Top 10 FREE Distance Learning Resources

Whether you are currently participating in distance learning or are exploring your options, our team of STEM Development Teachers have compiled a list of FREE resources for you to use! With three different teaching backgrounds and a variety of online resources available, our STEM teachers have thoughtfully picked their top three favorites and are sharing those with you today!

Michelle's Top 3

Michelle Fisher

From coaching middle school robotics teams and working as program resource staff at summer camps, to tutoring elementary through adult math students at the Sylvan Learning Center, undergraduate chemistry students at Cornell Learning Strategies Center and Spanish-speaking farmworkers through Cornell Friends of Farmworkers, Michelle’s vast educational adventures solidify her as an expert in STEM education and as an integral part of the PCS Edventures team.


Scholastic

Comprehensive collection of free resources for grades Pre-K-9.

ScholasticScholastic has always been one of my go-to sources, and their new Scholastic Learn at Home website provides up to three hours worth of indefinitely free content daily, no sign-up required. For each grade band (Pre-K, 1-2, 3-5 and 6-9), they've organized five-day "learning journeys" that combine audio read-alongs, digital books, videos and interactive activities. For younger students, these are built around common themes (past topics have ranged from empathy and kindness to stars and spiders). Older learners have a menu of articles and reading quests to choose from. For low-tech learning solutions, there's also a library of printable resources searchable by grade, subject, even reading level or math/ELA standard.

Best for: Teachers, families


Hazel

Free coronavirus (COVID-19) information and resources for schools and families.

Hazel

Hazel partners with schools to ensure that all students have access to quality health care. When learners are sick at school they can talk virtually to a licensed Hazel healthcare provider who communicates a care plan to the student's school nurse, parent and primary physician. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the medical team at Hazel has created free printables and lists of resources, including:


Best for: Administrators and coordinators, families


Yoga Ed

Free access to online yoga and mindfulness classes.

Yoga Ed

We could all use some peace of mind right now. I love that the creators of Yoga Ed are considering the needs of both students and the adults who care for them; their free offerings include classes that are developmentally appropriate for kids as well as courses geared toward adults. These would be great for distance-learning physical education, brain breaks or as a way to wind down at the end of the day.

Best for: Teachers, families


 

Tyler's Top 3

Tyler Downey

Devoting himself to education for the last 20 years, Tyler has worked with students as an elementary classroom teacher, full-time gifted education instructor, librarian and he has even taught computer and information technology classes, as well as coding and hands-on science courses, in summer, after school and club classroom settings. Throughout his career, Tyler has passionately devoted himself to promoting critical thinking and a love for learning.


Polyup

A math education app for students in grades 1-12 where they can practice math skills and utilize computational thinking in a creative gamified context.

Polyup

Students build machines using numbers and functions as they make their way through different standards-aligned lesson plans, or they can create their own machines and lessons to share with the world. Polyup is a creative way to engage students in math that teaches both skills and abstract thinking. Plus it is just plain fun!

Best for: Classroom teachers, independent student use


 

WURRLYedu Music Education

Lesson plans, teacher resources and an extensive music catalog with timed chords and lyrics.

WURRLYedu Music Education

With Wurrly you can both teach music and use music to teach. Their service offers content for grades K-12 and is creative, innovative and fun. If you are a teacher or an administrator who recognizes the value of music instruction and are interested in creative ways to integrate music into general education, this is exactly what you are looking for during these times of school closures and remote teaching. Their enormous collection of music lessons is searchable by skill level, grade level, processes and topics, and their music catalog has thousands of popular songs organized by genre, subject, theme, and age, making finding specific songs easy. You can even search their music catalog by chord!

Best for: Administrators and coordinators, classroom teachers


Listenwise

Contains a diversity of lessons and assessments for grades 2-12 comprised of recorded audio accompanied by text and visuals.

Listenwise

For those auditory learners who are often under-served in digital/remote learning contexts, Listenwise is a great resource focusing on the auditory learning modality not as commonly found in popular e-learning platforms. Teachers can create classes, search by topic and content area, assign lessons with associated assessments or create their own. There is plenty of science content available for all grades, as well as content for Social Studies and English Language Arts. If you want to put some diversity into your distance learning, Listenwise is an excellent resource that provides quality instructional resources from a different perspective than the visually dominant.

Best for: Classroom teachers, families


Erika's Top 3

Erika Liebel

Erika’s STEAM experiences are extensive and include: developing AR/VR curriculum for Blocksmith Inc and Google for Education, serving as president of the Idaho Association of Teachers of Language and Culture, and assisting the Idaho Virtual Reality Council and the Idaho STEM Action Center in the creation of the VR4Ed grant to bring virtual reality technology to rural school districts. Erika has worked in bilingual education in Spain and the United States, always incorporating STEAM-based strategies into her classroom.


PBS Learning Media

Extensive collection of free resources across content areas for grades Pre-K -12.

PBS Learning Media

The PBS Learning Media platform utilizes the system’s rich programming and resources, which are developmentally appropriate for the youngest learners all the way up to high schoolers. Educators can choose from carefully developed lesson plans aligned with national standards, differentiate these lessons or create their own in the Lesson Builder. Teachers have access to interactive lessons, media galleries, audio recordings, readings and primary resources that can be assigned directly to students via the Educator Dashboard or Google Classroom. Students can also access content at home without an email address, if necessary. Teachers wanting a higher-tech experience for students can assign interactive lessons, quizzes and challenges. Teachers preferring a low-tech experience can choose from a variety of printables to send home to students. Don’t miss out on the sizable Science and Engineering & Technology collections with real-world career exploration!

Other highlights:

Best for: Educators, in-school technology coordinators, families


BrainPOP Jr. (K-3), BrainPOP, BrainPOP Español, and BrainPOP ELL

Free access to interactive content across subject areas for students grades K-8. Soon to be expanded to grades 9-12!

BrainPOP

As a classroom teacher in a bilingual, STEAM-based learning environment, BrainPOP has been a go-to resource to support both students learning content in English and Spanish. I am pleased to see that BrainPOP has continued to add to their content, providing more specialized collections. I’ve always appreciated BrainPOP’s ability to break down complex topics into accessible chunks for my students with engaging videos and quizzes. Now, these standard-aligned BrainPOP lessons allow students not just to consume, but to more actively demonstrate their learning. Students have the opportunity to create with their new knowledge in the form of creative challenges.The system has expanded its built-in assessment offerings with high-quality learning games (GameUp), analysis of first hand artifacts (Primary Sources) and interactive vocabulary play through drawing, writing and acting out concepts (Word Play). Assign lessons through the platform or Google Classroom.

Other highlights:

  • Free professional development for educators about how BrainPOP can be used to foster distance learning, stress management and mindfulness, differentiation and accessibility and support for English Learners (ELs)

Best for: Educators, in-school technology coordinators, families


STEAM Learning Lab from Digital Media Academy

Comprehensive collection of ISTE-approved STEAM learning modules from Digital Media Academy, for use by teachers.

Digital Media Academy

Educators are constantly wanting to try new, “big idea” projects in their classrooms, but don’t always know all of the logistics to do so. That’s why I love companies like our own PCS Edventures, and now, STEAM Learning Lab. Set up your distance learning classroom around individual or group passion projects. Use this “genius hour” style of learning to foster free exploration and development of new skills during this rare time at home. Continue to integrate this style of learning when you return to face-to-face classes. The STEAM Learning Lab provides clear modules that are interest-based and allow for discussion, collaboration and experimentation. K-12 students develop interdisciplinary skills while collaborating on real-world projects that allow them to explore potential careers. Some especially interesting courses for middle schoolers include “Meet the Future: AI and Machine Learning”, “Designing Urban Spaces” and “Graphic Designer Studio.”

Other highlights:

  • The STEAM Learning Lab platform provides on-demand courses for educators to learn more about the technologies covered in their chosen modules so that they may become proficient as they work with students.
  • There’s an extensive educator community that fosters collaboration and showcases student projects.

Best for: Educators, in-school technology coordinators, families


PCS Edventures' Top Pick

Blocksmith Free Trial

Blocksmith's 2-week free trial has been extended and region restrictions lifted to allow for easy remote game development.

BlocksmithXR

Blocksmith offers a free trial account with access to four lessons that teach students basic and advanced mechanics and techniques in video game development. Create a domain for your class to upload work and collaborate to recreate classic video games in 3D, with or without VR equipment! Visit our Blocksmith Free Trial page for more information on getting started.

Best for: Classroom teachers, independent student use


 

Bonus Resources

Below are some additional resources that can help you and your learners!

Science

Legends of Learning

Legends of Learning: A gamified, quest-based science and math resource for teachers, parents and students. A free account upgrade is currently available.


 

Technology

Lifeliqe

Lifeliqe: Provides high-quality 3D, VR and AR science resources for teachers and students. Free access is available through June.


 

Engineering

Note: the engineering design process cuts across all the elements of STEAM. We have no recommendations for engineering-specific free resources at this time.


Math

TailorED

TailorED: Helps teachers easily differentiate math lessons, group students and track progress. A free account option is available, and a free upgraded account is currently available via promo code.


Mathspace

Mathspace: A math classroom platform that offers teachers and students textbooks, video resources and progress tracking. Free access is currently available to schools.


 

Newsletter Sign-Up

Sign up to receive product alerts, webinar invitations, STEM resources and exclusive offers.

Join

Request Quote

Speak with a Product Specialist to find the best Enrichment Solutions for your environment.

Find out

Catalogs & Brochures

Take this website on the go with a Catalog or Brochure tuned to your STEM needs.

Explore

Curriculum Samples

See each course in action with a FREE sample of any product you're interested in.

Sample