Some MOOCs (‘massive, open, online courses’)
Free online courses are available from a number of universities, including:
- Coursera .
- edX (specific universities from around the world).
- FutureLearn (the UK’s Open University and others).
- Ivy League (Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton and Yale).
Watch lectures from University College London
UCL Lunch Hour Lectures are an opportunity for anyone to sample the research work taking place at UCL in bite-sized chunks. Speakers are drawn from across the university, and lectures frequently showcase new research and recent academic publications. The lectures can be viewed on YouTube or listened to on SoundCloud.
Google’s arts and culture website offers online tours of many/most of the world’s art museums. A website called Travel and Leisure has brought together 12 of their favourite tours from the Google website.
Behind the Lines is an annual exhibition at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House. It celebrates the role of political cartoonists in Australia and highlights the power that their drawings have in contributing to our daily political and social discourse. Visit the online exhibition.
The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria has a virtual collection of its artworks, photos, trophies, showbags and ephemera which you can explore.
Seniors Online Victoria has a games page, which includes code-cracker, crosswords, sudoku, trivia and word search.
The Guardian newspaper has two free, online crosswords every day, one quick and the other cryptic.
Yarra Plenty Regional Library has 13 digital jigsaws of local places for you to complete. There are actually another 2,500 jigsaws on the website – more than enough to keep you occupied.
If you find those too easy, try these ones.
Play cards online at www.trickstercards.com, including 500, Hearts (aka Rickety Kate) and Oh Hell (aka Up River, Down River).
Crafts for a cause
Spotlight Crafts for a Cause is a Facebook group which is "a passionate community of makers, who are driven by making and doing for those we love and those in our local communities who are in need. The purpose of this group is to bring together the willing makers and the causes with a need. Volunteer your time, abilities or supplies to help each other around Australia." One of their current initiatives is to encourage people to make scrubs for healthcare workers. Return your finished items to your nearest Spotlight store.
Yarra Plenty Regional Library
Many of the books that they stock in hard copy are also available electronically as eBooks. The borrowing system works the same and the ‘borrow box’ allows you to search the available books. You don’t have to have a dedicated ereader or kindle, just use your tablet/ipad or PC to download and read your favourite books. Go to www.yprl.vic.gov.au/elibrary.
Margaret Breare, from Rosanna Library, is offering support to people wanting to access digital content. Contact Margaret by email (MBreare@yprl.vic.gov.au).
[Editor’s note: I’ve just noticed that the library makes electronic copies of all of the Age newspapers for the last 15 years available for free and this includes today’s paper.]
Project Gutenberg is a library of over 60,000 free eBooks that you can download.
State Library Victoria
Membership of State Library Victoria is free but takes around 7 days to obtain (because they have to check that you really do live in Victoria). Once obtained, it gives you access to all sorts of goodies, including:
- Around 20,000 eBooks.
- Explore their digitised collections, including photographs, personal manuscripts & diaries, maps, old magazines & journals, newspapers and comics.
- Watch talks that have been hosted at the library over the years.
- Explore their online galleries of their exhibitions, past and present.
- Ask a librarian any question.