With millions of students experiencing school disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both teachers and families are making plans to keep students on track and learning while at home. That means that students and their families are now in the position of driving that learning. But, teachers are still working around the clock to deliver content and curriculum to help with that at-home learning. That means the demand for e-learning and remote learning resources are at an all-time high.
To assist schools and teachers who are looking for free resources during this difficult time, we’ve compiled a list of them to help. We recognize that there are many sources who have already created quality lists of free educational resources, so we’ve taken the time to find and share them below.
Through their low-income Connect2Compete program, Cox is providing new customers their first month of internet for free, as well as increased speeds for current customers. They are also providing resources for discounted, refurbished equipment through their association with PCs for People, and a Learn from Home toolkit for schools that includes instructions on how to fast-track eligible students without internet access.
Announced by their parent company Charter, Spectrum is providing free internet for K-12 students for 60 days.
Comcast is providing two months of free internet for new customers, increased speeds for existing customers, and free internet hotspots.
Scholastic Learn at Home
Scholastic just recently launched Learn At Home, a free, open-access digital hub with content for students of all grade levels. The hub was created to help keep students learning while school schedules are disrupted, and has daily courses that teachers and families can utilize for their students. Read more about Learn At Home here.
Khan Academy is a free educational resource for students, families, and teachers. It offers exercises, quizzes, and tests so students can practice and master skills, as well as instructional videos to help students learn or review material. Their library of standards-aligned lessons covers kindergarten through early college math, grammar, science, history, AP® courses, SAT® preparation, and more. It’s available in 40 languages and can be accessed on their website or through their smartphone apps. During the Coronavirus school disruptions, Khan Academy is hosting daily (weekdays) 9 am PST/12 EST live streams on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter for students, families, and teachers. Learn how it can be used for Remote Learning here.
Duolingo is a free language learning site that gamifies its language lessons. This is a fun and effective way for students of all ages to learn or practice other languages, and is also available on the Apple and Google Play app stores.
BrainPOP is a learning resource supporting hundreds of topics across all core and supplemental subject areas for K through 12 students. Their cleverly animated movies and primary sources build knowledge on topics across the curriculum, while concept-mapping and movie-making tools prompt students to think critically and creatively about what they are learning. During the COVID-19 pandemic, BrainPOP is offering free school-wide, teacher, and family accounts. Family accounts will receive free access to all BrainPOP products for 30 days, and will be extended as long as schools are closed.
145+ Amazing Online Learning Resources from weareteachers.com: https://www.weareteachers.com/free-online-learning-resources/
Education Companies Offering Free Subscriptions due to School Closings (Updated) from amazingeducationalresources.com: http://www.amazingeducationalresources.com/
Free resources and subscriptions for remote learning and home schooling due to coronavirus from qns.com: https://qns.com/story/2020/03/16/free-resources-and-subscriptions-for-remote-learning-and-home-schooling-due-to-coronavirus/
Free primary home learning resources for parents during school closures from teaglo.com: https://www.teaglo.com/blog/free-home-learning-resources-for-parents-during-school-closures/
12 Famous Museums Offer Virtual Tours You Can Take on Your Couch from travelandleisure.com: https://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/museums-galleries/museums-with-virtual-tours
The resources below can be used by teachers and families to teach students about the Coronavirus. The resources were created to ease students’ fears and empower them with knowledge about what is being done to keep them safe and how to prevent germs from spreading.
Teaching Our World: The Coronavirus – Articles and resources for hard-to-teach topics, chosen by the editors of Scholastic Classroom Magazines
A number of school fundraisers are still taking place, but are now shifting online. Some Spring sports and programs are still carrying out fundraisers in support of growing next year’s program, and other fundraisers are kicking off already for Fall of the 20-21 school year.
Some of the most critical fundraisers we’ve seen taking place right now are those supporting student meals for those who are in need. School districts across the country have been doing amazing work to ensure students receive meals during this unprecedented time, and many have fundraisers in place to allow community members to support students who are in need.
If you’re looking to take fundraising online for your classroom, team, program, booster, or parent organization, click here to sign up for a free Livingtree Give account and get started. If your district uses Livingtree Give, make sure to contact your administrator about setting up your account.
If you are a district administrator interested in learning more about how our platform can provide oversight, tracking, and reporting for fundraising in your district, visit the Livingtree Give page for more information.
This free, open-access digital hub was created to help keep students learning while school schedules are disrupted by the Coronavirus pandemic, which is increasingly affecting millions of students.
The Scholastic Learn At Home digital hub supports virtual learning plans, with open access to daily learning journeys. Learning is divided into four sections based on grade level, and covers ELA, STEM, Science, Social Studies, and Social-Emotional Learning. The hub provides approximately three hours of learning opportunities per day, for up to four weeks of instruction.
The free hub provides a great opportunity for teachers to plan virtual learning meetups to discuss and expand on any of its resources. It’s accessible on any device, and no sign up is required. Scholastic plans to keep it free and open indefinitely.
In addition, the editors of Scholastic Classroom Magazines also launched a collection of student-friendly resources for learning about the Coronavirus. The resources aim to ease students’ fears and empower them with age-appropriate information, helping them to learn what is being done to keep them safe and how to prevent germs from spreading.
For educators using the Livingtree Engage school communication platform to engage families in remote and home learning, these are excellent online resources to share and work into learning plans.
For more information about Scholastic’s resources, you can view their news release here: http://mediaroom.scholastic.com/press-release/scholastic-creates-free-open-access-digital-hub-help-keep-students-learning-while-scho
Just last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Coronavirus (COVID-19) spread a global pandemic. What we know for sure is that this virus is at the top of everyone’s mind, especially the minds of family members with children in school. This pandemic is something the world has never dealt with before, and these are uncharted waters for all leaders, who are making significant decisions to protect the health and safety of their communities with no playbook to go off of. And unfortunately, there is no predictability in any of this, and things may develop within 2 hours, 2 days, or 2 minutes.
Families are worried, concerned, and have dozens of questions regarding what’s happening. Ultimately, families want to know that their child is in safe hands, they want to feel that they have the latest information and are being kept well informed, and they want to know the district is on top of all matters with their child’s best interest at heart.
To help ease the concerns of the families in your community, it’s best to understand exactly what information families want to know. We went out and analyzed some of the many concerns that families had and compiled them here. As you plan to communicate with families regarding the Coronavirus, we recommend you consider addressing the following:
Families want to be well informed of any cases or potential cases of the virus within the district or the community. They want to know that the district knows about them, and is openly transparent about what the infection. This may require your district to work diligently with local officials, and to quickly/openly share this information. If this is indeed your district’s plan, continuously providing this information for families can be reassuring.
Many families just want to be assured that your school district has a plan. It sounds so simple, but in fact many families worry that you aren’t prepared. Those families just need reassurance that you have a plan, or even that you plan on sharing additional information soon. Now, the number of “what if” scenarios makes this tricky, because as of right now, nobody has a clear path forward. Many decisions will have to be “game time” decisions, but reassuring families that you have plans to enact for different scenarios can help.
Remember how we said families want to know that their child is in good hands, and that you have their best interest at heart? Here is where you let them know. Make sure you communicate the proactive steps your district is taking to keep everyone healthy and safe. Whether that be extra cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing, or that you are working with officials to stay up to date, families want to know what you are doing to keep their child safe.
For some families, their child may be missing tests and curriculum. For others, they may have high school seniors who are looking forward to their final year in sports, Senior Proms, as well as their big graduation. Again, families only want the best for their children. These are not easy questions to answer, especially since the future is uncertain for so many schools. However, as these events draw nearer, families will want to know your intentions for them.
Families will want to know whether or not you are making any exceptions or updates to certain policies. For example, have you allowed any flexibility in your attendance and/or sick leave policies? What about the perfect attendance award/incentive program? Even if you haven’t made any updates to these policies, families will want to know exactly that, so make sure to include that information in your communications.
Some families rely on school lunches, may not have access to what they need at grocery stores, or may not be prepared to have their child at home full-time. While schools are closed, many districts are still providing students access to lunch at their schools or specific pick-up locations. Your families will want to know if you are providing this option as well.
With public locations such as coffee shops and libraries closing, and some families having limited-to-no access to high-speed internet, this is a legitimate question for them. Consider providing a list of resources to those families, and potentially even reaching out to local providers to see what they can do. Many internet providers are creating better access to the internet for K-12 students during this time. Check out some of the resources we found below:
Cox: Through their low-income Connect2Compete program, Cox is providing new customers their first month of internet for free, as well as increased speeds for current customers. They are also providing resources for discounted, refurbished equipment through their association with PCs for People, and a Learn from Home toolkit for schools that includes instructions on how to fast-track eligible students without internet access.
Charter/Spectrum: their companies are providing free internet for K-12 students for 60 days.
Comcast: Their company is providing two months of free internet for new customers, increased speeds for existing customers, and free internet hotspots.
When it comes to sharing information with families, the goal is to reach every family, wherever they are, with clear and concise information. For schools and districts using Livingtree Engage for school communication, sharing with families there is the most effective place to start since your post will be delivered on the platform, and notifications will be sent via email and mobile push alert. Plus, your post will be delivered in the preferred language of every family member, ensuring everyone can receive and understand key communications.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently has regularly updated resources available to school and district communities, including how your district should plan, prepare and respond, preparation checklists, and FAQs. Those resources are listed below:
First and foremost, we hope you are healthy and safe. Our thoughts are with everyone and all of the school communities affected by this pandemic. This is something the modern world has never dealt with before, and these are uncharted waters for leaders across the globe. COVID-19 is at top of mind for all school leaders, who are making significant decisions to protect the health and safety of their communities with no playbook to go off of. These are tough times, and we stand by you in support.
At Livingtree, we realize our platforms can play crucial roles in some of the urgent situations that are developing as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. In the wake of this crisis, we’ve seen many school districts and states closing their schools, and we realize that the Livingtree Engage platform is playing a pivotal role in directly connecting schools and families regarding the steps and actions being taken. We’ve also seen a number of fundraisers taking place to assist students who are affected by these school closings. Many of these fundraisers are raising money to fund student meals, books, supplies, and technology while schools are closed.
Here at Livingtree, we are taking steps to ensure the safety of our staff and their families, and contribute to the effort in stopping the spread of the virus. Starting today, March 16th, our staff will be working from home indefinitely.
How does that affect our services and our customers?
It doesn’t, other than you may see us in our home-offices if we are on a video-chat. That being said, our customer support and engineering teams are hard at work to support our customers and users. We want to ensure that schools and districts are closely connected with their families and communities during this difficult time.
If you run into any issues, or have a question or a concern, we strongly encourage you to contact our customer support team by starting a live chat on our Support page, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling 512-957-2313 ext. 2.
In the end, we want to help: make sure students have what they need to succeed, and engage families in their child’s learning, regardless of whether that student is at home or in the classroom. We will get through this, and we will get through it together!
Sending our best,
The Livingtree Team