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Virtual Programming Ideas

What types of virtual programs are out there? 

As someone developing new virtual programming for our students, it can be helpful to have some external sources of inspiration. Take a look at these external resources that can inspire your creativity in program design.

How can staff and faculty help students combat boredom?

Cornell students are used to operating at 150% and now some of them are experiencing feelings of being unproductive. Consider promoting the following tips to your students.

Create a self-schedule/ routine - On campus, many students were used to having every hour accounted for. Creating a personal and academic routine will help them find success in this new virtual format. Consider making a list of things you want and need to do every day (shower, get outside, connect with a friend).

Meditation - There is a lot going on in the world. Take a moment to breathe and re-center yourself. Here is a helpful source of free mindfulness and mediation ideas.

Journaling /Photo Journaling - We are living during unprecedented times. Journaling is a great outlet and useful opportunity to capture all the emotions and changes that are happening. Perhaps you can offer a journal entry prompt!

How do you maintain or build relationships engaging remotely?

Social distancing does not have to equate to being anti-social. Here are some ideas to help keep students engaged with human connections.

Virtual meet-ups - Remind students they don’t need to eat or study alone. Students can utilize Zoom, Google hang outs, FaceTime, Slack, etc.

Highlight kindness - Create a hashtag for students to use that highlight positive stories that remind us of the beauty in humanity. #StayConnected #StayKind

Host a Netflix Party – Netflix is offering a new feature that allows groups to watch movies together that includes a group chat to share personal commentaries

What cultural opportunities could we all be taking advantage of?

Cornell is a campus that is committed to all forms of diversity. Here are opportunities for students to embrace and learn more about a variety of cultures.

Virtual museum visits – Widen your horizons and explore 12 museums around the world.

Seek to understand – Expand your selection of music, discover new genres of music, books, movies and more! Share your own ‘song of the day’.

Learn a new recipe – Create a “Staff Pick” where a staff member shares one of their favorite recipes. You can make it more engaging by creating a video. You can also promote some of the very many virtual cooking classes being offered online

What does professional development look like during social distancing?

What students do with this time and how they describe it can give them a competitive edge in the interview process. 

Continue advancing – There are online personal and professional development opportunities available. 

Alumni career connections – Cornell alumni are committed to the success of our students. Reach out to supportive alumni and organize an opportunity for them to connect with students to discuss career pathways. 

Community Service - Students do not need to leave their house to contribute to the good in the world. Here are some online community service opportunities.

Ted Talks - Select a Ted Talk for students to watch and follow it up with a group chat/community discussion.

How can I encourage my students to get outdoors and enjoy nature?

Virtual learning does not mean you need to be indoors all the time. With proper social distancing practices, you can take a break from indoor spaces and get out to enjoy the coming spring days. Studies show time spend in nature decreases stress and anxiety. Whether you are on Cornell campus, in NY state, or your home state, these ideas will motivate you to go outside a few days in the week.

Cornell University on-campus hikes – Check out the beautiful trails and natural areas right here on campus managed by Cornell Botanic Gardens.

Hikes in Ithaca – Did you know that Ithaca is one of the top hiking destinations in NY state? The friends at Ithaca Trails have created an online resource to find a trail near you.

Biking in Ithaca – Want to ride your bike? Here are some local favorite bike routes. Not in Ithaca? Find a biking trail near you.

BirdwatchingDownload Merlin Bird ID free app from the Lab of Ornithology and enjoy the spring bird migration.

Stargazing – Have you looked up at the sky lately? These free stargazing apps can turn any night sky (even from inside) into a spectacular show of constellations.

What down-time entertainment options can we suggest to our students?

As students try to adjust to their new remote learning experiences, they should consider taking study breaks and inserting down-times in their schedules. Here are some ideas for remote entertainment available to them.

Live streams and virtual concerts – Many artists and musicians are moving their concerts online. Billboard magazine has an updated list of upcoming events. Consider hosting your own concert.

Cornell Library video streaming service – Cornell students have access to world class streaming content ranging from silent films, award-winning documentaries, opera at the Metropolitan.

Tiny desk concerts – Check out an intimate music performance such as NPR Tiny Desk series or the Toronto Star Newsroom Concert Series.

Virtual museum visitsExperience the best museums from London to Seoul in the comfort of your own home.

Discover (and get hooked on) a new podcast – Take this time to explore and listen to new and interesting podcasts. Podcasts come in all size and flavors. Here are podcasts for art, podcasts for general social and culture, and for catching up on the latest in science.