If you’re looking to hone your tech, business, or creative skills or dive into a completely new area of learning this year, it’s likely you can meet that goal by going no further than your home computer. Normally, you’d learn these skills from a college/university or a private tutor or teaching institution. But these options may not be accessible in your area, might not offer courses on the exact skills that you’re looking to learn, or may be just too expensive or time-consuming.
Fortunately, with the advent of massively-open online courses (M.O.O.C.s), you can learn the skills that you need to excel in new work environments (or at new hobbies) right from the comfort of your own home. One such place where you can do this is Lynda.com, an online educational course portal that lets you learn technology, business, and creative skills through groups of video tutorials. Ask questions, take notes, practice with downloadable exercises, and print out your learner’s certificate to show off your new knowledge!
So what exactly is Lynda.com?
Lynda.com is an educational website that is owned by LinkedIn. It has lessons on applications, technologies, and skills to help you succeed in the workplace. Follow along with video tutorials while taking notes and asking questions, and then practice what you’ve learned with downloadable exercises.
You have to pay a monthly or annual subscription fee for Lynda.com to use it, though you can get a free trial for ten days. Also, there is a version of Lynda.com for libraries (and other multi-user organizations) that lets them pay a flat subscription fee (either monthly or annually) so that all of their patrons can take whatever courses they wish for free! Read more about it here.
What can I learn on Lynda.com?
Lynda.com has over 4500 courses on topics in three main fields of study: Business, Creativity, and Technology. Business courses teach things like leadership skills, how to market a company or product, and how to manage a large, multi-person project. Creativity courses teach things like music editing & production, graphic design, and photography. Technology courses teach things like how to write computer programs with coding languages and tools, how to design websites, and how computers work in general… so you’ll know what to do with one if something goes haywire.
Popular Business courses
- “Small Business Secrets” by David Crenshaw
- “Online Marketing Fundamentals” by Brad Batesole
- “Communication Tips” by Tatiana Kolovou and Brenda Bailey-Hughes
Popular Creativity courses
- “The Practicing Photographer” by Ben Long
- “Video Gear Weekly” by Richard Harrington and Robbie Carman
- “Photoshop 2015 for Photographers: Fundamentals” by Chris Orwig
Popular Technology courses
- “Web Design Fundamentals” by James Williamson
- Creating a Responsive HTML Email” by Chris Converse
- “C++ Essential Training” by Bill Weinman
How does Lynda.com work: 4 steps to start learning with Lynda.com
1. Sign up for Lynda.com and help it find what you want to learn.
Once you sign up for Lynda.com and choose what kind of subscription you want, Lynda.com will ask you what sort of subjects you want to learn about. Photography, graphic design, video or audio recording and editing, general business skills… let Lynda.com know what you’re interested in, and it will help you find the courses that are right for you.
2. Browse or search for courses on Lynda.com on your own.
Of course, if you want to look for courses the old-fashioned way, that’s perfectly fine, too. You can search for courses (among other things) on Lynda.com by estimated skill level required, what products or technologies they teach or feature, who authors them, or even if they contain certain keywords.
3. Follow along with the video tutorials in each course by asking questions and taking notes.
Each course is composed primarily of a series of video lectures, but watching them isn’t the only way that you can learn! Search the transcript of any video in the course for mention of something specific that you want to know about. Ask a question about something in the course that you don’t understand, or see if other people have had asked similar questions and had them answered. You can even take notes on things that you want to remember as you go forward in the course.
4. Download exercise files from a course (if they’re available), and practice what you’ve learned.
If you have a premium account on Lynda.com, you can sometimes download computer files that are used by the instructor in the course. That way, you can follow along and practice the skills that you learn in the course with sample materials.
If you’re up for the challenge, then there’s a wealth of knowledge and skills just waiting to be unlocked at Lynda.com. Most of what you’ll learn there is what employers in today’s digital economy are looking for… or at least a way to turn your budding interest in technology into a cool new hobby. TechBoomers will show you everything that you need to know in order to get what you want to know out of Lynda.com, including how to sign up, search for courses, take a lesson, and adjust your settings. Learn how to learn with TechBoomers’ Lynda.com course!