(Not?) Back-to-School: Using tech to help bridge the education gap this year.

Digital tools that are guaranteed to engage learners regardless of location!

The process of getting our kids back to school this September 2020 will differ based on where you live. Many parents and care givers have expressed a healthy dose of hesitation when it comes to in-class learning as we've known it (pre COVID-19). This will inevitably result in more families practicing homeschooling, unschooling, joining private schooling groups or "pandemic pods", practicing distance learning or a combination of distance and in-class learning among other creative options. With this in-mind, we've put together a curated list of 12 free and paid apps and websites for children, parents and educators in an effort to support a nontraditional education plan this September. These resources cover a wide variety of topics from math and computer science to geography, music and astrology.

Photomath (Free & paid mobile app)

Ideal for kids and parents reviewing math homework

  • This app will help you interpret problems with comprehensive math content from arithmetic to calculus, ultimately driving the learning and understanding of fundamental math concepts.

  • Photomath reads and solves mathematical problems instantly by using the camera of your mobile device. Allowing parents and kids to check their work for any errors on printed or handwritten math problems.

  • The app also provides clear steps and detailed instructions to solve the math problem at hand. You can also choose between multiple explanation methods for some problems.

Crash Course and Crash Course Kids (Free website & YouTube channel)

Ideal for kids, parents and teachers looking for self-directed learning options

  • The Crash Course team has produced more than 15 courses to date, and these videos accompany high school and college level classes ranging from the humanities to the sciences.

  • Crash Course Kids is a bi-weekly show from the producers of Crash Course about grade school science. They look at Earth, Habitats, Space, Chemical Reactions, Engineering, and much more.

  • The goal of this company is to transform traditional textbook model learning by presenting information in a fast-paced format, enhancing the learning experience and viewer engagement.

Scoutlier (Free virtual learning platform online & mobile)

Ideal for homeschooling parents, tutors and teachers practicing distance learning

  • Scoutlier enables you to quickly author and assign easy-to-follow activities that your students can complete independently on any device in the classroom or at home, by taking or adding pictures, video, audio, as well as entering text and numerical data.

  • There are existing activities within the community libraries you can have kids do and you can create your own scaffolds lessons like STEM scavenger hunts, experiments and engineering design challenges.

  • Students can use Scoutlier on their mobile devices and complete work offline if necessary with our apps, available on Android & iOS.

  • This platform is totally free, but there's a real focus on academic activities. It is a serious tool that makes STEM scaffolds and fun.

Education.com (Free & premium membership options online)

Ideal for homeschooling parents, tutors and teachers

  • Offers unlimited access to an online learning database of more than 20,000 math, social studies, reading, and writing worksheets for skill practice.

  • Step-by-step learning tools with interactive games and stories for PreK-5th grade.

  • Provides progress tracking tools, learning plans and the ability to customize your child's experience based on their personal interests and areas of educational focus.

Scratch (Free online community available in 70+ languages) Ideal for parents and educators to use with kids interested in learning to code

  • Scratch is a block-based visual programming language and website targeted primarily at children.

  • Within this online community you can create your own interactive stories, games, and animations using computer coding.

  • The service is completely free and has been developed by the MIT Media Lab. It is used in most parts of the world.

Staff Wars (Free & premium available online and on mobile)

Ideal for kids and music educators without access to in-person learning.

  • StaffWars is a game designed to help beginning and intermediate musicians learn, practice and woodshed the note names of the treble, alto and bass clefs.

  • This site also boasts a series of other free music related performance and classroom apps to try.

  • There is a new, paid version that you can get in the Apple and Google Play stores for your mobile devices.

NOTE: All of these programs are 100% free to use!

Geoguesser: This is a mobile geography game which takes you on a journey around the world and challenges your ability to recognize your surroundings.

Little Alchemy (1&2): A simple but addictive game. Start with four basic elements and then create an entire world from scratch. There are over 580 things to make.

Creatubbles: Creatubbles is a vibrant and safe online community for young creators. This app/website offers a place to share, learn, and develop creative skills from anywhere in the world (excellent tool for distance learning).

100,000 Stars: An interactive 3D visualization of the stellar neighbourhood, including over 100000 nearby stars. It shows the location of 119,617 nearby stars derived from multiple sources. Zooming in reveals 87 individually identified stars and our solar system.

WeaveSilk: An online tool to create interactive, generative art. With WeaveSilk you can create hypnotic patterns, blend colours and change the symmetry (also available on mobile iOS devices).

Shark Tracker: This website shows you not only the current position of sharks all over the world, but also turtles, dolphins, whales and alligators! The OCEARCH free STEM Curriculum, available for grades k-8, enables students to learn STEM skills while following the real-time data on the movements of their favourite sharks.

This is TED's youth and education initiative — it aims to spark and celebrate the ideas and knowledge-sharing of teachers and students around the world: https://ed.ted.com/

For Teachers: Browse hundreds of TED-Ed Animations and TED Talks - designed to spark the curiosity of your learners, customize existing lessons or even create your own . You'll also find thousands of other video-based lessons organized by the subjects you teach.

For Parents: Bring the TED stage to your home. The Student Talks program will help you guide your child through learning how to discover, explore and present their big ideas as TED-style talks.

Interested in becoming a beta tester for Super Code Strike? Sign up to participate here: SCS Beta Testing

26 views0 comments