Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on February 3, 2021

10 Websites to Learn Something New in 30 Minutes a Day

10 Websites to Learn Something New in 30 Minutes a Day

Learning something new is always an exciting endeavor. The problem is that most of us get wrapped up in busy distractions throughout the day and never find the time to learn the new skill we want.

What’s worse is that some of us spend hours learning this new skill only to give up after a few months, which is precious time that goes down the toilet.

Luckily, there’s a better solution:

Instead of using our time to sit through long lectures and lengthy video courses, we can take advantage of all the amazing learning websites that can help us learn something new in 30 minutes or less.

I’ve collected the best sites that teach a diversified list of topics to share with you today as you jump into the learning process.

1. Lynda

Estimated time: 20-30 mins
Topics: Business, marketing, design, software tools

Advertising

Get access to thousands of courses with a 10-day free trial to develop your skills in business, Photoshop, software, and much more. Lynda (by LinkedIn) offers courses and tutorials taught by expert teachers, so whether you want to upgrade your skills for personal or professional use, you’ll find just what you need here.

2. Skillshare

Estimated time: 20-30 mins
Topics: Cooking, design, software tools, marketing, photography

Ten dollars per month gets you access to bite-sized, on-demand courses taught by leading experts like Gary Vaynerchuk, Roxane Gay, and more. With each course, you’ll know you’re getting high-quality information that will inspire you to continue upgrading your knowledge.

3. Hackaday

Estimated time: 5 mins
Topics: Life hacks, productivity

This website delivers tips to make your life easier and more productive. Just 5 minutes a day is all you need to learn new hacks to improve your lifestyle. Many of the topics are related to new and old technology, but you can find a little bit of everything here.

4. Codecademy

Estimated time: 15-30 mins
Topics: Software development

Advertising

A gamified approach to coding, Codecademy helps anyone build a website through an interactive learning method. Learn any programming language from HTML, CSS, Javascript, Ruby on Rails, and more by actually practicing with the language instead of spending your time on theory.

This is a great option for anyone who wants to build up their resume or brush up on the basics for their job.

5. 7-min

Estimated time: 7 mins
Topics: Health & Fitness

Most of us aren’t as fit as we would like because of the time constraints caused by work, family, and hobbies. Putting our workout apparel on, driving to the gym, and driving back can take up a lot of our time.

This website will go through dozens of 7-minute routines to get you in shape and ready for the day ahead, so time is no longer an excuse!

6. Calm

Estimated time: 10 mins
Topics: Meditation

Advertising

Get guided meditations right to your screen. With Calm, you can learn different types of meditation where a teacher can guide you step-by-step through the process. Even if it’s your first time trying meditation, you’ll find this website and app easy to follow and incredibly enlightening.

This site is great for those who struggle with stress and anxiety and need to learn how to tap into the power of the breath to increase relaxation and overall wellbeing.

7. Highbrow

Estimated time: 5 mins
Topics: Business, creative skills, design, history

When you sign up for Highbrow, a great learning website, you’ll get bite-sized email courses delivered to your inbox every morning to learn everything from film history, marketing, business, and more. Each course is only five minutes long and presents information on everything from happiness to productivity to the art of negotiation.

8. Big Think

Estimated time: 10 mins
Topics: Technology, science, life

Learn from the world’s experts about scientific breakthroughs, revolutionary business concepts, and more in short videos. These videos talk about Alzheimer’s research, social media data, developments in space technology, and more. If you find yourself in a boring moment, open Big Thing and drink in some interesting and inspiring knowledge.

Advertising

9. Khan Academy

Estimated time: 30 mins
Topics: Academics

Recognized by Bill Gates as one of the best teachers online, Salman Khan breaks down complicated subjects into simplified concepts to help you understand them in minutes, not weeks. With each course, you can study at your own pace and devote just a few minutes to your lessons each day if you want.

10. Rype

Estimated time: 15-30 mins
Topics: Foreign languages

Are you “too busy” to learn a foreign language? Meet Rype, your personal trainer for languages. Get unlimited 1-on-1 private language lessons with professional teachers around the world.

Each lesson is just 30 minutes, allowing you to fit learning a new language into your busy lifestyle. You can try it free for 14-days and see for yourself.

The Bottom Line

With all of the amazing resources out there, you don’t have any excuse to wait to learn a new skill or gain more knowledge on a specific topic. Whether it’s for a hobby or your career growth, any of the above learning websites can help you achieve a new level of education and expand your mind without a huge time and money investment. Get started on a new learning experience today.

More Learning Resources

Featured photo credit: Christin Hume via unsplash.com

More by this author

Sean Kim

Sean is the founder and CEO of Rype, a language learning app. He's an entrepreneur and blogger.

10 Websites to Learn Something New in 30 Minutes a Day When You Learn A Second Language, These 7 Amazing Things Will Happen To You 7 Science-Backed Learning Hacks to Help You Learn Anything Faster 7 Best Languages to Learn in Order to Stay Competitive 15 New Year’s Resolution Ideas to Make This Year Your Best Year

Trending in Learning

1 What Is Double Loop Learning And How Is It Valuable? 2 7 Reasons You Won’t Start Studying Until It’s Too Late, And What To Do About It 3 10 Methods To Acquire Knowledge Effectively 4 The 10 Best Online Dictionaries 5 The SQ3R Method: How It Maximizes Your Learning Comprehension

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Published on March 1, 2021

What Is Double Loop Learning And How Is It Valuable?

What Is Double Loop Learning And How Is It Valuable?

As someone on the Millennial/Generation X cusp, one of my first memories of a news story was the devastating crash of the Challenger space shuttle. I couldn’t process the severity or the specifics of the event at the time, but looking back, the Challenger explosion represents a heartbreaking example of what can happen when systems fail.

A part of the shuttle known as the O-ring was faulty. People from NASA knew about it well before the disaster, but NASA employees either ignored the problem—writing it off as not that bad—or were ignored when they tried to alert higher-ups about the issue.[1] This is a tragic example of single-loop learning where organizations focus on what they’re doing without reflecting on how or why they’re doing it, and it’s a recipe for disaster.

Single and Double-Loop Learning

Chris Argyris describes the difference between single and double-loop learning with a metaphor. A thermostat that turns on and off when it senses a pre-set temperature is akin to single-loop learning. The thermostat being able to reflect on whether or not it should be set to that temperature in the first place would be more like double-loop learning.[2]

Imagine the difference if NASA would have encouraged and addressed employees’ questions about how they were doing, what they were doing, and whether or not they should be doing it at all—you’ll start to see how an extra layer of questioning and critical thought can help organizations thrive.

Single Loop Learning

Single-loop learning is when planning leads to action, which leads to reflection on those actions and then back to planning, action, and more reflection. Now, you might think that because reflection is involved, single-loop learning would be an effective organizational model. However, because there isn’t room for critical questions that ask why actions are being taken, problems begin to bubble up.

The Double Bind

When organizations are operating in single-loop learning, they get stuck in what Argyris calls the Double Bind. Because there’s no value placed on questioning why the team is doing something, team members are either punished for speaking up or punished for not speaking up if something goes wrong down the line.

Primary Inhibiting Loop

When an organization is stuck in single-loop learning, the double bind leads to what Argyris calls the primary inhibiting loop. Real learning and growth are inhibited because team members withhold information from each other. This withholding leads to distrust and is difficult to remedy because even if employees attempt to become more forthcoming, lack of trust sours interactions.

Advertising

Secondary Inhibiting Loop

Because information is being withheld, team members play unconscious games (not the fun kind) to protect each other’s feelings. For example, I might try to distract my colleagues from worrying about a problem in our plan by shifting the focus to another project we’re working on that’s going better.

When you’re stuck in single-loop learning, the organization does whatever it can to continue taking action after action instead of stopping to truly reassess the bigger picture. This leads team members to hide information from each other, which causes distrust and behaviors that try to mask flaws in the organization’s structures and systems.

Double Loop Learning in Organizations

A common misconception is that the opposite of single-loop learning involves focusing primarily on people’s feelings and allowing employees to manage themselves. However, the solution for single-loop learning is not about doing the opposite. It’s about adding an extra later of critical analysis—double-loop learning.

With double-loop learning, questioning why the organization is doing what it’s doing is an organizational value. Instead of moving from planning to action to reflection and back to planning, in double-loop learning, people are encouraged to reflect on why they’re doing what they’re doing. This can help the organization take a step back and reconsider what’s best for all stakeholders instead of being stuck acting and reacting.

Ultimately, double-loop learning gives team members the time, space, and systems to ask tough questions and have them addressed in meaningful ways.

Let’s think back to the Challenger disaster. If NASA had created an organization that uses double-loop learning, employees wouldn’t have felt compelled to stay silent, and the employees who did speak up would have influenced the process enough to reconsider the timeline and develop a solution for the O-ring problem.

Single-loop learning is like a train with no breaks. Double-loop learning provides the extra layer of critical thought that allows the organization to stop and pivot when that’s what’s required.

Advertising

Think back to Argyris’ thermostat metaphor. Instead of just reacting—turning on and off when it detects a certain temperature—double-loop learning invites the thermostat to reconsider why it’s doing what it’s doing and how it might do it better.

How to Shift to Double Loop Learning

So, how can organizations shift from single to double-loop learning?

1. Stakeholders Must Level With Each Other

The first step to shifting from single to double-loop learning is for all stakeholders to sit down and talk openly about their expectations, values, and goals. These sessions should be led by organizational experts to ensure that old single-loop learning habits of distrust, withholding, and game-playing don’t keep people stuck in single-loop learning.

One of the keys to team members leveling with each other is listening. Focus on creating an environment where everyone can speak up without fear of judgment or punishment.

2. Create Benchmarks for Lasting Growth and Change

Old habits die hard, and single-loop learning is no different. If systems, check-ins, benchmarks, and periodic times to reflect and reset aren’t put into place, old habits of withholding and mistrust will likely creep back in. You can guard against this by making it a norm to measure, assess, and improve how new double-loop learning systems are being implemented over time.

3. Reward Risk-Taking and Critical Feedback

Double-loop learning requires squeaky wheels. You have to create a culture that rewards criticism, risk-taking, and reflecting on the system as a whole and the reasons the organization does what it does. Think big picture stuff.

This is about walking the walk. It’s one thing to tell employees to speak up and give their feedback, it’s another thing entirely to have systems in place that make employees feel safe enough to do so.

Advertising

Kimberly Scott’s Radical Candor comes to mind as one way to start shifting to a more open and critical environment. Radical Candor is a system that incentivizes employees and managers to start speaking up about things they used to sweep under the rug. It’s a roadmap and a way to assess and improve open and reflective feedback between all stakeholders.

Double Loop Learning for Individuals

Double-loop learning isn’t only for organizations. You can also apply Argyris’ ideas to your learning.[3]

Here’s how that might look:

1. Level With Yourself and Seek Accountability

Instead of being stuck in a single-loop learning cycle, break out by adding another layer of critical reflection. Why are you learning what you’re learning? Is it important? Is there another way? Think big picture again.

Become clear on what you want to learn and how you’re currently trying to learn it. Then, open yourself up to others to keep yourself accountable. Leave the door open to completely shift major details about your learning goals.

2. Create Benchmarks and Don’t Put Your Head in the Sand

Just as with organizations, individuals also need to create goals and continuously reflect on whether or not they’re moving toward double-loop learning. Schedule times to meet with the people keeping you accountable for your learning plan. Then, ask yourself whether or not your learning goals still make sense.

Ask big picture questions. Are you in the right environment to learn? Is your learning plan working? Do you need to change course altogether or shift your goals entirely? If it’s double-loop learning, you can’t be afraid to ask questions about why you’re doing what you’re doing and change course when the need arises.

Advertising

3. Value Risk-Taking and Accept Criticism

You’re also going to need to shift your mindset from simply learning and reflecting to accepting criticism, being critical of yourself as a learner, and taking risks and experiencing discomfort as you ask big questions and make drastic alterations to your learning plan over time.

Instead of concerning yourself with grades and GPAs, double-loop learning would mean you’re allowing yourself time to step back and analyze why you’re learning what you’re learning, if there’s a better way, and even whether or not you should be on that learning trajectory in the first place.

Final Thoughts

Think back to the thermostat example. Doing homework, handing it in, and then receiving a grade is single-loop learning. Thinking about why you’re doing any of that and making appropriate changes that align with your learning goals shifts you into double-loop learning, and that’s a great way to see the bigger picture and get the best results.

Learning and reflection are two of the most important things when it comes to organizational or personal development. This is why double-loop learning is key if you want yourself or your organization to succeed.

More Tips on Effective Learning

Featured photo credit: Cherrydeck via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] NPR: Challenger: What Went Wrong
[2] Harvard Business Review: Double Loop Learning in Organizations
[3] Journal of Advanced Learning: The role of reflection in single and double-loop learning

Read Next