Learning fro the comfort of your home

Sewing "How to Video". Dan Watson/The signal
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As of this week, every school district within the Santa Clarita Valley has taken the in-person experience of school and put it into an online platform, citing the need to ensure student and staff safety during a global pandemic.

However, learning from home via online classes is not just for the kids. And the kids don’t have to only be learning things that they would within a traditional classroom.

There are a number of online services, and the city is providing online tutorials and training for practical life skills. From exercise to cooking to sewing and more, there are a number of options for people looking to capitalize on the extra time they might have while inside their home.

So where can these services be found, and what are the best ways for people to access them?

City of Santa Clarita

For a number of years, the City of Santa Clarita has offered it’s Seasons catalogue: a large list of classes and courses available to the public. Fencing, pottery and languages, to name a few, have all been classes provided to the public with only small fees.

This year, the Seasons catalogue was not distributed due to COVID-19, however, this did not stop the city and it’s teachers from coming together to provide classes.

“We’re getting more interest because people are understanding this is kind of the new way of life,” said Lance O’Keefe, the recreation and community services manager for the city. 

The city has been earnestly using its Virtual Recreation Center, where it uses the website to inform people about a number of activities. 

“There’s a variety of arts and crafts, sport, family activities, hikes that you can go do out in the community,” said O’Keefe. “And then every week, it’s getting updated with new things.”

On the Virtual Recreation Center website, there are a variety of options to choose from. Under the “Specialty Classes” section, for instance, there are free videos on beginning yoga, painting and snack making.  In the Arts/Events section, the MAIN is providing in-depth discussions for those seeking advice or tips in regarding to acting or life on stage.

Although some of the usual classes needed to be canceled this year due to the logistical issues, such as cooking, O’Keefe said people are still happy with the city’s offerings.

“People are happy because there’s something to do,” said O’Keefe. “It’s giving them new ideas, new opportunities to do something that they would have never done.” 

O’Keefe added that although it’s almost August, it’s not too late to enjoy these activities or learn something new through the city.

Visit https://www.santa-clarita.com/city-hall/departments/recreation-and-community-services-department/online-rec-center to learn more. 

Cooking “How to Video”. Dan Watson/The signal

Other resources

If you were to be one of the people looking to improve themselves through learning a new skill while under COVID-19, you’re not alone.

According to a study done by the World Economic Forum, the global educal technical investment worldwide was $18.66 billion in 2019 and the projected revenue for edtech is expected to reach $350 billion by  2025.

“Whether it is language apps, virtual tutoring, video conferencing tools or online learning software, there has been a significant surge in usage since COVID-19,” reads the World Economic Forum study.

So where to go then?

One of the highest rated sites for learning a new skill is CreativeLive. CreativeLive broadcasts free, live courses in everything from photography, business, design, craft and cooking. The classes are taught by experts in the respective fields. 

Additionally, there are a number of sites such as Code Academy, General Assembly and Lynda that teach coding, digital marketing and graphic design.

For other desires or hobby interests, however, that are not as niche as learning Javascript or HTML, look no further than Youtube. 

A number of Youtube channels offer free insight into how to improve your cooking or sewing or craftsmanship. The videos are free to all, and can be viewed on multiple devices. According to Google’s Consumer Data from 2019, 90% of DIYers, or “do it yourselfers,” watch their videos on Youtube during an actual project.

So don’t feel alone in wanting to learn a new skill or trying to expand your horizons. There are plenty of free or cheap resources out there for people.  The only impediment in the past has been time, and we seem to have a lot more of that these days.

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