Remote Learning

Welcome to our new page that will give you, our members, some ideas and resources to access on-line and to other services that may keep your mind ‘ticking’ or simply fill in some time when you are unable to enjoy the regular fellowship and learning with U3A Members.

Topics include: Arts, Business, Comedy, Education, Government & Politics, Health & Fitness, History, Leisure, Religion & Spirituality, Science, Sports, Technology and TV & Film.

ABC Radio Podcasts

Podcasts need an app to listen to them on your smartphone. The ABC Listen App does the job well on both Android and Apple devices.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Australia, an independent source of statistics.

COVID-19 Map visit Johns Hopkins University for maps and statistic from around the world. This site, albeit US based,  is also a good source of lifestyle tips, see COVID-19 Basics.

Below are links (each will open a new Window or Tab) to reports from The Conversation about aspects of dealing with the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Coronavirus: why should we stay 1.5 metres away from each other?

“The Australian government is recommending we stay 1.5 metres away from each other, one of several social distancing moves designed to limit spread of the coronavirus.

Why 1.5 metres? Is this our best, practical estimate? Or is there any solid scientific evidence to back it?”

Social distancing: What it is and why it’s the best tool we have to fight the coronavirus

“What is social distancing? Social distancing is a tool public health officials recommend to slow the spread of a disease that is being passed from person to person. Simply put, it means that people stay far enough away from each other so that the coronavirus – or any pathogen – cannot spread from one person to another.”

To get on top of the coronavirus, we also need to test people without symptoms

“As the World Health Organisation keeps reminding health officials around the world, in order to get COVID-19 under control, we must “test, test, test”.  Along with tracing contacts of cases, travel bans and social distancing, testing is one of the four key planks in our pandemic response to SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19.  Widespread testing has been the key to reducing transmission in South Korea, which was able to use only limited lockdowns because it tested at a mass scale.”

A point of view from one of the world’s most active philanthropists – Bill Gates

Philanthropist and Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates offers insights into the COVID-19 pandemic, discussing why testing and self-isolation are essential, which medical advancements show promise and what it will take for the world to endure this crisis.

This is an international university based online learning initiative that has lots of content that maybe of short-term and of longer term interest to U3Aers.  Six or so Australian Universities are affiliated as partners, including Newcastle, UNSW and Wollongong

Future Learn Their short-course content is largely targeted at undergraduate students, however it has many topics that will appeal to the wider community. The short courses are FREE.

The first of three examples shown below is a course that is about seniors and falls. It is called Ageing Well: Falls – Explore why people fall, discover practical methods to reduce the risk of falling, and recognise when to seek expert help. This short course has a very inclusive audience, from students, related practitioners and those who fall!

Check out the course list, it could take you 30 minutes or so.


The National Library of Australia has many facets to its valuable role. This Website builder’s most used and I guess favourite is Trove.  It is amazingly useful for researching old newspapers and other items from the NLA archive.

My starting point is here: and here’s a short promotional video from the NLA.

Have a look, in these challenging times you can learn about how our parents and grandparents survived the Spanish Flu. Sadly, our antecedents will have known many who didn’t survive.

There’s much more: gold rushes, wars, maritime history, local history, scandal, sport, politics and one I’ll share with you – the only public statue in Australia that was funded by public subscription.

Using the link above I searched James Fletcher Statue unveiling and I selected the option Illustrated.

Here’s my selection from the search: THE LATE Mr. JAMES FLETCHER. UNVEILING THE STATUE


[Phil Warren, Website Admin]

TED Ideas worth spreading

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.

Here are some links to a selection of TED talks – there’s lots of worthwhile ideas to consider.

Some TED playlists (multiple talks):

How to tell a story

Why art is important to democracy

The most popular talks of 2019

Here’s a search of TED – Australia

“The Conversation is an independent source of news and views, sourced from the academic and research community and delivered direct to the public.  Our team of professional editors work with university, CSIRO and research institute experts to unlock their knowledge for use by the wider public.”

Try it, you won’t be disappointed!

A very readable and independent opinion on many contemporary issues of the day.

International editions are also available.

Video Meetings, sounds a little boring doesn’t it, not really!

Video tools are built into many of the technology gadgets we take for granted. Facebook’s Messenger is so easy to use for video calls one-one, they call it Video Chat and it also has a group chat option.  If you use Messenger check it out if you haven’t already done so.

With our U3As in shutdown there are group possibilities to run talk sessions and tutorial like seminars.  One widely used and well reviewed product is Zoom. It is quite usable and Zoom has a free option to get started and it really works!

Our colleagues from the U3A Network Victoria have kindly given U3A Network NSW access to their ZOOM BEST PRACTICE – PARTICIPANTS document.

YouTube has videos on just about everything. Here’s a link to the site: Finding your topic is a key to getting your rewards with YouTube. For example, searching Lord Howe Island on the YouTube Home page will give good results.  On smaller screen devices the YouTube App for both Android and Apple is a good way to access YouTube videos.  Remember many are free, however some videos are commercial. Similarly searching Google as follows will give helpful results youtube “Lord Howe Island”

As a subscriber you may create ‘watch later’ and ‘playlists’.

Some other rewarding ‘looks’:

TED Talks

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Berliner Philharmoniker

Time Team