Discovery Museum Announces New STEM Learning Resources for Teachers and Families

Discovery Museum announced today the launch of Virtual Traveling Science Workshops (VTSW) and other teaching resources for schools, and Parent-Assisted STEAM Experiences (PASE), a set of in-museum and at-home learning resources and supports for families. Developed to address the educational constraints of the COVID crisis on schools and families, these resources will support student learning this school year and beyond.

Virtual Traveling Science Workshops – The Museum has launched Virtual Traveling Science Workshops (VTSW), a redevelopment of its popular in-school STEM workshops, with COVID-19 protocols and safety standards in place. VTSW are available for eight STEM topics including Magnets, Sound, Force & Motion, Weather & Climate, and more.  The workshops are for Kindergarten through 8th grade, for students either in the classroom or at home.

Virtual Traveling Science Workshops are taught by Museum educators, streamed live to encourage student interaction. Individual student materials are safely packaged and delivered to the school in advance of the workshop to allow for timely distribution to students, whether they will be in the classroom or at home. These workshops are available for booking now.…Read More

Chino Carpenter Builds Hundreds of Free Desks

Chino-based software engineer and carpenter, Chai Hansanuwat, started building free desks for students in need after he was recently laid off from his job in technology. With the massive shift to at home learning, desks are often out of stock, increasingly overpriced from the demand, and many families with multiple children can’t afford the cost of buying desks for each child. In response, Hansanuwat began building and donating desks to families, and created a network of other carpenters willing to donate time and supplies to help reach more families.

“I had no idea how big the need was until I started building free desks for local families,” said Chai Hansanuwat. “What started as one request for a family in my community grew to 20, which then grew into 250 requests and counting.”

Hansanuwat was inspired to start the initiative after learning about a family in his community with four students, and without access to a table or desk large enough to fit them all. The family had recently relocated to California to live with their grandmother following a job loss caused by the pandemic. Hansanuwat, who has been a hobbyist carpenter for over 12 years, built four free desks for the family. Word spread about his good deed and he received hundreds of requests from families in the area in need of desks, and without the means to buy them.…Read More

PBS Offers At-Home Learning Broadcast and Digital Resources

As the nation prepares for the beginning of a new school year unlike any other, PBS and member stations are helping support educators, parents and caregivers with a variety of free high-quality, accessible educational media resources. Available to more than 97% of the country through over-the-air television access, the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel(for young learners ages 2-8) and the WORLD channel At-Home Learning Service (for learners grades 6-12) will feature broadcast programming linked to at-home learning resources that can be used by educators to supplement distance learning plans, or by parents to provide added enrichment and support for children’s educational needs.

Research shows that more than 24 million Americans still lack access to fast and reliable broadband internet.* PBS has the ability to reach a majority of these households with free, over-the-air station broadcast and a deep trove of digital resources (PBS LearningMedia, pbskids.orgPBS KIDS for Parents, and more) designed to support both in-school and at-home learning for students, which was critical at the end of the 2019-2020 school year. When COVID-19 shut down schools across much of the country, PBS LearningMedia, an online destination that offers free access to thousands of classroom resources, saw its users quadruple to nearly 4 million per month. Additionally, young children’s engagement with PBS KIDS content increased notably, with reach growing by 15% among kids 2-8 on-air, streaming by nearly 30% and game play by 40%.**

Leading these charges locally, PBS stations across the country forged partnerships with their school districts to address specific, state standards-aligned educational needs in each community, including filming and broadcasting local teachers’ classroom lessons.…Read More

How edtech companies are helping schools navigate an uncertain year

In the middle of the abrupt changes to the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, edtech companies offered resources and access to help educators, students, and parents make the best of at-home learning.

Here is insight from a select few of those edtech leaders.

Based on what you’ve seen over the past couple of months, what are the major challenges that schools and districts have faced in the transition to online learning?…Read More

How to effectively support struggling readers during distance learning

Parents who might be uncomfortable with continuing their role of teacher this fall can find solace in this fact: authentic teachable moments happen outside the classroom all the time. If your student or child had to rapidly transition to an at-home learning environment as a struggling reader, an English language learner, or one with dyslexia, there are many ways that the support they were receiving in school can transfer to their home.

Creating authentic learning experiences such as having your child help prepare meals, shop, and participate in outings to parks or museums can improve literacy. Simply engaging in conversation in the language spoken at home around shared experiences, explaining your thinking, and asking open-ended questions so your child can share their thoughts, facilitates a deeper level of communication. This builds metacognition, which is key for comprehension and reading success.

Related content: How we reinvented our district’s reading program…Read More

Keep kids reading all summer long

As parents, educators, public librarians and community leaders, we applaud all you have done for your children and students to keep them learning through unprecedented closing of schools. As we enter the summer months there is no doubt we are all continuing to adjust to this new reality together. Now more than ever it is critically important to keep kids engaged in summer reading to ensure their academic success in the fall. Scholastic is committed to providing at-home learning over the summer months with Scholastic Summer Read-a-Palooza.   Learn more now

Free videos to support at-home learning during school closings

Ringbeller, an education media company dedicated to helping kids develop 21st-century skills like creativity, collaboration, and kindness, has released five episodes of its “edutainment” video content, designed for students in kindergarten through fifth grade, on the Ringbeller Youtube Channel. Described as “TED meets Mr. Rogers,” the content is part of Ringbeller’s subscription platform already in use in classrooms across the U.S. but is now being made available online, free of charge, to support students’ at-home learning while schools across the nation are closed due to the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic.

Ringbeller was created by entrepreneur and media producer CJ Casciotta, author of the book Get Weird: Discover the Surprising Secret to Making a Difference. Casciotta has collaborated on projects with MGM Studios, Sesame Studios, The United Nations Foundation, Whole Foods and more. A sought after communicator and TEDx alumnus, he’s traveled around the world inspiring communities like Lululemon, Creative Mornings and Charity: Water with his message that creativity and kindness, when combined, are the skills that ultimately move culture toward the kind of future we imagine. His work has been featured by Forbes, Salon, CBS, MTV and Publishers Weekly.

“Students and their families are facing an unprecedented challenge right now, with widespread and indefinite school closings becoming ‘the new normal’ nationwide. We want to do our part to ensure kids have access to resources that will support continued learning while they are out of school, so we’ve decided to make five Ringbeller videos available on Youtube, where they are accessible to all kids and their parents,” said Casciotta. “We have also created new supplemental activities for families to work on together as they reflect on the skill-building lessons in our edutainment content. We hope students will not only have an opportunity to continue developing their social-emotional skills but truly enjoy participating in these lessons at home.”…Read More

Keeps kids engaged with free one-a-day brainteasers

MindAntix, a learning company that provides all students with the opportunity to build creativity and problem-solving skills, announced it is releasing a weekly set of free brainteaser activities to support at-home learning. Teachers can use the brainteasers during remote learning sessions as a warm-up exercise or can assign them for students to work on independently. Parents can also participate by playing and co-creating ideas as a family. The first two weeks of brainteasers are now available here.

“COVID-19 has caused school closures, but that doesn’t mean learning has to end. Our free brainteasers are easy to access, quick to download, and fun to use in any setting,” said Dr. Pronita Mehrotra, founder of MindAntix. “We focus on helping students build thinking patterns that unlock their true originality, and we give them the skills and encouragement to explore the boundaries of their creativity. There are no right or wrong answers—the only rules are to use your talent, be unique and have fun learning!”

The brainteasers build specific cognitive thinking styles that have been shown to improve creative thinking. These thinking patterns include:…Read More

Free At-Home Learning Content During Crisis

WESTCHESTER, IL, Mar 18, 2020 – Follett, a trusted partner to PreK-12 schools, public libraries, and college campuses for more than 145 years, is working with customers to ensure they can quickly and easily use the company’s wide range of eLearning solutions and access to content as more students shift to learning from home due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“As we all navigate through these unprecedented times, we want educators and parents to know they’re not alone,” said Patrick Connolly, President and CEO of Follett Corporation. “Follett offers a variety of eLearning products for both PreK-12 and Higher Ed that can be quickly and easily accessed. These are solutions customers already have access to, and our goal is to ensure they know about all their options to help with the continuity of education.”

Here is a closer look at Follett’s company-wide eLearning resources that are being made available at libraries, schools and universities in communities across North America affected by the COVID-19 virus:…Read More