Distance learning is a crazy time for many, but we can celebrate the way various companies are offering very cool and engaging tools, resources, and activities for free. Below are some free resources to inspire students to enhance their STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) skills and also for Social and Emotional Learning.
?Discover more ways to design engaging distance learning experiences by taking my new accredited graduate course, Online Learning: Best Practices to Leverage the Power of Distance Learning.
Free Distance Learning Resources
Buncee, the digital canvas creation tool (computers, Chromebooks, and iPad app) is now free for teachers to create a class account and start designing engaging lessons or use one of the several templates teachers worldwide have created. These are some additional free remote learning resources:
- A remote learning guide for new or existing Buncee users that are looking to learn how to use Buncee for remote learning or in combination with tools such as Microsoft Teams, Google Classroom, Wakelet, and Flipgrid. Learn how to use the amazing Immersive Reader that makes learning accessible to all.
- Featured activities with templates that are easy to copy and distribute to students, such as the Hugs for Heroes digital greetings.
- Live webinars with ideas on how to engage students and parents.
PBLWorks has created a resource site to provide teachers with ideas, examples, and free tools to facilitate PBL remotely. The site addresses teachers’ most frequently-cited requests, including: projects that can be adapted for remote learning across the grade levels, technology solutions for collaboration and connection, and ideas for how families can support their PBL students.Additional resources on the website include a series of free webinars about doing PBL remotely, articles on best practices for remote learning, and ideas for making remote learning accessible for all students.
Curriculum Associates is offering printable activity packs and guidance for educators and student families to support learning at home. The content, which is available for Grades K-8 for both reading and math, comes in both English and Spanish.
Aperture Education is offering a collection of free resources to support SEL. This includes downloadable strategies that educators can send to their students while they are out of school, professional development resources for educators including the EdSERT Optimistic Thinking Guide, and additional resources such as white papers, videos, and blog posts to support educators during this time. Aperture also has a parent portal with additional resources families can access during this transition period.
Flinn Scientific has a robust collection of resources for science education, which include:
- Access to Flinn’s unique digital learning solutions—including WhiteBox Learning, FlinnPREP, and Digital Dissection—to facilitate seamless science and engineering learning at home.
- Video labs, along with accompanying teacher and student guides, covering key science topics.
- More than 40 easy-to-implement activities that use commonly available materials.
- Video-based lab experiments conducted by Flinn’s scientific staff and broadcast online. During the broadcasts, Flinn’s full team of scientists will be available to answer questions from teachers and students viewing online.
Impero Software is making its Impero Education Pro web-based software free for the remainder of the school year to districts that do not already have remote monitoring software in place. The powerful cross-platform product combines tools for online safety, teacher control, and real time monitoring and session tracking for student devices. Impero Education Pro is designed to enhance learning, support IT teams and safeguard students in the digital world. Teachers have access to key tools including live thumbnail view, broadcast screen, block list, live chat, and log viewer to ensure students receive continued access to education.
The Character Tree, which is free through June 30th, 2020, is providing teachers with a way to share character education videos and downloadable resources with parents to use at home. In addition, parents can sign up for their own free account if they are interested. The Character Tree is an online resource offering videos for 1st and 2nd grade students that use engaging discussions, real-life examples from history, and role modeling to teach character development and emphasize positive character traits. All lessons are standards-aligned and come with printable resources for students.
Vernier Software & Technology is providing free remote learning solutions to keep students engaged in STEM during school closures. These free online resources include trials to Vernier Video Analysis™ and Pivot Interactives, the Vernier Physics with Video Analysis e-book and extended demo of the LoggerPro software needed to complete the experiments, Scratch coding activities, experiment content and access from ADInstruments and LabArchives, and more than 200 experiments with sample data covering a large range of subjects. With this robust collection of tools, teachers can help students form a deep understanding of key scientific concepts outside the classroom and laboratory.
Sam Labs has a free, easy-to-use software, SAM Space (iPad, Chromebooks), which provides the platform for students to build their own code that connects with unique wireless, Bluetooth-enabled blocks (these kits are available for purchase). Sam Labs is offering the following distance learning resources:
- 10 Free Kids Activities using common household items.
- 11 Free Lesson Plans that can be used without SAM blocks. Download our free SAM Space app and get started.
- 50+ Ready-made Lesson Plans to use with the SAM Labs’ STEAM, Maker or Learn to Code Kits.
- Teachers who use SAM Labs can also become certified SAM Labs educators.
Schools worldwide are in need of educators who can engage students of all ages in an online platform and facilitate students’ learning success virtually. In the course, Online Learning: Best Practices to Leverage the Power of Distance Learning, participants discover hands-on how to continue the learning process at a distance even during inclement weather, a health crisis or other safety issue. Additionally, participants will create distance learning products and receive feedback from their peers and the instructor, a global leader in online learning, Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell). For more information about this class, click here.
?Get your copy of Hacking Digital Learning or The 30 Goals Challenge or take a fully accredited online course for graduate credit (Online Learning Best Practices, Connected Educators or TESOL Methodologies)!