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Finally Master That Dream Skill With One Of These Virtual Learning Sites

Elizabeth Buxton

While the current state of, well, life as we know it feels limited, we're trying to make the most out of our socially distanced situations. This is why in addition to rounding up everything from streamlined WFH essentials to our favorite bedroom-office outfits, we also tracked down the top virtual learning programs available — because we may as well use our newfound stuck-at-home status as an incentive to finally master that dream skill we never had time for before.

Whether it's coding, filmmaking, meditation, or even plant workshops, there's a site ahead that offers you the tools you'll need to conquer it. In addition to offering a slew of online courses, training, workshops, and live streaming events, many of these online educational programs offer free trial periods, too — so you can dip your toe in first to test the waters before fully committing.

Scroll on for our guide to the top options and shout out your favorites in the comments below. In the meantime, we'll just be over here on the couch practicing standup with Steve Martin.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. The product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

MasterClass


What You Learn
Skills taught by industry experts through 80+ streaming classes that average 20 ten-minute lessons per class.

What You Pay
One payment of $90 for lifetime access to a single class or $15 a month for all-access to classes. Full refunds are offered up to 30 days after purchase.

Who It's For
New-skill seekers looking to learn everything from filmmaking with Martin Scorsese to conservation with Dr. Jane Goodall, cooking with Gordon Ramsay, and photography with Annie Leibovitz, just to name a very select few.

Sign up for MasterClass









CreativeLive


What You Learn
Photography to music, art, and design skills taught by acclaimed experts across a global network through live streaming lessons, libraries of 1,500+ classes, and beyond.  

What You Pay
A payment of $39 for the Monthly Creator Pass or an annual payment of $149 (usually $299) for the Annual Creator Pass which gives flexible access to streaming all classes. 

Who It's For
Career creatives looking to not only learn from the masters in their given field but to also stay inspired, engaged, and connected through a diverse offering of virtual challenges, live events, student community forums, and new content added weekly. 

Sign up for CreativeLive









The Sill


What You Learn
How to care for your little green friends: starting with basic care and moving up to Plants and Orchid 101 virtual weekly workshops.

What You Pay
A one-time payment of $10 per workshop and between $5–$176 per plant order.

Who It's For
Plant ladies to novice apartment gardeners who are looking to sharpen their green thumb skills and brighten up their WFH spaces.

Sign up for The Sill









Udemy


What You Learn
Business skills from top instructors around the world and a selection of over 100,000 virtual classes and lectures with new monthly additions covering the topics of design to marketing, IT, and development.

What You Pay
A one-time fee for lifetime access to individual classes that range from $9 to $300 with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Who It's For
Techies or business beginners looking to brush up on their industry expertise — from coding 101 to a crash course in Photoshop and beyond.

Sign up for Udemy









Gaia


What You Learn
Consciousness expanding skills for the body, mind, and spirit taught virtually through 8,000+ films, shows, classes, and live streaming events released weekly.

What You Pay
Monthly payments of $11.99 with one free trial week, annual payments of $99 (31% off the monthly price) with one free trial week, or $299 annually for Live Access to immersive expert workshops and replays of archived events.

Who It's For
Spirituals or those looking to enhance everything from meditative to mindfulness, yoga skills, and beyond.

Sign up for Gaia









Rosetta Stone


What You Learn
Any language from a virtual roster of 28 immersive tech-driven programs offering accent-specific pronunciation improvements through a patented speech-recognition technology.

What You Pay
Anywhere from $80 to $250 per program with a free three-day trial in addition to a 30-day, no-risk, money-back guarantee.

Who It's For
Wanderlusters looking to scratch their travel itch by brushing up on speaking skills from Spanish to Chinese, Swedish, Arabic, and beyond.

Sign up for Rosetta Stone









Coursera


What You Learn
Courses in everything from languages to history and environmental science taught by industry experts from leading companies and top universities across the country.

What You Pay
Courses are free to audit but full access to graded assignments and course certificates cost anywhere from $29-$99 for 4-6 week classes, $39-$79 for 4-6 month classes, and $15-$25,000 for 1-3 year programs.

Who It's For
New or returning students looking to build skills with flexible online curriculums taught by professors from Yale to Standford and industry experts from Google to IBM.

Sign up for Coursera









SkillShare


What You Learn
Creative skills that foster personal growth, discovery, and inspiration through an online learning community offering over 20k of on-demand streaming classes, content, and workshops.

What You Pay
There is no charge for access to a select number of free classes, but a Premium Membership with full class access and offline viewing costs anywhere from a monthly fee of $15 to an annual fee of $99. New members get their first two months free.

Who It's For
Curious creatives looking to explore and expand their abilities in everything from illustration to design, photography, video, and more.

Sign up for SkillShare









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