On March 15th the New York Department of Education announced that NYC public school students would stop reporting to school buildings and move towards a “Remote Learning Model.” This means reshaping how public education is conducted in NYC almost overnight, and parents and teachers are on the frontlines of this change. They’ve had to adjust to this monumental change in their own work-lives and guide their students and children in the middle of a pandemic.
How do we effectively work from home while helping our kids learn from home? Our Team is made up of parents, teachers, spouses of teachers, students and good neighbors who want to help. We’ve put together a comprehensive list of online platforms for educational resources along with some IT tips from our experts.
Before we dive into the platforms and advice, there are just a few tips to improve your child’s educational environment.
- Create a routine. Luckily, you have the school’s schedule to turn to. Most classes are still being held in a certain order while instructors conducting classes remotely. If your school is doing this well refer to them. If not, work on establishing a schedule so that it’s clear when the school day has begun in your home.
- Home Classroom. Set up a “learning space” just as you would set up your home office. This is a “to the best of your ability” tip. Many homes have barely enough room for an adult to set up a home office. Even if it’s at the kitchen table, or on a T.V. tray in front of the couch, designate a space for your child’s learning. Also, work with your child on creating this space! Let them put up a picture of Spiderman, or Elsa, whatever would make them feel a sense of ownership over their learning space.
- Prepare! If there’s a platform you or your child is unfamiliar try to explore using and navigating it before the class. Try to understand it together so you can be a resource for them if anything should occur.
- Be Honest, and communicative. This is an uncertain time and chances are your kids/students are probably just as afraid as you are. Attempt to talk about COVID 19 honestly openly. Also, parents, extend empathy to your child’s educators and educators, extend empathy to your students’ parents. We’re all in this together.
Online Learning Resources: Elementary School
ABCmouse Early Learning Academy
This is a free, in-depth program that offers over 850 self-guided lessons through 10 levels with a wide range of subjects. The target demographic of students is 2-8 or Pre-K through 2nd. There is also a companion program focusing on English as a Second Language (ESL) ABCmouse for Teachers and ABCmouse for Schools are always free for all schools and teachers in the U.S.
Adventure Academy is an MMO (massively multiplayer online) game that provides a sense of community through gaming. This platform targets students up to 13 years old and helps them explore a broad scope of topics like reading, math, social studies, and science. Students up to age 13 play games to learn a wide array of topics including math, reading, social studies, and science while interacting with others in the game. Right now, Adventure Academy is free to schools that are closed because of the Coronavirus. There is also a 30-day free trial for private home users.
This platform targets SEL (Social and Emotional Learning). It’s free and provides growth strategies for parents and educators.
Online Learning Resources: Middle and High School
Albert focuses on core curriculum from grades 6-12. There are practices and assessments online for students to use. It was built to complement the existing curriculum as it focuses on reviewing and assessing what students are learning. Teachers can use the tool to assign modules and track student progress. There is an option to do a 30-day free pilot program. Schools that are closed due to the pandemic can get a free extended pilot for the duration of COVID 19 related closures.
Carnegie Learning focuses on Math education and skills for grades 6-12. The platform uses at-home learning videos and practice lessons. It’s essentially A free blend of textbook and software resources to assist in remote math education.
Everydae SAT Prep
This platform is completely free while schools are closed. It’s an online SAT math program and consists of 10-minute micro lessons.
Online Learning Resources: K-12
Achieve 300 offers non-fiction articles across 3 reading levels. It was built to accelerate literacy and to facilitate a greater comprehension across content areas. Sign up for a free account for access to their content. They also offer printable literacy packets for students who do not have Internet access at home.
Artful addresses the need for arts education online. It was created by a group of educators who know that exposure to the arts helps students become more inspired, creative global citizens. It’s free to access to teachers for on-demand dance and theatre classes from hundreds of acclaimed instructors, and Artful includes free classes that can be shared with students as part of online programs.
Banzai is a platform for Financial education that teaches students the value of a dollar. It uses an interactive interface and includes tests, games, activities, an interactive library, and more. It meets all state curriculum standards and is completely free to use.
Be sure to Visit We Are Teachers for a list of over 150 learning resources.
It’s one thing to choose to home-school your children, it’s another beast entirely to adjust a whole public-school curriculum for the home. There will be some unforeseen obstacles and moments of frustration. Forgive yourself and treat yourself and others with as much kindness as you can.
We hope this information helps you moving forward. Be sure to explore our knowledge base if you want to basics about the operations of some of the platforms being utilized by NYC public schools. We’re here to help you make the best of this remote learning experience and keep your kids engaged and safe as we navigate this pandemic together. If you have any additional questions, feel free to reach out to us. We are here for you.