There’s never been a better time to be on the internet so instead of reorganising your sock drawer, check out our boredom buster online activities. Whether you’d like to get ahead with your studies, connect with whānau or watch a live stream of a baby panda, we’ve got you covered.
There’s dozens of video calling services that are free, easy to use and lets you talk to your family and friends right from your phone or computer. We’ve explained what they are, explained the risks and provided our best tips to help you stay safe while doing it. Here’s a quick summary:
- Facebook messenger allows you to message and video people in your contacts
- Google Hangouts allows you to message, voice and video calls
- Zoom includes audio, video and text chat, group and 1:1 options, screen sharing capabilities, call recording and end-to-end encryption. It’s popular with educators, organisations and people trying to stay connected. Read Netsafe’s insights now.
- Houseparty enables video chatting, instant messaging and games. Check out Netsafe’s advice before you get started
KEEP UP WITH CLASSES
- StudyTime NZ is an education platform for NZ students and Learn Coach provides NCEA video tutorials for free due to COVID-19
- No Brain Too Small helps with revision and practice tests, Papa Cambridge provides a database of past test papers, Z Notes helps you prepare for exams and OA Level Notes offers notes, tips and revision
- Khan Academy offers free online courses, lessons and practice
- Prodigy is a maths platform that can be used by students and teachers
LEARN A NEW SKILL
There are so many websites dedicated to helping people learn a new skill. Some of these include:
- Duolingo and Memrise are sites dedicated to helping you learn a language
- Code Academy lets you learn to code for free and Tynker teaches young kids about computer programming in a fun way
- The Open University is giving people the opportunity to join a free Start Writing Fiction course
- You can download the Heads Up app and play charades with friends
- Trivia Crack is a multiplayer trivia game that allows users to compete against friends and people around the world
- Words with Friends is similar to Scrabble and lets players take turns building words crossword style
- Check out Twitch. It’s one of the world’s leading live streaming platform for gamers and we’ve got an overview here
- Garageband lets macOS and iOS devices to create music, video or podcasts
- Procreate allows you to create digital illustrations
- Sketch Pad lets you draw, edit or design – and it’s available in a lot of different languages
- Color Mandala is a digital colouring book
- PicsArt is a photo editing tool
EXPLORE THE WORLD
- San Diego Zoo and Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute offer live streaming of different animals
- You can take a virtual tour of Buckingham Palace or the Louvre Museum and virtually visit The Met 360 Project
- Earth Cam lets you discover places all over the world and National Marine Sanctuaries allows you to take a virtual ocean dive
- You can explore any of the nine webcams set up at Yellowstone National Park or immerse yourself in Canadian farm and food
- Take a street art tour and find out the story behind the art
- By paying a Netflix subscription you steam movies and TV shows from across the world. You can also have a Netflix Party by watching video playback and participating in group chat with your friends
- YouTube is the home to millions of videos that you can mostly watch for free. You can also use YouTube Kids for the younger members of your family as it offers family friendly content
- You can stream free New Zealand television using TVNZ on Demand and Three Now
- Wheelers is NZ’s largest online supplier of books and ebooks to schools and libraries
- Over Drive lets your read ebooks and audiobooks for free through your local public library or school
- Borrow Box is an app that lets you download books from your local library and especially useful if you’re wanting a NZ author
- Wattpad is one of the world’s most-loved social storytelling platform
- LEARNZ is powered by CORE Education and provides virtual field trips for students
- SciPAD has been developed to work alongside the printed sciPADs
- Schoology provides students and teachers with distance learning tools
- Education Perfect is an online learning platform
- Kognity is a publisher that combines the power of technology and textbooks to create a different learning experience
- Learn Coach lets you teach your NCEA class online
- Legends of Learning allows teachers to assign maths and science games to their students
- Quizlet for teachers lets you assign interactive study material, learning activities and games
- Kahoot is a game-based learning platform
NETSAFE’S TIPS TO #STAYCONNECTEDSTAYSAFE
Netsafe has created this list to help people explore the different things the internet has to offer, but it isn’t our endorsement as we can’t do that as an independent non-profit organisation. We do highly recommend you read our tips so you can explore safely.
- Do a stocktake: Assess how many devices in your house connect to the internet to understand where the risks are and start to mitigate them.
- Assess new technology: Investigate new apps or platforms by checking out T&Cs, reviews and minimum age requirements before using them.
- Secure your virtual house. Use strong passwords, update your software and use two- factor authentication where possible.
- Share your experience: Talk to your friends and family about the technologies you use and let them know the tips and tricks you use to eliminate risk.
- Combat misinformation: Guide people to official information sources like covid19.govt.nz to stop the spread of fake news.
- See something, say something: If you see suspicious or criminal activity online, report it. If you don’t know where to report, Netsafe can help.
- Practice safe clicking: COVID-19 is being used as a lure so be careful clicking on links, attachments or ads from unknown sources as they might be hiding malware.
- Protect your info: Criminals are harvesting personal information. Stop and think carefully about the details you’re disclosing or whether they need to entered online.
- Have fun: Explore the different technologies available to help you connect, learn, stay informed and participate in Aotearoa’s new virtual society.
- Help others: Share your online safety tips and experiences using #stayconnectedstaysafe to help others.
If you have any other activities to share, let us know using the #stayconnectedstaysafe on social media or email us.
If you’re concerned about the immediate safety of you or someone else, please call 111. If you want help or expert incident advice, you can contact us. Our service is free, non-judgemental and available seven days a week.
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call toll free on 0508 NETSAFE (0508 638 723)
- Online report at netsafe.org.nz/report
- Text ‘Netsafe’ to 4282