Covid Series: Online courses and educational resources - BESSA

Covid Series: Online courses and educational resources

Having now spent a few weeks in lockdown, we appreciate how important it is to avoid prolonged time in front of screens and to get fresh air during the day.  After your daily dose of physical exercise however, it is fun to spend some time exploring the astoundingly high quality content available on the internet these days. Here are a few ideas for sharing…

University and Self-Learning course providers
Sign-up directly with portals such as Coursera , EdX or FutureLearn. Or go to university with Open University, Harvard University or Massachusett’s Institute of Technology MIT Online.

Need help finding the right MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) for you?  Try Class Central where you can search by subject or provider, and scroll through the long list of universities, companies and professional bodies that run courses.

Learning a language
One of the largest online platforms is Duolingo, where learning is made fun!

Competence in a language is often marked by understanding the news.  Try News in Slow French, a paid subscription service which provides current updated news in slow French.  It is available in other languages, with supporting materials of grammar exercises and quizzes.

The world’s largest selection of audiobooks on Audible have many free downloads, including foreign-language titles in French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Japanese.

Current affairs and the BBC
BBC and its series of Start the Week – a weekly discussion with a changing rota of guests, and World Book Club, where the world’s best authors discuss their best-known novel.  The BBC’s Reith Lectures are a series of annual lectures, hugely informative, delivered by experts in their field and their topics cover an incredible range of topics: must listen!

History and Science
Neil McGregor, former Director of the British Museum, uses artefacts from the museum’s collection to tell the history of the world in the BBC’s 100 podcasts. Don’t forget to download the available companion book for this fascinating journey.  Passionate history buffs will like Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History takes us on in-depth looks at particular historical events.  The History of Rome – series of podcasts charting the progress of the Roman Empire, from Aeneas to Romulus Augustulus.

On the science front, we found two great resources:  firstly, Universe Today, with everything on astronomy and space.  And FreeCodeCamp, where aspiring computer scientists have plenty of free courses and online information.

Culture and Travel
Explore some of the world’s leading galleries online:  The Rijksmuseum, The Tate and The Louvre.  Or follow Google’s Art and Culture as it take us to some well-loved collections in the Guggenheim Bilbao, the Musee d’Orsay, the National Gallery of Art in Washington and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.  We can even explore the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel in close detail!

If you’re having wanderlust, go on live game drives twice a day with safari guides on Wild Earth in Djuma Private Game Reserve, South Africa.  Or follow the Norwegian Lights over Lapland project takes travellers on a journey through a series of videos culminating in the aurora borealis dancing in vibrant streaks and arcs of rippling green.

The Performing Arts, which has probably been hardest hit by the safe distancing restrictions that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought.  Nothing can quite replace watching a show live, but these are great alternatives.  Please consider lending your support to see them through this difficult period when they are unable to put on a live production:

The National Theatre, The Royal Albert Home and the Royal Shakespeare Company.
Opera – The Vienna State Opera, The Royal Opera House, The Metropolitan Opera in New York.
And on a lighter note, some Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals in The Show Must Go On.

We would love to know what you think about these resources.  Leave a message on our Facebook or LinkedIn pages!