This is a collection of books that supports emergency remote teaching, research activities, independent scholarship, and intellectual stimulation while universities, schools, training centers, and libraries are closed.
You'll need to create a free account, but then you can borrow any of their 1.5 million scanned books for two weeks at a time.
—a really cool way of visiting world-renowned museums or taking a close look at a particular work of art. They also have a mobile app for iOS and Android, and any of these methods you can take Google Street View walking tours of the interior of museums or famous spots like Machu Picchu or the Brandenburg Gate. You could visit a different museum each night after dinner.
Besides touring physical museums, they have many many thematic collections you can explore. For example, "Incredible Plants of Kenya," Meet the Artist, audio tours through specific artworks, the Pose of the Day, Street Art of various cities... it's an internet rabbit hole in the best sense of the word (sorry, Reddit).
Teachers & Writers presents a wide range of ideas and approaches to teaching the art of writing in kindergarten through college, in service of their mission to "educate the imagination" and increase access to the literary arts.
Here they offer a series of daily "lessons" or activities for guiding writing exercises with students or children.
The Smithsonian is committed to supporting teachers and their students around the globe as they face unprecedented new learning challenges. Here, on the Learning Lab, teachers have access to millions of digital resources from across the Smithsonian's museums, research centers, libraries, archives, and more. You will also find pre-packaged collections that contain lessons, activities, and recommended resources made by Smithsonian museum educators as well as thousands of classroom teachers like you.
A comprehensive, if somewhat random, collection of information and free resources from EBSCO, one of the companies that provides online databases for the CCS Ferguson Library. Scavenger hunts, lesson plans, study guides, flashcard reviews, and various other activities (most academic, though there's an online coloring book on the page too) to help remain engaged while under quarantine.
Priscilla Thompson, mother of student and alum Will and Nick Thompson, works for Big Picture Educational Consulting which puts together resources to support teachers showing certain films in their classrooms. They have resources for films such as Selma, Fury, Lincoln, The Last Survivor, The 11th Hour, The Soloist, and several more. The resources provide activites and discussion guides that could be useful if you were planning to have students watch any of these films on their own and then either complete activities on their own, or come together on Zoom for a shared discussion.
Minecraft. I thought it was mainly popular with the preteen crowd, but then my senior advisees asked if we could meet on their Minecraft server on Wednesdays for some of our Distance Advisory sessions.
As outlined in this Washington Post article, Minecraft has opened up two sets of free features on Minecraft to support distance learning using the platform:
- 12 educational lessons on the Minecraft Marketplace open to anyone, including a NASA-approved student-built International Space Station world, tours of DC historical sites, logic puzzles that teach coding and programming, and more
- free access to the educational edition of Minecraft for educators and schools. If your email is linked to an educational Open Office account with Microsoft you can download the education edtition. Mine worked; if you want to try it out and yours doesn't, check in with Neal.
If you're even somewhat interested, check out this Minecraft blog post for a rundown of some of the resources available to support classroom and distance learning. For example, besides the specific lessons, STEM curriculum, and project-based activities available, there are features like classroom multiplayer mode that allow students to create and collaborate together while planning and building.
Every night from 7:30 until 6:30 the following day, the Met is offering one encore presentation from their Live in HD series of operas from the last 14 years. The link is to their schedule, and you can watch using their "Met Opera On Demand" app for Roku TVs or “all of your favorite devices.”
No need to create an account, just follow the links on your device for free previews.
Commander Scott Kelly, who spent nearly a year on the International Space Station (and whose Instagram feed got a lot less interesting when he returned to earth), wrote an op/ed in the New York Times with advice for all of us.
Perhaps most surprising was NASA's discover that in spite of all their high-tech interventions, one of the most valuable practices for astronaut morale was keeping a written journal.
Peloton: free 90-day trial on its app. (stationary biking, ya'll)
Golds Gym: Free access to over 600 audio and video workouts with DJ mixes on its app, as well as on-demand and live videos online.
Planet Fitness: "Work-ins" streamed live on their Facebook page every evening at 7pm EDT.
YOGA! Down Dog is offering all their apps (Down Dog, Yoga for Beginners, HIIT, Barre, and 7 Minute Workout) for free through April 1st, and for teachers/students/healthcare workers through July 1st.
Also of course there are all those free workouts people post on YouTube, but it always feels extra special to get something for free that you usually have to pay for.
The Cincinnati Zoo hosts Facebook Live video safaris Monday through Friday at 3pm EDT. You can watch them live on their Facebook page, or catch up on the archives on the homepage for their Online Safaris.
Smithsonian National Zoo webcams are online.
San Diego Zoo live animal cams feature all the cute ones.
While these live streams are not free, you can stream their current offering for $10 (though you can also donate more). Yes there's a lot of free stuff available, but the American Shakespare Center is an important cultural institution and this is about the only way (short of straight-up donations) for them to cover some of their costs while their stage lights are off.
Since audiences can’t come to the Blackfriars, ASC is bringing the Playhouse to you.
Pull up a chair to the virtual hearth for cinema-quality streaming video of our complete 2020 Actors’ Renaissance and Tour Homecoming seasons.
The Economist is providing free home-learning resources for all children while schools around the world are closed, via The Economist Educational Foundation. The Foundation is a charity that gives disadvantaged young people the skills to think and speak for themselves about current affairs. Parents and teachers alike can find these resources, including a critical-thinking guide on covid-19 designed for 9- to 14-year-olds using the link above.