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Learn new skills with digital lessons

With social distancing in effect, people are looking for new and noteworthy activities to participate in, virtually. Yes, we’ve long been a digitized society, and many options such as online classes, museum tours, and social media challenges were around before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. However, there are also plenty of online activities that providers have made available or free in order to help us through spending weeks at home. Here are some notable options:


Coursera Classes

A major hub for online learning, Coursera offers thousands of university-level classes to the public. Usually, you have to pay for a Coursera class unless you audit, in which case graded assignments and certifications are not available. However, in response to the pandemic, the website is now offering 100 free classes until May 31 with full access to all features. Some of the options pertain directly to the Covid-19 crisis – classes on epidemiology and global health are among the first listed. However, if you’d prefer a distraction, classes on countless subjects are available. Click here to check out the list.

Visit the Opera

There are benefits and drawbacks to watching an opera online. You won’t get that elegant theater experience, but you can also watch in sweatpants with your pets by your side. The Metropolitan Opera House is offering nightly streaming of their intricate shows. You can check out summaries of their weekly offerings before deciding which to tune in to.

Harry Potter at Home

This one is great for kids, and, also, everyone else. J.K. Rowling has pioneered the creation of Harry Potter at Home, an online hub that includes guides on how to draw magical creatures, a quiz to tell you your wizarding world name, and much more. Rowling has also made all seven books available to teachers for free, and the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone audiobook is currently available to all at no cost via


As of April 3, a variety of shows that were previously behind a paywall are free to stream on You can watch all seasons of the following shows: Ballers, Barry, Silicon Valley, Six Feet Under, The Sopranos, Succession, True Blood, Veep, and The Wire. There are also movies and documentaries available.


If you or someone you know needs helping coping during the pandemic, the CDC has offered guidance. State governments, such New York, are also offering help.

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