June 15, 2024

Senior News Line: Classes from the comfort of home

Zoom video conferencing allows you to remotely communicate and collaborate with your peers through live audio and video from a computer, smartphone or tablet.

The course catalog for the winter semester of the local senior college arrived in the mail, and I’ve already highlighted over a dozen classes, talks, lectures and seminars that I’d like to take.

Not that I’ll take all of them, of course. But I will likely sign up for a few that have especially piqued my interest.

Archaeology has become a special interest over the past several years, to the extent that I looked into going on a dig in a foreign country.

COVID slammed shut that possibility — as well as the digs themselves — but if I’m not reading an archaeology magazine, I’m looking at archaeology YouTube videos online. This talk promises to be right along my favorite lines: the results of a dig in Ireland.

A four-week course on banned books also looks to be very interesting, as does the two-week seminar on the differences between northern and southern Italy, including cuisine, landscape, culture and customs. All the classes will be filmed and available online afterward.

The best part of all three of these? They’ll be presented live online via Zoom, with viewing right from the comfort of home — which is excellent timing and forward thinking on someone’s part because, of course, COVID is rearing its head again around here.

We’re likely headed for strong suggestions of mask wearing, curbside shopping and COVID boosters. To be able to safely take a few classes is going to be a highlight in what might otherwise be a dreary winter.

If you don’t have a senior college near you and you would like to take classes, fear not. Some of the best sources of online classes are found through Coursera at www.coursera.org, which range from business classes to humanities; through Harvard at pll.harvard.edu, with many free offerings; and through Class Central at www.classcentral.com/universities, with links to hundreds of colleges and universities.

Beware of the supposedly free online colleges that offer degrees. Check the fine print for the actual costs and fees, which can be considerable.

Matilda Charles

© 2024 King Features Synd., Inc.