Coronavirus: These Online Learning Providers Are Offering their Resources for Free
By Henry Kronk
March 16, 2020
As the coronavirus continues to spread, large scale school closings have begun to occur. In response, numerous edtech developers and providers have taken steps to expand their online learning offerings and make their services available for free home use.
Check these resources from eLeaP for a quick guide on how to stay safe and healthy amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Over the weekend, closures were announced for the country’s two largest school districts: New York and Los Angeles. New York schools will be closed until April 20, and possibly to the end of the year, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on March 15. Los Angeles closures, meanwhile, will last two weeks. Three local TV stations—KCET, PBS SoCal, and KLCS-TV—have partnered to broadcast educational content during the closures. Dozens of large universities, too, have closed.
With Coronavirus Closing Schools, EdTech Developers and Online Learning Providers Are Offering their Resources for Free
In response, numerous edtech providers have made the decision to expand their offerings and make their products available for free.
Scholastic Learn at Home
On March 13, the educational publisher Scholastic unveiled an ambitious platform for pre-K to high school learners. Scholastic Learn at Home has curated instructional content in ELA, social studies, STEM, and social-emotional learning subjects. It also allows for class-wide communications so teachers can continue to interact and collaborate with their classes.
“As more and more teachers, students, and families around the world are affected by the coronavirus, our priority is to support them in the best way we know how—by providing them with rich stories and meaningful projects that will keep kids academically active,” says Lauren Tarshis, Senior Vice President & Editor-in-Chief/Publisher, Scholastic Classroom Magazines, in a statement. “We designed Scholastic Learn At Home knowing that administrators and teachers need to create extensive virtual learning plans, quickly, and that students need uplifting and engaging experiences. Our hope is that even though daily routines are being disrupted and students may not have valuable time in school with their educators, together we can support meaningful learning at home while it is necessary.”
Before the outbreak, one could audit most of Coursera’s massive open online courses (MOOCs) for free. But on March 12 in a blog post, CEO Jeff Maggioncalda said the company would make its Coursera for Campus available to any university for free. This includes 3,800 courses and 400 specializations. Institutions need only sign up. Access will last at least until July 31 and will potentially extend as needed.
The publisher Wiley also develops and offers numerous edtech products. On March 12, the company announced they’d made numerous products and offerings available for free to various communities. For teachers instructing remotely, the company has offered WileyPlus (the company’s wide-ranging online learning platform), Knewton Alta (a personalized AI math learning app), and zyBooks (interactive textbook software).
To gain access, schools and instructors need only apply. This access will last throughout the rest of the spring semester.
The company has also provided access to the research community to over 5,000 coronavirus-related scholarly articles. In addition, Wiley is opening access to remote working books for the professional community, like Scott Berkun’s The Year Without Pants.
The Portland-based OpenSesame curates a library of online professional learning courses. The company announced on March 14 that they would make a coronavirus workforce preparedness course available to any company and organization for free until May 15. Access the course here.
“At OpenSesame, we strive to fully support our customers, and any company, in protecting their employees as well as ensuring productivity of their workforce,” said CEO Don Spear, in a statement. “With the impact of COVID-19 growing exponentially every day, travel bans widening and instructor-led training no longer an option, elearning presents the best option for organizations to train and safeguard their workforces.”
Age of Learning
The company Age of Learning developed the highly popular ABCMouse, an online game-based learning platform for students in pre-K to second grade. In 2019, the company launched Adventure Academy, a massive multiplayer online game for elementary and middle school students. In addition, they developed ReadingIQ, an online library of early literacy learning material.
Age of Learning has made home access to each of these free for students stuck at home in the U.S. and other countries affected by coronavirus around the world. Schools can gain access for their students here.
Featured Image: Marisvector, iStock.