Ideas and links for social distancing time

During this time when we are all unable to pursue our normal lives, and are having to keep apart, I thought it might be helpful to put together some of the computer links that can help to open up the world for us.

So…..why not try some of these?:

  1. Google Arts and Culture tours of museums and art galleries from many nations:
https://artsandculture.google.com/partner?hl=en
  • Try a MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses). There are several sites that bring together a whole range of courses that can be studied online.

www.classcentral.com/help/moocs will guide you through them.

Two of the best known are Future Learn  https://www.futurelearn.com/ and Coursera www.coursera.org.

The courses themselves are hosted by universities from all over the world, and are, in the main, free, unless you choose to work towards a certificate.

And also the Met in New York: blooloop.com/news/met-opera-live-stream-performances-coronavirus/

  • Learn a new language at Duolingo https://www.duolingo.com/  Courses are free with adverts, but if they grate too much you can opt to pay.
  1. The NHS website has links to online courses to keep you fit: www.nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-fitness-studio/?tabname=pilates-and-yoga  You can even try belly-dancing if you are feeling brave.
  1. This lovely Qigong 20 minute daily session is keeping me moving: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwlvTcWR3Gs Especially lovely is the fact that it is full of birdsong. 
  1. Singing Tree have been doing a sort of online Desert Island Discs where we send out our favourite pieces of music to each other – a wonderful way of experiencing new and varied music. Search for your favourite on YouTube and email it to a group of friends. 
  1. For those of you not yet on Spotify, then do not miss this wonderful opportunity to explore the world of music free (if you do not mind adverts) or for a small monthly subscription. Everything is there – you can explore a particular composer or group or singer; or a specific genre – I am looking at women composers at the moment, and have learned a lot. www.spotify.com
  1. Google “online crosswords” and you will find links to most of the national daily papers who publish crosswords (both easy and cryptic) to download.
  1. Many other puzzles and word games can be found online – I am currently being beaten by my 11 year old grandson at online Scrabble, of which several versions are available. We are using: https://www.zynga.com/games/words-with-friends-2/  but there are lots of other options. 
  1. Those with grandchildren might like to record stories for them – there are many ways of doing this. I am using Audacity, and currently working my way through Peter Pan and Wendy for my two youngest. One way of making sure they do not forget how your voice sounds!
  1. There are many ways that children can advance their education during this time of school closures: one example from “Google arts and culture” is a trip round the Natural History Museum: https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/natural-history-museum Lots of ideas for projects there.
  1. Try this link to an article about children’s authors who are reading online: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/mar/26/one-big-virtual-love-in-how-childrens-book-authors-are-creating-online-sanctuaries
  1. Again for children, the Lost Words Spell Songs project has created a learning pack – music and nature combined to inspire children. My own grandsons have recorded bird song and written music based on their chosen bird. Lots of links and ideas on this Lost Words  resources page: https://www.thelostwords.org/resources/
  • The BorrowBox app allows you to download books from Hereford Library. You just download it to your phone/iPad and put in your library card number, then  choose your book: https://www.borrowbox.com/

Who knows what the future holds for us all as we battle with this pandemic? But for many it is hopefully a time for reflection; a time to learn new skills and find new interests; and a time to review our lives and maybe come up with some positive steps for the future and for our relationships with those around us and with our planet. Perhaps our world leaders will take heed and take us on a new  direction; a more kindly and gentle direction maybe. 

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