I’m sharing resources that have been valuable to me, teachers I’ve collaborated with, or my son.
My educational and professional background favors the humanities, the arts, and ELA, but I have included some science and math as well.
The majority of the resources I’ve listed here are free, but you may need to sign up for an account. (Also, public institutions/non-profits are always willing to take donations, should you wish to contribute!)
UPPER DUBLIN LIBRARY RESOURCES
You may already know about borrowing ebooks and audiobooks through Libby or Overdrive, but there’s a lot more to find online at the Upper Dublin Library.
You may need to use your library card number to access some of these resources; there are a few that you’ll need to register for an account in order to use. If you don’t have an Upper Dublin Library Card, you can now sign up for one online.
Hoopla is another digital lending library – you can borrow videos and music in addition to books. Hoopla’s collection of Broadway/London cast recordings is particularly impressive – some of the titles aren’t available on Spotify. For example, Imaginocean, from UD’s own John Tartaglia, is available to borrow!
Mango Languages – Online Language Learning Software – In addition to the four languages taught at UDHS (Spanish, German, French, and Latin), they have Japanese, Arabic, Hebrew, Russian, and many more.
Learning Express Library –
- College Admissions Test Preparation: There are prep tutorials for ACT, SAT, PSAT, AP Exams, and TOEFL iBT.
- School Center has resources for Elementary, Middle, and High School.
- Career Preparation has Civil Service Exam prep help
- There are also resources available in Spanish.
Tumblebooks – Ebooks of children’s picture books, as well as Read Alongs, Videos, Language Learning, and Puzzles and Games for emergent, novice, and decoding readers. You can sort titles by Reading Level, and for students with reading challenges, there’s a “help” button on many titles.
BookFlix – Ebooks that you can choose to have read in a video format or read as a traditional ebook. TrueFlix is the non-fiction version.
Local History: Includes links to The Ambler Gazette, topographic maps, genealogy resources, photographs, and local historical societies.
Academic Resources: You’ll find links to the Library of Congress, National Archives, MIT Open Courseware, and the Purdue Online Writing Lab, among others, here.
Power Library: Pennsylvania’s Electronic Library: From “Auto & Small Engine Repair” to newspaper articles, to research resources for elementary, middle, and high school students, Power Library has plenty of resources for students of all ages.
Talking to Kids About Difficult Topics: Help for parents and teachers looking to discuss racism and COVID-19
Booklists: Recommended titles from UDPL Staff, UDSD, the American Library Association, and many others. The Reading Olympics book lists for all levels are here as well as lists for adults.
The Philadelphia Inquirer – Includes the historical archive from 1829-1922 and digital copies from 1981 on.
Virtual Museum Tours & Programs : The museums listed here include some of the ones the Library has circulating memberships for, sponsored by the Friends of the UDPL. In addition to virtual tours, there are some links to lesson plans.
You can help support the Upper Dublin Library and the Friends by donating to the About Us, About Our Future Campaign.
PHILADELPHIA FREE LIBRARY
The Free Library offers online learning opportunities from Tutor.com, Lynda.com, and Universal Class.
In addition to RBDigital, Overdrive, and BookFlix, there are digital music, video, and books available.
The Library also has Virtual Events for all ages.
If your family is working on genealogy, the Free Library has a great series of guides and articles.
Visit the Digital Collections page to view (and read!) some of the Free Library’s special collections, including Historical Images of Philadelphia and Children’s Literature items from the Rosenbach Museum.
Ancestry.com Free At-Home Education Resources: The Haunted House History Lesson looks pretty cool!
The Exploratorium in San Francisco has STEM activities and videos available in their Learning Toolbox.
EDSITEment! The National Endowment for the Humanities: Lesson plans, Teacher’s Guides, and more.
Distance Learning Resources from the Smithsonian leads to many, many resources, some arranged on spreadsheets. For kids, the Smithsonian Choice Boards are a good place to start. There are distance learning events happening almost every day as well.
Fun Stuff for Kids and Teens: Learn with Smithsonian arranges its activities by subject area.
American Museum of Natural History has activities for elementary through high school students.
Common Sense Media’s Wide Open School – For families and teachers; Common Sense Media has partnered with Khan Academy, Sesame Workshop, and Google (among others) to help “make learning from home an experience that inspires kids, supports teachers, relieves families, and restores community.”
PBS Learning Media has hundreds of videos, searchable by subject and grade. Many of the videos have standard-aligned lesson plans associated with them. PBS has curated collections of videos as well. (Teachers, you can sync with Google Classroom!)
TEDEd: You can search the video lessons here by subject, and filter by Student Level, Content Type, even by duration and what language subtitles are available in.
The following online libraries are great for accessing public domain and out-of-print titles.
For poetry, try the following:
Poem Hunter has “Top” lists for poems and poets based on searches and visits to the site.
Open Educational Resources
The OER movement has made materials available digitally and globally to teachers and students FOR FREE or at low cost. Typically, the materials have a Creative Commons License, which has several layers and is different from a traditional copyright license.
MIT’s Open Courseware is a collection of “virtually all course content” from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Most people know MIT for its excellence in STEM fields, but there’s lots of humanities courses as well. There are special sections for high school students as well as their teachers.
MERLOT (Multimedia Education Resource for Learning and Online Teaching) , by the California State University system in consortium with several other state university systems, provides a vast collection of shared learning materials, including courses. They’ve assembled a special section on online learning as well.
OER (Open Educational Resources) Commons has materials for all levels of learners, and supports for teachers that allow for collaborative organization and projects. You can search by subject, level, and standards alignment. Their collection includes Khan Academy, MIT, and MERLOT resources
Future Learn has OER from British universities as well as tuition-and membership-based courses available.
COLLECTIONS of RESOURCES
Here are collections of resources from sources I trust. (I haven’t checked the quality of every item on each of the lists.)
WeAreTeachers.com “Free Online Learning Resources”: most are designed for working at the classroom or school level.
Open Culture: The Best Free Cultural and Educational Media on the Web: “200 Free Kids Educational Resources: Video Lessons, Apps, Books, Websites & More”
PAGE (Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education) – scroll down to “Websites,” there are also links to articles, videos, and virtual tours.
Digital Promise has a list of Resources for Supporting Learners with Disabilities – I limited the returns on the link to “always free,” but you can check out more by deselecting that box in the filter.