Free Online Educational Resources for Teachers, Students, and Families
June 2, 2020
These tip sheets were created to be shared with your communities: students, teachers, administrators, parents, and families. You may learn more and access additional resources at lsu.edu/bestpractices.
As the state's Flagship School of Education, we are dedicated to sharing resources, expertise, and innovative ideas with you - our teachers, parents, and education partners. Leaving our schools in March 2020, due to COVID19, required immediate and creative solutions so remote teaching and learning could happen. The collaboration between parents, teachers, and schools is essential, and we hope you find these resources helpful to continue your development this summer and into next Fall.
Louisiana Department of Education Resources
To support and guide school systems’ development and implementation of distance learning during the school closure, the Louisiana Department of Education released “Louisiana Continuous Education Toolkit: Academic Resources” on May 14, 2020. The toolkit complies a list of tools and resources to support students’ undisrupted learning for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.
In addition, Louisiana Department of Education and Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB) have collaborated to develop media-enriched resources to engage students in digital learning at home, including electronic field trip, digital learning media collection, and a list of educational resources, categorized by subject area and grade level.
Scholastic Learn at Home
In a quick response to the nationwide school closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Scholastic has created “Scholastic Learn at Home,” a free online resource that provides pre-K to grade 9 students with 20 days of learning that across various content areas. Children are guided through the daily learning activities (e.g., read articles, watch videos, go on virtual field trips, meet authors, complete reading challenges), based on their grade levels. The website also provides resources, tips and tricks to assist families and teachers to support students’ learning at home.
PBS LearningMedia and Summer Learning
PBS LearningMedia, a partnership of PBS and WGBH Educational Foundation, has curated free, standards-aligned learning materials (e.g., videos, interactives, lesson plans) that span all curriculum areas for pre-K through high school. Teachers and students can search and access the needed learning materials by grade level and curriculum area. In addition, to minimize students’ COVID slide and summer learning loss, PBS LearningMedia develops “Summer Learning,” a collection of interactive, multimedia learning materials for grades PreK-12 in five content areas - reading, writing and story-telling, math and engineering, science and nature, arts and culture, and social emotional learning.
Selected Content-Specific Educational Resources
Reading & Writing
Wonderopolis: Created by the National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) in 2010, a popular education website with over 2,000 Wonders of the Day, covering a vast range of topics.
Epic: A digital library for kids 12 and under, with 40,000 books, learning videos, and quizzes. Free for teachers and librarians through the end of the school year, June 30, 2020.
Illumination: Developed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), a free math education website that provides standards-based lesson plans (over 700) and learning activities (over 100) for teachers and parents to use across all grades.
Khan Academy: A free, well-known math learning platform that provides standards-aligned, animated video lessons and practice activities for learners from K-12 to early college. The learning resources and activities promote personalized learning.
MysteryScience: Provides a large collection of ready-made science mysteries for elementary school students. It is currently free to teachers and parents to help science learning from home during the pandemic.
Ology: A free science learning website from the National Museum of Natural History. Covers topics in biology, earth and space, and human cultures.
Netflix’s Educational Documentaries: To give teachers and students free access to educational documentaries, Netflix has released 10 of its educational documentaries on YouTube, including “Our Planet.”
Scratch: A project of MIT Media Lab that aims to cultivate creativity, reasoning and collaboration skills among young people through programming.
Swift: A programming language created by Apple to build apps and games.
Tynker: A widely used educational programming platform that teaches kids coding through making games and apps.
Virtual Field Trips
Google Arts and Culture: An online platform that provides public access to over 2000 virtual tours of museums around the world.
Discovery Education Virtual Field Trip: A collection of achieved and live virtual field trips with educator guides that help engage students with hands-on learning activities. Teachers can search by subject area.
Virtual Summer Camps 2020
Camp Wonderopolis: Provides free online summer camp activities that revolve around STEM and literacy-building topics.
Microsoft Virtual Summer Camps: To help kids make good use of summer time, Microsoft provides a series of free online workshops, from June to August, to help K-12 students develop digital skills. Participants can collect digital badges to document their summer learning journey.
Varsity Tutors Virtual Summer Camps: Offers free week-long summer camps for ages 5-18. Running June through August, students are able to choose their interested camps based on grade levels and subject areas.
Numerade Online Summer Camp: Targeting middle and high school students, Numerade offers two-months of free STEM summer camps covering SAT test prep, precalculus, calculous, physics and chemistry.
Resources Curated By: Jennifer Qian, EdD
Dr. Qian is a faculty in the Educational Technology program in the School of Education at Louisiana State University. Prior to joining LSU, she served as the doctoral research chair in the Doctor of Education program at Northeastern University, Boston, where she was the recipient of CPS Teaching Excellence Award in 2017. Dr. Qian directed over 50 doctoral research studies on a variety of topics in education and produced 32 doctorates. Her higher education career started in 1991, and she previously worked at Dartmouth College, St. Thomas University, Grand Valley State University, Lehigh University, State University of New York - Buffalo, and Beijing Capital University of Economics and Business. Dr. Qian’s research interests include technology-enabled academic innovation, digital transformation, models of online education, and best practices in online teaching for active and deep learning. She also serves as the Associate Editor of International Journal of Innovative Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, and the Editor in Chief of Journal of International Education and Practice.