As technology in education has gone from chalkboard to whiteboard to smartboard, children still typically learn best through examples and practice, not just lectures. Lucky for us in today’s technology age, many resources are available to help children, parents, and teachers with academics.
- Kahn Academy is a site complete with video explanations, visual models, and practice problems that align with the Common Core State Standards. You can track your progress on concepts and get hints on tricky problems.
- The National Library of Virtual Manipulatives, a free website, has manipulatives—think cubes, blocks, graphs, and rulers—for students to practice with.
- Sciencekids.co.nz includes a lot of kid-friendly experiments, demonstrations, quizzes, facts, and videos about a variety of science topics. I learned about how electrical circuits work through an app on the site.
- The Worldwide Telescope, a free downloadable application, helps students learning about space. You can see images and diagrams of the Milky Way, learn about astronomy, and take tours of interesting nebula (clouds of gas and dust).
- Simple English Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia for children and adult English Language Learners.
- Time for Kids is an online newspaper written by kids and for kids that includes current events as well as special interest articles about holidays and historical events.
- PBS.org offers several articles with great suggestions on supporting kids in math homework, finding creative ways to play with math at home, and maintaining kids’ math skills over the summer.
- ScienceBuddies.org helps parents and kids with tips, directions, and supplies for science fair projects.
- Project Gutenberg has many older classic novels that parents would enjoy reading to or with children at home.
- Saylor.org is a free online learning academy that can help parents delve into subjects they want to study to help their children with school work or just for themselves.
Resources for teachers to use in teaching children
- Kidblog.org offers a way for teachers to encourage students to write. They’ll love writing for an audience, even if it’s just their class or their parents.
- Commonlit.org has selections from famous texts, filed by general theme. These would be great for shared reading with the whole class during upper-grades’ social studies periods.
- iCivics.org includes games, readings, discussion topics, current event outlines, and curriculum units for teachers to use. I personally like the games section for students—you can practice your Bill of Rights knowledge, control the federal budget in People’s Pie, design laws and court cases in LawCraft, and determine if immigrants have the right to live and work in the US in Immigration Nation.
—Leah Davis Christopher, Stance
Thanks to Royce Kimmons and the IP&T department for pointing out many of these resources.
Images credited to lds.org. Link to license.