Hello! First of all, on behalf of the Literacy and Media Lab team, we hope you and your loved ones are safe, as we all figure out what life, work, and our next steps will be during these uncertain times.
This document is a brief orientation to resources that will be shared in this site. We have been publishing lesson plans we have implemented in an after-school digital media program. However, in Spring 2020, we are launching the publication of some reviews of tools that students in the master’s program in Curriculum & Instruction, Literacy Education in CU Boulder have completed.
There is so much information out there re: next steps for digital learning. We invite you to first center your and your students’ needs and resources, as well as your hopes and goals for their well-being and yours. They and your loved ones need you healthy.
Here you will find ideas for instruction that usually take place in face-to-face, and how the apps, websites and platforms here are integrated. However, since many tools are now free or available due to school closures, we figured you could use insights from teachers. We will be publishing further entries to support any efforts of digital learning in the next days. Please feel free to chime in the comments if you need further support or have resources you’d like to share!
Tool Reviews in this Site
All tools with a * have some form of free access during COVID-19 closures. You may need to fill out a form and share your role or position within a school or educational institution.
Interactive presentations (can be used synchronously, via Zoom):
Learning platforms to post student work, communicate with families (can be used asynchronously):
- SeeSaw *- by Kendall Newell*
- Explain Everything – By Holly Welch
Access to leveled readers and reading skills’ activities
- Headsprout *(part of Learning A-Z)* – by Kerry McLaren
Access to reading skills’ practice and games
List of tools and resources elsewhere
You may have access via social media or other sites to an overwhelming number of websites, apps, etc, to use for your instruction. We invite you, again, to think of your goals, hopes, and what you know about your students before you make decisions. YOU and students’ families know your students’ ways of learning best. Reach to colleagues, think together, talk tools and practices through, as you make decisions. Consider issues of access, accessibility, and how much support caregivers will need to provide for kids to succeed. We will be publishing some resources in Spanish for families to consult as well.
To access further reviews, Common Sense Education has top lists of ed tech and a large archive of reviews. They have published an entry specifically on “How to find great resources for your students during school closures.” See their Coronavirus resources as well.
Here are some widely shared long (!!) lists of free resources:
- Over 30 virtual field trips with links
- Amazing Educational Resources: a spreadsheet that keeps growing, now with categories for any online resources providing free services.
- NCTE: Resources for virtual instruction and online learning: Includes links to NCTE articles and publications, as well as ReadWriteThink activities.
- Scholastic Learn at Home Kits – with resources for teachers and families.
- Teaching Tolerance: Digital Literacy Lessons: We need information literacy and critical literacy more than ever. Our health and well-being is dependent on information being shared online responsibly and accurately.
- Websites for read-alouds and activities – Google doc curated by Mason Cooley.
- If you are using or creating read-alouds of children’s books, check how Publishers adapt [copyright] policies to help educators (School Library Journal).
A common request I have noticed in social media is access to books, including leveled readers. Here are some resources you may find useful, especially now they they are making their archives free:
- Newsela: Leveled news texts, including resources about COVID-19 and current events.
- Learning A-Z (including Headsprout, reviewed in our site and Raz Kids)
- Epic! Remote access to texts during school closures.
- Brainpop – Includes school and family free access.
More soon, stay calm, support one another.