Digital Learning

At this time of isolation and social distancing, educators must provide lessons differently. Here is a collection of valuable resources to help in this endeavor.

There are a LOT of educators that are stuck at home trying to adjust to the new normal of isolation and online instruction. For some, the change is very rapid and although there are handouts and videos galore, sometimes we just need a human to walk us through and answer questions.

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Resources for Teachers, Schools and Parents

The Smithsonian

The Smithsonian offers millions of digital educational resources from across the Smithsonian museums, research centers, libraries, and archives geared specifically toward students and teachers. Educators, parents and schools looking for free, quality lessons, activities and recommended resources can visit https://learninglab.si.edu/distancelearning.

If you have ideas for Smithsonian educational resources, you can get in touch with their team by emailing learning@si.edu.

The Library of Congress

The Library of Congress has a wide variety of resources for teachers geared toward helping teachers to use the Library's online primary sources in their lesson plans including:


  • By the People: By the People provides students of all ages with opportunities to explore unique historical documents from the collections of the Library of Congress. Deciphering and transcribing these documents can build students' skills in close reading, examining historical context, and building interpretive consensus. For specific teaching ideas related to this interactive site, see: https://crowd.loc.gov/for-educators
  • Teaching with the Library of Congress Blog: Visit the Teaching with the Library Blog for easy-to-use learning activities built around Library primary sources. The Categories list on the left hand side can help you find your topic quickly, and new posts are added a couple of times each week! See: http://blogs.loc.gov/teachers/
  • Primary Source Sets: The Library's Primary Source Sets are easy-to-use introductions to frequently-taught topics that feature photos, maps, music and more, and include teachers guides with numerous teaching suggestions. See: http://loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/primarysourcesets/ for more.
  • The Science, Space and Technology Committee

The Science, Space and Technology Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives has put together this list of a wide variety of resources for teachers related to STEM learning. Here you can find STEM learning resources from NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation and more!

The National Gallery of Art

The National Gallery of Art has a number of resource on their homepage.

Other resources include the NGAkids Art Zone app for iPad, Look Together Activities, and Eye for Art, which offers a different way to engage with the Gallery's collection.

For teachers-both professional teachers and those taking on this role with children at home-they offer hundreds of lesson plans organized by grade level and theme, an online course about teaching critical thinking through art, and an Uncovering America module series.


Other Resources

Verizon, the Weather Channel and AT&T have all announced initiatives and resources geared towards helping students and teachers successfully engage in distance learning.

The Weather Channel is dedicating time during each hour of live programming at :50 past the hour to share educational content. Scientific explanations on everything from how raindrops and rainbows form, to why thunder happens, how to stay safe in all kinds of weather, and more.


Just in Time for Teachers: Digital Learning Days

GADOE Digital Learning Course

In this course learners will identify the characteristics of effective digital learning days, recognize how digital learning days are a viable solution for schools and districts, explore best practices for planning, communication and implementation of digital learning. Learners will also consider open educational resources, shared content and web tools, acknowledge considerations for extended digital learning days and discover additional digital learning day resources. Check out other learning opportunities at http://www.gavirtuallearning.org