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Learning something new from YouTube today

This summer in Beijing, a young man from Kenya won a gold medal in the javelin competition at the World Athletics Championships. Although some headlines pointed to the fact it was Kenya’s first-ever field event medal, even more people were stunned to find out that Julius Yego learned to throw by watching YouTube. 

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Learning something new from YouTube today

This summer in Beijing, a young man from Kenya won a gold medal in the javelin competition at the World Athletics Championships. Although some headlines pointed to the fact it was Kenya’s first-ever field event medal, even more people were stunned to find out that Julius Yego learned to throw by watching YouTube. 

The internet may move at dizzying speeds sometimes, but there are so many good things that can come from the ever-growing volumes of information available. YouTube is one of the world’s most popular sites. It is so much more than cat videos, old television programs and music videos.

For seniors who have difficulty getting to local classes, or have trouble finding new opportunities, YouTube can be the perfect place to learn new skills. Skills that can help them increase your independence and chances for new experiences. We have all sorts of technology – stairlifts, hearing aids, smartphones and driverless cars – to help increase mobility for the elderly. Why not use available technology to learn as well?

If you are looking for a new adventure by learning a hobby, here are just a few of things you can learn by using YouTube:

Release your inner Mozart

Listening to relaxing classical music is a great way to spend a rainy afternoon. With a cup of tea, a newspaper and the soothing music of BBC Radio 3, they all help slow our busy world right down.

But, what if it could be you making the music?

Canadian piano teacher Andrew Furmanczyk has created an entire video library to help anyone – of any age – learn to play the piano. Now in his late 20s, Furmanczyk has turned a negative into a positive. Playing the piano from the age of five, a series of serious health problems as a teenager prevented him from playing and performing anymore.

“I was deep in thought and I was feeling sorry for myself and my situation,” Furmanczyk writes in his biography.  “But I stopped myself and thought, ‘You know what? At least I had all those experiences; I bet there are people out there who would have loved to experience all the great things I got to be a part of.”

“That’s when I decided I was going to continue sharing my skill in music, not through playing, but through teaching, and help people with no cost to them.”

The young man has produced dozens and dozens to help you find the joy of music. Here is the first to help get you started:

Making Smartphones Easier

Technology is constantly advancing. Perhaps the grandchildren can help teach us how to use that iPhone, but sometimes you just need some extra lessons. Apps, updates, social media, and GPS, the available technology in your phone is immense and sometimes daunting.

If you have an iPhone, there are plenty of video tutorials to help you get the most out of your device. Here’s one such video:

Hables espanol?

Learning a new language is easy now thanks to YouTube. Maybe you are dreaming about a holiday to Madrid or the Spanish seaside and want to speak the native language.

Ana, founder and host on the Butterfly Spanish YouTube Channel, teaches beginners a new language. She has a delightful personality and offers plenty of smiles. For free, she will teach you the basics – including vocabulary, useful phrases, pronunciation, and grammar and "everything you need to start speaking Spanish now".

Her channel has over 3 million views and more than 100,000 subscribers.

Good luck, or should we say, “Buena suerte”. Here’s a place to start from Ana:

Budgeting and computer skills

Microsoft Office is a powerful tool that can help you track and organise your schedule, spending, budgets and communication with family and friends. But using the software can sometimes be daunting – especially seeing as the computer company introduces a new version every few years.

Office 2013 is the latest version of the software and Microsoft has set up their own YouTube Channel to help customers use their products. There are plenty of tricks and tips to make your computing more effective and, hopefully, more productive.

Here is an introduction to Excel, Microsoft’s spreadsheet program:

 

Image Credit: Thomas van de Weerd (flickr.com)

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