While in-person programs are on hold for now, there are so many ways to stay engaged with the world in this time of social distancing. For the last 65 years, the IRC has been first and foremost a community, and we are committed to continuing to bring together different people, backgrounds, and experiences in deep-dive conversations and explorations of the world around us. Here we offer resources, activities, and webinars that can offer a global perspective, even when we can’t be together in person. For other ways to stay connected, please consider joining an IRC committee or planning team or attending an upcoming virtual event. We look forward to seeing you again soon!

  • Content for Everyone: The World at Home
  • Content for Kids: Learning Resources
  • Content for Kids: Games
  • Content from the World Affairs Councils of America Network
  • Content That Brings the World to You
  • Cooking
  • Languages
  • Self-Improvement
  • University Courses

Note: While the IRC diligently scours resources for relevance and appropriateness, we are not responsible for the content of any of the linked content providers.

Content for Everyone: The World at Home

Kansas City Public Library

During the COVID-19 outbreak, the Kansas City Public Library has been working with digital service providers to increase borrowing periods and expand the collection of digital items available for checkout. Click below for access to digital resources like audiobooks, magazines & news, videos, apps, eBooks, music, online learning, and more.

KCUR

KCUR 89.3, Kansas City’s public radio station, first broadcast in 1957. A charter member of NPR, KCUR holds itself to the highest journalistic standards in service to the citizens of Kansas, Missouri, the broader Midwest, and the nation. Content encompasses music and talk programs; feature and breaking news reporting; a daily newsletter; podcasts; and numerous community events. The station also leads Harvest Public Media and the Kansas News Service, among other collaborations.

KCPT

At Kansas City PBS, we tell the stories of our community. From productions about local art and food to discussions on race and mental health, our local shows take an in-depth look at topics that matter in our city. See all past and current local productions here.

Kansas State University (KSU)

College of Business Distinguished Speaker Series

The K-State College of Business Administration places a  special emphasis on business ethics and diversity. These programs seek to enhance the educational experience of students in both the College of Business Administration and the K-State community, while showcasing programs, faculty, and students to the international business community.

University of Kansas (KU)

The Hall Center for the Humanities Lectures

The Hall Center for the Humanities supports, creates, and disseminates research in the Humanities; provides an intellectual hub for scholars and students in the Humanities, Arts, and humanistic Social Sciences; and fosters interdisciplinary conversation across the university. Through its public programming, the Hall Center makes visible the significance and continued relevance of Humanities research, engaging diverse communities across the state in dialogue about local, national, and global issues that Humanities research addresses.

Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics

The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics is a nonpartisan political institution located at the University of Kansas and founded by the former U.S. Senator from Kansas and 1996 Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole.

University of Missouri (MU)

African American Experience Lecture Series

Explore Missouri’s past and prepare for the future through the African American Experience in Missouri lecture series. A collaboration of the State Historical Society of Missouri’s Center for Missouri Studies and the University of Missouri Division of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity, it is designed to offer the community opportunities to reach a new understanding of present-day Missouri by learning about the history of African Americans within the state.

TEDxKansasCity

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. TEDxKC was first started in 2015, and was hosted in 2016, 2017, and 2018.

Content for Kids: Learning Resources

CET – Greater Cincinnati Television Educational Foundation

With all the news about COVID-19, it can be hard to know what to say to children and it can be difficult to know how to ease their concerns. Learn how to help you ease your child’s anxieties and help them learn to handle scary situations, with CET’s resource page.

K-12 Social Studies Lesson Plans, Activities, & Resources

A free publication of the Ohio Council for the Social Studies, this guide of publicly available civics, economics, financial literacy, geography, government, and history resources is perfect for teachers and parents who want to keep kids learning.

The Department of State

The U.S. Department of State has gathered 9 diplomacy simulations, where students can negotiate global challenges ranging from migration to wildlife trafficking. Learn more about the topics and download the free simulation materials by clicking here.

Scholastic

The Scholastic Learn at Home program offers three hours of learning per day with up to four weeks of instruction.

The New York Times Learning Network

While the New York Times Learning Network always offers free Activities for Students and Lesson Plans for teachers, it is also offering Coronavirus Resource Page for Students.

Crash Course

Crash Course is a YouTube channel offering engaging educational videos suitable for high school students. Produced in part by famous Young Adult author John Green, the channel features a wide range of subjects, from anatomy to world history.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy, a free online learning resource offering lessons, exercises and quizzes, has daily schedules for organizing at-home learning for students ages 4 to 18 years. On weekdays, Khan Academy is also offering daily livestreams on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to help parents and educators best utilize the website’s tools and resources.

PBS Full-Time Kid

Full-Time Kid is all about being arts, crafts, and experiments perfect for kids of all ages! From DIY science experiments to playground games, spunky eight-year-old Mya Reyes shares her tips, tricks and all around knowledge so you too can have what it takes to be a full-time kid.

StoryOnline

The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s award-winning children’s literacy website, Storyline Online, streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White and dozens more.

#ColorOurCollections

Launched by The New York Academy of Medicine Library in 2016, #ColorOurCollections is an annual coloring festival on social media during which libraries, museums, archives and other cultural institutions around the world share free coloring content featuring images from their collections. The coloring books from 2020 and previous years remain accessible year-round for free download.

5 Children’s Book Authors Offering Free Online Videos to Kids

Click here for Pop Sugar’s collection of children’s authors free and engaging videos for kids.

Activities and online resources for homebound kids: A coronavirus guide

LiveScience has compiled an online resource list of educational and entertaining activities to keep kids stuck at home occupied.

Online Learning Flipboard

Created by Dana Watts, this Flipboard for educators and parents contains links to resources created by educators and organizations around the world to help facilitate online learning for students.

Varsity Tutors Free Large Classes

Taught by subject-matter experts from a huge range of topics, Varsity Tutors’ free live online classes offer students of all ages a fun and engaging way to learn. Their Virtual Field Trip section allows young adventurers to sail the seven seas, explore languages and faraway cultures, and tour ancient civilizations – all in an afternoon’s work.

Content for Kids: Games

Breakout EDU

Breakout EDU is the immersive learning games platform that brings the challenges of an escape room to the classroom.

BrainPop Games

BrainPop offers in-depth learning on topics across the curriculum for upper elementary and middle school students. Each topic includes videos, quizzes, related reading, and even coding activities. Teachers have access to planning and tracking resources too. They also offer BrainPop Jr., specially designed for younger kids.

United States Mint – H.I.P. Pocket Change Kids Site

The United States Mint’s Kids page offers free, complete lesson plans for grades K-12. Use coins as a jumping-off point to teach science, social studies, math, and more. It also has a collection of online educational games for students to play.

Ben’s Guide

Ben’s Guide to the U.S. Government, a service of the Government Publishing Office (GPO), is designed to inform students, parents, and educators about the Federal Government, which issues the publications and information products disseminated by the GPO’s Federal Depository Library Program. It offers free educational games to teach a range of civics topics.

iCivics Games

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor founded iCivics in 2009 to transform the field through innovative, free educational video games and lesson plans that teach students to be knowledgeable, curious, and engaged in civic life. Today, iCivics is the nation’s largest provider of civic education curriculum, with our resources used by over 113,000 educators and more than 7.1 million students each year nationwide.

WorldRescue

World Rescue is a narrative, research-based video-game inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. Through fast-paced gameplay set in Kenya, Norway, Brazil, India, and China, you will meet and help five young heroes and help them solve global problems—such as displacement, disease, deforestation, drought, and pollution—at the community level. Available via on Google Play or the App Store.

Content from the World Affairs Councils of America

The International Relations Council is part of a network of more than 90 councils around the country bringing programming on global issues to their local communities.

World Affairs Councils of America (WACA) KNOW NOW program

WACA’s KNOW NOW calls feature global thought leaders hosted by WACA, as well as local authorities in government, business, academia, and cultural fields who are identified and moderated by local Councils.

World Affairs (formerly World Affairs Council of Northern California)

WorldAffairs is a nationally syndicated program broadcast on NPR affiliates across the country dedicated to curating conversations on both global challenges and global solutions.

Foreign Policy Association (FPA)

Great Decisions, created by the Foreign Policy Association (FPA), is America’s largest discussion program on world affairs.  The program model involves reading the Great Decisions Briefing Book, watching the DVD and meeting in a Discussion Group to discuss the most critical global issues facing America today. Due to social distancing policies required to slow the spread of COVID-19, the Foreign Policy Association has made the digital edition of the Great Decisions television series available for participants to stream in their homes. Narrated by Academy Award nominated actor David Strathairn, the eight half-hour documentaries, Great Decisions in Foreign Policy, each tackle a different challenge facing America today.

Links to current streaming episodes can be found below:

Content That Brings the World to You

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Take a glimpse into Ancient Egypt with this impromptu virtual tour of some of the highlights of the featured exhibition, “Queen Nefertari: Eternal Egypt,” hosted by Nelson-Atkins Director Julián Zugazagoitia.

The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks

Follow rangers on a journey to places most people never go with this Google Arts & Culture collection of interactive and immersive virtual park experiences.

Virtual Field Trips

Here is a list of over 30 free virtual field trips compiled by a school teacher, which you can use to travel to museums and parks all over the world, right from your home.

Explore.org

Explore.org, one of the world’s leading philanthropic live nature cam networks and documentary film channels, is a community destination where people share thoughts, engage in dialogue, view and email films and photographs, and embed their favorites on blogs and social networking sites.

The Cincinnati Zoo – Daily Virtual Zoo Visits

The Cincinnati Zoo has announced that they’re hosting daily “Home Safaris” at 3pm ET. These Home Safaris will be broadcast live on their Facebook page. Each Home Safari will feature a different animal and a related at-home activity.

Virtual Farm Tours

Click here to access the American Dairy Association’s free virtual farm tours for students, with videos designed for each different age group.

The 12 Best Virtual Vacations You Can Take Without Traveling

Be an armchair voyager and learn how to explore museums, libraries, and historical, religious, and cultural sites from home with this TripSavvy list of virtual vacations you can take from the comfort—and safety—of your own home.

15 Broadway Plays and Musicals You Can Watch On Stage From Home

From Newsies to Sweeney Todd, click here to see Playbill’s list running down some of the best filmed Broadway shows—and where to find them.

Stuck at Home? Here are the Best Books to Transport You Overseas

For our readers, Forbes Travel has compiled a list, available here, of books which you can read that take you to your country of choice, right from your couch.

8 Travel Books Our Editors Are Reading Now

TripSavvy has also made a list of books that include a mixture of personal essays, historical fiction, and thought-provoking reads to help keep that wanderlust alive from the comfort of home.

14 Travel Movies and TV Shows Our Editors are Watching Now

TripSavvy rounded up 14 films, documentaries, and TV shows to satisfy your homebound wanderlust in this list here.

Cooking

The Block on KCPT

The Block takes viewers on a journey through Kansas City’s streets to get a sense of the people and cuisine – the fabric of KC’s neighborhoods. But this isn’t just a food show. There’s history, culture, and unknown facts about Kansas City. You’ll go inside kitchens, see how food and drink products are made, and peek into the lives of everyday Kansas Citians working in the service industry.

Burnt Legend on KCPT

Kansas City is known for its legendary BBQ, but most live in a shroud of mystery concerning it’s most iconic food item. Burnt Legend explores the history and process of making the uniquely Kansas City specialty called Burnt Ends.

Supercook

If you’re cooped up and feel like making something tasty with what’s around, let Supercook do some of the work. Just enter what ingredients you have and Supercook will provide a menu.

Virtual Cooking Classes

Michelin-star chef, Massimo Bottura, is offering a nightly, free cooking series via his own personal Instagram page. Each night’s meal is a surprise, which Bottura likes to keep under wraps until the nightly airtime of 8pm CET.

Milk Street Cooking School

According to the website, Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Cooking School is part classroom, part playground and all kitchen. Learn to change the way you cook with these 15 free online courses.

Gemma’s Must-Try Spring Cooking Playlist

Bigger Bolder Baking’s Gemma Stafford created this YouTube playlist of delicious side dishes and yummy desserts to get you ready for all your spring dinner needs!

Languages

Many Kansas and Missouri libraries offer free access to online language learning resources. Please contact your local library for more details.

Mango

Mango Languages is a fun, fast online system to learn 45 languages including Arabic, Spanish, French, Japanese, Portuguese, German, Mandarin Chinese, Italian, Russian, Swahili and many more. Mango is a practical, interactive program, focused on conversation skills, so you’ll start speaking after just one lesson.

Pronunciator

Pronunciator offers self-paced language learning for 80 languages and ESL for 50 non-English languages. Features include audio lessons, interactive textbooks, intelligent flashcards, pronunciation analysis, phrasebooks, and quizzes.

Duolingo (App)

Duolingo is a free language learning app that helps kids (and adults) learn a language through short, game-like exercises, and motivates you to continue learning with a “streak” feature that tracks the number of days you’ve reached your point goal. Access is free, however, you can also subscribe to Premium for $10 a month for an ad-free experience and downloadable lessons.

Self-Improvement

Meditation

If podcasts are your preference, click here for VeryWellMind’s guide to the 21 Best Meditation Podcasts to Listen to in 2020.

Blogilates Fitness for Beginners

If you’d like to get moving, Blogilates’ Cassey Ho has a curated playlist of fitness videos for beginners available on YouTube.

Yoga For Beginners at Home

For those interested in yoga, Youtube Learning has a video playlist for you.

How to Dominate the Dancefloor at a Wedding

Get ready to brush up on your dance skills! These videos are teaching the dances you need to learn to keep up this wedding season.

10 Ways to Declutter & Get Organized

Too much stuff can become overwhelming. Here is a playlist of ways to get rid of the excess and start to make sense of it all.

The Science of Well-Being

In this course you will engage in a series of challenges designed to increase your own happiness and build more productive habits. As preparation for these tasks, Professor Laurie Santos reveals misconceptions about happiness, annoying features of the mind that lead us to think the way we do, and the research that can help us change.

University Courses

Coursera

Coursera provides free courses in a wide variety of subjects that have been hand-picked by the learning team at Coursera. Includes course content from top universities, including Stanford, Princeton, Yale, Harvard, and Columbia.

Open Culture

Get 1,500 free online courses from the world’s leading universities – Stanford, Yale, MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, Oxford, and more. You can download over 45,000 hours of free audio & video lectures from iTunes, YouTube, or university web sites straight to your computer or smartphone.

World101

Provided by the Council on Foreign Relations, World101 offers a growing library of multimedia resources that explain international affairs and foreign policy issues and processes through entertaining, interactive storytelling. Designed for a non-specialist, but of value to those with some knowledge as well, World101 is geared towards learners both inside and outside of formal academic settings.  The World101 library will expand over the next two years to include approximately 50 modules that fall into six units: Global Era Issues, Regions of the World, Historical Context, How the World Works (and Doesn’t Work), Approaches and Tools of Foreign Policy, and The Making of U.S. Foreign Policy.

EdX

Akin to Coursera, edX also offers some great courses from the best universities around the globe, but they are not self-paced, entailing you to keep an eye on the timeline of your course. You can choose from a wide range of subjects, such as biology, business, computer sciences, finance, economics, medicine, music, philosophy, and physics.

YouTube Learn

YouTube.com/Learning is a destination designed to inspire and instruct that brings you the highest quality educational content on YouTube. Here you will find Learning Playlists, which organize content into chapters and are designed to facilitate focused study, YouTube Learning Originals to spark your curiosity, and curated playlists ranging in subjects from physics to film making.