Learn how to copy the distro ISOs to USB sticks. Do also know how to burn the ISOs to CD/DVD; it'll come in handy from time to time. Eventually, learn how to do the same from inside Linux. To start with, here are a couple Windows programs to try.
for copying ISOs to USB sticks:
for burning ISOs to CD/DVD:
Start with the classic distros (classic to me anyway). For example:
Here's a great resource:
You can use that link to check out a potential new distro and find out the latest on it, or to become aware of other distros.
Here's a handy reference on the distros' linear history:
Basically, the things you know from the classics will filter down to other distros.
Be aware of the different flavors of window managers or desktop environments: KDE, GNOME, Xfce, Fluxbox, Blackbox, MATE, Cinnamon, etc. Do know about the difference between a live distro and a distro that install to computers.
If you don't have an extra computer or an old computer that you can take over completely (nuking Windows and installing Linux for the purpose of teaching yourself Linux), it is highly recommended to install and use this program on your Windows machine:
With this, you can install and practice the different distros inside your Windows computer without the fear of messing up your only Windows computer (if that's the case with you) until better days. You can even have the virtual machines be connected to each other and have your own virtual network, servers, clients, all of that inside VirtualBox. It's a neat way to learn networking safety before you apply your understanding to the real world.
Don't do dual-boot setup with your only Windows machine until you are able to do that without borking Windows. It's too easy to wipe out Windows and have a loss of important data. Practice this setup somewhere else. Personally, I find that it's better to leave Windows alone in the first place and have a separate Linux machine.
It's highly recommended to eventually learn how to use the command-line interface or 'CLI'.
Read, read, read. OMG, yes, read, read, read. Wikipedia, Google, distro's manuals, this forum, etc, etc. This is the only way for me to get anything done. It'll be helpful if you do know someone that knows Linux and can show you the way Linux works (that help speed the learning up some), but you have a lot to gain if you can figure it out yourself.