Learn on a Dime

I know I won’t be able to do nothing after I retire, both for my pocketbook and for my sanity. But I’m tired of an office environment and want to do something creative and portable. For years I’ve taken classes looking for an avocation as much as a new vocation. But the course content hasn’t always justified the cost or the time required. So I decided to look for cheaper learning alternatives on writing, editing, web site design, photography, and teaching English as a second language.  (I am not endorsing the companies or courses mentioned below; the opinions offered are my own and experiences will be personal, be it good or bad.)

My quest for cheap learning started on Groupon, one of several “deal-of-the-day” websites that sell discounted goods, services, and just about anything you want. Groupon and similar sites play on the impulse buyer in most of us. I’ve discovered some of the deals reappear on a regular basis and aren’t all that limited. But Groupon is easy to use and you can search for deals in your local area. I purchased the four courses discussed below on Groupon. I was looking for self-paced educational courses that allow access for extended periods.

A Groupon search for “learn” will find local and online deals for music, dance, art and cooking lessons, photo tours, and courses on a variety of subjects. If you want to learn to tango, deals on sites like Groupon offer a short series of lessons to entice the buyer to take more. 

I had just finished my WordPress site and loved the experience of putting it together. EwB was offering an online class called How to Build a Website(normally $777 for $79). (web.excelwithbusiness.com/) Even if the course was a bust, I decided I could learn at least $75 worth of something. I would have access to the course for 12 months. I jumped at the offer. I have completed several units. I am pleased with the content, even though the units on HTML and cascading style sheets left me shaking my head and will require more study. So far, I’ve gotten my money back. I don’t know if the course is worth $777—classroom courses on Read more ›

Road Scholar: Adventures in Lifelong Learning.  Educational adventures created by Elderhostel. One of my great aunts, who was a nun, went on several Elderhostel trips in the US. She loved the combination of traveling and learning. I haven’t been on a Road Scholar adventure but it is an option for group travel.

AARP  For years I resisted joining AARP. Last year, one of my airline mileage programs offered me a free membership. I accepted. I must admit AARP’s publications are full of useful information on a range of subjects related to planning for and living in retirement. 

WordPress Basics II

Incredible. In six hours I produced a usable blog without having to consult the Help section. I’m impressed. I still have much to learn about WordPress, but I now believe I can develop my site myself. A baby step on the road to finding a new direction.

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