Every day we are finding our lives changing due to the spread of CoronaVirus (COVID-19). We are in lockdown and many people self isolating. If you are stuck at home it could be a lonely and worrying time for you and your family.
At Technology for Good we like to share technology that can help people with neurological conditions live better lives. One of our priorities is to champion technology that can help our well-being.
In these times I want to broaden this to technology that can help us all live better whilst they are in lockdown.
We are going to be sharing a technology ideas that you can try at home to entertain you, help get you active, improve your well-being or engage with your creative side.
Why not try something new today.
Hamilton on Disney+
If you are a Disney+ subscriber make sure you check out Hamilton Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit Broadway musical, Hamilton, which is streaming exclusively on Disney+.
Or if Hamilton has got you in the singing mood be sure to check out Disney’s family singalongs on Disney + which is special new content to enjoy during lockdown.
Seek – Find and identify plants and animals
This is a cool little app lets you point your phone camera at a plant or animal that you find in your garden or on your daily walk and identify it.
The app uses image recognition technology to identify the plants and animals all around you. Earn badges for seeing different types of birds, amphibians, plants, and fungi and participate in monthly observation challenges.
To download go to google play
Wagamamas – Wok from Home
If you are missing restaurant dining and a fan of Wagamamas check out their new video channel Wok from home where you can learn how to make and enjoy the famous Wagamamas recipes in your own home. You can check out all the recipes on thier You Tube channel.
Are you playing games with your family on video chats ? We are from trivial pursuit to dictionary and various games in between. There are plenty of quizzes online which can be lots of fun.
Try this new family quiz released today.
The National Theatre’s Frankenstein
The National just unveiled a brand new scheme to beam its NTLive shows onto the web – and all through YouTube! The scheme has announced new shows now – two versions of Frankenstein and Anthony and Cleopatra.
Online Courses to help well being.
If you are interested in taking an online course to support your mental wellbeing during this time please check out our new article with a round up of course options.
Visit museums in quarantine
BBC have launched a new series Museums in quarantine, where you can explore the Tate, Warhol and Rembrandt. Check it out here.
How to master the headstand
A HEADSTAND challenge which started in Bradford has proved a social media sensation during lockdown with people in Australia taking part.
People have been videoing themselves completing a headstand, however good or bad, and uploading them to twitter, with varied results.
It has been created as a fun distraction during the UK-wide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The idea was the brainchild of Bradford City Football Development Programme, which looks after players from the under-15s to 19s age brackets.
It has since caught on with Natasha Graves, director of ND Dance Academy, urging people to take part and record their efforts.
Something for the young ones to do with their friends a photography challenge. There are no winners its just fun to see what people come up with.
Find and photograph the things listed below, once you have completed one set you can work on the next level but they get harder. Share, play along with your friends.
- Something your favorite colour
- A person
- Something round
- Something that makes you happy
- The sky
- Something shiny
- Something very small
- An animal
- Something you have made/ built / drawn
- A plant
- An eye
- A reflection
- A silhouette
- A shadow
- Something symmetrical from a low angle
Thank you to the fabulous photographer Nikki Hinton for this fun idea for your kids to enjoy.
And if photography is your thing then Nikon are currently running all their photography classes for free online these are normally priced at $15 -$50 each.
Learn languages online for free
If you are a budding linguist or just fancy trying something different then you can give Duolingo a try its available on IOS and Android and it has plenty of fun games and 35 languages to choose from.
You can learn for free but to remove adverts you do need to pay a subscription fee.
Play board games with your friends with a table top simulator.
If you are at home its a great time to play board games with your family but now you can also play with friends via a table top simulator.
The base game includes 15 classics like Chess, Poker, Jigsaw Puzzles, Dominoes, and Mahjong. Additionally, there are thousands of community created content on the Workshop.
Everyone can play Tabletop Simulator! Play a classic board game with grandma, have poker night with the guys, or start your epic RPG adventure with your crew. Play almost any tabletop game you can think of! Being a multiplayer-focused game, up to 10 players can play at any given time.
1st April 2020 -April fools pranks you can play at home
In light of the current events there is a call for big companies not to pull their normal April fools pranks this year, but that doesn’t mean you should not have a little fun with your family whilst in Lockdown.
The New York Post has a few ideas that you can try at home (have fun folks).
Audio books for free
Audible is making hundreds of titles available for free during the coronavirus pandemic.
The audiobook platform has said that, for as long as schools are closed, anyone can listen to a vast selection of its titles.
This means books read by Westworld’s Thandie Newton and Downton Abbey’s Dan Stevens are available to stream at no cost at all.
Simply visit stories.audible.com from any web browser to get started. No log-ins, credit card or passwords needed.
There is a lot less pollution in the air which means its a great time to take a look at the stars , constellations and planets. If you are curious what you are actually looking at though Skyview lite is a brilliant app that you can point at the sky, it shows where constellations and planets are.
Grow your own
I am going to be honest here I don’t know much about gardening, what to do, how or when and until a few years ago I didn’t have a garden (not really anyway). Now that I do I haven’t really spent much time learning what to do.
But now during lockdown I am beginning to look at the potential of learning a bit more about what to do so we can enjoy our time in the garden this year.
The National Theatre free live shows on YouTube
The National Theatre has announced plans to stream NT Live shows for free on YouTube.
From Thursday 2 April, a number of productions previously screened in cinemas globally as a part of National Theatre Live will be made available to watch for free.
The first will be Richard Bean’s One Man Two Guvnors featuring a Tony Award-winning performance from James Corden. All the productions will be free and screened live every Thursday at 7.00pm UK time and will then be available on demand for seven days on the NT’s YouTube channel.
Take part in a virtual choir
The Virtual Choir is a global phenomenon, creating a user-generated choir that brings together singers from around the world and their love of music in a new way through the use of technology.
Singers record and upload their videos from locations all over the world. Each one of the videos is then synchronised and combined into one single performance to create the Virtual Choir.
Take an online art class for free
Interested in mastering a new, hands-on creative skill? You can learn to draw your own comics or capture artful digital photographs. Wish you could brush up on Art History 101? There are courses exploring the art and archaeology of ancient Egypt and the development of the artistic avant-garde. Below, we’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite art and design classes offered by colleges and universities across the globe.
Check out the great options below
ART of the MOOC: Public Art and Pedagogy – Duke University.
Pyramids of Giza: Ancient Egyptian Art and Archaeology – Harvard University
Charting the Avant-Garde: from Romanticism to Utopic Abstraction – School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC)
Antiquities Trafficking and Art Crime – University of Glasgow
Psychology of Art and Creativity – University of Central Florida
Photography Basics and Beyond: From Smartphone to DSLR – Michigan State University
Ideas from the History of Graphic Design – California Institute of the Arts (CalArts)
Free virtual farm tours
Facebook has a whole range of new communities that have popped up since the outbreak of COVID -19 with a whole host of activities we had never imagined taking part in virtually. One is free virtual farm tours. Its now calving time and lambing and lots of little ones love visiting the farm to see the baby lambs.
On Facebook just search for “free virtual farm tours, Calving time & Lambing”
House party app
House party is a phone app available on iphone and android the app is getting people together during lock down. House party allows users to congregate spontaneously with their friends via video hangout to carry out their usual social activities — just virtually. The app includes games like dictionary, and a version of cards against humanity.
Its simple and fun to do so why not give it a go today. https://houseparty.com/
Too cool for school – Dance party – Learn to code
For many in the UK today will be the first day of home schooling. It may well be a tough day for the kids as they adapt to a new way of learning and spending there time.
Many parents will be also working from home and its going to be hard to balance work and home life in a way that works for everyone all the time.
Whilst they are off though there are a few things they can do to help them stay connected.
- Our daughters class have started a Lego challenge, they are going to do and share their Lego creations via a whats app group.
- Break time with a friend over a video chat
- Our daughter has started a dance challenge where she learns a dance and we video it and send it to a friend and they do a dance and send the challenge onto someone else.
But if you are looking for things to do online which help learning and are also a ton of fun, you might want to have a look at code.org dance party, you can code your own dance party with their fun animated characters. We have had a lot of fun and laughter with this so hope you have fun checking it out. Check it out here
Happy Mothers day get together online for a family game
Happy mothers day, today is a day where many people across the UK share with their mother or grandmother. Our family normally get together for a meal and a board game with my parents, siblings, cousins and all our our children.
This year though with social isolating measures in place and one family member stuck in Italy we got together on a zoom call with us all dialing in from 7 different locations for a game of LINKE. Which is a quiz game. We nominated one quiz master (my brother since he had the game) and enjoyed the game together.
Yes it wasn’t quite the same as meeting up in person but it did lift us all and it was great to see everyone together.
Saturday night in at the Opera
Its going to be a quiet Saturday night with shops, bars and restaurants closed up. How about recreating a night out with a night in at the Opera?
You can watch stage shows, musicals and opera online now for free.
And here are just a few to get you started.
If you missed the award-winning and utterly brilliant revival of Ghost Quartet when it ran in London last year? Well Dave Malloy has posted the full musical on YouTube – featuring himself, performed in 2015.
Fancy some Shakespeare
This is a cool scheme going live this week – live readings of Shakespeare’s works provided by top-notch actors who would otherwise be twiddling their thumbs. The pieces kick off with Two Gentlemen in Verona. This is a really interesting project and worth checking out.
Free opera! Now that’s a nice sentiment – the European Commission-supported OperaVision will be supplying free opportunities to watch top-tier performances filmed at the highest quality level, with new shows released weekly on top of a massive back catalogue. Find out more
The wind in the willows
Some thing for all the family. A West End production, available for free! (though you can also make a donation to theatre charities as a nice good cause), this is a cracking idea and well worth checking out if you need an evening filled.
In the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, the producers of the West End production of The Wind in the Willows will stream the show online for free, though ask for a small donation that will be given to theatre charities.
Based on the classic children’s story by Kenneth Grahame, the musical has a book by Julian Fellowes, music and lyrics by Stiles and Drewe and direction by Rachel Kavanaugh. The piece follows the various characters of the book including Mr Toad, Ratty and Mole, as they follow Toad’s insatiable need for speed.
The musical, which opened in June 2017, starred Rufus Hound as Toad, Simon Lipkin as Ratty, Craig Mather as Mole, Neil McDermott as Chief Weisel, Denise Welch as Mrs Otter and Gary Wilmot as Badger.
You can sign up and stream here.
20th March 2020 – Schools out – Help your kids stay active.
For many UK students today will be the last day of school for quite some time. Online is a great place to find resources to help with home schooling.
Kids have plenty of energy to burn and with some parents needing to work digital resources could really be a lifeline.
From Monday Joe Wicks, The Body Coach will be hosting a daily PE lesson on You Tube for kids. The lesson will be live at 9am on you tube every school day so this may be a great option to add to your kids daily routine.
Attend a virtual event
A lot of events have been cancelled, Glastonbury, tennis, football as part of the measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Although many events are cancelled or postponed. Many events and meetups are now being held online which means you don’t need to live close by to attend.
Why not find out what is available on meet ups or eventbrite. If events aren’t your thing but you still want to connect with people why not host your own event or get friends and family together virtually using skype, whats app, zoom or facetime.
At work we are hosting a virtual after work drinks and a book party its a great way to help people to connect.
It doesn’t stop there clubbers in China are hosting virtual raves on TikTok with live DJ sets that clubbers can tune into, comment and dance to the music.
Don’t forget the little ones. Yesterdays announcements to close the schools on Friday will mean big changes to how they live their lives.
It might be a great time to schedule a daily time for young people to chat virtually, so they still feel connected to their friends and grandparents too.
It is going to be hard to adapt to the new social distancing measures but we can use technology to help us feel more connected.
Learn something new
How often do we wish that we had time to learn something new, from a new language, to studying ancient history or brushing up on some business skills. The open university has a range of free courses you can take from the comfort of your home.
There are about 1000 free courses available at different levels and on completion of the course you will get a certificate of participation.
To find out more of sign up for a course please check out their course directory.
Meditation for anxiety
Headspace is an app that teaches you how to meditate.
Meditation has been shown to help people stress less, focus more and sleep better. Headspace is meditation made simple, teaching you life-changing mindfulness skills in just a few minutes a day.
Meditation is a great way to help stay calm and present. Headspace has updated its brilliant app to include a section that includes some great mediation to help you with managing anxiety related to CoronaVirus.
Anxiety is overestimating the severity of the threat or underestimating your ability to cope.
If you are interested in other apps to help keep you calm please check out Apps to help with anxiety
Take part in an interactive story
Storytelling is an important part of our everyday culture. Everyday we consume stories it could be a chat with a friend, a news story, an article on a website or a film.
BBC have launched an interactive story you can take part in with an AI robot.
It’s an interesting idea it’s been created by the research and development department at BBC and charisma ai. Together they introduce a new way of telling stories via a chat bot giving you a way to talk to the characters, build relationships with them and enable them to influence the story.
BBC taster have created 2 stories in collaboration with the BBC writers room and charisma.ai that you can try out today. How will your story pan out?
Get active with Nike training
A while ago it was hard for me to get out to exercise and I absolutely loved the Nike training app. There is a wide variety of workouts that you can do at home or in a garden. From workouts that can be done in 20 mins, workouts to boost you mood, and big workouts for small spaces.
The content is all available for free.
I have just downloaded it again today so that I can get started on some mood lifting yoga whilst the gym is out of action.
If you really are poorly it might not be the time to do a work out but if you are well and your gym or regular exercise is closed or cancelled this may be a great option to try out.
Take in some culture from your couch
Now you can get a little culture right from the comfort of your couch. Google Arts & Culture have teamed up with over 500 museums and galleries around the world to bring anyone and everyone virtual tours and online exhibits of some of the most famous museums around the world.
Google Arts & Culture’s collection includes the British Museum in London, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Guggenheim in New York City, and hundreds of more places where you can gain knowledge about art, history, and science. This collection is especially good for students who are looking for ways to stay on top of their studies while schools are closed.
Why not check out some of the virtual tours today.
Fancy a little tune but has not learnt to play piano. Pianist HD is fun for adults and kids and you get the satisfaction of learning to play a tune which is fun, engaging and inclusive. Why not give it a go. Pianist HD is available for free from the Google play store
Pianist HD is available on android and best played on a tablet. You can learn at your own pace without having to learn sheet music.
In the magic tiles game mode, you can improve your sense of timing and tempo by clicking on the right falling notes at the right time.
Do you want a daily technology idea to try whilst self isolating? Follow our daily tweets at @technologyforg1 or bookmark this page to get daily ideas.
Technology for Good – Community Think Tank is an open project so if you have an idea to share please add it to the comments so that we can together get people through this time.
Technology for Good is a Community Think Tank for creating and sharing ideas that will help people living with neurological conditions live better lives. We would love you to get in touch or find out more here
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