Organizations Collate Resources for New Learning Models

April 3, 2020: Volume 27, Number 7

A range of organizations from inside and outside the educational technology community in March are connecting with resource providers to share ways learning can continue with schools shut down.

The Software & Information Industry Association, in partnership with The White House, launched Tech for Learners, a new web-based, searchable database with education technology solutions to support online learning and remote school administration.

Tech for Learners includes companies who are making their products discounted or free to use, as well as links to partner organizations working to meet the needs of schools, districts, states, universities, and the workforce.

The database includes resources from large publishers—Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Boston), McGraw-Hill Education (New York) and Pearson (London/Hoboken, NJ)—and leading education technology companies—Cambium Learning (Dallas), Discovery Education (Charlotte, NC) and Renaissance (Wisconsin Rapids, WI).

The nonprofit Common Sense launched, a free online resource to support families and educators with resources from publishers, nonprofits, and education companies, including Khan Academy (Mountain View, CA), Amplify (Brooklyn, NY) and Scholastic (New York). Many companies are making their resources available on multiple platforms.

Common Sense Media is coordinating with distribution and technology partners including Apple, Comcast, Google, Salesforce, and Zoom, which have suggested tools and resources for families and educators and to ensure they are aware of and can access the resources.

Common Sense Media is curating the content on the platform, which is organized by grade band and subject. Everything on Wide Open School centers on a schedule, which is programmed each school day for each grade band.

The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization offered a list of educational applications, platforms and resources to help parents, teachers, schools and school administrators facilitate student learning and provide social care and interaction during school closure. Most of the solutions curated by UNESCO are free and many cater to multiple languages. While they do not carry an explicit endorsement from UNESCO, they were described as having wide reach, a strong user-base and evidence of impact.

UNESCO characterized resources by the needs they served, including programs built for mobile phones, programs with strong offline functionality and self-directed learning content.




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