On June 1, the library unveiled its newest online resource, the powerful learning platform Lynda.com. Lynda’s 5,000+ courses (with an average of 25 more added every week) can be accessed anytime, anywhere, by Watertown residents with a library card and PIN.
Some residents have already used Lynda.com through their schools, offices, or LinkedIn memberships, but those who haven’t might wonder what makes it special. After all, a quick search on YouTube for just about any skill, from boiling an egg to doing the foxtrot, is likely to bring up a video (or, in the case of the search term “build a website,” more than a million videos) of someone explaining how it’s done.
Here’s what distinguishes Lynda.com from other sources of online training:
- Its trainers are top professionals in their fields, vetted for both content mastery and teaching ability.
- Its self-paced courses are designed for use anytime, anywhere. Interrupted during a session? Bookmark a video or add courses to a playlist to revisit later.
- All videos come with transcripts, and most with closed captioning, to make the video format accessible to those who learn best through text.
- Many courses include exercise files for practice; in the case of web development courses, a built-in coding environment allows practice with real-time preview.
- For every completed course, Lynda.com provides a certificate that learners can add to their portfolio, building a record of achievement to show to employers.
Not sure where to start?
- Browse courses by subject, or enter keywords in the search box, then narrow your results by skill level, duration, and content type.
- Explore Learning Paths for goal-oriented sequence of courses, compiled by experts (e.g. “Become a Project Manager,” “Improve Your Microsoft Excel Skills,” or “Become a Front-End Web Developer”).
- Sample brief, stand-alone videos from ongoing series like Monday Productivity Pointers or Weekly Microsoft Office Workshop.
If you have any questions about accessing and using Lynda.com — or if you just want to share what you are learning! — don’t hesitate to contact us.