Develop yourself while in quarantine | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 27, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 08:43 PM, March 27, 2020

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Develop yourself while in quarantine

Independence has taken a different meaning all across the globe, due to the crisis that came along with the corona pandemic. Life can seem a bit dull when you don’t have to go to work, or classes, or even to spend some quality time with your friends. However, this is a time like no other in so many aspects. This is the time when you truly do something for yourself, for your self-development, so that you go back out there into the real world much stronger and confident when the crisis is over. You can find independence in upgrading yourself, and exploring areas that you wanted to explore all along but couldn’t make time for it. We bring you several things that you can do to truly develop yourself in the times of home quarantine.

Online courses

Never have there been a greater time to brush up on old software skills or finally take that free anthropology course from Harvard you've been dying to take for years. For those of us who have always fancied Ivy League colleges, this social isolation would be a great time to dab into over 500 free Ivy League courses available online completely for free. Here are our top picks:

CS50's Introduction to Computer Science-Harvard via EdX

CS50's Introduction to Computer Science with Professor David J Mallan is Harvard's signature introductory CS course which Harvard CS freshers take every year along with millions of people joining online for free. The course is designed to teach the basics of CS from scratch to beginners and is a great start for anyone who's looking to learn the basics of programming.


Greek and Roman Mythology-University of Pennsylvania via Coursera

Taught by the veteran Peter Struck, UPenn's introductory Greek and Roman mythology course is a fabulous start for anyone interested in learning in-depth about Homer's odyssey or Oedipus's journey. Take assignments and exams in real-time with attendee students and thousands of others joining online.


The Global Financial Crisis-Yale University via Coursera

A business course from Yale, taught by former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Timothy F. Geithner and Professor Andrew Metrick, it deals with the survey of causes, events, policy responses, and aftermath of the recent global financial crisis.

Imagining other Earths-Princeton University via Coursera

This introductory course from Princeton introduces core concepts in astronomy, biology, and planetary science that enable the students to speculate scientifically about profound questions like "Are we alone" and rediscover their solar system.



Scribd is making millions of e-books, audiobooks, magazines and more available to anyone, free, for 30 days. This offer doesn't require your credit card information or any sort of prior commitment.

Introduction to Psychology-Yale University via Coursera

It explores topics such as perception, communication, learning, memory, decision-making, persuasion, emotions, and social behaviour. The course aims at teaching at how these aspects of the mind develop in children, how they differ across people, how they are wired-up in the brain, and how they break down due to illness and injury.


JSTOR is an academic website containing countless e-books and academic journals. Amidst the lockdown situation due to the Corona pandemic, the website is making its entire library accessible to the public —without academic credentials.

Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg is an online library offering over 60,000 free eBooks including some of the finest classics of all time. You can search by name, author, keyword, language, category, or just select random and see what pops up. You can also access any content without registration.

Open Library

Open Library is offering around one million public domain books available. It also offers ebooks, audiobooks, and digital lending.


As you sit at home in self-isolation and get bored of endless Netflix binging, how about a little cultural fix right from your couch? These museums are offering free virtual tours for anyone to access from anywhere in the world.


The Louvre offers a total of three virtual tours. Virtual visitors can explore the gallery's Egyptian Antiquities collection of artefacts or take a look at the Galerie d'Apollon, a recently restored part of the Louvre known for its high-vaulted ceiling with paintings including "Apollo slaying the serpent Python" by Delacroix.


British Museum-London

The OG national museum opened first in 1759, now offers virtual tours to anyone in the world for free. What's interesting is that their virtual tour is called the Museum of the World and is shaped like a giant virtual guitar fret. As you head along with the virtual gallery, you get to play tunes with the artefacts.


Solomon R. Guggenhiem Musuem, New York

The Guggenheim in NY is famous for its postmodern and conceptual installation arts. Thanks to Google Street View, you can now visit the wonders of its gallery halls from the comfort of your own home.




A lot of audio production tools have also been made available for free and here are a few of them.


Native Instruments Analog Dreams

Native Instruments is offering the Analog Dreams ($50) sound library as a free download until March 31st, 2020. The library is compatible with both the full version of Kontakt 6 and the freeware Kontakt Player plugin.


Minimoog Digital Synthesizer (iOS)

A digital emulation of a legendary analog synthesizer. Normally $4.99, it's now free to download.


Korg Kaossilator (iOS, Android)

This feature-rich app lets any level of user make tracks by layering beats and loops on top of each other. It normally costs $20, but it is a free download till March 31.

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