You can be a better teacher by taking an online course. During the pandemic, we have all had to experience some type of online teaching and/or learning. Why not find inspiration and knowledge on how to teach better online by taking an online course about teaching online? My catalog is growing, but you can find some great ones using your library card.

New York Public Library

One of the best kept secrets of being a citizen of the State of New York is that you can sign up for a New York Public Library card. While you might not ever step foot in a New York City library, you can access all their electronic books, many of their electronic databases, and my favorite, online courses.

How to get an library card.

To get a library card, go to and then click on “Get a Library Card” in the menu at or near the top of the page. The only difficult part of this process is having the faith to send them a scan of your NY driver’s license. Once you are approved, they will send you a library card in a few weeks.

Lynda Courses

The courses at are some of the most well-developed online courses in the world. They search out the best folks in a topic, and then help them prepare a technically and educationally sound course. Access to these courses usually requires a somewhat expensive membership. With your NYPL library card, though, you can get them for free.

How to find the Lynda courses.

With your card in hand, go to To the right side of the top menu, click on “Sign In”.

The website. Choose Sign In to access courses using your New York Public Library Card.

On the next screen click on “Sign in with our organization portal”, then type in

The Lynda sign in page. Use “Sign in with your organization portal” to use your NYPL library card.

On the next page, you will need to enter your library card number and your pin, then you have access to most, if not all, of the Lynda library of online courses. Note that if you choose “Sign Up” instead of “Sign In”, you will need to pay for a membership and you will not have free access.

Learning from Lynda

Here is my strategy with Lynda. To start, pick out two courses. One should be about teaching online courses. The other should be about some topic that you would like to learn. This second course could be anything from painting to learning code, to playing an instrument. Look through the choices, and then pick something fun.

Work your way through both courses. Take good notes in the online teaching course, and then apply those to your class shell. In the other course, think about what techniques the author of the course uses to keep you engaged. Apply those insights as well.

Taking an online course to improve your teaching.

You probably will not be able to make as technically and informationally elaborate of a course as the ones you find on Lynda. However, you can certainly find some good ideas that you can apply to your course shell. The techniques and inspiration can help you become a better online teacher by taking an online course.