Last week I wrote about New Year’s Resolutions and gave a bit of a description as to what they are and how they are used (or not). This week I will focus on a little bit of history and how we can put our resolutions into action and actually resolve in 2017.

Apparently New Year’s Resolutions are quite old; they may date back as many as 4000 years to the ancient Babylonians, who are also known as the first on record to celebrate in honour of “The New Year.” Their “New Year”, however, was not on January 1st as it is today but rather around the middle of March in celebration of planting new crops.

Crops and Babylonians aside, fast-forward back now to late 2016 and not a lot in terms of making resolutions has changed apart from, possibly, how we execute them.

If you want to exercise your body, I think that you could probably do the same as our ancestors and just put on some shoes and go for a run. However if you want to exercise your brain I would suggest a slightly different route, shoes optional.

Nowadays we have so many different options available to us in terms of educational software that is well-developed, varied and, best of all, free. (There are options that are more exclusive that come with a price tag, but I think if we start out with the free ones you can try things out that you may like and then if you want to excel further at something there are other options out there.)

Online and on mobiles and tablets there are a range of learning websites and apps that will assist in achieving our New Year’s Resolution of learning something new. (Read our previous blog post about learning English on your mobile or tablet).

I have put together a short list:

  • Futurelearn – One of my personal favourites in terms of online courses. Great for beginners to the online world of learning. The courses are free to do and if you desire you can purchase certificates to prove that you completed a course with a good mark.
  • Edx – A little more in-depth. The courses focus on one subject and delve quite deep into the subject matter.
  • Coursera – Slightly more business-minded in their approach but nevertheless they do have topics that include arts and the humanities plus language learning.
  • Duolingo – Another one of my personal favourites and an app I think everyone should try at least once in their life. It’s learning a language but gamified. Doesn’t get much better.
  • TedEd – A really interesting take on getting answers to some of the burning questions you might have in your head. Can be used by teachers and students and because there is a video attached to each idea, you (or your students) are more likely to pay attention than if it were just text.

There are many others out there, online and on your mobile in the form of apps. So you really don’t have any excuse when it comes to making a New Year’s Resolution for 2017 and actually sticking to it.

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