

We’ve all got quite a bit of extra time on our hands now. Time that we’d normally spend being well within 1.5 metres of our friends and family, going into an actual workplace and enjoying the convivial hospitality at our favourite cafes, bars and restaurants (oh, how we miss that). If you’ve found yourself spiralling into the Netflix vortex and want to utilise this ‘free time’ you’ve been unexpectedly given a little more wisely, then perhaps it’s time to train your brain and get stuck into an online course. If you’ve considered dipping your toe into a different field of work, yearn to learn a new skill or just want to satisfy your hungry mind, the time is now – and there are plenty of online courses at your fingertips.

Even the Federal Government is giving us a nudge to have a study binge rather than streaming the latest must-see series. A higher-education relief package was announced this week to encourage us to use our self-isolation time to develop skills via remote learning, which has seen a drastic slashing of costs to study short online courses. Right now, the government is working with large and small universities and education providers to pull together short, six-month courses – ranging from diploma level through to graduate certificates – which will begin in May. The courses that fall within this package will be delivered online and will focus on ‘national priority’ areas like nursing, teaching, health, IT and science. If you’ve found yourself out of work recently, this is a great way to explore a new area so you can hit the ground running in the post-pandemic world. We can expect to see more details about these government-funded courses in the coming weeks.

Though, not everyone is looking to upskill in that way, and in those industries. Perhaps you want to learn a language? How about culinary skills, photography, design or music? Over at Deakin University, there’s a series of (free) two- and four-week courses – from humanitarian aid to infant nutrition and leadership skills – that you can instantly enrol in. Worldwide online learning platforms like Udemy and Alison are brimming with thousands of ready-to-start online courses, some free and others available for a small fee. Over on Coursera, you can strum your way through a beginner guitar course, explore the world of bitcoin and cryptocurrency, master a data-science course with IBM or let international professors school you on hieroglyphs and pharaohs in an introduction to ancient Egypt. For those looking to push their limits in the IT world, technology-skills platform Pluralsight is currently offering free access to 7000 expert-led video courses until the end of April. While there aren’t modules and guidelines as such, you can also access a plethora of skill-building content through MasterClass – right now, you can get two-for-one annual memberships giving you access to classes like photography with Annie Leibovitz, creativity and leadership with Anna Wintour, creative writing with Margaret Atwood, Texas-style cooking with Aaron Franklin and acting with Natalie Portman.

Never stop learning, friends.