The internet's not just an endless TV channel where most of the programme are about cats, you know. Okay, it is. But there are some genuinely useful things out there, too. If you can keep away from the hilarious animal mishaps and pictures of Game of Thrones characters with barely-literate life observations written above and below them, you might learn something. Imagine that - you could spend a few hours on the internet and actually come away a more intelligent, interesting person!* To get you started, here are 10 of our favourite online courses that don't cost a penny. Pick one, give it a try and let us know how you get on.
*(Personality upgrade not guaranteed).
Learn to play the guitar
Justin Sandercoe’s free online guitar lessons have become fairly “internet famous”, and while there’s something on his site for pretty much all levels of string-strummer, this beginner’s course is a fantastic way to pick up the basics, from buying a first guitar to learning chords and rhythms.
Master photo editing
For many, Photoshop remains something of an arcane mystery: we know how powerful it is as a photo-editing tool, but those icons and drop-down menus just don’t mean anything to us. This 13-hour course of video tutorials from Adobe will familiarise you with the basics of Photoshop CS5, removing the mystique from things like colour correction, masks, layers and alpha channels.
Reprogram a video game
Cook healthier family meals
A self-guided, video-based course that should take you about five hours, this outlines the principles behind nutrition, why childhood obesity is rife and how you can keep your family healthier through simple, nutritious home-cooked food like stir-fries and smoothies.