42 Free Online Resources for Schools Shifting Online During Coronavirus

By: National School Choice Week Team

As the new coronavirus, COVID-19, spreads throughout the country, more and more schools are canceling classes and shifting their in-person instructional time online.  Many classroom teachers are now trying to understand the ins-and-outs of distance learning for the first time and looking for free online resources for schools. What does instruction look like? How do I ensure my students are still receiving high-quality education?  Will I be able to track the learning that is taking place?  

The good news is: help is available! Many companies are offering teachers and schools access to their online platforms for free for the duration of their closure. In the short term, a new education landscape is forming, and we have put together a list of free online resources for schools, educators, and administrators to help them navigate these unfamiliar waters. A new education landscape is forming and dozens of free resources are available for educators and administrators who are moving classes online due to coronavirus' spread. Click To Tweet

We will continue to monitor and update the resources listed here as new ones become available. Know of a resource we missed? Reach out to us!

Online Communication Platforms
Platforms to Create Interactive Presentations
ELA Resources
Foreign Languages/English as a Second Language
Math Resources
Social Studies Resources
STEM Resources
Multi-Subject Resources
Additional Resources
 

Online Communication Platforms

Edmodo:

Edmodo is a distance learning toolkit.  As educators, you can send messages, share class materials, and make learning accessible anywhere.  Families can receive class updates, support the learning that is taking place at home, see classroom activity, and monitor their child’s grades all from within the platform.

Free Services Offered: Always Free

How to utilize: Visit go.edmodo.com/distancelearning/ and sign up for a teacher account.

 

Flipgrid:

Flipgrid is a social learning communications platform.  Educators create grids, which are the meeting place for your class, and then discuss the topics you have uploaded.  Your students can share their ideas, stories, and work by recording short videos based on the assigned topics and share them within the app.

Free Services Offered: Always Free

How to utilize: Visit https://auth.flipgrid.com/signup and register for your educator’s account.

 

G Suite:

G Suite for Education allows educators to facilitate learning, keep track of tasks, and create opportunities for critical thinking.  Google is giving all current customers free access to advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities. This allows for larger meetings (up to 250 participants), live streaming for up to 100,000 viewers, and the ability to record meetings and save them in Drive.

Free Services Offered: Advanced Hangouts Meets video-conferencing for existing customers

How to utilize: Follow the instructions that were sent to G Suite Admins or visit the learning center page.

 

Hāpara:

Hāpara is a digital instructional suite that helps teachers with virtual classroom management.  When using Hāpara to provide instruction, your students see what you see. The platform gives you the ability to monitor the webpages that your students have open during the session, share files and assignments directly to student Drive folders, and co-teach all in one workspace.  

Free Services Offered: Free access until the end of June 2020

How to utilize: Fill out the form on their website to get your free access.

 

Kami:

Kami is a remote learning platform that integrates with Google Classroom, Schoology, and Canvas.  The platform gives you interactive tools (such as the ability to provide text, voice, or video feedback to your students), real-time interventions, in-app assignment submission, and a built-in grading feature.  Kami can even be used offline! Once a file has been opened you can work on it knowing that Kami will save your pending changes and upload them once you are back online. 

Free Services Offered: School-wide license activated until April 30th (with the option to extend as long as your school is closed)

How to utilize: Send an email to support@kamiapp.com to sign up.

 

Kialo Edu:

Kialo Edu is an argument mapping and debate platform that provides visual representations of discussions and debates in an interactive tree of pro/con arguments.  As a teacher, you can start a private discussion with any member of your class and provide feedback to students through the comment feature.  Kialo can be used to host classroom debates, assess learning, and share knowledge.

Free Services Offered: Always Free

How to utilize: Visit the website and sign up!

 

Pronto:

Pronto is a self-described ‘communication hub’ that will connect you with your students via chat and video.  You can have a group video chat with up to 10 people for collaborative projects or broadcast your video live to up to 400 students.  Within the app you can send announcements, share files, and create lists so students can keep track of their tasks. Pronto is also has accessibility features – such as screen readers and dynamic text – and is FERPA compliant.  You are connected without sharing phone numbers or emails.  

Free Services Offered: Available for teams and teachers at no cost during this time.

How to utilize: Fill out this form located on their website.

 

Zoom:

Zoom is a video conferencing platform that allows for both video and audio conferencing.  For students who don’t have access to computers at home, but do have a phone, they can call in to join the meeting!  Zoom’s free license allows you to have an unlimited number of video meetings that up to 100 students can join. There is also a chat feature that would allow your students to ask you questions while you are presenting.

Free Services Offered: Free License

How to utilize: Visit Zoom’s website and register for a free account.

 

Platforms to Create Interactive Presentations:

Edpuzzle

Edpuzzle is a platform that allows you to take any video and make it interactive!  As the teacher, you can track if your students are watching the videos you assign and how many times they’ve watched it.  You can add your own voice narration and questions to any video (you can use videos from YouTube, Khan Academy, Crash Course, and more).  They even have the ability for you to record your own video and upload it. Only one teacher from your school needs to fill out the form.

Free Services Offered: Full Access to the Platform

How to utilize: Create an Edupuzzle account and then fill out this form (or just fill out the form if you already have an account!)

 

Explain Everything:

Explain Everything is offering extended free access to Explain Everything Whiteboard.  This virtual tool can be utilized for online scenarios by helping you create explanation videos.  Within the platform you get infinite space to create, annotation tools to mark everything you have put on your canvas (including videos!), and all-in-one recording & editing features.  

Free Services Offered: Extended Free Access to Explain Everything Whiteboard

How to utilize: Fill out this form on the website.

 

Nearpod:

Nearpod is an online platform that allows you to create interactive lessons in minutes.  You can choose to import existing lessons, add in virtual field trips, create quizzes and polls, and even use matching pairs activities.  Nearpod can also add these features to your presentations in Google Slides. As the teacher, you can synchronize and control the lessons across all student devices, evaluate student responses (individually or as a class), generate post-session reports, and even create game-based learning opportunities for your students!

Free Services Offered: Free Access to Nearpod

How to utilize: Fill out the form on the website by clicking the ‘Request Support’ button in the middle of the page.

 

Pear Deck:

Pear Deck was founded by educators to help engage every student, every day.  With the Google Slides add-on you can create interactive questions and prompts for slideshows.  Once you have created your presentatio, you can either control the speed at which you present the material or allow students to move through at their own pace.  Pear Deck even offers the ability to publish a notes document that shows the information from the session!

Free Services Offered: Complimentary Access to Pear Deck Premium

How to utilize: Request Individual Access or District-Wide Access on the website.

 

Screencastify:

Screencastify is an online platform that helps with blended learning.  You can add the Google Chrome Add-on to recording full or partial lessons, recording assignment solutions & explanations, and provide verbal student feedback.  Screencastify also helps your students make their voices heard – great for speech and language practice! You can also save time by recording Professional Development, lesson plans, and parent communication.  Screencastify is COPPA, FERPA, and SOPIPA compliant, and integrates with Google Drive and Google Classroom.

Free Services Offered: Free Chrome Extension, other services upon request

How to utilize: Email sales@screecastify.com, they have tweeted that they will do whatever they can at no cost!

 

Slido for Education:

Slido for Education is a package for educators to increase interaction during lectures and virtual classes.  Slido for Education integrates with PowerPoint, Google Slides, Zoom Video Webinar, and provides improved Slido Quizzes.  You can integrate interactive polls, quizzes, and audience Q&A right in your presentation.  

Free Services Offered: Free for teachers & students globally until July 1.

How to utilize: Send an email to support@slido.com & juraj@slido.com to get access!

 

TechSmith:

TechSmith is offering two tools for free – TechSmith Snagit and TechSmith Video Review.  Snagit is a screen capture and recording tool that lets you quickly create and share images/videos.  Video Review allows online video collaboration for discussions and conversations around the content you have uploaded and shared.

Free Services Offered: Snagit and Video Review

How to utilize: Fill out the short form on the website; you will receive an email with further instructions & onboarding resources.

ELA Resources:

Book Creator App:

Book Creator is a simple way for your students to make their own ebooks.  This platform can be used to create for any subject across any grade level. The resources hub gives you a range of lesson ideas, or create your own assignment that lets your students get creative to demonstrate their knowledge!  There is also a list of ways that Book Creator can help with remote learning on the website.

Free Services Offered: Premium feature – real-time collaboration on books

How to utilize: Create an account, start the collaboration trial, and fill out a short form to get access to this feature.

 

CommonLit:

CommonLit is a nonprofit education technology organization working to support all students with reading, writing, communication, and problem-solving skills.  The CommonLit Literacy Midel is built on a foundation of over 2,000 high-quality free reading passages for grades 3-12, complimented by aligned interim assessments, growth oriented goals, and expert led teacher development.  Teachers can assign Mini Units (short, self-paced thematic units for grades 5-12) and Text Sets (relevant reading passages from a variety of genres). 

Free Services Offered: Free account access for teachers, school/district leaders can pursue free virtual training and digital resource packs to support contingency plans.

How to utilize:  Teachers can sign up for free on the website; school/district leaders can email partnerships@commonlit.org. 

 

Elementari

Elementari engages students to write their own story, working at their own pace.  The platform provides illustrations to inspire stories, develop analytical thinking, and provide a source of pride for students in their personal writing and coding projects.  Elementari is used around the world for writing in students native language and for second language learning. Teachers can review and give feedback on students’ stories remotely.  

Free Services Offered: Free Access to the Entire Platform

How to utilize: Fill out this form to receive access.  

 

Epic!:

Epic! is the leading digital library for kids 12 and under, and it is free for educators.  With Epic! you instantly get access to 35,000 of the best books, learning videos, quizzes, & more.  The books have a feature that will read aloud the story to your students.

Free Services Offered: Always Free for Teachers

How to utilize: Visit the website and sign up!

 

Foreign Language/English as a Second Language: 

Mango:

Mango is a digital foreign language curriculum that can be accessed via desktop and mobile apps, even if you are offline!  Seamless integration features in the platform help you organize your class and as a teacher you have immediate, reliable time-on-task monitoring.  Mango integrates with multiple online platforms, including Clever.  You will find content created for over 70 world languages – including Spanish, French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, German, Arabic, and English.  

Free Services Offered: Full access through the end of the 2019-2020 school year.

How to utilize: Fill out the form located on the website.

 

Voces Digital:

Voces Digital is a collection of world language titles covering Spanish levels 1-AP, French levels 1-3, and ESL levels 1-4.  The program incorporates grammar, vocabulary, and comprehensible input-based approaches to language learning. Each title in the Voces library contains audio and video, speaking exercises, interactive activies, authentic resources, presentations, assessments, stunning photographs, differentiation options, and customizable lessons.

Free Services Offered: Free Access to the Full program until June 30,02020.

How to utilize: Fill out the form and you will be contacted with your login information!

Math Resources: 

Mangahigh:

Mangahigh is a math platform that is built on the ethos of collaboration, community, and competition.  These elements are ingrained in both the teacher and student experience of the platform. As a teacher, you will get access to a full reporting dashboard and a full account for each student so they can continue their learning at home on any device available to them.  You can assign and assess students’ performance online and exchange messages with your students all within the virtual environment.

Free Services Offered: Full Access for Teachers and Students for 60 days (will extend if you are still closed.)

How to utilize: Register by using this link: https://app.mangahigh.com/en-us/register/CV19.

 

Prodigy:

Prodigy is an engaging, curriculum-aligned math platform for students and teachers from 1st – 8th grade.  The platform encourages self-paced math practice for both in and out of school that is leveled based on your students progress.  Prodigy meets ESSA Tier 3 in partnership with John Hopkins University. Your students can work through topics based on their levels or you can assign specific skills for them to complete; all while they think they are playing a game!  State test prep is also available to assign.

Free Services Offered: Always Free

How to utilize: Sign up for an account today!

 

Tailor-ED:

Tailor-ED provides holistic learning experiences tailored to the needs of the teacher, the classroom, and each and every student.   The Teacher Basic Plan is free and includes K-8 standard aligned math resources, smart differentiated lesson tools, and SEL-based exit tickets. You can create up to 4 units with the free teacher account.

Free Services Offered: Always Free

How to utilize: Sign up for Free on the Website!

 

Social-Studies Resources: 

Seterra:

Seterra is the ultimate map quiz site.  You can use already created geography and science quizzes to review learned information.  Through these quizzes you can explore the world and learn about its countries, capitals, cities, rivers, lakes, and more.  With your free account you can create custom quizzes, add custom locations to quizzes, and use a public leaderboard.

Free Services Offered: Free Level 1 Seterra Geography Membership

How to utilize: Register for an account on Patreon.com.  Then, email info@seterra.com with your name, school name, state/country, and email address associated with your Patreon account.  

 

STEM Resources: 

Tynker:

Tynker is the #1 coding platform for kids – Tynker fuels creativity in thousands of schools and powers the imagination of 60 million kids worldwide.  In the platform you can access 40+ aware winning block & text-based courses and over 3,700 learning modules. Tynker is broken down into three age groups: Ages 5-7 (voice instructions); Ages 7-13 (drag and drop coding); and Ages 13+ (real world coding).  For teachers looking to utilize this platform, webinars are available to help you use the features in a remote learning environment.

Free Services Offered: Free Access to the entire Platform until May 2020.

How to utilize: Fill out the form located here

 

Vidcode:

Vidcode is a computer science curriculum and coding platform.  The courses teach computer science, object-oriented programming, web programming, design, & JavaScript.  Learners can upload photos, illustrations, videos, and audio – and manipulate them with code right away! This allows tweens and teens to connect computer programming to the media they interact with every day.  Webinars are available to help you get started.  

Free Services Offered: Full platform and Curriculum for free until May 2020.

How to utilize: Fill out this form to gain access.  

Multi-Subject Resources: 

2Simple – Purple Mash:

Purple Mash contains thousands of opportunities for learning in the form of open ended tools (publishing, story creation, game design), spelling & grammar (complete spelling scheme, set weekly spelling quizzes, grammar games), math (math-based tools and resources), and cross-curricular project work (themed writing templates, slide shows, stories, quizzes).  You will receive unlimited pupil logins on a cloud-based platform that can be accessed anytime. Serial Mash gives you access to over 100 books in the ever-growing library that you can adjust the text size, background color, and font to make reading easier.

Free Services Offered: Full Access to Purple Mash and Serial Mash for the duration of your closure.

How to utilize: Fill out the form on their sign-up page to receive access.

 

Age of Learning – ABCmouse, Adventure Academy, ReadingIQ:

ABCmouse.com Early Learning Academy is a comprehensive, research-validated curriculum for preschool through second grade, available on all major digital platforms and used by tens of millions of children to date.  Adventure Academy is a first-of-its-kind educational massive multiplayer online game, serving elementary and middle-school aged children with thousands of learning activities in a fun and safe virtual world. ReadingIQ is a digital library and literacy platform for children 12 and under designed by reading experts to improve literacy skills, with many thousands of expert-curated books from leading publishers.

Free Services Offered: Free Full Access

How to utilize: Fill out this form on the website.

 

BrainPOP:

BrainPOP is a playful, educators focused platform that has learning games, animated movies, and activities that cover universal topics.  There are three platforms: BrainPOP Jr (K-3, encourages young learners to ask questions and form their own ideas in STEM, Social Studies, Reading/Writing, Health, and arts); BrainPOP (Upper Elementary and Middle School, STEM, Social Studies, English, Health, Arts & Music); and BrainPOP ELL (proficiency-based English language learning program appropriate for all ages with vocabulary, grammar, listening and reading & writing activities).

Free Services Offered: Free, unlimited use during your closure.

How to utilize: Fill out this form on the website and watch for an email with instructions.

Bonus: BrainPOP is currently offering free access to their new Coronavirus Topic and accompanying lesson plan

 

BreakoutEDU:

Breakout EDU is an immersive learning games platform that brings the challenge of an escape room to the classroom.  All Breakout EDU games require players to use critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and communication. The purchase of each Breakout EDU kit includes a unique collection of boxes, re-settable locks, and access to a digital platform with over 1,500 games.

Free Services Offered: A collection of digital games that students can play.

How to utilize: Simply visit the website and choose the game you want to play!

 

Discovery Education:

Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital curriculum resources for K–12 classrooms worldwide. We are the home to award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, and the largest professional development community of its kind.

Free Services Offered: Free access to Discovery Education Experience through the remainder of the school year.

How to utilize: Principals and Superintendents email educationpartnerships@discoveryed.com to gain access.

 

Education Perfect:

Currently used by over 1 million students across 1,800 schools, as a cloud-based software, EP enables schools to deliver curriculum-aligned lessons and assessments remotely.  By allowing teachers to monitor and measure how students are engaging with their learning in real time, teachers can maximize their efficacy – even in a remote setting.

Free Services Offered: Free unlimited access for schools until May 1.

How to utilize: Fill out this form on the website.

 

Edmentum:

Edmentum is a leading provider of online learning programs designed to drive achievement for academic and career success for pre-k through 12th grade.  There are two programs being offered for free to teachers at this time: Study Island and EdOptions.  Study Island is a K-12 program with standards-based practice, test preparation, and formative assessments.  Your students get feedback to guide learning and you will receive immediate data to determine who needs intervention.  EdOptions is a K-12 virtual learning solution where students access engaging, standards-aligned curriculum through a fully virtual learning environment.

Free Services Offered: Two month free trial to Study Island or two free EdOptions Academy courses.

How to utilize: Visit their website, select the program you would like access to, and fill out the form!

Bonus: Parents can sign up for Study Island For Home and Edmentum has a School Closure Resource Page!

 

Freckle.com:

Freckle empowers teachers to differentiate instruction across Math, ELA, Social Studies, and Science.

Students automatically work on the Math, ELA, Social Studies, and Science lessons that are perfect for them.  That way, they are always engaged and challenged, never facing material that is too difficult or easy for them.

You know exactly how they’re doing – With Freckle’s easy to use reports, you can quickly see how all of your students are performing across standards and skills.  Freckle offers content for the following subjects and grade levels: Math K-9, ELA K-12, Social Studies K-12, and Science K-8.

Free Services Offered: Always Free for teachers

How to utilize: Sign up for your free account on the website.

 

GoNoodle: Good Energy at Home:

GoNoodle is a company focused on engaging kids with movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts.  GoNoodle has created a resource page containing free premium content and learning materials to help teachers and students.  On their Good Energy at Home page you will find movement and mindfulness videos, as well as ideas for off-screen activities for kids/families to do.  Each video posted on the website has a description and related home activities.  Some even include printable activities!  The content on this page will be updated weekly.

Free Services Offered: Free premium content and learning materials.

How to utilize: Visit the website to get started today! 

 

Kahoot!:

Self-paced challenge mode is a free feature that’s already available for all educators.  Students can complete self-paced games by themselves at home, on a mobile device, or computer.  Teachers can use advanced reports to facilitate formative assessment and adjust instruction based on student performance – even then they cannot attend school.  Kahoot! Premium also lets teachers put together a bank of school-wide educational games and collaborate with other teachers in their school.

Free Services Offered: Free access to Kahoot! Premium for the remainder of the academic year.

How to utilize: Fill out the form on the website. 

 

Listenwise:

Listenwise is a collection of daily current events and standards-aligned lessons, along with assessment tools to support distance learning.  You can search 2000+ collection of ELA, Social Studies, science, and current event lessons to assign students listening comprehension questions and/or listening organizers.  As the teacher, you can assign listening comprehension quizzes and track student progress in your Listenwise data dashboard and keep students on track with their learning by asking them to listen to relevant, engaging, podcasts and participate in online discussions in Google classroom.

Free Services Offered: Free premium account through April 30th (can extend if your school is still closed)

How to utilize: Fill out this form to get access. 

 

MobyMax:

MobyMax helps struggling learners quickly catch up to grade level and closes learning gaps for all students.  The comprehensive software curriculum spans Math, ELA, Science, and Social Studies in grades K-8. MobyMax features adaptive differentiation through diagnostic testing, adaptive lessons, IEP goals, progress monitoring, assessments, an daily goals.  

Free Services Offered: Free access for the rest of the year once you have closed.

How to utilize: Call 888-793-8331 to get started.

 

Scholastic Learn at Home:

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 build 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!  This resource offers 5 days of cross-curricular journeys for the following age groups: Pre-K and K, Grades 1 and 2, Grades 3-5, and Grades 6+.

Free Services Offered: Full access for 5 days worth of activities for each age range

How to utilize: Visit the website to choose your grade level.  The directions will walk you through creating any necessary free accounts.

 

Shmoop:

With a laser focus on easing the stress of the learning environment, Shmoop aims to improve the approach to teaching and learning through engaging content and a personalized approach.  Students and teachers can tap into over 10,000 educational videos, 400 digital learning courses, personalized test prep, and thousands of study guides. Shmoop focuses on high school and middle school students.

Free Services Offered: Free access now through May 31, 2020

How to utilize: Send an email to support@shmoop.com to get started.

 

Virtual Field Trips:

Virtual Field Trips offers videos covering K-8 social studies, life science, geography, and ancient civilization curriculum content.  The videos on the website are standards-aligned with corresponding quizzes for each video.  Teachers can find 300+ learning activities specifically designed to accompany the videos.  Virtual Field Trips is a mobile friendly website that works across devices.  Each student in your class receives their own login.

Free Services Offered: Free 60-day membership (longer if required)

How to utilize: Send an email through the ‘Contact Us‘ form on the website or email info@virtualfieldtrips.net

Additional Resources:

COVID-19 Educational Resources:

This is a master resource list that is updated continuously.  The GLIDE tool appears like an app, however it is a web-based tool.  Within the GLIDE you can search for specific resources by typing in the search bar or utilize the categories.  Educators from around the world have been sharing and submitting resources to this tool. If you have resources to share, you can also add them by using the + sign at the top of the tool and filling out the form.

 

Educator Temporary School Closure for Online Learning:

This is a facebook group  of over 46,000 educators created to support each other in planning distance or online learning due to school closures for COVID-19.  There are tons of ideas and resources shared in an ongoing manner, and many teachers are linking up to collaborate from across the country.  From this group, a number of break-out groups focused on specific content areas/roles have been created:

 

Comcast offering ‘Internet Essentials’ package free for low-income customers for 60 days:

Comcast announced it will be increasing speeds for the Internet Essentials program, and making the program free to new low-income customers for two months, amid the coronavirus outbreak.  To sign up, visit their webpage.

 

Charter to offer free access to Spectrum broadband, WiFi during virus outbreak

Charter announced it will offer free services to families around the nation starting Monday, March 16 and continuing for 60 days.  To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395.

 

Know of any free online resources for schools that we missed? Send us an email via the “Contact Us” button below.

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