iPhone Life's Staying Connected from Home Course

Social distancing doesn’t mean you have to be disconnected from your friends and family. Our iPhones are valuable tools for communication that can help us stay in touch with loved ones while we’re all confined to our homes. That’s why we are offering the “Staying Connected from Home—an Online Course on Social Distancing with Your iPhone.” With the videos below, you’ll learn everything you need to know to stay connected and productive from the comfort of your home. With lessons on video calls, group messaging, working remotely, and more, this curriculum will help you not just get through this period, but enjoy it!

Course Contents

Lesson 1: Connecting with Friends & Family with FaceTime & Messages

Course Materials for Lesson 1

Course materials for this lesson are available here, which you can download and print for your reference.

Basics of Staying Connected at Home

In this short section, Cullen and I discuss the intention of this course, our goals for how it may add value to your life, and what has informed our decisions in what to include in the course and what to leave out. This should provide some context for the lessons ahead.


FaceTime Tutorial

In this section, Cullen and I go over Apple's own FaceTime app, including a bunch of neat features and some limitations.

Messages: Group Text Messaging Tips & Tricks

In this video, we walk you through some of the hidden features of the Messages app, that critical tool for staying in touch.

Lesson 1 Group Discussion

Q&A, Troubleshooting, and Group Assignment Check In

Lesson 2: Best Group Video Chat Options & Device Sanitization Tips

Course Materials for Lesson 2

Course materials for this lesson are available here, which you can download and print for your reference.

Video Chat Apps: Which Is Best?

Welcome to Lesson 2. Here, we'll go through some of the most popular and common video chat apps and discuss their pros and cons.

Zoom: King of Video Chat

We're using Zoom to teach this course, so we thought we'd spend some time talking about why. In this video, we’ll cover what makes Zoom such a great tool including tips and tricks for new users and old hands.

Sanitizing Your iPhone: Dos and Don'ts

Here, we will go over how to keep your iPhone clean and safe without hurting it. There is a lot of misinformation floating around out there, so it's best to be careful.

Lesson 2 Group Discussion 

Q&A, Troubleshooting, and Group Assignment Check In

Lesson 3: Staying Organized & Productive from Home 

Course Materials for Lesson 3

Course materials for this lesson are available here, which you can download and print for your reference.

Apple's Built-in Tools: Staying on The Ball with Notes, Apps & Calendar

Working from home can make time feel like an illusion. In this video, we’ll dive into ways to use the tools your iPhone already has to keep on top of the ball, to stay active and connected with your meaningful work.

Collaboration-Oriented Messaging Apps

In this video, we'll start out on a discussion of third party collaboration tools. We'd like to help you stay connected and enterprising with a quick survey of some of the best team messaging apps in the business world. 

Third-Party Co-Working Apps: Tools to Track Goals, Visualize Tasks, and More...

In this video, we’ll cover some recommendations for ways to get your goals and projects lined up and knocked down. These apps offer all kinds of different perspectives on productivity tracking, especially useful when you don't have a public white-board at hand to discuss what you're up to!

Habit Development and Gamification Apps: Start Something New

In this video, we'll make five recommendations for ways to use your iPhone to get started on a whole new journey without ever leaving your home.

Lesson 3 Group Discussion

Q&A, Troubleshooting, and Group Assignment Check In

Lesson 4: Essential Home Stay Apps

Course Materials for Lesson 4

Course materials for this lesson are available here, which you can download and print for your reference.

Virtual Tours: Google Art Project & Street View

In this section, we'll go over how to use the ultra-cool Google Art Project to explore dozens of world-class museums and art exhibits all without setting foot past your porch.

Virtual Book Clubs: A Book Opens a Thousand Doors

In this section of Lesson 4, we'll go over how to use Apple Books and the Kindle app, as well as offer some recommendations for apps that will help you pick what to read and discuss your readings with other enthusiasts.

Exercising Aids: Apps to Keep You Moving

Whether you're working through stress or just working off boredom, nothing is more important than working out. In this section of Lesson 4, we'll recommend the apps we prefer to help us keep fit and keep going.

Cooking Aids: Recipes and More

In this short section, Donna and Cullen will discuss a few third party cooking aid apps, including tools for finding recipes and for filling out your grocery list.

Home Delivery Apps: Get Your Needs Covered

From food to toiletries to medicine, in this section of Lesson 4 we'll go through some iPhone tools to keep your home stocked up.

Mental Health Tools: Apps to Keep You Sane

Feeling a little batty? You're not alone. We've tested these mental health apps thoroughly.

Education: Apps to Start Your New Adventure

In the last section of our course, we'll go over a few options for apps that help you learn something new. Ever wanted to learn a new language? Most people have that somewhere on their bucket list. Dusting off old skills or picking up a new one can be invigorating and bring meaning to your day. With these apps, you'll be ready to start.


Games: Play With Your iPhone and With Friends Too!

Research suggests that collaborative play is one of the most important activities for your brain. It helps develop meaningful social connections, for strategies for thinking, and learn new skills. With these apps, you can play familiar games and new ones with your friends and family. 

Lesson 4 Group Discussion

Q&A, Troubleshooting, and Group Assignment Check In

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Author Details

Donna Schill's picture

Author Details

Donna Schill

Donna Schill is the Editor in Chief of iPhone Life magazine and is a journalist specializing in producing multimedia content. Aside from managing the editorial team at iPhone Life, Donna co-hosts the iPhone Life Podcast, teaches online iPhone educational courses, and enjoys reporting on live Apple events. Donna began her career as a newspaper reporter before joining the iPhone Life team, where she pairs her penchant for storytelling with her love of Apple products. 

Donna holds a master's degree from the University of Iowa School of Journalism & Mass Communication and earned her undergraduate degree in Media & Communications from Maharishi International University. Her writing has appeared in the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Little Village Magazine, Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism, the Fairfield Ledger, and the Iowa Source, and she was a researcher for American journalist Claire Hoffman's memoir, Greetings from Utopia Park. She is also the host and executive producer of a feminist podcast, Thread the Needle (theneedle.co).