Put Virtual Extracurricular Ideas to Work!



Many students have asked me what they can do to improve their extracurricular profile, now that most of their activities have been cancelled, thanks to our friend the coronavirus...


Obviously, their choices are limited, but the good news is that it's a level playing field; so are everyone else's! 

However, the spoils will go to those kiddos who are CREATIVE in this time of turmoil. For example, there are PLENTY of online classes they can take to extend their knowledge beyond the classroom, using either:

  • Coursera.org

  • EdX.org

  • Teachable.com

  • Masterclass.com

  • Khan Academy

  • Ted Talks...you name it!

 I personally have been enjoying using Babbel.com to learn French in my spare time (hint, hint)... 

The other thing students can do is think about how to help others at this critical moment in history. For this, they need to use their creativity. What about doing some grocery/CVS shopping for older shut-ins in their neighborhood? What about organizing a musical concert in the street for neighbors on their street? Or creating street art for their neighbors to see on their walks? Or what about organizing donations for critical charities? Writing a blog about what it means to be a teenager doing online instruction? Or coming up with some great online resources to disseminate to the embattled SDUHSD administration? How about suggesting to your principal that you create a student advisory committee for your school to provide feedback and resources to teachers on how it's all going? Calling local charities and seeing if they need any help with their websites or online connectivity? Coming up with better sports drills and training techniques for your coaches through good research? 

IDK, these are just some ideas I came up with in a few minutes....but tell your students that as "digital natives" they have a LOT to teach their parents' generation about how to handle this new virtual reality....

What I DON'T want them doing is writing essays about "How I Survived the Coronavirus" for their college applications. Do they think this will be interesting to admissions officers who receive this exact same essay from THOUSANDS of kids? You get my point....


But there are so many ways to use this time you have. And any of these virtual explorations would make a GREAT college essay highlighting your particular creative or intellectual passions!


  • Read a classic work of literature - and think about why it’s a classic and what you learned from it

  • Explore a historic site or museum virtually - and tell us what you learned about cultural, political, artistic, or economic history as a result. 

  • Write a letter to your local editor about a public issue - and do your research first. Why do you care so much about this issue. What are its implications for you and your community?

  • Listen to a genre of music that is new to you - What does it tell you about the historical period in which it was written? 

  • Sit down and listen to a podcast or newscast regarding an opinion you disagree with - Did you learn anything of value from just listening? 

  • Think about works of visual art you love, and those you don’t -  Can you articulate your opinions in writing?

  • Go on a “creative date with yourself” (See Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way) What did you do and why? 

  • Start to journal - What are you learning about yourself?

  • Go to a virtual theatrical or dance performance - What moved you? What didn’t and why? 





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