Top Online Resources Available for Free during Covid-19

Next up in “Life on Lockdown” we’ll talk about some of the most exciting online resources that have been made available for free during coronavirus lockdowns, school closures, and quarantines.

Since there’s no age limit for learning, I’m including resources for children and adults alike. 

1. Access to 300,000 free ebooks from NYPL

For booklovers, this one is really exciting. 

To access the books, you’ll have to download the New York Public Library’s free app, SimplyE. Then you can “borrow” up to three books at a time.

2. Free audio books for children all ages

Simply visit Audible Stories, pick a book, and start listening.

Pros: Plenty of great classics, interesting for all ages. Also available in different languages.

Cons: It seems you can also listen to the books through the web, and not via the app—where you can download and play books offline when you have a paid Audible subscription.

3. Homeschooling resources

Education.com is offering free access to their Independent Study Packets for preschool through 5th grade, as well as other educational resources such their Weekly Boost and Brainzy—a collection of learning games, songs, and stories.

You can also get free homeschooling resources for students in grades PreK-9+ from Scholastic Learn at Home.

From Unicef: Free and open digital tools to support remote learning during temporary school closures

4. Free University classes from Yale and Harvard

In response to coronavirus quarantines, Yale has announced that its “most popular class ever” will be available for free on Coursera. It’s called The Science of Well-Being.

Global pandemics aside, top universities such as Harvard also have a wide offering of free online courses that can be accessed anytime.

Bonus: 450 Ivy League courses you can take online right now for free

5. Free language lessons for kids 

Verbling, an online language education platform discussed here, recently announced free language lessons for children affected by school closures.

Update: Preply is offering free webinars for kids to learn English (Spanish coming soon) .

6. Free guitar, bass, and ukulele lessons

Fender is offering three months of free guitar, bass, and ukulele lessons for the first 500,000 who sign up by getting a code here.

And in case that’s not enough, Marty Schwartz of GuitarJamz is offering free access to the premium membership guitar lesson collection until April 30. If you haven’t checked out his free videos on YouTube, you should!

7. Free home workouts

To help everyone have a healthier quarantine, Chris Hemsworth is offering 6 weeks of free access to his workout app, Centr. Do note that the app is not available in all regions; if you’re outside of the US, it may not work. Also—as with most free trials—you’ll have to give him your credit card details.

Beyond that, there are plenty of workout apps that are always free. For example, the classic “Home Workout” app, available on Google Play and the App Store, which requires no equipment.

And if you can’t or don’t want to do a million pushups a day, try the women’s version, also on Google Play and the App Store.

Then there’s the 7-Minute Workout—free, very doable, quite scientific, and always better than nothing. There are many apps available for this; simply take your pick.

See also: 10 apps to help you work out from home, no equipment needed.

And if you normally do some kind of martial arts training but can’t go to the gym now, stay in form by training at home with videos like this 30-minute solo Brazilian jiu-jitsu workout or this 5-minute Muay Thai shadow boxing workout.

8. Free art house films from Cinetree

With “hopeful films for everyone,” the Dutch online filmhouse Cinetree is offering free viewing of award-winning art house films until April 6. Films are available in different languages. Simply type in the code “samethuis” (home together) to gain access. 

9. Free Covid-19 Handbook

Last but not least, stay informed so you can do your part to help us all get out of this situation as soon as possible by reading this COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment compilation provided by the Jack Ma Foundation.

Bonus Materials: Always Out There, Always Free

Beyond special covid-19 offerings, here’s a list of additional resources that are always available for free. If you haven’t explored them yet, now might be the time!

General Education:

  • Take free Oxford University-endorsed courses on edX (certificates available for a fee)
  • Get a Harvard education via free online courses (worth mentioning again!) 
  • Learn—or teach your kids—anything at Khan Academy 

Information Technology:

  • Access free basic training from ITProTV (for premium content, use code SN30 for 30% off on the monthly or yearly subscription fee)
  • Keep up with the latest in IT via weekly shows and podcasts from TWiT 


Art & History:

One more for the Dutchies:

  • Read digital children’s books for €0,01 and watch daily voorleesvideos via Bol.com—great for language learners, too!

Many thanks to those who helped me compile this list! Please keep your recommendations coming in the comments so we can expand the resource.

Happy quarantining!

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