Many, if not all of us have been told to keep our kids away from school for the rest of the term, at least in the first instance, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. While this can be considered as an extended vacation to some, staying home from school doesn’t have to completely disrupt the learning process.
You will probably hear terms like
- Learning Management System (LMS),
- Learning Portal,
- Online Classroom,
- Virtual Classroom
being shared and those are just different ways of referring to websites that are designed to share electronic or digital versions of classroom notes for example in the form of PDFs, Microsoft Word, Images, Power Point, Video or Audio files.
Some of those websites may also offer live streaming of classrooms or lecturers which is essentially a live video of an instructor or teacher delivering a lesson.
To access a live streaming class, you will need a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or even a smart phone with internet access. NOTE if you have a limited data or internet plan then staying online for extended periods, especially if you’re looking at online videos, can use up most of your pre-paid internet.
Some schools may ask you to download and use tools such as Zoom, Skype, or Google Meet in order to conduct an online class. In this instance, the student will be able to actively participate in the class and may be able to ask questions during or after the session.
NOTE that these online video sessions will all have the ability to use the built in camera on your device to show you as a participant in the classroom. In such a case, be prepared!
- Sit in a quiet room as background noise can affect other members of the class.
- Use a headset and mute your audio when you’re not speaking.
- Dress appropriately and most importantly,
- Be aware of your background / surroundings as that too will be shown to the rest of the class.
Online learning does not only have to be academically inclined but can also include some fun activities. The CyberSafeTT team has put together some resources for both local online learning resources as well some additional resources that can help keep the minds sharp during this time.
Resources for Trinidad and Tobago Students
GT Lessons by CNC3 (on a scheduled basis 10AM – 12noon, 3PM-4PM)
Fas-Past Maths – Maths Solutions for Primary and Secondary School Students by Dr. Fayad Ali and Dr. Shereen Khan
Game Prep for SEA – a computer game and mobile app that helps students prepare for the SEA exam.
Read Aloud Stories
HarperKids – HarperCollins Children’s Books created the HarperKids YouTube Channel. Watch and listen to your kid’s favorite books, author interviews, and original content. All ages.
Brightly Storytime, by Penguin Random House, features read-aloud and flip along videos, and more for kids. All ages.
Free Worksheets and Coloring Sheets to Download
Crayola offers free coloring pages to download and DIY craft ideas. Just search by category and start getting creative. All ages.
Education.com offers a huge library of digital resources, tools, and printable learning materials created by educational experts. 1st Year – Std 5
GreatSchools is a nonprofit empowering parents to unlock educational opportunities for their child. The website has thousands of articles, tips, free worksheets, and interactive tools to help parents support their child’s learning. All ages.
Literacy and Writing Tools
Scholastic has online stories to read and corresponding activities for students. All grade levels. NOTE: The company is offering the Scholastic Learn at Home Program for free to students affected by Coronavirus school closures.
There are many YouTube channels that focus on teaching kids literacy skills. Here’s a list of 17 great ones by GrowingBookbyBook.com. Recommendations for all ages.
PBS KIDS for Parents offers free resources created by expert educators and child development professionals. The site has books, games, kid cooking tutorials, and more. Ages 13 and under.
ABCmouse Early Learning Academy has self guided lessons filled with books, games, songs, and art. Ages 8 and under. NOTE: The company is offering free subscriptions to students affected by Coronavirus school closures. Parents must use a signup using a special link provided by your student’s school.
Read and play games with the Cat in the Hat, the Grinch and more on Seussville. Ages 13 and under.
Starfall is a great resource for young elementary students to practice reading and math skills through games and songs. Ages 9 and under.
STEAM Educational Resources
ScratchJr, designed by the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Labkids, teaches kids ages 7 and under how to program their own interactive stories and games. There is a more advanced free tool called Scratch for students ages 8+.
Mystery Science has at-home lessons like “Why do woodpeckers peck wood?” and “Why do we get hiccups?” All ages. NOTE: The website is offering dozens of free science lessons to students who are affected by Coronavirus school closures.
The Smithsonian Learning Lab offers free interactive learning experiences for students using millions of resources from Smithsonian museums and galleries. All ages.
CoolMath4Kids is a free “online amusement park” filled with games that are designed to make learning math fun. Ages 12 and under.
CoolMath.com teaches more advanced math with explanations that are easy to grasp on topics like algebra, pre-calculus and more. Ages 13+.
Science Mom has a kid friendly video feed full of fun at-home science experiments. Ages 13 and under.
Elementari teaches students to create code and turn their stories into illustrations. All ages. NOTE: The company is offering free subscriptions through May 2020 or until your student’s school reopens. Learn more here.
HelloKids offers kids free step-by-step tutorials to draw dozens of animals, objects, characters, and more. All ages.
Nat Geo for Kids helps students learn about animals, geography, science experiments and more. All ages.
Take a Virtual Field Trip
Discovery Education offers free virtual field trips around the world. Each location you click on comes with a companion guide and hands-on learning activities.
At The Nature Conservancy, students can dive down to see a coral reef in the Caribbean and explore the rainforest in Borneo all in the same day – and all from the comfort of their homes.
Check out our planet like you’ve never seen it before on Google Earth Virtual Reality.
Explore the surface of Mars as seen by NASA’s Curiosity Rover.
Take a virtual tour of the world-famous Louvre Museum in Paris.
Head to the San Diego Zoo and watch the animals LIVE in their habitats.
Brain Breaks and Games
Lumosity offers free brain games to keep student minds actively engaged. All ages.
The Learning Station has a video feed of 32 Brain Break Action Videos for Kids. All ages.
It can be challenging for students to unplug when school is out of session, but it’s important to take breaks. SmartSocial.com has lots of ideas for creating a fun family night without screens.
EntertainKidsonaDime.com came up with this wonderful list of 100 activities to do at home with kids.
Resources for Educators to Use in the Classroom or at Home
Google Classroom is a free tool from Google that helps classes communicate, save time, and stay organized.
Here is a Parents Guide to Google Classroom
Moodle – is for educators, trainers or anyone who needs an online learning environment to teach a class or facilitate learning in any situation. The Free plan is limited but can serve many small classroom needs
ReadWriteThink has free materials for reading and language arts lesson plans
PhET offers free interactive math and science simulations.
Scholastic has free resources for students and teachers, too.
EPIC! has free educational books, quizzes, and learning videos.
EDSITEment offers free lesson plans and teacher guides.
National Geographic offers teachers free lessons and activities.
Arts Edge has arts-centered, standards-based resources for grades K-12.
Common Lit offers reading passages and text-based questions.
Newsela keeps up with current events and stories tailor-made for classroom use.
Share My Lesson is a database of early childhood through high school tailored lesson plans.
ClassDojo offers free communication tool for schools and classrooms and is a great way to stay in touch when a campus is closed.
EdModo is a collaborative space for students and teachers to turn in assignments and track progress.
If you have any other resources that you would like to add to this list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will review and update accordingly.