Education

17+ Free Resources for your Distance Learning Classroom

Moira West

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Transitioning to online learning can be tricky, especially when students are cooped up due to COVID-19-related school closures. We wanted to help out the teachers and parents who are working to make sure kids still get a great education, even if they can’t be in the classroom.

Remote Learning Resources

Take a look at our list of sites that offer free resources for homeschool families and teachers tackling distance learning for the first time.

Educational websites for your remote learning classroom

  1. Animoto: Students and teachers can create videos on a variety of topics using our drag-and-drop video maker. Learn more on our classroom page.
  2. Brainpop: Short, fun, animated movies explaining topics related to literacy, math, science, social studies, and more. You can also access a junior edition for younger kids, as well as ELL resources, and content in Spanish and French. Free during COVID-19-related school closures.
  3. Commonlit: This non-profit organization offers thousands of free reading passages that you can filter based on grade, literary device, genre, and more.
  4. Duolingo: This free foreign language app can be used on almost any device. There are more than 30 languages available for English speakers, including Spanish, Mandarin, and Klingon.
  5. GoNoodle: Physical education teachers can try out this site’s free games, activities, and videos.
  6. Google Classroom: This classroom management tool lets you communicate back and forth with students and parents and manage lesson materials. Check out Google’s teacher training page to learn how to set up your Google Classroom.
  7. iCivics: Social studies teachers can engage students with interactive lessons related to civics and American government.
  8. Kahoot: This platform uses games and fun quizzes to encourage learning. Schools can access this site for free during the COVID-19-related closures.
  9. Khan Academy: With educational resources from pre-K up through college, this MIT-created free site is useful for a number of subjects. Find AP course materials, test prep, and lots of math help. Try the Khan Kids app for children ages 2-7.
  10. PBS LearningMedia: Get free lesson plans, videos, and other learning materials for a variety of grade levels and subjects.
  11. Prodigy: A game-based math program that adapts to the student. Good for 1st to 8th grades and always free.
  12. Remind: This app lets you securely text parents and students to remind them of assignments and share information.
  13. Scholastic: This online classroom magazine covers a variety of topics, including science, social studies, and technology. The site is organized by grade level, so you can find materials relevant to your students.
  14. Scratch: This free coding software is designed specifically for kids. You can also try out ScratchJr for students aged 5-7.
  15. Starfall: This site offers free literacy content for students in Pre-K through 3rd grade.
  16. Varsity Tutors: This site offers free Virtual School Day courses, some of which feature star instructors, like Julianne Hough and Mayim Bialik. You can also sign up for free Virtual Summer Camp courses in acting, coding, and more.
  17. Zoom: This tool lets students attend class through video conferences. Zoom offers a free Basic plan and offers additional resources to help you get started.

Other resources

Here are a few other sites that can help you bring the outside world to your classroom.

Read alouds

There are a lot of resources for families who want to share stories with their kids. You can watch stories read by NASA astronauts in Storytime from Space. Fans of Mo Willems will want to check out his Daily Doodle series, which teaches students how to draw their own art in the style of his Pigeon and Piggie and Gerald series. And Storyline Online features books read by celebrities including Oprah Winfrey and Chris Pine. Older kids might get a kick out of the read alouds and writing advice you can find on Kate Messer’s page.

Virtual field trips

Museums, zoos, and even NASA have online exhibits ready for you. For life sciences, try the Cincinnati Zoo or the Baltimore Aquarium. Learn about art at the Louvre or Guggenheim. Get a history lesson at the British Museum or the National Museum of American History. Can’t find what you need? Make your own virtual field trip and share it with your classes.

Know of a site we haven’t thought of? Share it with us in the comments below! And if you’d like to get a free Animoto account, you can get started below.