Free Online Courses and Resources for Elementary Students and Parents Impacted by School Closures

Julia Stiglitz
Mar 14 · 5 min read

I’ve been getting asked by friends for recommendations for good online courses and resources for their students as they are stuck at home. Here’s my round-up of some great online courses and educational activities being offered for free. This list is by no means not comprehensive. For a more comprehensive set of edtech products check out Common Sense Media’s site. Please also add additional great offerings to the comment section. I hope this is useful to parents during this challenging time.

Outschool

Description: Outschool offers live online courses for students ages 3–18 years old on topics ranging from creative writing, to world history, to math.

Free?: Classes normally cost about $5 per class. Outschool announced that it is offering $100K worth of free classes to affected families. You can sign-up here.

Khan Academy

Description: Khan Academy offers short on-demand online courses and tutorials on topics ranging from math, to history, to economics, to computer science. Khan Academy also has an early education app, focused on early literacy and math. Grades preschool through high school and beyond.

Khan Academy has also put together useful daily schedule templates that you can use with your children.

Free?: Khan Academy is always free. Sign-up here.

Prodigy Games

Description: Prodigy games is a curriculum aligned math game for students in grades 1–8.

Free?: Prodigy’s basic offering is free. They also have a premium paid offering. Sign-up here.

Epic!

Description: Epic! is a digital library of books and activities for kids under 12. Think Netflix for children’s books.

Free?: Schools have access to the platform for free during la school day. Epic! also has a 30-day free trial for parents. Sign-up here.

Scholastic Learn at Home

Description: Scholastic has curated a set of daily learning experiences for prek through 6th grade. Each day has a different theme.

Free?: Scholastic is offering this to free for parents and schools. You can access it here. Scholastic also has some fun story starters that you can access here.

TED-Ed

Description: TED-ed is TED’s youth and education initiative. It offers hundreds of engaging animated lessons on wide-ranging topics.

Free?: TED-Ed is free. Sign-up here.

Novel Effect

Description: Novel Effect uses voice recognition to transform your storytime into a magical experience by adding sound effects, music and character voices at just the right time. They have also recently released interactive video stories, where students control what happens.

Free?: Novel Effect is free. Sign-up here.

Beanstalk

Description: Live and on-demand courses for 0–6-year-old children. “Mommy and me” classes rethought and moved online.

Free?: Beanstalk is offering its classes for free during this time.

Create and Learn

Description: Live online courses focused on coding and technology. Courses are taught by industry experts. Grades 2–9.

Free?: During this period of time, Create and Learn is offering their courses for free. Courses otherwise cost $95. You can enroll here.

GSV is an investor in Create and Learn.

Canticos

Description: Canticos offers books and highly engaging bilingual (Spanish-English) nursery rhyme videos and activities. These are great for learning Spanish or English.

Free?: The videos and apps are free.

Caribu

Description: Video call-app with integrated storybooks and activities. Useful for calling grandparents and loved ones stuck in other cities.

Free?: Caribu normally costs $7/month. They are offering it to free during the pandemic.

Code.org

Description: Code.org offers courses, activities, and projects to teach students to code. Grades K-12.

Free?: Code.org is always free.

Dreambox Learning

Description: Adaptive math curriculum aligned to standards. Grades K-8.

Free?: Dreambox is offering 90 days free for parents during this period. More info here.

CLI Studios

Description: CLI Studios partners with the leading choreographies, like Twitch and Kathrine McCormick, to teach dance classes online.

Free?: CLI Studios is offering free live courses during this time. You can access them here.

GSV is an investor in CLI Studios.

DIY Activities

There are a number of sites that offer great DIY activities to do with kids. Here are a few:

Julia Stiglitz

Written by

Passionate about increasing access to quality education and meaningful work. Partner @GSV Ventures. Formerly @Coursera, Google Apps for Edu, Teach For America

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