Experts reveal how to keep the season merry and bright over Zoom

According to a study by <a style="font-weight: bold;" class="class" rel="nofollow noreferrer noopener" target="_blank" website Bath & Beyond, 67% of Americans believe it is more important than ever to celebrate the holidays despite the pandemic.

Fifty percent are actually excited to have a reason to stay at home this holiday. 

While traditions will have to be adjusted, Bed Bath & Beyond’s findings also revealed that families are going all-out on holiday cheer to ‘enjoy the present’ this year.

Illustrator and Author of Celebrate Everything!, Darcy Miller, and the duo behind JWP production company, Josh Wood and Mimi Eayrs, reveal how to embrace the changes to make sure the season stays merry and bright.  

Love is the answer: According to a study by Bed Bath & Beyond, 67% of Americans believe it is more important than ever to celebrate the holidays despite the pandemic. Just because your holiday gathering has moved to Zoom, that doesn't mean you can't fill it with festive cheer

Love is the answer: According to a study by Bed Bath & Beyond, 67% of Americans believe it is more important than ever to celebrate the holidays despite the pandemic. Just because your holiday gathering has moved to Zoom, that doesn't mean you can't fill it with festive cheer

Love is the answer: According to a study by Bed Bath & Beyond, 67% of Americans believe it is more important than ever to celebrate the holidays despite the pandemic. Just because your holiday gathering has moved to Zoom, that doesn’t mean you can’t fill it with festive cheer

Go for it: 'A fun, fast, and free way to bring instant ambiance to your Zoom holiday party is to customize your Zoom background,' shares the celebrations expert

Go for it: 'A fun, fast, and free way to bring instant ambiance to your Zoom holiday party is to customize your Zoom background,' shares the celebrations expert

Go for it: ‘A fun, fast, and free way to bring instant ambiance to your Zoom holiday party is to customize your Zoom background,’ shares the celebrations expert

As a founding editor of Martha Stewart Weddings, and a celebrations expert, Darcy knows a thing or two about throwing a beautiful party.  

Here, she shares her knowledge on Zoom decor.

Add a Background

‘A fun, fast, and free way to bring instant ambiance to your virtual holiday party is to customize your Zoom background,’ shares Darcy.

‘You can upload an image of your favorite restaurant, a cozy fireplace, palm-tree-lined beach, or anyplace you’d like to be meeting in person. 

‘Or, use this festive<a style="font-weight: bold;" class="class" rel="nofollow noreferrer noopener" target="_blank" website template; it’s full of gold stars, confetti, kampus terbaik di lampung (More inspiring ideas) and my drawings of presents so it works for Christmas, Chanukah, New Year’s, birthdays, whatever you might be celebrating!’

Cheers: 'If you're hosting, you might have a bottle of wine delivered to each person who plans to dial in, mail everyone cookies, or just email around a recipe of a literary-themed cocktail or snack recipe so that you can all whip up the same item ahead of time,' said Darcy

Cheers: 'If you're hosting, you might have a bottle of wine delivered to each person who plans to dial in, mail everyone cookies, or just email around a recipe of a literary-themed cocktail or snack recipe so that you can all whip up the same item ahead of time,' said Darcy

Cheers: ‘If you’re hosting, you might have a bottle of wine delivered to each person who plans to dial in, mail everyone cookies, or just email around a recipe of a literary-themed cocktail or snack recipe so that you can all whip up the same item ahead of time,’ said Darcy

Send Supplies 

The celebrations expert reveals that no matter your chosen theme, it’s more fun if everyone has the same treats to enjoy.

‘If you’re hosting, you might have a bottle of wine delivered to each person who plans to dial in, mail everyone cookies, or just email around a recipe of a literary-themed cocktail or snack recipe so that you can all whip up the same item ahead of time. 

‘Give people recipes for a drink like a hot toddy or hot chocolate , along with all the ingredients in a DIY kit.’

A downloadable recipe for a DIY <a style="font-weight: bold;" class="class" rel="nofollow noreferrer noopener" target="_blank" website cocktail is available on the Darcy Miller Designs website. 

Togetherness: 'Give people recipes for a drink like a hot toddy or hot chocolate , along with all the ingredients in a DIY kit'

Togetherness: 'Give people recipes for a drink like a hot toddy or hot chocolate , along with all the ingredients in a DIY kit'

Togetherness: ‘Give people recipes for a drink like a hot toddy or hot chocolate , along with all the ingredients in a DIY kit’

Ching ching: A downloadable recipe for a DIY champagne cocktail is available on the Darcy Miller Designs website

Ching ching: A downloadable recipe for a DIY champagne cocktail is available on the Darcy Miller Designs website

Ching ching: A downloadable recipe for a DIY champagne cocktail is available on the Darcy Miller Designs website

Invite a whole “town”  

Forget about decorating the entire house and go all out on the screen space in Zoom.  

‘An impactful display for a desktop, table, mantel, or windowsill is a holiday village, a collection of snowy white houses decorated for the season,’ shares Darcy.

‘Mix and match porcelain houses like the ones from Bed Bath & Beyond with our paper versions— you can download the printable <a style="font-weight: bold;" class="class" rel="nofollow noreferrer noopener" target="_blank" website from our website, the color or cut and paste on accessories such as wreaths, trees, and other decor.  

‘To add to the cozy vibe, fill the houses with battery-operated votive candles and ad battery-operated pillar candles.  

‘You can set them out as is or put them in clear vessels and use them as centerpieces on your holiday table. The “candlelight” really sets a mood.’

A village: 'An impactful display for a desktop, table, mantel, or windowsill is a holiday village, a collection of snowy white houses decorated for the season,' shares Darcy

A village: 'An impactful display for a desktop, table, mantel, or windowsill is a holiday village, a collection of snowy white houses decorated for the season,' shares Darcy

A village: ‘An impactful display for a desktop, table, mantel, or windowsill is a holiday village, a collection of snowy white houses decorated for the season,’ shares Darcy

Lenox Schoolhouse Figurine

Lenox Schoolhouse Figurine

Pillar Candles at Bed Bath & Beyond

Pillar Candles at Bed Bath & Beyond

Left: Lenox® Lit Schoolhouse Figurine in Ivory, $79.99; <a style="font-weight: bold;" class="class" rel="nofollow noreferrer noopener" target="_blank" website Right: Flameless Pillar Candles in Bisque, $19.99+;

Candle holder

Candle holder

Left: Lenox® Holiday™ Balloon Wine Glasses (Set of 4), $39.99;<a style="font-weight: bold;" class="class" rel="nofollow noreferrer noopener" target="_blank" website bedbathandbeyond.com. Right: Olivia & Oliver™ Small Hurricane Candle Holder in Clear, $29.99; Dress up your space—and yourself 

According to Darcy, gold dresses up everything – even you!

She suggests injecting the versatile metallic hue into your color scheme with straws. 

‘One easy DIY way to decorate is using gold paper straws .You can turn them into shiny gold stars to fill your Zoom universe.’

There’s a step-by-step tutorial on my ‘String them into garlands, hang them from the bookcase, mantel or window behind you, or from the ceiling above you so that anyone who Zooms in is seeing stars,’ she suggests.’

Simple: 'One easy DIY way to decorate is using gold paper straws .You can turn them into shiny gold stars to fill your Zoom universe'

Simple: 'One easy DIY way to decorate is using gold paper straws .You can turn them into shiny gold stars to fill your Zoom universe'

Simple: ‘One easy DIY way to decorate is using gold paper straws .You can turn them into shiny gold stars to fill your Zoom universe’

‘And while you’re at it, put on some gold jewelry to match, whether it’s the real thing or a letter “pendant” made out of gold straws and a pipe cleaner and tied onto a ribbon as a necklace.  

‘You can also make these for your friends, sending them their initial in the mail before the Zoom, so everyone can coordinate. 

‘Even if you have pajama bottoms on below the screen, some festive jewelry or red lipstick will make you feel like you’re at a party.’

Wolf & Badger Creative Director and Co- Founder, Henry Graham agrees. 

‘Accessories are the order of the day when it comes to video calls,’ said Henry.

He suggests a statement piece of jewelry, a light-weight scarf, or a cute hat. 

Pucker up: 'Download our printable mistletoe stirrers and tape them to skewers to swizzle in your drink. Or, throw in one of the gold paper straws you have left over from making the stars'

Pucker up: 'Download our printable mistletoe stirrers and tape them to skewers to swizzle in your drink. Or, throw in one of the gold paper straws you have left over from making the stars'

Pucker up: ‘Download our printable mistletoe stirrers and tape them to skewers to swizzle in your drink. Or, throw in one of the gold paper straws you have left over from making the stars’

Everything you need to know: 'You can all mix a drink together, there are fun recipes for cocktails in my book, Celebrate Everything'

Everything you need to know: 'You can all mix a drink together, there are fun recipes for cocktails in my book, Celebrate Everything'

Darcy Miller knows how to throw a party

Darcy Miller knows how to throw a party

Everything you need to know: As a founding editor of Martha Stewart Weddings and author of Celebrate Everything!, Darcy knows a thing or two about throwing a beautiful party

Make a festive toast 

A toast is something you can do together without physically being together, and a  signature drink can add to the celebratory spirit, according to the author.

‘You can all mix a drink together, there are fun recipes for cocktails in my book, Celebrate Everything.’

Darcy recommends describing your drinks and sharing recipes with your loved ones on the call.

For a speakeasy-approved beverage, don’t forget the garnish! 

‘Freeze cranberries and mint leaves in ice cubes for festive (and flavorful) mix-ins.’

Touches: For a speakeasy-approved beverage, don't forget the garnish! 'Freeze cranberries and mint leaves in ice cubes for festive (and flavorful) mix-ins'

Touches: For a speakeasy-approved beverage, don't forget the garnish! 'Freeze cranberries and mint leaves in ice cubes for festive (and flavorful) mix-ins'

Touches: For a speakeasy-approved beverage, don’t forget the garnish! ‘Freeze cranberries and mint leaves in ice cubes for festive (and flavorful) mix-ins’

Name tags: 'Print and cut out our holiday wreath wine charms to accessorize the stem of your wine glass

Name tags: 'Print and cut out our holiday wreath wine charms to accessorize the stem of your wine glass

Name tags: ‘Print and cut out our holiday wreath wine charms to accessorize the stem of your wine glass

‘Download our printable <a style="font-weight: bold;" class="class" rel="nofollow noreferrer noopener" target="_blank" website stirrers and tape them to skewers to swizzle in your drink. Or, throw in one of the gold paper straws you have left over from making the stars. 

‘Print and cut out our holiday wreath wine <a style="font-weight: bold;" class="class" rel="nofollow noreferrer noopener" target="_blank" website to accessorize the stem of your wine glass. 

Cheers! 

Santa emcee: Josh Wood and Mimi Eayrs, the dynamic duo behind JWP , one of the world's leading forces in event production, fundraising, and celebrity engagement, reveal how to keep a Zoom call under control

Santa emcee: Josh Wood and Mimi Eayrs, the dynamic duo behind JWP , one of the world's leading forces in event production, fundraising, and celebrity engagement, reveal how to keep a Zoom call under control

Santa emcee: Josh Wood and Mimi Eayrs, the dynamic duo behind JWP , one of the world’s leading forces in event production, fundraising, and celebrity engagement, reveal how to keep a Zoom call under control

Josh Wood and Mimi Eayrs, the dynamic duo behind one of the world’s leading forces in event production, <a style="font-weight: bold;" class="class" rel="nofollow noreferrer noopener" target="_blank" website reveal how to keep a Zoom call under control.

Assign roles

‘Designate a host who will take care of sending out invites and setting up the Zoom room,’ said Josh and Mimi.

Is someone in the family particularly tech-savvy? 

The duo behind the Highline Festival with David Bowie suggest having them on standby to assist relatives that will inevitably experience complications.

To prevent Zoom call madness, they recommend appointing an emcee.

‘By sorting out roles and responsibilities ahead of time, you’ll set the family up for a stress-free holiday,’ shared the experts.

Team: Josh Wood and Mimi Eayrs, the dynamic duo behind one of the world's leading forces in event production, JWP , reveal how to keep a Zoom call under control

Team: Josh Wood and Mimi Eayrs, the dynamic duo behind one of the world's leading forces in event production, JWP , reveal how to keep a Zoom call under control

Team: Josh Wood and Mimi Eayrs, the dynamic duo behind one of the world’s leading forces in event production, JWP , reveal how to keep a Zoom call under control

Organize: 'Designate a host who will take care of sending out invites and setting up the Zoom room,' said Josh and Mimi

Organize: 'Designate a host who will take care of sending out invites and setting up the Zoom room,' said Josh and Mimi

Organize: ‘Designate a host who will take care of sending out invites and setting up the Zoom room,’ said Josh and Mimi

Have a plan and set expectations

‘Wherever possible, consider topics of conversation and organizational strategies (hand-raising, host control of participant volume, etc.)’ to avoid total chaos where everyone is shouting over one another,’ revealed the business partners who produced virtual events such as City Harvest’s New York Foodathon hosted by Seth Meyers. 

They believe that this will ensure even shy relatives have the opportunity to catch up with everyone.

Mimi recommends keeping virtual events under an hour or so.

Don’t abandon tradition

‘Every family has its own intricacies, including holiday traditions. Does yours always sing a certain song before dinner, pose for family portraits throughout the day, or enjoy a certain dish?

‘While things cannot and will not be exactly the same this year, many of these things can be translated to a virtual setting,’ they declared.

‘Go ahead and sing that song before dinner, choppy Zoom lag and all; snap that screenshot at the end of the day, and be sure to ask Aunt Mabel for her famous pumpkin pie recipe ASAP. 

‘The only downside there, and it’s a big one, is that you’ll have to bake it yourself.’             

<div id="external-source-links" class="item"

data-track-module=”am-external-links^external-links”>

Read more:

DM.later(‘bundle’, function()

DM.has(‘external-source-links’, ‘externalLinkTracker’);

);

Read More

Knowing These Suggestions In School Could Save You!

Free Images : town, building, mountain range, vacation, travel, rock formation, landmark ...

Are you heading off to university the first time? Will it be frustrating you? The entire college or university expertise is fairly distinct from whatever else. Fortunately, there are a few techniques you could make your time in school significantly less nerve-racking and much more productive. Utilize the recommendations provided in this post and you could have a wonderful college profession.

Manage all of the essential resources for college before you begin. Getting equipped is likely to make your expertise much simpler. You could possibly struggle to get things from your mothers and fathers if you are planning to school far away from home.

1 tip that can help you research in college would be to make yourself display greeting cards when you have an test coming. Flash greeting cards are super easy to make. Your can find low-cost crawl charge cards and publish questions in one side and answers about the other. You and a classmate are able to utilize them to analyze jointly.

If you require funds for school, you should consider obtaining government school funding and scholarships or grants. Check out the FAFSA site and keep to the software process to obtain access to federal government financing or grants or loans. If you are rejected federal funding, apply for various scholarships and grants related to this issue you want to study.

Produce very good study practices while in high school. College or university instructors normally count on that pupils with their sessions know the proper way to research for tests, kampus terbaik di lampung create term paperwork and how to study details. By understanding this when in high school graduation you can make certain achievement in university. If you do not have very good study habits, ask for help.

Communicate with your family members. This might appear to be a no-brainer, but it’s tough at times to keep in touch with your siblings and mothers and fathers when you have so much happening in your college or university daily life. Make time for at least one call or Skype treatment each week, and you’ll make sure they are pleased.

So as to make the much of your time on grounds, try and look ahead to as soon as your condition classes are presented. By planning for a plan that helps to keep your from moving back and forth from the space to course you give yourself additional time to examine, loosen up, or sleep.

Your first university practical experience can be a little mind-boggling if you are not sure what you should expect. Try out the guidelines discussed on this page and you will find that your time and effort in university might be all you could possibly imagined. Best of luck within your quest for a higher education and learning.

Read More

Have yourself a crafty little Christmas

Suddenly we have more spare time on our hands again. To fight the boredom, keep busy, and prepare for Christmas without breaking the bank in lockdown, it’s time to get crafty.

Since winning The Great British Sewing Bee on BBC2 last year, my passion for making things has become almost a full-time job. It was also a lifeline during the first lockdown. Pinning, cutting, hemming and stitching fabrics provided an escape from the news and kept me calm.

It would be easy to get sucked into feeling fearful again. Instead, I’m going to get my craft box out — and I’d love you to do the same.

The internet makes picking up new skills surprisingly easy, even when you’re stuck at home. An impressive number of crafters generously share their skills and tips online — many with video tutorials which you can pause or rewind as you go along.

Juliet Uzor (pictured), the winner of The Great British Sewing Bee, has created a list of fun activities to keep you busy during the new lockdown

Juliet Uzor (pictured), the winner of The Great British Sewing Bee, has created a list of fun activities to keep you busy during the new lockdown

Juliet Uzor (pictured), the winner of The Great British Sewing Bee, has created a list of fun activities to keep you busy during the new lockdown

And while some people splash out on fancy gadgets, many projects simply involve recycling items you already have at home.

For children, crafting not only passes the time but builds positive memories to be shared for years to come. Easy activities like scrapbooking together, hand-making Christmas cards or world class university turning previous years’ cards into gift tags are a great way to start.

So here are 20 fun, easy and creative crafting ideas — one for every day left of lockdown . . .

1. Pom-pom wreath

Use leftover wool to make different-sized pom-poms, then attach to a ring of cardboard to make a bright, cheerful Christmas wreath. For how to make a simple pom-pom, visit sewyeah.co.uk or @sewyeah on Instagram.

This colourful pom pom wreath with brighten up your door ahead of the festive season

This colourful pom pom wreath with brighten up your door ahead of the festive season

This colourful pom pom wreath with brighten up your door ahead of the festive season

2. Stylish headband

Sewing your own fashionable hair accessory is easy — all you need is stretchy fabric (an old T-shirt will do), a plain plastic headband and basic sewing machine skills. See Juliet Uzor’s tutorial at youtu.be/OQ8Bu83FkKM.

3. Soap making

Great as a gift, learn to make different coloured, naturally scented bars with the Soap Making Kit, £20, hobbycraft.co.uk.

4. Macramé plant hanger

Learn the basics of macramé and create a plant holder with a kit and online course from maker’s platform Yodomo.co, £14.99.

5. Embellished wellies

Make a splash by turning boring wellies into works of art. The trick is to draw your designs with permanent paint pens, such as Posca Paint Markers, from £12.99 for four, amazon.co.uk, which won’t wash off in the rain.

Using permanent paint pens will keep the deigns on your embellished wellies looking fresh even after testing them in muddy puddles

Using permanent paint pens will keep the deigns on your embellished wellies looking fresh even after testing them in muddy puddles

Using permanent paint pens will keep the deigns on your embellished wellies looking fresh even after testing them in muddy puddles

6. Pen tidy

Give an empty tin can a useful new lease of life using fabric scraps and a few dabs of a strong glue such as Gorilla Contact Adhesive Clear (£6.25, amazon.co.uk). For a free tutorial, visit 7. Gingerbread people

Dress your gingerbread men and women to impress by cutting out little Christmas jumpers for them from fondant icing (try Renshaw Ready To Roll Icing, £2, hobbycraft.co.uk). Then use runny icing — made with icing sugar and water — to decorate the woollies with piped snowflake patterns and other details.

The fun part about these gingerbread men is dressing them up in winter clothing using icing

The fun part about these gingerbread men is dressing them up in winter clothing using icing

The fun part about these gingerbread men is dressing them up in winter clothing using icing

8. Pipe cleaner wands

children will love these super-simple magic wands. Start by threading a handful of beads onto a pipe cleaner (£2.95 for 120, Bakerross.co.uk), then bend the beaded section into a circle for the head of the wand. Next, twist another pipe cleaner around the circle to make the points of a star. Finally, thread more beads onto the rest of the pipe cleaner to make the wand handle.

9. Beeswax wraps

Recycle fabric to make reusable, zero-waste food wraps to use instead of foil and clingfilm. There is a how-to guide at hobbycraft.co.uk/ideas/decor-hobbies/how-to-make-bees-wax-wraps. Buy the beeswax and pine resin needed to make them at baldwins.co.uk.

Beeswax wraps, which can be used in place of foil and clingfilm, can be made using recycled fabric

Beeswax wraps, which can be used in place of foil and clingfilm, can be made using recycled fabric

Beeswax wraps, which can be used in place of foil and clingfilm, can be made using recycled fabric

10. Upcycled vase

Refashion an old vase by sectioning off with masking tape, then painting with sample pots of multi-purpose paint, such as Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch, £1.80 for 20ml, dunelm.com. For pattern ideas, visit makeityours.co.uk.

11. Quilling heart

Paper-curling technique quilling is a lovely way to create art or special cards. All you need is glue, cocktail sticks and coloured paper. Make a cute heart design by following the free tutorial at emilydawe.com/post/paper-quilling-a-heart.

This incredible heart picture was created by curling coloured pieces of paper

This incredible heart picture was created by curling coloured pieces of paper

This incredible heart picture was created by curling coloured pieces of paper

12. Sew a facemask

Make a facemask with leftover fabric, elastic and a sewing machine. Far more stylish than a disposable. See: hobbycraft.co.uk/ideas/sewing/ how-to-make-a-face-mask.

13. Stencilled stools

Brighten up wooden stools and chairs using chalk paint (try anniesloan.com) and stencils, such as those by nicolettetabram.co.uk, from £7.99.

An easy way to brigthen up bland or boring stools is to stencil bright and intricate designs onto them

An easy way to brigthen up bland or boring stools is to stencil bright and intricate designs onto them

An easy way to brigthen up bland or boring stools is to stencil bright and intricate designs onto them

14. Dreamcatchers

Attach three pipe cleaners together in a line and connect the ends to form a hoop. Wind several more around the hoop to give it strength. Now weave wool around the hoop to make a spiderweb effect. Then add feathers, beads and homemade wool tassels to more lengths of wool and tie them so they dangle underneath your dreamcatcher.

15. Felt tip calligraphy

Calligraphy is easy with brush-style felt tip pens. Learn with Brush Lettering, by Rebecca Cahill Roots (Batsford Ltd), £11.65, amazon.co.uk. Use your new skills on cards and gift tags.

Learning calligraphy with brush-style felt-tip pens will come in handy when it comes to writing card gifts and tags

Learning calligraphy with brush-style felt-tip pens will come in handy when it comes to writing card gifts and tags

Learning calligraphy with brush-style felt-tip pens will come in handy when it comes to writing card gifts and tags

16. Candle making

Why buy expensive scented candles when you can make your own? Candle Making kit, £30, hobbycraft.co.uk, contains enough for three candles.

17. Advent calendar

Create your own advent calendar with house-shaped boxes to print out and make. Download a pattern for £12 at emilydawe.com/shop, then print the boxes on paper or card, cut them out, fold and stick together. Alternatively, a ready printed kit costs £20. Fill with chocolates or make-up — but start early.

Another activity suggested was to create your very own advent calendar (pictured)

Another activity suggested was to create your very own advent calendar (pictured)

Another activity suggested was to create your very own advent calendar (pictured)

18. Window art

Whether you choose festive stars and holly leaves, or let the children doodle, drawing on windows with white liquid chalk markers (from £3.49, ryman.co.uk) is great fun and your designs will simply wipe off with a wet soapy cloth afterwards.

19. Pretty plant pots

Transform plain terracotta pots by drawing designs and patterns with white paint or paint marker pens, such as Posca Paint Markers, £12.99 for four, amazon.co.uk.

Drawings and patterns help to brighten up these standard plant pots and add an element of character

Drawings and patterns help to brighten up these standard plant pots and add an element of character

Drawings and patterns help to brighten up these standard plant pots and add an element of character

20. Potato-print paper

Save money — and the environment — by printing your own patterns on to brown parcel paper using humble potatoes. Cut a potato in half, then cut or score a design — such as stars for Christmas or balloons for birthdays — into the flat side to make a stamper. Dip it in any kind of paint then press it all over your paper to create your design. For more paint projects, visit anniesloan.com.

Juliet Uzor hosts the un:CUT crafting podcast. Her tips and tutorials can be found at sewsonatural.com, on her YouTube channel, and on Instagram at @julietuzor_

Interview by Jenny Wood

<div id="external-source-links" class="item"

data-track-module=”am-external-links^external-links”>

Read more:

DM.later(‘bundle’, function()

DM.has(‘external-source-links’, ‘externalLinkTracker’);

);

Read More

Students must not return home ahead of lockdown in bid to save…

Mahasiswa Pendidikan Bahasa Inggris Universitas Teknokrat Kampus Terbaik di Lampung Juara ...

Students should not return home from university before the second lockdown begins as it will risk the lives of loved ones, a minister has said.

Universities minister Michelle Donelan has also called on institutions not to switch fully to online lessons during the lockdown as she warned it could jeopardise students’ learning and “risk their mental health”.

In a letter to students ahead of the second lockdown in England, Ms Donelan has urged young people against travelling back to their families before the new national restrictions come into effect on Thursday.

She said: “I know and appreciate that a number of you may want to be back with your family during this difficult time, but I urge you to stay where you are in order to save lives.”

In a separate letter to vice-chancellors, the minister said she wants all students to have “some form of face-to-face learning” where possible, as they had not seen evidence of increased transmission within teaching environments on university campuses.

Ms Donelan said: “We expect you to continue to make informed decisions with your local public health teams on the level of face-to-face teaching and learning to provide, based on appropriate risk assessments and the needs of students and staff.

Signs on a window at Manchester Metropolitan University´s Birley campus where hundreds of students have been told to self-isolate after 127 of them tested positive for coronavirus.

Signs on a window at Manchester Metropolitan University´s Birley campus where hundreds of students have been told to self-isolate after 127 of them tested positive for coronavirus.

Signs on a window at Manchester Metropolitan University´s Birley campus where hundreds of students have been told to self-isolate after 127 of them tested positive for coronavirus.

“We do not, however, want or expect to see a transition to full online learning during the new national restrictions — this could jeopardise the learning that students receive, as well as risk their mental health and wellbeing.”

It comes after guidance from the Cabinet Office said universities and adult education settings “should consider moving to increased levels of online learning where possible” during the four-week lockdown.

The World class University and College Union (UCU) is calling on vice-chancellors to move all non-essential activities online now to keep students and staff safe and to minimise the spread of Covid-19.

But new Department for Education (DfE) guidance on what universities and students in England should do during the second lockdown says face-to-face teaching should continue where it can be done safely.

The guidance says “commuter students” – those who live at their family home and travel to the university campus for lessons – will still be allowed to attend the university for educational purposes during the lockdown.

It also advises that face coverings should be worn in all university learning environments, providing that they do “not impact teaching and learning.”

The new guidelines say libraries and study spaces on campus should remain open during the new national restrictions, but students must not gather in these spaces unless it is part of a scheduled in-person seminar or tutorial.

Students have been told to remain at university and not to travel home before November 5 so that they can “benefit from face-to-face teaching and Covid-secure educational facilities” and prevent the risk of spreading coronavirus.

Ms Donelan told students: “The reason we are asking you to remain at your university area and not to travel home before the new restrictions come into place on Thursday is to prevent any further spread of Covid-19 — any movement around the country will risk the lives of our loved ones.”

Hillary Gyebi-Ababio, vice president for higher education at the National Union of Students (NUS), has called the demands “unjust” and she warned the rules could be “damaging” to students’ mental health.

The NUS is calling for more “credible options” to be put on the table – including letting students leave their halls, releasing them from rental contracts, or allowing them to leave their course altogether.

Ms Gyebi-Ababio said: “With news of a national lockdown, some students will understandably want to reform households with family and be around loved ones.

“With current guidance allowing people to move homes and form new households until Thursday it is unjust that the Government calls on students to stay put.

“For students that do remain on campus over lockdown we need to see additional mental health and wellbeing support provided in recognition of how challenging this period will be.”

She added: “For too many months, students have been at the whim of ever-changing guidance and rules, often expecting them to adhere to tighter restrictions than the rest of the population.

“Not only is this fundamentally unfair, it is hugely damaging for students’ mental health and finances, with the uncertainty making it harder for many to access education. This must change.”

A Universities UK (UUK) spokeswoman said: “As the universities minister has made clear in her letters to vice-chancellors and to students, students should remain at university and teaching, learning and student support should continue.

“Universities and Government recognise the importance of face-to-face teaching and learning activities in Covid-secure facilities for students’ education, mental health and wellbeing. This will include libraries and learning spaces remaining open.”

Read More

Instagram Reels tutorial: How to use the TikTok competitor

id=”article-body” class=”row” section=”article-body”>

reels-1

Reels is Instagram’s in-app TikTok competitor.

Instagram/Screenshot by Shelby Brown/CNET

Instagram now has a new way for you to show off your creativity. The social media platform last week launched its TikTok competitor Reels, which lets you film, edit and post 15-second videos in the Instagram app. Reels, available now in the US, looks like it’ll give social media influencers and other creators a new way to make and share short-form content. 

Instagram Reels will have some catching up to do. TikTok has been downloaded more than 2 billion times, and is wildly popular among Gen Z. Instagram, meanwhile, has over 1 billion monthly users, who skew slightly older. But Instagram’s familiar platform may make it a way for people who wouldn’t otherwise download TikTok to experiment with the 15-second video format. And since the White House is considering a ban on TikTok due to the app’s ties to China, Instagram Reels may pick up some users who are concerned about this, too. 

Instagram Reels will feel familiar if you’ve used Instagram before, or if you ever made a Vine back in the day, world class university or a TikTok more recently. 

reels2reels2

Instagram/Screenshot by Shelby Brown/CNET

How to make an Instagram Reel

1. Download the latest version of the Instagram app on iOS or Android, and open the app.

2. Swipe right to open the Instagram camera, or tap the camera icon in the top left corner.

3. At the bottom of the screen, tap Reels.

4. Tap the record button to film your Reel (the clip must last between 3 and 15 seconds). 

5. On the left of the screen, you can explore Reel’s suite of editing tools, including adding audio, text or other effects. Augmented reality effects are an option, too. 

6. Post your Reel to your Instagram page or story, or save the Reel to your drafts and keep working on it later. 

If a Reel is saved in your drafts, you can find it in the Reels tab on your profile. You can also post your Reel to the Explore page, so any Instagram user can see it. Other Instagram users can like, comment on or save your Reel. 

reels-3reels-3

Instagram/Screenshot by Shelby Brown/CNET

Add videos you’ve already filmed to Instagram Reels

If you have a video on your phone that you want to turn into a Reel, here’s how to do it: 

1. Open the Instagram app. 

2. Swipe right to open the Instagram camera.

3. Choose Reels at the bottom of the screen.

4. Swipe up to pull down your camera roll.

5. Select the video you want and use the trim option if needed.

6. Edit your video by adding audio, text or other effects.

7. Publish the video on your Instagram feed or story, or save it as a draft.

The Reels feature was first tested in India after TikTok was banned there. It was also tested in Brazil, France and Germany.

For more video help, check out our guide on how to become a YouTuber, and the best vlogging cameras

Read More