March 16, 2020. School Library Journal, Filed in News & Features.
As educators turn to online programming and classroom management due to the COVID-19 outbreak and school closures, ed tech providers are making their tools freely available. Here’s what some companies are offering, along with resources that have always been free.
ABCmouse This program offers self-guided lessons in a variety of subjects for students in pre-K through second grade. Certain programs are free for all schools and teachers in the United States.
ABDO, the educational publisher, is providing free access to its ebooks on illness prevention and facts, with titles on vaccines, epidemiology, and past outbreaks.
Adobe is permitting free remote access to schools that currently have only lab access, through May 31.
Babbel, a language learning app is are offering free language learning to K-12 and college students through mid-June.
Code.org is an organization that provides free online coding classes for students of all ages. Students can learn to program while completing online modules.
Comcast has accelerated connection speed to “Internet Essentials,” providing internet access to low-income families, and has temporarily dropped the $9.95 monthly fee for new customers.
Crowdmark, a platform for online grading and analytics, is providing free access to educators through May 31.
Gale has launched a COVID-19 resource center, with curriculum-aligned resources for students in pre-K through college, professional deveopment ebooks, and more.
Google is providing free access to Hangouts Meet for G Suite for Education customers through July 31.
Khan Academy, the nonprofit that offers short videos on thousands of topics for kids of all ages, is having daily (weekdays) livestreams at 12 p.m. EST on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter to assist students, parents, and teachers navigating school closures.
MackinVIA is providing free access to all of its Mackin Classic ebooks for all schools until the end of 2020. MackinVIA is also offering 20 to 60 percent off ebooks, audiobooks, and datbases until April 30.
PBS Learning Media The nonprofit is an online resource offering interactive lesson plans for students from pre-K through high school.
Pronto, the chat and video communications hub, is currently available for free.
Quizlet This free app lets users create virtual flashcards that cover a variety of topics.
Scholastic The educational company has launched a “Learn at Home” website that has daily courses for students from pre-K through high school.
Starfall Education This colorful website is designed for preschoolers and students in pre-K through third grade. The activities are arranged by discipline, season, or curricular topic, and include some free options.
Zoom The video and conference tool allows teachers to project lessons. Students can ask questions in real time. Lessons can also be recorded for later viewing. It is currently free for educators with preapproval.