Curious Minds

What will you discover?

Keep your brain active with free online resources, as recommended by tutors and staff at the Department.

Visit the world’s museums, libraries, language centres and more – and give your brain a workout – all from your own home. Compiled by academics and staff of Oxford Continuing Education, these freely available educational resources will help entertain you during challenging times.

The 'Tutor Takeover' will be updated every other day, and the page will be refreshed regularly – so you can bookmark it and check back as often as suits you.  Sign up to our enewsletter to learn when new resources have been added.

If you have any recommendations, please feel free to let us know by tagging us on social media. 

Tutor takeover

Sepi Chakaveh points us to the beauty of data visualisation.

Data visualisation is both an art and a science. David McCandless, author, data journalist and information designer, sees it as a way to tell new kinds of stories, and to convey complex ideas into graphical forms that anyone can understand. His website, ‘Information is Beautiful’, lets you explore dozens of datasets: from the meanings associated with colours across different cultures, to rhetological fallacies, to the best dog breeds. McCandless's TED Talk from 2010 serves as an introduction. Recommended by Dr Sepi Chakaveh, Senior Associate Tutor in Data Science.


> Information is Beautiful

> TED Talk: ‘The Beauty of Data Visualisation'

Explore the world


The Bodleian Library's digitized collections – Digital.Bodleian – are open to users from around the world for learning, teaching, personal enjoyment and research. There are more than 650,000 freely available digital objects on offer, including children's games of the 18th and 19th Century, Corbett's Parliamentary History, John Gould's ornithological works, political cartoons and campaign posters, woodcut prints, ancient manuscripts, and much more. The Bodleian Library is the main research library of the University of Oxford, one of the oldest libraries in Europe, and the second-largest library in Britain after the British Library. 

> Digital.Bodleian

The Met Opera

The Metropolitan Opera hope to 'brighten the lives of our audience members even while our stage is dark' by making available a different performance from their Live in HD series each day. These will be available for free streaming on the Met website, with each performance available for a period of 23 hours, from 7:30 p.m. EDT until 6:30 p.m. the following day. If you aren't familiar with opera then now is a great time to discover the art form.  Performances will include complete shows from the past 14 years, featuring some of opera’s greatest singers.

> The Met Opera

Oxford Mathematics Institute Public Lectures

The Oxford Mathematics Institute invite the world's best mathematicians to share the pleasures (and occasional pain) of their subject with a wider audience through their Public Lectures programme. Previous lectures are available to watch online on YouTube and our Marketing Officer, Stacie Cullen, particulary recommends the 2019 playlist: watch Marcus du Sautoy discuss how AI is learning to write, paint and think; Chris Budd gets festive and breaks down the maths to some Christmas related questions including why does Rudolph have a shiny nose?; and David Sumpter asks 'could a Premier League team one day be managed by a mathematician?'

> Oxford Mathematics Institute 2019 Public Lectures 


The Europeana website is an incredibly rich resource, drawing from thousands of European archives, libraries and museums to share cultural heritage for enjoyment, education and research. Europeana’s Collections provides access to over 50 million digitised items – books, music, artworks and more – with sophisticated search and filter tools to help you find what you’re looking for. Explore thematic collections on art, fashion, music, photography and World War I contain galleries, blogs and exhibitions to inform and inspire. 

> Europeana 

Make Digital Music

Music tutor Roger Thomas recommends you have a go with Electric Telepathy’s Online Synthesizer, Fluoresynth, which Roger says is, 'quite fun and gently instructive whether one is a committed music-lover or just mildly curious.

> Fluoresynth

Oxford Sparks

Oxford Sparks is a place to explore and discover science research from across the University of Oxford. The site regularly posts videos and podcasts showcasing cutting edge research, and also has resources for teachers to help enrich lessons. Find out about topics as diverse as machine learning, how robots might learn social cues, about life-changing dementia treatments and how studying tiny organisms can shed light on much bigger animals and plants.

> Oxford Sparks

Philosophy Now

Philosophy Now magazine claims that it ‘aims to corrupt innocent citizens by convincing them that philosophy can be exciting, worthwhile and comprehensible’. Their podcast series, recommended by our Director of Studies in Philosophy Marianne Talbot, lets you explore dozens of topics. Start with ‘The History of Philosophy in Less Than an Hour’ and then move on to matters of right and wrong, Buddhist philosophy and God, to name but a few.

> Philosophy Now

Tara Stubbs highlights a digital project bringing The Bard to your living room.

'The Show Must Go Online' is a weekly live reading of Shakespeare by actors from across the globe. A different play will be performed each week, in the order it is believed that they were written, starting with 'The Two Gentlemen of Verona'. Watch the actors live from their living rooms or view at a time to suit you.  Recommended by Tara Stubbs, Associate Professor in English Literature and Creative Writing. 

> The Show Must Go Online