Unless you’re among the brave and proud legions of workers with jobs that can be done from the comfort of your home office, one of the largest problems most of us now face in the age of quarantine is what to do with your time. Daytime television sucks, Netflix gets old, and video games end eventually. You could read and that’s definitely a way to kill your time, but for most of us, this page and others like it are about all the reading you’re going to do today.

But there’s another option and it’s one most people don’t even consider, and that’s taking courses to advance your education, but there’s an added benefit to all of this. The smart money for any investor in the time of coronavirus is to find the companies that are still finding ways to make money even though the majority of the population is on lockdown, and to that effect, we have companies like SAP SE (SAP.NYSE), which are offering free-services to people looking to use their newly abundant free time to further themselves and their education.

SAP announced a new digital learning initiative offering interactive educational content to support students, professionals and anyone interested in continuing to learn from home during the pandemic.

The initiative is based on three educational pillars, including massive open online courses, learning journeys for universities and the SAP Young Thinkers program, which is part of SAP’s learning and enablement program. Since students and teachers are facing school closure and other disruptions, the learning courses in the SAP Young Thinkers program are available on one central, open-access website.

“The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are impacting everyone around the world. We want to make sure education does not take a back seat during this time. Students and subject-matter experts need access to safe and healthy learning environments to continue their education virtually. SAP is expanding its commitment to support the next generation of professionals and users by broadening access to some of our best digital learning offerings to facilitate the continuity of innovation and enablement,” said Christian Klein, co-CEO and executive board member of SAP SE.

SAP’s program is called openSAP, and it provides massive open online courses (MOOCs) to anyone interested in furthering their knowledge about leading technologies, including the latest innovations and the digital economy. Course topics include automated robotic process, data science, machine learning, ethical artificial intelligence, and Internet of Things (IoT) sustainability, Java programming and more.

The interesting point is that they’re free on the open SAP platform. These MOOCs use classroom learning concepts, including gamification and discussion forums with peers and experts, all using an online format. Courses have universal access—anytime, anywhere and from any device. Podcasts and micro-learning formats give users self-contained, easy to consume content. The only limitations are that you must be older than 16 years old, but the courses themselves are suitable for learners at any age.

SAP has something called a University Alliance program, which includes a partnership with 3,800 member universities. SAP provides 90-day access to four learning journeys for students interested in preparing digitally for a career in the SAP ecosystem, and transitioning to one of these universities. Areas of study include the scope and business processes specific to SAP, but there’s nothing saying you can’t take the knowledge and information you collect from these courses with you to an actual university and come out with an actual degree.

If the COVID-19 pandemic follows the same trajectory as Italy and China, there’s going to come a time when it’s effectively illegal for us to leave home. That’s an entire population on lockdown. And if we’re going to get through the times ahead, then we’re going to have to think about how we’re conducting our days. For those of us working at home, that’s easy: we have the job. But if you’re not among the few, the proud, then having something positive and progressive to situate you in a solid routine, that even gives you a leg up when the situation improves is an excellent bet.

See you on the other side.

—Joseph Morton

Written By:

Joseph Morton

Joseph is a Vancouver-based author and journalist with both a communications degree and journalism diploma (and a few novels) under his belt. His joie de vivre is to spin difficult technical topics into more human-centric narratives. Buy him a coffee and he'll talk your ear off for hours about privacy issues, blockchain, cryptocurrency and martial arts. Don't talk to him if you're either a tomato, a bully, or if you're not a fan of either 1984 or Tender is the Night. No. You can still talk to him. Just be prepared to be told why you're wrong.

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Artificial intelligence
distance learning
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