Toby started school today (2nd grade, break my heart!), and seeing him head off with his backpack made me want to be in a classroom, too. For the past year and a half, all of us at Cup of Jo have been signed up for Skillshare, the online learning community with more than 17,000 classes. Here are four cool ones we streamed this month (and a great offer to try some yourself)…
Mobile Photography Basics (45 Minutes)
Joanna: I love snapping photos of the boys with my phone, but I’m not a photography expert by any means, and I’d love to get better at using my iPhone camera. Skillshare offers more than 1,300 different photography classes, and I chose one that focuses completely on mobile phone shooting. Taught by photographer (and former CNN journalist) Tyson Wheatley, who has 630,000 followers on Instagram and takes beautiful shots all over the world, this is a class I’d recommend to anyone who wants to gain some skills. In his mellow, friendly way, Tyson walks you through all of his best mobile photography tricks, including gear (he swears by a device that holds FOUR extra charges for your iPhone), editing apps and how to choose the most compelling shots for Instagram. I learned so much and feel really inspired.
Choose Must: 10 Hands-On Exercises to Find and Pursue Your Passion (53 Minutes)
Megan: I was surprised by how, after my wedding this summer, I felt a little lost. I had spent a year planning this one day, and now I needed a new focus for my energy. So, when I came across this class, it jumped out at me. Through a series of 10-minute activities — involving pens, paper, books, old photos, my Instagram account and a whole bunch of thumbtacks — artist and author Elle Luna guided me on a journey to find my “must,” or “the thing we feel called or deeply convicted to do, our passion, desire, urge or deepest held beliefs.” Going back to my Northern California roots (Elle and I are both from San Francisco), I could get behind the free-spirited vibe of this class and had fun making what was basically an elaborate inspiration board full of clues about what my next creative undertaking could be. I’m not sure where my “must” will take me, but Elle definitely brought me away from those post-wedding blues.
The Modern Marketing Workshop (2 hours 49 minutes)
Lexi: Seth Godin, an entrepreneur and wildly popular business author, has long intrigued me. He has been teaching about business since he was 14 (!), and every short piece I’ve read on his blog has been motivating. I wasn’t surprised to find that his Skillshare classes are compelling too. A bonus is that you can stream them from your sofa — you don’t have to venture to one of his on-stage appearances. Even though marketing is not my career field, the class I took gave me tangible tools for how to express myself and better understand the forces of business operating all around me. Godin’s style is straightforward, relatable and full of real-life examples. (I also loved all his enthusiastic hand motions and the feeling of sitting right there with him in his office.) I can’t wait to watch both of his other classes on Skillshare.
Make-Ahead Breakfasts That Will Change Your Day (12 Minutes)
Stella: Breakfast food is one of my favorite topics in life. But because weekday mornings can get hectic, I often spend more time talking about it than I do making it. Thanks to Laura Keogh and Ceri Marsh from Sweet Potato Chronicles, I can finally prepare the delicious breakfasts I dream about — but ahead of time. The charming duo walks you through easy recipes, like overnight oats and mini cheese frittatas, with funny quips along the way — watching their class is much more fun than reading a recipe. (Laura calls her frittatas “little babies.”) The meals are healthy and delicious, and many stay fresh for a week. This class just might be the secret to becoming a morning person.
Bonus: Skillshare is offering new students two months of Premium membership for free. (Ordinarily, a yearly Premium membership costs $8.25 per month for unlimited classes, community discussions, and more.) Go here through October 15th to redeem the offer. Please note: A credit card is required to sign up, but it won’t be charged until the free two-month period is up, and you can cancel at any time. Thank you so much, Skillshare!
What class would you sign up for? Skillshare’s classes range across dozens of categories, including DIY fashion, foreign language, writing, graphic design, cooking and music. If you post your Skillshare class project on Instagram with the hashtag #myskillshare, they may share it on their feed. We’ll be checking out that hashtag!