Udemy video courses offer wide range

Mary Pom ClaiborneOur Town Readers

I am always trying to keep up with my French. I listen to French language podcasts but understand less than a quarter of them – enough to get the gist, sort of.

I love some of the popular apps, but they are actually too easy until you subscribe for a lot of money, which I don’t want to do. I’m not likely to use my French anytime soon, but it’s better than listening to the news these days and it may help stave off Alzheimer’s.

So, the other day, I stumbled across an online course in French on the library’s website and thought I’d try it. VOILA! I can ALMOST speak French again. Ok, that’s an exaggeration, but the course is good! Really good.


The library has recently subscribed to a new video course service called Udemy (presented by Gale). With nearly 20,000 online courses in 75 different categories, there’s truly something for everyone. Some courses last for only an hour or two and others tackle the subject thoroughly in 20+ hours.

The most popular subjects include:

  • Personal development, arts & creativity, health & fitness, life skills
  • Language learning for English, German, French, Spanish and more
  • Business, leadership, communication, marketing, management, productivity
  • Computer science, data science, IT, development, UX design, cybersecurity

What makes this service a little different from other video courses is its flexibility. You can commit to the entire course and get really good in French (or coding or marketing), or you can dip your toes in and learn as much as you want without having to complete it. You can even skip around to different sections of the course. The instructors are good. AND there’s an app!

It’s officially spring now and gardening may be on your mind. Udemy offers a course in the Fundamentals of Garden Design. Go ahead, check it out!

Mary Pom Claiborne is assistant director for marketing, communications and development for Knox County Public Library


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