Reimagining Education

Online education tools for families stuck at home

Students stuck at home as a result of the coronavirus still need to learn, and while some schools are developing their own distance education options there are a lot of online platforms that families can use to supplement learning at home. Here is a good article to help parents determine whether or not a game, app or show is educational.

CEAM has scoured the web for the best free platforms for families to use. A new service started last week, Wide Open School, combines resources from a wide variety of providers on one website and even provides daily schedules to help families bring some order to their homes. This is a great starting point, but please also check out the individual offerings listed below.

Please check out the resources below, and if you find your other educational platforms please let us know.

For all grade levels

Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. They tackle math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more. Their math missions guide learners from kindergarten to calculus using state-of-the-art, adaptive technology that identifies strengths and learning gaps. They’ve also partnered with institutions like NASA, The Museum of Modern Art, The California Academy of Sciences, and MIT to offer specialized content.

Kahoot! is a game-based learning platform, used as educational technology in schools and other educational institutions. Its learning games, “Kahoots”, are multiple-choice quizzes that allow user generation and can be accessed via a web browser or the Kahoot app.

Leveraging the expertise of its thousands of public-school teachers and the experiences of more than 120,000 enrolled students and their families, K12 is offering free access to a host of resources for families through June 30, 2020:
Free unlimited access to 17,000 eBooks at a wide range of reading levels with Big Universe. Nearly 2,000 of these titles are available in Spanish. Big Universe is accessible online by computer, tablet and smartphone. Free library of webinars and materials for those encountering online learning for the first time. 50% discount on tuition for new students at The Keystone School, a private K-12 virtual school. All content is available in Spanish and 64 other languages.
Online Summer Camps through Destinations Career Academy
K12’s Destinations Career Academy (DCA) will host free career exploration summer classes for students in grades 8-11, along with a free online DCA Coding Camp for students ages 13-18. The free online DCA summer camps and classes offer a safe and engaging way for high school students to keep their minds sharp and take their first steps in exploring long-term career pathways.
DCA Summer School will offer exploratory courses in Business and Marketing, Health, and Information Technology from June 24-July 22, 2020. DCA Coding Camp will feature two courses: Video Game Design & Programming from June 15-27, and Virtual Reality from July 6-17, 2020.
Virtual campers who complete at least one of the two Coding Camp sessions will be eligible to participate in an eSports Tournament hosted by the High School eSports League (HSEL) in late July.

The CK-12 Foundation is a California-based non-profit organization which aims to increase access to low-cost K-12 education in the United States and abroad. CK-12 provides free and customizable K-12 open educational resources aligned to state curriculum standards.

Conjuguemos offers free online help for students studying foreign languages (including Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Korean, and Latin) in the form of flashcards, games, and quizzes.
The National Council of Teachers of English has an entire tab devoted to literacy resources for parents and afterschool professionals. You will find grade-specific literacy games and tools, activities and projects, tips, podcasts, and downloadable resources for no charge!

Izzit offers a wide range of online videos, lesson plans, and quizzes for free.

Great Minds Knowledge on the Go is providing knowledge-building resources—written materials for math (Grades K–12) and daily instructional videos for English language arts (Grades K–8), math (Grades K-12), and science (Grades 3–5). They will post new video lessons and update their content daily. 

Typing Club is a free, online site designed to help people of all ages learn how to type!

Libby is a free app from Overdrive that lets you access ebooks from your local library on a wide variety of devices. This will be very helpful to keep kids reading when libraries are closed because of the coronavirus.

For elementary school level

Even when schools are closed, you can keep the learning going with these special cross-curricular journeys. Every day includes four separate learning experiences, each built around a thrilling, meaningful story or video. Kids can do them on their own, with their families, or with their teachers. Just find your grade level and let the learning begin!

Waterford.org Early Learning Boosts will help you engage your child in positive learning experiences during the week. Three times a week, we will send an email with a video and an activity teaching literacy, math, or science concepts for 3- and 4-year-olds! The activities are simple, age-appropriate, and designed to give your child a BOOST in their early education!

Prodigy uses engaging games to help motivate students in elementary and middle school to learn and practice math. This is a great resource to work on building skills.

Mystery Science provides free mini and full science lessons online for students in First through Fifth grade

Story Mentors is an exciting new online intervention library for beginning and struggling readers. Check out their amazing free resources: 25 leveled beginning readers, mentor guides, at-home resources, and more.

Storyline Online, streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White and dozens more.
Reading Rockets is a multimedia project that offers a wealth of research-based reading strategies, lessons, and activities designed to help children from birth to age 8 learn how to read and improve their reading. Their resources are for parents, teachers, and after school professionals. Download free reading tips for parents and early literacy professionals, by age and stage, in English and translated into 12 other languages

Nine’s learning resources are evidence-based. These educational resources build social and emotional learning, literacy, STEM, social studies, and fine and performing art skills for children across the St. Louis region. Free educational content is at the core of Nine’s mission. From Sesame Street to NOVA, Nine broadcasts trusted educational content all day, every day, on television and online.

An evidence-based tool that sparks a dialogue between teachers, parents, and students about daily classroom learning. Families receive weekly curriculum-aligned activities sent via text to their cell phone. During current school closures, FASTalk can be especially helpful by providing:
Activities that will be sent by text message. Parents do not need to have a smartphone or download an app to benefit.
Text messages available in 100+ languages.
Tips for parents to support social and emotional learning, including managing stress and anxiety.

An app that enables parents to use screen time as deep learning time, through interactive, caregiver-led early learning opportunities. Personalized, curated app recommendations foster specific early learning, literacy, and numeracy goals. Until the 2021 school year begins, this app being offered for free, using code: FREE.

Online math lessons customized for K-5 grades – including 400 hours of digital lessons with on-screen teachers.

Circletime advances education and well-being by providing live, interactive “Mommy and Me” classes that are convenient (and engaging) for parents and (fun and) educational for children. Every group session is led by a certified subject-matter expert. The hands-on sessions are evidence-based and promote healthy play activities that continue beyond the class.

Here is a great collection of YouTube videos of simple science experiments you can do at home with everyday items.
This is a book that you would have to pay for, but it has been a go-to tool for many families struggling with helping their kids learn to read at home and is highly recommended!

For middle and high school level

On Seneca, you will find diagrams, mind maps and many different types of questions focused on a wide range of topics for middle and high school students. These questions are tailored to you, to help you learn as quickly as possible.

HippoCampus.org is a free, core academic web site that delivers rich multimedia content–videos, animations, and simulations–on general education subjects to middle-school and high-school teachers and college professors, and their students, free of charge. Teachers project HippoCampus content during classroom learning and assign it for computer labs and homework. Students use the site in the evenings for study and exam prep. Users do not need to register or log in to use the site.

Here are some answers on how AP exams will be conducted this year during the pandemic.

Fiveable offers free live and archived resources for students in Advanced Placement courses including videos quizzes and study guides

Coursera offers a wide variety of college-level courses online, many of them for free. Students can even earn certificates and degrees through specific programs

A novel, world-class, online, interactive high school computer science curriculum that is entirely free.

The Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award, known as iDEA is an international program that helps you develop digital, enterprise and employability skills for free. This is a great platform to help build soft skills and credentials for the workplace.

Other resources

Homeless Youth
The St. Louis Department of Human Services is working with housing agencies and shelters to provide housing for homeless families. If you have any unhoused students/families please email Valerie Russell at davisva@stlouis-mo.gov Director of St. Louis DoHS

School House Connection has put together a resource guide for schools to proactively and intentionally incorporate outreach to homeless families and unaccompanied youth.

Student Civil Rights
The US Department of Education has released a webinar and fact sheet for protecting students’ civil rights during COVID-19.

Education for Students with Disabilities

Educational Equity and FERPA

The Education Trust focuses on educational equity and how to help students during school closures.
The Department of Education offers guidance about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and COVID-19.