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Your Guide to Virtual Programming

November 16, 2020

For the days when you just want to relax in your room, there are a surplus of ways to keep virtually connected to the outside world. Keep in touch with friends and family or take a virtual tour of an international landscape. The world is at your fingertips!

In no way is the following list inclusive of everything available on the internet. If you have an interest that is not listed, you can always Google it.

Click on the link below to go directly to the topic that interests you.


Virtual Tours

Google Arts & Culture has many places to explore and learn. Take a 3D walk through museums and different places – https://artsandculture.google.com/

What you Need: Tablet, Laptop, or smart phone

Features:

  • Explore with Street View: Check out famous landmarks and national parks up close and interactive with street view
  • Art Camera: explore high-definition artwork up close
  • 360 degree videos § Various educational topics including over 10,014 different artist bios, search art work databases by art medium, different art movements in history, historic events and historic figures

Interesting Virtual Tours to Explore:

Guggenheim Museum, New York:

Google’s Street View feature lets visitors tour the Guggenheim’s famous spiral staircase without ever leaving home. From there, you can discover incredible works of art from the Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary eras.

National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

This famous American art museum features two online exhibits through Google. The first is an exhibit of American fashion from 1740 to 1895, including many renderings of clothes from the colonial and Revolutionary eras. The second is a collection of works from Dutch Baroque painter Johannes Vermeer.

Musée d’Orsay, Paris

You can virtually walk through this popular gallery that houses dozens of famous works from French artists who worked and lived between 1848 and 1914. Get a peek at artworks from Monet, Cézanne, and Gauguin, among others.

National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul

One of Korea’s popular museums can be accessed from anywhere around the world. Google’s virtual tour takes you through six floors of Contemporary art from Korea and all over the globe.

Pergamon Museum, Berlin

As one of Germany’s largest museums, Pergamon has a lot to offer – even if you can’t physically be there. This historical museum is home to plenty of ancient artifacts including the Ishtar Gate of Babylon and, of course, the Pergamon Altar.

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Explore the masterworks from the Dutch Golden Age, including works from Vermeer and Rembrandt. Google offers a Street View tour of this iconic museum, so you can feel as if you’re actually wandering its halls.

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Anyone who is a fan of this tragic, ingenious painter can see his works up close (or, almost up close) by virtually visiting this museum – the largest collection of artworks by Vincent van Gogh, including over 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and over 750 personal letters.

The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

European artworks from as far back as the 8th Century can be found in this California art museum. Take a Street View tour to discover a huge collection of paintings, drawings, sculptures, manuscripts, and photographs.

Uffizi Gallery, Florence

This less well-known gallery houses the art collection of one of Florence, Italy’s most famous families, the de’Medicis. The building was designed by Giorgio Vasari in 1560 specifically for Cosimo I de’Medici, but anyone can wander its halls from anywhere in the world.

MASP, São Paulo

The Museu de Arte de São Paulo is a non-profit and Brazil’s first modern museum. Artworks placed on clear perspex frames make it seem like the artwork is hovering in midair. Take a virtual tour to experience the wondrous display for yourself.

National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City

Built in 1964, this museum is dedicated to the archaeology and history of Mexico’s pre-Hispanic heritage. There are 23 exhibit rooms filled with ancient artifacts, including some from the Mayan civilization.

Online Learning

COURSERA

Popular Free online classes from over 207 colleges, Universities, museums and companies in over 52 different countries on a wide variety of subjects

What you need: Computer or tablet

Must create a log in: www.coursera.org/collections/popular-free-courses

Click the “Join for Free” icon at the top right of the screen

Features:

  • A large online catalog of actual college courses taught around the world
    • Variety of levels from beginner to advanced classes
    • One time lectures or weekly installment classes
    • Subjects include social sciences, economics, arts and culture, science, health and more!

Books and Reading

300,000 books available for downloading for FREE through SimplyE

What you need: Tablet, smartphone or e-reader and SimplyE app

NY Public Library: www.nypl.org

PODCASTS

A podcast is an episodic series of digital audio files that a user can download to a personal device in order to listen. Platforms such as iTunes, Spotify, and Google Podcasts provide a convenient, integrated way to manage a personal consumption queue across many podcast sources and playback devices

What you need: Tablet, smartphone, computer

How to download podcasts: www.wikihow.com/Download-Podcasts

Popular Podcasts to Check out

  1. The Better Health While Aging Podcast – Practicing geriatrics specialist Dr. Leslie Kernisan, MD, MPH, and her guests discuss common health problems that affect people over age 60 and the best way to prevent and manage those problems. ‘The Better Health While Aging Podcast‘ offers practical information on improving health and wellbeing while aging. Episodes feature such topics as Medicare, long-term care, hearing loss, estate planning, and more. There are almost 100 episodes, and they are all about an hour-long or less.
  2. Not Old – Better – The ‘Not Old – Better‘ podcast is “A show for those 50+ by those 50+.” Hosted by award-winning journalist Paul Vogelzang, this weekly podcast focuses on issues and topics that the 50 and up club might find interesting. Vogelzang interviews fascinating people, from sports stars and celebrities to health experts and ordinary folks who live extraordinary lives. The premise is “it’s never too late to pursue your passions and create a life of purpose, adventure and significance.” Episode topics include eating healthy, Alzheimer’s disease, and the ’60s.
  3. Aging in Full Bloom – Hosted by Lisa Stockdale, this Capital Health Care Network podcast focuses on “all forms of wellness as they relate to aging.” Aging in Full Bloom is an insightful, empowering show that has really short episodes (like 5 minutes) that focus on keeping a positive mindset, memory care, hospice, nutrition, assisted living, and more.
  4. Living to 100 Club – The Living to 100 Club is all about aging successfully. Topics include staying “positive in the face of adversity, healthy lifestyles, starting new chapters, and doing what you can’t.” Guests share their stories and give wellness advice. Episodes are about an hour long. Recent episodes include, “The Pursuit of Sexual Wellness and Rights in Later Life” and “How to Prepare for a Peaceful Death.”
  5. Girl Talk: Women, Aging, and SexualityGirl Talk: Women Aging, and Sexuality is a biweekly podcast that recognizes that women over 50 are still interested in romance, love, and sex. Join host Marcia Meier and her guests for some “serious girl talk about women, aging and sexuality”. Episodes are about 20 minutes long and focus on not just sex and intimacy, but everything else related to women and aging.
  6. Phil in the Blanks – If Dr. Phil can hop on this podcast train, then you can too! Now you can take America’s favorite no-nonsense talk show host wherever you go. The man behind 18 seasons of his eponymous show and author of nine #1 New York Times bestsellers brings his background and experience to interviews with celebrities and ordinary people in Phil in the Blanks. He also has a new series on the podcast called “Living by Design”.
  7. Mature Prenerus Talk with Diana Todd-Banks – There is a popular human-interest podcast called ‘How I Built This‘ by Guy Raz that focuses on entrepreneurs, but ‘Mature Preneurs‘ focuses on older entrepreneurs. Host Diana Todd-Banks conducts 22-minute interviews with inspirational entrepreneurs in their 50s, 60s, and 70s, proving it’s never too late to start something new. Learn all about the good, the bad, and the ugly in the process of creating something from nothing, and how to do it yourself.
  8. American Patchwork & Quilting Podcast – Are there any quilters in the house? The American Patchwork & Quilting podcast is all about fun, creativity, and connecting with fellow quilters. Sponsored by Moda Fabrics and Baby Lock, this show features tips and tricks, from choosing the best batting to how much fabric to buy.
  9. This American Life – Over 2 million people tune in weekly to hear Ira Glass relate entertaining true stories in one of the country’s most popular podcasts, which is also a radio program on NPR. The show covers a wide variety of topics, but each episode has several stories revolving around that week’s theme. ‘This American Life‘ has been on for over 20 years, so choosing an episode to start with can be daunting. Host Ira Glass recommends you start here.
  10. Next Question with Katie Couric – The award-winning journalist asks questions like: “How did watching people play video games become a billion-dollar industry? Could CBD possibly be the key to overcoming pain and addiction? Does social media spur online radicalization? And what happens when at-home DNA tests reveal devastating family secrets?” ‘Next Question with Katie Couric‘ covers the “people, movements, and issues changing our lives and redefining our world…with a little help from the most captivating personalities in news, politics, and pop culture.”
  11. Pod Save America – Described as “a political podcast for people not yet ready to give up or go insane,” on ‘Pod Save America,’ Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Dan Pfeiffer, and Tommy Vietor discuss this week’s news in a “no-bullshit” style, helping “people figure out what matters and how to help.”
  12. Dateline NBC – All the Dateline NBC episodes available in audio format! Dateline NBC also just recently released its first original podcast series, ‘The Thing About Pam,’ hosted by silver fox Keith Morrison. The “stranger-than-fiction” story follows convicted murderer Pam Hupp as she spins her web of lies.
  13. Criminal – Fans of true crime who could do without all the blood and gore will absolutely love ‘Criminal‘. First of all, host Phoebe Judge’s voice is so soothing. Her story-driven show focuses on the sociological and historical aspects of crime. This podcast has been around for about five years now, so there are well over 100 episodes (30 minutes or less) to binge as the kids say, and new episodes come out twice a month on Fridays. Judge also hosts and co-created a love-themed spinoff called ‘This is Love‘.
  14. TED Radio Hour – From the creators of TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Talks and NPR, the TED Radio Hour “is a journey through fascinating ideas: astonishing inventions, fresh approaches to old problems, new ways to think and create.” Shows center on a common theme including these five episodes that explore what it’s like to be human. Host and editorial director of TED Radio Hour, Guy Raz, is the host of the aforementioned ‘How I Built This’ as well as another NPR program, ‘Wow in the World,’ which you might like to listen to with grandchildren.
  15. Lux Radio Theatre – If you are yearning for the old days, then listen to this classic radio anthology series, now re-released in podcast form. The popular fictional drama Lux Radio Theatre aired from 1934 to 1955 and has over 900 hour-long episodic radio programs that were originally performed live before studio audiences.


Performing Arts

Performance streaming

What you Need: Tablet, computer or smartphone, and Internet browser

Broadway/Theater

MIND & BODY

In-Room Exercises

Yale University: The Science of Well-being

What you Need: Tablet or computer, must create a log-in https://www.coursera.org/learn/the-science-of-well-being

  • Class includes Weekly installments of the following topics:Misconceptions about happinessWhy our expectations are so badHow we can overcome our biasesStuff that really makes us happyPutting strategies into practiceIncludes lectures, optional readings, and activities to do each day to build happier habits. Research suggests you could get a boost in your mood and overall well- being.

Podcasts on Mindfulness

  • The Mindful Minute: Trying mediation for the first time can be intimidating, especially if you have no idea what to do. Fortunately, there are teachers like Meryl Arnett of The Mindful Minute podcast, that take you through simple and concise guided meditations that allow you to get out of your own head (and your own way) while learning how to live in the moment.
  • I Should Be Meditating: If you’ve ever thought to yourself: “I Should Be Meditating,” then this podcast is for you. Adopting a daily practice of meditation takes passion and commitment, something that Alan Kilma, the host of I Should Be Meditating knows all too well. Based on decades of experience, his talks and guided meditations can help you learn new tips and approaches to being present in life while moving towards a deeper understanding of your own meditation journey.
  • The Daily Meditation Podcast: We all have 8-minutes to spare, so why not use that time to start your day out right with a daily guided meditation. The Daily Meditation Podcast, hosted by meditation teacher Mary Meckley, guides listeners through a daily meditation that focuses on different styles and techniques to help you manage stress, sleep better, gain focus, and find clarity.
  • Happy Mind Podcast: When you need a quick mental break during the day, the Happy Mind Guided Meditations podcast might be the answer. Each episode provides listeners with a variety of meditations that can help you feel more energetic, mentally sharp, mindful, and happy. And the best part? They are appropriate for anyone from beginner to advanced levels.

FREE Mindfulness Apps

  • Calm
  • Headspace
  • Insight timer
  • Smiling Mind

ARTS & CRAFTS

What you need: Tablet, smartphone or computer, and craft supplies

Pinterest

Create your own digital bulletin board of ideas. Browse thousands of crafts and recipe ideas and pin to your virtual board to try later.

www.pinterest.com

DIY Craft How To Videos

Check out these popular step-by-step. Make individual kits to hand out so residents can craft in their rooms along with the videos


SOCIAL MEDIA

Whether you’ve been using social media for years or just getting started it’s important to take steps to keep yourself safe on the Internet. Facebook and other sites have privacy protections that allow you to limit who can view and share your posts and pictures. Generally speaking, you can be as visible – or invisible – as you want, without skipping social media altogether. You also have the option to block people who follow you if you don’t trust or know them.

While most people on the Internet have good intentions, there are some less-than-savory characters out there, so follow best practices. Don’t put your personal information on social media (that includes your address and phone number), and don’t share your information with anyone you don’t know or trust. Sometimes, hackers can pretend to be someone you know (for example, they may make a profile using your grandchild’s photos) in order to solicit money from relatives. Be wary of any request you receive, and if in doubt, verify through another channel.

Most sites are available online or through a smartphone app

What you need: Tablet, smartphone or computer

Video Chatting

One of the most popular ways of connecting with friends and loved ones are through video chatting where users are able to see and talk to each other through screens.

Apps

The best way to find your family and friends on social media is to ask what platform they are using. Most of the world has a Facebook account and many of the younger generations are turning to newer ways of connecting.

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Snapchat

Movies

  • Netlfix Party: Miss watching movies with your friends? Now you can watch the same movie and chat through instant messages at the same time!
  • What you need:Computer and Netflix account

SCIENCE & TRAVEL

What you need: Tablet, smartphone, or computer

Science

Learn to code: www.freecodecamp.org/

Geo-Guesser: https://geoguessr.com/world/play

Get virtually dropped in the middle of nowhere and use google earth to walk around and guess what country you are in! Look at road signs for clues!

Radio Garden: http://radio.garden/live/kayseri/kaytv/

Hear what is playing right now on radio stations around the world!

What Language is This: https://greatlanguagegame.com/play/

Think you’re good at guessing languages? Put your ears to the test

The True Size: www.thetruesize.com

Put in the name of a country and The True Size will show you exactly how big that country is in comparison to others. It’s fascinating.

Zoos & Aquariums

  • Documentaries and Info: Google Arts & Culture Natural History
    • https://artsandculture.google.com/project/natural-history
  • Tours & Live Cams
    • USC Wrigley Catalina Marine Reserve https://explore.org/livecams/oceans/catalina- marine-reserve
    • Smithsonian National Zoo https://nationalzoo.si.edu/webcams
    • Manatee Cam at Blue Springs State Park, FL: https://explore.org/livecams/save-the- manatee/manatee-cam-under-water

Travel

Virtually tour places in the world some only dream to see in person

SPIRITUAL

  • Reach out to your local churches or regular worship volunteer leaders.
    • Many offering Live Stream worship services
    • Some offer Facebook Live events
    • Ask your volunteers if they can do a personal video chat prayer visit via tablet
  • Daily Live Stream Mass
    • Word on Fire
      • Offers daily 25min long Mass and other previously recorded Mass to watch at any time
    • EWTN television www.ewtn.com/tv
      • Daily Mass on TV and archived past recorded services
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