The Ultimate List of Free Online Resources & Online Teaching Tools for Schools, Educators & Parents During COVID-19
Are you looking for online teaching tools, online resources, at-home learning tools or educational websites for teachers, educators, district leads and parents to help your K-12 students learn at home amid a pandemic? We have a complete list that also includes free educational websites for elementary students as a bonus!
Nearly every industry, including education, has been impacted during these uncertain times. Since students from K-12 to higher education have shifted from a classroom setting to distance learning at a rapid pace, many parents, educators and school leaders have had to come up with online teaching tools and online resources to continue educating their kids.
These changes come at a time when people are dealing with their own personal challenges which makes the new reality more difficult to implement. The significant changes impact everyone from students (and their families), to teachers, administrators, to district leads.
So, how can the educational world make this dramatic change seemingly on the fly? Well, there are many resources out there geared towards educators to help guide and assist them so that students can thrive while going through distance learning.
Check out our list of resources that can help your school and staff continue to function and offer students a quality education during uncertain times.
Free Online Resources & Online Teaching Tools for Communicating with Students
Online teaching starts with communication. Below are some links to free online resources, educational websites for teachers & online teaching tools that ensure communication between educators and students continues.
Distance Learning Tools: The California Department of Education created a list of communication tools that support distance learning.
Zoom Tips: Many schools have turned to Zoom as their online communication. The company has a post where they offer tips on how to effectively use the tool.
Microsoft Education: They have great videos geared towards teachers to help them offer students support via distance learning.
Charter Communications and Comcast are offering reduced pricing or even free connectivity for low income families.
OCR on Website Availability: This Office for Civil Rights (OCR) webinar focuses on online education and website accessibility.
QAS Goes Digital: The QAS is one of the most important tools a student can use to effectively prepare for the SAT.
Test Prep Live Videos: This Method Test Prep Facebook page contains a daily dose of quick tips and short video lessons covering a range of topics that help students prepare for SAT & ACT exams.
Online Resources for Educators: Educational Websites for Teachers & Educators
Google Classroom: Learn how to engage with students, give feedback and manage coursework using Google Classroom.
Teach from Home: Offers tons of information and tools to help teachers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
Resources to Support Teachers During the COVID-19 Outbreak: Readings and resources to help you kick-start important conversations with your students.
Facebook Group for Educators Offering Support, Resources & Community: If you’re an educator, join this Facebook group to get advice from others about distance learning and online learning.
Tips for Designing Online Learning: Contains a series of fantastic videos on how to design an online learning experience using the 5 Es Instructional Model.
Social Emotional Learning Tips When Students Aren’t in School: This article explore how to keep students engaged through social emotional learning when communicating online.
Tips for Managing Virtual Instruction: Here are some tips on how to embed social emotional learning within your virtual instruction.
Take-Home Assignments for Students: Check out two research take-home assignments that can provide students real perspective on their future while home-bound.
Virtual School Counseling Guide: Our client, Dr. Cook, from Frisco ISD, put together a Virtual School Counseling guide to help other districts move forward swiftly and thoughtfully.
Online School Resources for School Leaders
School leaders – principals, department heads, district leads, etc, – may seem to be out of the picture during distance learning. However, they have much to do behind the scenes. Below are links that can help school leaders navigate the challenges they face.
Setting up Distance Learning: While the rush is on to get distance learning going, it needs to be done effectively. The National Association of Independent Schools offers tips on how to organize distance learning.
Microsoft Education: has information about how to get a school set up. Their how-to guide helps school leaders, “set up teams in your schools and classroom.”
School Lunch: According to this blog post, “On a typical school day, 21 million K-12 students from low-income backgrounds rely on free or reduced-price school breakfasts and lunches.” The post has suggestions about how to continue the service even if the school doors are shut.
School Leaders Communicate: This site offers classes as well as an outlet for school leaders to communicate, share ideas, and get feedback.
Going to Distance Learning: A principal shares his experiences and what he has learned. Regarding the article, it’s “written for every school principal that is or might be put into the situation of leading an online school “on the fly” in the coming days and weeks.”
Distance Learning Toolkit: Newsela has put together a distance learning toolkit for administrators to help guide them through their program.
CDC Guidance: The CDC organized a guide for administrators of K-12 schools and childcare programs to help them plan, prepare, and respond to the current situation.
Big Picture: Education Elements has arranged webinars (as well as ways to communicate) for school leaders. The topics center around leadership, teachers, operations, and virtual learning.
Map of Cornavirus and School Closures: Contains maps and charts to help educators get state-level information about school closures within the United States.
MTP Distance Learning Plan: A webinar geared at helping schools create and plan on how to use MTP while schools are closed.
E-Learning Resources for Engaging Students During COVID-19
For many teachers, the switch to distance learning can be intimidating. From veterans to newbies, teachers need to find new ways to engage students as they segue from classroom to distance learning. Check out the links to help teachers work with students in a positive productive manner.
What to Communicate: A veteran educator, who is currently the director of the Rutgers University Social-Emotional and Character Development Lab, has tips for teachers on how/what to communicate with students upon shifting to distance learning.
Facilitate Remote Learning: This blog post from Xello offers tips on how educators can keep students engaged and create a meaningful learning experience.
Don’t Fade Away: Distance learning should not mean teachers disappear. This article offers teachers a few tips on how to work with classes during this challenging time including staying in touch and offering resiliency.
Community: This blog post, ‘Creative Ways Teachers Are Building Classroom Community Online,’ has some examples to help teachers maintain a sense of community even when the community is at a distance.
Talking about the Situation: Talking to students about these uncertain times is challenging. This lesson plan serves as a model of how to do so.
Best Practices: The Council for Exceptional Children has created a guide to help teachers. It includes “best practices, teaching strategies, and tips and tricks for delivering high quality instruction and therapy online with a quick turn-around.”
Free Online Resources for Student Engagement: Contains tons of links to help educators convert their classrooms into virtual learning hubs to engage students.
Online Resources for Help with Lesson Plans During COVID-19
Teachers need to revise and edit their lesson plans in order to account for their exodus from the classroom. Below are some links to those offering teachers’ assistance.
Virtual Field Trip: Just about every student enjoys a field trip. Discovery Education has created virtual field trips to keep the excitement going.
Lesson a Day: The New York Times offers a lesson a day which covers everything from the front page.
The Arts: The Kennedy Center offers arts-centered standards-based resources/lesson plans for students from K-12.
Civics: Engaging Congress, from Indiana University, has lessons that help students understand representative government and the challenges in contemporary society.
Sharing: Curriki has a free library of lesson plans and materials that have been teacher vetted. The materials cover multiple subject areas and are in many formats.
College and Career Ready: Xello’s program helps prepare students with ready-made lessons that can be done via distance learning
For Kids to Age 11: EducationCity, an online teaching, learning and assessment resource, has a trove of free content that includes lesson plans for all academic levels.
Games: Minecraft Education is offering free lessons that helps students learn problem solving.
Social Studies and Science: Studies Weekly has customized standard based curriculum for Social Studies and Science. Their online platform includes all student editions, Teacher Editions, lesson plans, ELA integrations, and assessments.
TeAchnology: This company has free resources, including lesson plans and worksheets, for K-12 teachers that cover multiple subject areas including math, ESL, music and literature.
Online Resources for Parents to Engage Kids at Home During COVID-19
Audible stories: Audio books for your kids to help keep them engaged and entertained during this time of disruption.
9 Ways to School Kids from Home During Coronavirus: Tips for parents on how to keep their kids engaged with learning during this uncertain time.
How to Communicate with Your Kids about COVID-19: A step-by-step guide on how to help children cope with changes due to COVID-19.
Helping Children Cope with Stress During COVID-19: A handy infographic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on how to communicate with kids during these uncertain times.
Online Resources for Parents to Keep Children Engaged with Remote Learning: This article has tons of great resources that’ll keep your kids entertained and empower them to continuously gain new knowledge.
How Parents can Help Prep Kids for SAT or ACT: Practical tips for parents of kids taking the ACT and SAT; there are things they can do to help that have nothing to do with math and English.
More Online Resources & Online Teaching Tools: EdTech Tools
Many schools use EdTech tools in the classroom. Fortunately, many of those tools can also be used at home. Below are some examples:
Xello: Preparing for the future must continue. Xello has ready-made lessons that prepare students to become future ready. Here’s how to use lessons in Xello to facilitate virtual learning.
Importance of Reading: Achieve3000, a literacy platform is offering free access to resources for differentiated literacy instruction. The non-fiction articles focus on science, social studies and current events.
Games: Kahoot!, is offering free access to the premium version of their learning software.
Powerful Learning Moments: Pear Deck, which lets teachers create, distribute, and manage multimedia content and formative assessments, has opened access to its Premium service.
Smart Sparrow: This company, whose mission is to improve online teaching and learning is making its “inspark Smart Courses” available for free.
Free Educational Websites for Elementary Students
If you’re thinking about teaching elementary school online and are looking for resources for teaching, general e-learning resources or free educational websites for elementary students, we’ve got your back. Check out the list below to get some great e-learning resources for elementary students.
National Geographic Kids: Whether you’re a parent, a teacher or a counselor, you’re sure to get elementary kids engaged in no time with fun educational videos, games, animals and nature through this exceptional online resource.
Adventure Academy: If you’re looking to take your kids on virtual field trips or a virtual tour, this app is the way to go. Help your kids learn social studies, arts, math and other subjects and get them engaged in no time.
Check out 14 Best Educational Websites for Elementary Students: A comprehensive list of epic free resources for schools, parents and teachers.
PBS Kids: A one-stop shop for fun learning and engagement for elementary kids.
NASA Kids’ Club: If your kids love science, this is the perfect online resource!
Cool Math Games: Get your kids to become mathletes in no time!
Teach Your Kids Kindergarten Sight Words: A great resource for teaching your kids sight words.
Science Bob: Get your kids to geek out with fun science experiments.
HowStuffWorks: If your kid has an inquisitive mind and lots of questions, this is the place for them!
ReadWriteThink: An excellent free online resource to get your elementary students to read, write and think.
Miscellaneous E-Learning Resources: School Counselor Teaching Tools & More!
The links below are on other topics that can prove helpful to teachers and school counselors.
Continue to Counsel: The American School Counselor Association put together a webinar that explains, “how to implement comprehensive school counseling programs in virtual school settings.”
Adhering to Guidelines: In this article, the American School Counselor Association notes the legal and ethical issues counselors need to consider when performing their job virtually.
Get Credit: Among those hosting this webinar is the AFT, and teachers who watch the webinar are eligible to receive one hour of professional development credit. The webinar is titled, ‘Teaching Complex Current Events and Supporting Student Well-Being.’
Note to Method Test Prep Community: A note from the Method Test Prep folks to parents and educators regarding access to their program.
Read How this Counselor Created a Virtual Counseling Program: This counselor built the infrastructure for a virtual school counseling program that would support 63,000 students.
Social-Emotional Resources by the Middle School Counselor: If you’re looking for free online resources for middle school kids, then Middle School Counselor, Carol Miller’s got your back!
We Are Teachers: is filled with classroom ideas & inspiration to help educators take their online instruction to the next level.
Xello’s Remote Roundtables: When faced with a lot of change, we find it helps to come together and listen to the advice of experts. So, to provide relevant information and a sense of togetherness for the community during this time, we’re kicking off Xello Remote Roundtables! Our first topic of discussion is “Remote Curriculum Development: how to create online programs that will educate and engage students during a disruption.”
We hope you find this list of resources helpful. We will continue to update this list and add more to help you during this uncertain time.