LET’S LOCKDOWN SMILING

Going stir crazy in Lockdown? These sites let you learn and travel the world from the safety and comfort of your couch

As we get deeper into nationwide quarantine, the days may start to blur and motivation may begin to wane. We wake up and remind ourselves this is temporary; this will pass. We are grateful for the food in our fridge, as supplies have in fact not run out and we are well fed and watered. So much so that we’ll probably gain lockdown love-handles from the constant proximity to a kitchen combined with immobility and isolation.

But what about going loopy from staring at the same four walls? Fear not! We here at Smiling International School have been scouring the web for ideas to keep your brain active and spirits high. We know that you are already working hard with your teachers in the virtual spaces on Google Classroom. To enrich your online learning experience further, why not take a trip around some of the world’s most famous museums, who are offering virtual tours for free? Or perhaps watch a documentary in English on Amazon Prime, which is available at no cost for a limited time?

If there is one ray of hope to come out of this uncertain and unprecedented time, it is that kindness and generosity still exists in the world. Here, we round up some of the best offerings available to us throughout the COVID-19 quarantine:

Boost your education and cultural cachet with Google Arts & Culture. They have collaborated with over 2,500 museums and galleries around the world to bring classic and contemporary masterpieces to all of us in our homes.

Now you can “visit” iconic tourist attractions like the British Museum in London, the Guggenheim in New York or see Van Gogh’s self-portrait in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris without setting foot outside your house.

Not only is this a great way to expand your mind, it’s also perfect for students of art, history and science looking for inspiration while school is closed.

Also opening their doors to the digital world is the Metropolitan Opera. It is currently streaming some encore performances of its most famous shows, absolutely free. From Puccini’s “La Bohème” to Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin”, stellar actors and musicians come to life in our homes. Plus, if you never understood what they were singing about, now you can read the subtitles and follow the stories like never before! Don’t miss out on this one, as they are only streaming every night and leaving each show online for the following 20 hours until 22ndMarch.

Want something more alongside the soul-stirring and heart-rending music of the Met Opera? Indulge your need for escapism while improving your English at the same time with a documentary on Amazon Prime video. The digital giant was offering lockdown residents in Italy free Amazon Prime until 31stMarch. Since the quarantine extended to the whole country though, they have now withdrawn that deal. However, if you’re keen to stream, you can still opt for a free trial for 31 days at no expense to you. Supercharge your brain cells with some thought-provoking tales of intrigue.

If the extra time on your hands makes you want to come out of this positively and with a new skill or knowledge, there are plenty of online courses to bolster the work you’re doing with your teachers. Perhaps you want to know exactly what’s going on with COVID-19? Why are we doing this? What are viruses and outbreaks? Discovery Education hosts free educational resources and lessons about this pressing topic.

Want to research real world issues? The LabXchange is an online community for sharing content and solving problems as a team. You can experiment virtually through simulations and solve global challenges.

Perhaps you want to check you’re on track with multiple subjects? Then Quizlet is worth a go. This site provides learning flashcards and games to train your memory and support your schoolwork across the curriculum.

Let your curiosity be your guide and delve into the UNESCO digital library. Publications across a plethora of fields are available, such as art, science, nature, social sciences, culture and communication. At a time of needed mutual collaboration, this site seems the perfect port of call.

With so much to explore, you’ll be out of lockdown and back to normal life before you know it. If you really need something to soothe your stressed little head, lose yourself in the hypnotic pulsing of the jellies or be amazed by the giants of the ocean with these live webcams from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Until we feel the sand in our toes again, let the virtual sea set you free.

Hang in there. Andrà tutto bene.

Still thirsty for more? Check out our extended list here:

ART & OPERA

E-LEARNING

Take advantage of the 14-day free trial of this e-learning platform. You can prepare for university admission tests through thousands of video tutorials and exercises.

Math Camp is an interactive approach to learning complex mathematical concepts. Online lessons are completely free and are mainly aimed at students in secondary school. 

DIGITAL LITERATURE

UNESCO has granted access to its World Digital Library. You can access maps, texts, photos and films. The jewels and relics of all the libraries of the planet are yours for the taking.

A library of interactive books and animations to teach the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, English and Maths) to children of 3 to 6 years. 

How to access:

(1) Download the app for Android or iOS free.

 (2) Enter the code ST2020IT in the app.