9 Classes You Can Study Online

With the soaring popularity of social media and Web 2.0 technology, you can study just about anything from the comfort of your own computer these days. Check out these fun online classes and get ready to hop on the e-learning bandwagon.

Care and Management of the Horse
Through the Continuing and Professional Education department of Texas A&M University, you can learn to care for horses in a virtual setting. The online course emphasizes the care and maintenance of the partnering horse in equine-facilitated activities and therapy, and includes nutrition management, disease and parasite control, recognizing lameness, and care of teeth and feet. It’s beneficial, of course, to complete an internship to supplement the online study, but you won’t have to muck out a stable for this class.

Cheerleading Choreography
New and experienced coaches can take time away from the football field or center court to learn ways to create dynamic cheer routines. In this cheerleading choreography online class from SpiritU, the first online cheer dance university campus, you can learn the basics of choreography, music selection, mixing music, creating exciting transitions and formations, cheers, dance, stunts, uniform selection, and more.

Graphic Novels and Comics for Youth and Adults
In case you hadn’t noticed, comics have gone virtual. Through a University of North Texas online course, you can learn the history and development of comic books, graphic novels, and their subgenres as literature, discussing issues of race, gender, politics, and violent content issues, and exploring ways in which the genre permeates pop culture, the Internet, art forms, and translations into movies. What could be cooler than an online class in which reading Iron Man comics and watching the movies meet course requirements?

Calf Rearing
In this online course from ACS Distance Education, a distance education provider in Australia, you can learn to analyze and make decisions about the management requirements of calf rearing. The online class focuses on calving and culling, calving management, calf health management, calf rearing systems, calf housing, weaning, and post-weaning. Hands-on and observational tasks may be incorporated, which would require you to videotape or photograph your activities, so you will need to bring your own farm animal to this virtual classroom.

Hip Hop
If you consider yourself rhythmically challenged, you might feel more comfortable learning hip hop dancing in an online class. Through Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) OpenCourseWare, you can explore the political and aesthetic foundations of hip hop, tracing its musical, corporeal, visual, spoken word, and literary manifestations over the last 30 years. But you can’t hide behind the computer for long – practicing your fancy new footwork is one of the best ways to appreciate the hip hop genre.

Mushroom Growing
Through ElearnUK, a distance learning college based in the U.K., you can learn how to grow mushrooms in your home garden, no matter which country you call home. The online course encompasses identifying edible fungi; mushroom culture; understanding soils; composting, mushroom compost; mushroom nutrition; spawn production; making and casing mushroom beds; growing conditions for mushrooms; growing outside; and harvest, storage, and use of mushrooms. Just be careful not to eat your final exam.

Primate Behavior
Who would think you could learn about chimps from the comfort of your home–and from one of the leading chimpanzee researchers in the world? That’s exactly what students in Iowa State University’s online course in primate behavior are doing. Through pre-recorded videos and live satellite video feeds from Senegal, Associate Professor of Anthropology Jill Pruetz introduces students to the chimps living at her research site, exploring basic evolutionary concepts, current trends and theories in the field of primatology, and issues related to primate conservation.

Theme Park Engineering
When you enroll in this online class offered by ExpertRating, an e-learning solutions company, you’ll learn the secrets behind all your favorite amusement park attractions and earn certification in theme park engineering. You’ll learn about architecture, ride control, show control, audio, video, acoustics, lighting, mechanics, hydraulics, and figure animation. You’ll also examine art direction, set design, merchandising, and food service, and you’ll learn how to design your own theme park and attractions. Buckle up for a fun way to earn college credit!

Private Pilot Training
How would you feel if your pilot learned how to fly online? Believe it or not, it is possible to learn how to fly a plane by taking online lessons through FirstFlight, a virtual flight school. The online training is designed to be a cost-effective resource in which you develop the skills needed to become a private pilot, enhancing your flight training with a local flight instructor.

So there you have it. Online education may once have been reserved for lecture- or discussion-based classes, but thanks to easy-to-use technology, the e-learning universe has expanded to include many hands-on courses that students can enroll in, regardless of where they live.