Escape into a world of stories, calming moments, and cultural adventures, all from comfort of your living rooms and kitchens.
Phew! What a couple of weeks it has been as we all settle into self-isolation. To give those who wish it an escape to the land of the nerdy, Lori and I are focusing on sharing fun, calming, and educational distractions. Some of these are things we are creating, and some are things that we find that other creative individuals and educators have crafted.
E² – Entertainment & Education Newsletter : An At Home Entertainment Magazine
Over the coming weeks, we will regularly share a new E² – Entertainment & Education Newsletter with fun, calming, and educational things we find or create.
You can also tune in throughout the week, as we share positive, calming, and uplifting content to the following Facebook pages and groups:
- StoryToGo – live virtual concerts, poetry, bedtime stories, storytelling tools, music, and anything that is arts and storytelling related
- Watch and Learn – educational videos
- Roamancing and Women Who Love to Travel – anything related to learning about a culture or that take people on virtual adventures
- Ahimsa Media – a mix of educational tools, remote work tools, and just plain light-hearted moments in Lori’s and my workday
We invite you to join us in these spaces and to share posts of your own.
A Virtual Children’s Yoga Adventure Story to the Seashore
On the note of calming, Lori created a beautiful and relaxing children’s story using Elementari this past week. The story takes children on a virtual yoga adventure to the seashore. While this is the perfect activity read to enjoy with your kids, my Mom and I enjoy it too and have read it several times.
To begin the story below, hit the play button on the image that follows. As you watch, read, listen, and enjoy the story, wait for the flashing white arrow. Click on it to turn the pages. If it does not appear, then click the left arrow on your keyboard to flip the page. Also, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for things to click on within the story itself.
As I mentioned in last week’s email, Elementari is at present offering teachers and parents free premium access to their interactive storytelling platform. It is a great tool for teaching reading, writing and coding to kids and is an awesome creative outlet for people of any age. Have you always wanted to create a children’s book? Now is your chance!
Teachers and parents that wish to request premium access, can do so via this link. There is also an open educational teacher’s guide to Elementari, that is a work-in-progress.
Finding Your Undiscovered Potential
Lori also wrote this great article on The Apple: A Lesson in Finding Your Undiscovered Potential, this past week.
This article very much echoes our approach to this time of at-home-adventures, by taking on new challenges and trying new things. In my neck of the woods, I am finally teaching myself to play the Nuu-Chah-Nulth drum that I was given by the Tseshaht First Nation. I am proud to have thus far attracted an audience of Ella (my cat), Linus (my Mom’s dog), and Hugo (the cat that lives next door). Ella and Linus have also both expressed interest in being part of the band.
Meanwhile, not having any human yoga students to teach at present, Lori has taken to teaching yoga to her dog, Mango.
Naturally Salt Spring on Seeka TV
Finally we are thrilled to share that Season 1 of Naturally Ours, Naturally Salt Spring just launched for free on Seeka TV! If you are like us, escapes into nature are what you need at the moment, so we hope this virtual one to visit the people and parks of Salt Spring Island helps.
LIVE From Your Living Room
We have been so impressed by all the live concerts and sharing of storytelling resources for free that has been going on this past week or so, as we all work to #FlattenTheCurve.
Below is just a tease of what’s online, waiting for you to discover:
- Seeka.TV – this is a great source of indie web series, that you can watch and enjoy for free.
- Vancouver Singer-Songwriter Jody Quine has been doing random live jam sessions on Facebook throughout the week, and recently did a live concert on Fresh Magazine’s Facebook. You can watch a recorded version of the concert here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfJprCU4glE
- Isabella Mori tuned us into the #vss365 storytelling hashtag on Twitter. From Isabella, “#vss365 stands for ‘very short stories, 365x a year.’ Each month, a person is responsible for giving prompts, and off you go!” This month the theme for the stories is #cosy.
- Patrick Stewart is reading Shakespearean Sonnets on Twitter.
- Visit the NFB’s Indigenous Cinema to watch Indigenous-made films for free.
- Figment is free from EPIC Games until April 2nd.
- Need help staying creative? Here’s a google doc of artistic resources.
- A bit of the beauty that we could all use right now from Stjepan Hauser: https://www.instagram.com/p/B9Zogb2HCco/
School at Home
It has been heartwarming to see all the resources that people and organizations are providing for parents and teachers, as students move to schooling from home for the time being.
Aside from Elementari, we have listed other free resources that we’ve found for parents and teachers to aid in students learning from home:
- Yashy Murphy and her kids are hosting two Facebook Lives a day to share their knowledge about countries they’ve been to. They chat with other kids about geography, culture and cuisine. If you have kids, they’d love to have you join them virtually at 11 am and 4 pm EST every week day on Parenting to Go’s Facebook.
- Free Children’s and Youth Audiobooks on Audible.
- Adobe is offering the free use of a number of their tools to teachers and students.
- We Are Teachers has put together a list of ‘Children’s Authors Doing Online Read-Alouds and Activities‘.
- The Kennedy Centre is hosting virtual Lunchtime Doodle Sessions for kids with their artist in residence, Mo Willems. You can see all the past doodle sessions in their YouTube Playlist and engage online with your doodles with the hashtag #MoLunchDoodles.
Courses for Teachers
Below are a few free courses for teachers and other adult learners that colleagues at BCIT and UBC have sent us this week:
- ‘Learning to Learn Online‘ from Athabasca University
- Foundations to Open Education and OERs Repositories
- Presentation Science: Helping Your Audience to Engage, Learn, Remember, and Act
- ‘The Science of Well Being‘ from Yale University
If you know of an artist, artistic community, educator, or educational community that are sharing things to help entertain and educate us as we self-isolate, please let us know about it, and we will share what they are up to in one of our upcoming E² Newsletters.
Online Exercise Classes
As parks, gyms, and exercise studios close for the present, we have to thank organizations that are offering free at-home exercise solutions.
Two such organizations that we’ve found this past week, include:
- Down Dog Yoga App – which is free for everyone until May 1st, and to school and health care communities until July 1st with your school or health care email. I initiated BCITs free access this past weekend, so those of you in the BCIT Community can sign up with your my.bcit.ca email.
- YMCA 360 – The YMCA are offering their On-Demand Exercise Videos for all ages for a limited time.
While sadly, we are not able to travel and explore distant lands at present, there are ways for the time being that we can learn about cultures around the world from our own living rooms, while we #FlattenTheCurve by staying at home. Below are just a few virtual travels that we’ve recently enjoyed:
- Indulging our Swiss food cravings by making a recipe from the cooking gallery on the Tourism Switzerland site.
- Learning a bit of Swiss Italian while making one of the tasty concoctions on the Osteria La Guana blog.
- Tantalizing the taste buds with Italian cooking classes from Chef Massimo Bottura on Instagram.
- Taking music lessons from Hamilton, Ontario band, the Arkells on Instagram.
- Exploring Newfoundland with The Tale Blazers.
- Discovering the National Cowboy Museum through the eyes, prose, and tweets of the museum security guard.
- Escaping into nature with the Google Arts and Culture exhibit and interactive documentary, The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks.
Stay safe and well, and reach out if you need help.
With healthy wishes from Erica, Lori, Ella, Mango, and the rest of our Ahimsa Media, StoryToGo and Roamancing team.
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