Lifelong Learning in the Time of Social Distancing

Catherine Hammond

New Adventures in Learning, a lifelong-learning program affiliated with Chandler-Gilbert Community College, has been offering classes in the Southeast Valley for over 20 years. As we enter the month of May, lifelong-learning experiences must incorporate social distancing. Fortunately, a wide range of opportunities exists locally, nationally, and internationally. New Adventures has a strict policy against promoting specific goods and services, so this article will just point in the general direction of possibilities.

And what excellent possibilities do exist for enhanced learning. In Chandler alone, both physical and virtual adventures await. Go to the city’s blog for ideas: Here we find a walking or virtual tour of the historic downtown. Another tour explores the city’s public art by driving, walking, or exploring online. Good information on hiking or biking in the area provides the freedom to explore local birds and plants while maintaining a comfortable distance from other walkers. For dining experiences similar to New Adventures’ Out-to-Lunch program, remember that many of our community’s restaurants are still offering meals through take-out, curbside, or delivery.

Other virtual tours exist if we aren’t traveling these days. Visit museums like the Louvre, the Guggenheim, national parks, or the San Diego Zoo. Look for MOOCs (massive open online courses) for free courses from top universities. Search for other lifelong-learning experiences by matching terms like social distancing with art, music, and science. Think about finally getting around to study a foreign language online.

If we miss the New Adventures’ book club, many virtual groups exist, complete with author videos and discussions of monthly books. Social websites such as Zoom and Google Hangouts make meetings with friends to discuss a book or a movie possible, maybe along with a virtual happy hour. Technology allows a digital gathering of people to sing or enjoy a poetry reading. Several websites exist for authors whose book tours were interrupted.

In the meantime, as we move together through this time, continue to check our website,, or call 480-857-5500 to stay current on the status for classes and events for New Adventures in Learning.