FutureFive New Zealand - Consumer technology news & reviews from the future
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Tue, 1st Nov 2011
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The bell has rung for the last time in 2010, the classrooms have been packed away and the teachers are having a break. But that doesn’t mean the learning has to stop. No, don’t turn the page or shut the magazine hurriedly. The internet is a wonderful way of making learning fun as well as educational, and can also help you pick up new skills not commonly taught in the average classroomWho doesn’t want to be able to juggle? You’ve all had that experience, walking into a room with a basket brimming with shiny apples; just wishing you could pick a couple of them up and show off to your mates. Well now you can. Just by simply following a video or browsing through a few web pages, you can find yourself well on your way to joining the legions of the red-nosed comedians. YouTube is a great way to pick up this new skill. tinyurl.com/27dsfbw is a good video to begin with.  jugglingtricksunlimited.com is another website that teaches  you the basics, but also has a range of more complicated tricks and moves to extend yourself and even bring in more than three balls.If music is more your thing, then you are in luck. Music lessons can be expensive, but on the internet there are plenty of options that are 100% free. Whether it’s piano or piano accordion, guitar or banjo it is almost guaranteed that there will be a wealth of information available in the World Wide Web. www.learnguitarblog.com has great lessons on basic guitar, including tuning, chords and some basic songs. www.free-online-piano-lessons.com offers this service for those looking to learn the piano.The internet caters for all kinds of people. So if you are an artistic person looking to work on creative skills, or a complete novice keen on a hobby in art, the internet is your one-stop free shop to pick up on those skills. www.learn-to-draw.com has a range of tutorials starting from the basics, and moving on to lessons on depicting people both lifelike and in caricature form. And who says this revolutionary way of learning has to stick to the western world? ‘Manga’ is a Japanese form of comic books with a unique style, and the internet is making it possible to learn this amazing art form from way down in little old New Zealand. tinyurl.com/drawingmanga is just one of the many websites with step by step instructions available to the public online. But if good old cartoons are more your style, tinyurl.com/drawingcartoons is your place to go. This website has tutorials on drawing well-known cartoon and comic faces, as well as tips on creating your very own original characters.If you find yourself falling behind in subjects, or simply want to get a head start over your peers before school resumes, the internet is once again the place to go. www.mathsisfun.com has fun activities and easy-to-understand child-friendly lessons on all areas of mathematics, and www.tutpup.com is a worldwide competitive math and spelling game with quizzes and games against other students from all over the world. Another useful spelling resource is tinyurl.com/spelltest This interactive game allows you to pick the incorrectly spelt word from a list and attempt to spell it correctly in the box underneath.If you are planning to further extend your horizons, learning another language could be for you. Once again, language lessons can be expensive, but on the internet they are often entirely free. Whether you are already taking a class in or outside of school, or are a complete beginner, the internet can help you brush up and revise, or teach you from scratch. www.learnjapanesefree.com is a website with Japanese lessons starting from square one. It offers charts for learning the alphabets and lessons on basic sentences, phrases and important things such as ordering food in a restaurant. www.studyspanish.com and www.bonjour.com are similar websites for Spanish and French.So what are you waiting for? The holidays don’t have to be entirely about kicking back and lazing around. Revising and picking up new skills can be easily done with just a computer and internet connection. The internet is a valuable resource and can be used to your advantage in getting ahead in school and even going for a job. And yes, learning CAN be fun.