Do you need help going online?

Due to the current global health situation, organisations and individuals are being asked to self isolate, and come up with 'working from home' or 'working online' solutions. Parents are choosing to self isolate with their children and so are facing a home schooling scenario. Many of us have never had to even think about how to do this, and aren't sure where to start - I HEAR YOU! I help people do this every day - and have a raft of knowledge already sitting in my website and my Library that can help.

I have compiled a list of questions and answers people have submitted to me, to help you navigate through all your options at what can be a very challenging few months ahead. Click on the below field you work in to read the questions and answers that relate to you.

Just in case you weren't aware of what I do, I help organisations, small businesses and schools:

  • SYSTEMISE: their learning content, business processes, the way they work with their learners, colleagues or clients,
  • OPTIMISE: their work and learning experiences so they're quality, efficient and effective,
  • DIGITALISE: their knowledge, processes, ways of working and learning content so they're fit for online use

So if you are looking to for a smooth transition to a remote working environment, and need to get your staff communications or your learning content online, I am happy to help.

If you don't find the answer you are looking for in the FAQ sections below -  submit your question at the bottom of the page and you'll have a response within 48 hours maximum! Thank you for your patience - this page is a work in progress and is being updated on an hourly basis. If you see a ♦ at the start of a FAQ, it means the answer is there if you hit the + button on the right of the question. If not, it means I'm still working on it.

As a community we can get through this - and I'm happy to help in any way that I can! Help me help you by filling in the questionnaire below!

General FAQs about 'going online'

'Going online' can mean many different things to different people, depending on whether you're working in a corporate organisation, a small business, parenting or working in a school. Below are general questions and answers that relate to anyone wanting to go online.

More specific FAQs are in the sections below which specifically relate to organisations, small businesses and schools.

♦ What's the best software to use to have online meetings?
Expand

There are many different types of software you can use to connect with people online - Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts for example - most of these require you to have an account with the software provider, a log in or an app, which makes it harder when you're dealing with clients or colleagues who aren't particularly technically savvy.

My personal preference is to use Zoom as you can set up meetings and have people join via telephone, audio link or full video call. I use it regularly to host online classes, conference calls and one to one meetings, and love the flexibility it provides in terms of being able to share screens, create 'break out rooms', record the call and even remotely access other people's computers during the call.

They've also just made the platform FREE for schools during this time of unprecedented isolation. What an awesome company!

They have some fantastic resources out at the moment too:

New to Working from Home? Here Are Some Tips to Help You Meet Like a Pro  - Zoom Blog

Best Practices for Hosting a Digital Event - Zoom Blog

Events - Zoom - some awesome online classes coming up to help you make the most of Zoom, especially if you're new to working online!

If you have any other questions for me not answered in this article, send them through on the questionnaire at the bottom of this page!

♦ How can I easily collaborate with my team? What software should I use?
Expand

Short answer, is there are many ways! I've prepared a full article on this called:

The digital tools I swear by

Sections include:

  • Hardware
  • Communications and Staying Organised
  • Content Creation
  • Social Media
  • Advice for people starting out

If you have any other questions for me not answered in this article, send them through on the questionnaire at the bottom of this page!

♦ Should we be digitalising or putting our learning content online?
Expand

Good question - it's not always the best solution depending on your organisation, your clients, colleagues and how you intend to use the content with them.

This article will help you ask all the questions you need to answer before making the right decision: What to consider before digitalising your learning content: 

Sections include:

  • So what are the benefits of digitalising your intellectual property?
  • How do you make sure the delivery and user experience are first class?
    • 1. What is the best digital storage solution?
    • 2. Is the content well structured and fit for purpose?
    • 3. Is it a quality learning experience for the end user?

If you have any other questions for me not answered in this article, send them through on the questionnaire at the bottom of this page!

♦ How do we keep everything organised when we're trying to systemise all our content and get it online?
Expand

Ahhh, that ol' chestnut. This is where you need a systems brain - and a whole heap of patience coupled with some solid strategy!

This article will give you the low down on what your systems can look like when you've got a solid strategy for systemising a bucketload of knowledge or intellectual property.

If you have any other questions for me not answered in this article, send them through on the questionnaire at the bottom of this page!

♦ What learning management system should we be using? Do we even need a learning management system?
Expand

Maybe you are confused about what learning platform you should be using – there are so many out there to choose from! Which is the best for YOUR content and client needs? Do you really need a full Learning Management System or is a simple Learning Platform enough? (and what’s the difference between the two anyway?)

Check under the FAQ for each category below, as I have different recommendations for organisations, small business professionals and schools.

This article should shed some light on the basic questions you need to be able to answer before making a decision: How to choose the right delivery platform for your training content

Keep in mind that most of these platforms don't enable you to actually create the learning materials - that's a completely different ball game and covered in this article if you're wanting to DIY on a low budget: https://mariadoyle.com/efficiently-create-batches-instructional-videos/.

If you do have a budget, look into other e-learning software and authoring applications. There are much more sophisticated (and quite an investment but well worth it for the final products) course authoring tools like Articulate 360 which includes a set of online and desktop based authoring tools to suit all different technical skill levels. Here's a recent review of a range of authoring tools by eLearning Industry.

This article showcases the experience I've had putting one of my courses on Udemy - a hosted learning platform.

This article also explain why getting the right UX and UI (User Experience and User Interface) is so important: https://mariadoyle.com/ux-ui-really-important/

This article might also help: What to consider before digitalising your learning content: 

Sections include:

  • So what are the benefits of digitalising your intellectual property?
  • How do you make sure the delivery and user experience are first class?
    • 1. What is the best digital storage solution?
    • 2. Is the content well structured and fit for purpose?
    • 3. Is it a quality learning experience for the end user?

If you have any other questions for me not answered in this article, send them through on the questionnaire at the bottom of this page!

♦ How do we find the right people to help us get our content online?
Expand

I have a few articles on this:

If you have any other questions for me not answered in this article, send them through on the questionnaire at the bottom of this page!

Does the size of my organisation affect how I will set my staff up to work online?
Expand

Short answer, is YES! Detailed answer coming soon...

How do I ensure privacy when working online?
Expand

Short answer, is permissions!

Detailed answer coming soon...

How can we get our content online?
Expand

Did you find the answer you were looking for? If not, don't worry, I am here for you. Click here to submit your question and you'll have a response within 48 hours maximum!

FAQs for Small Business Professionals

If you are running a small business and rely heavily on face to face meetings with clients, you may want to consider moving your meetings online. The FAQs below should demystify parts of the process for you.

♦ What software should I be using to have meetings with my clients?
Expand

There are many different types of software you can use to connect with people online - SkypeFaceTimeGoogle Hangouts for example - most of these require you to have an account with the software provider, a log in or an app, which makes it harder when you're dealing with clients or colleagues who aren't particularly technically savvy.

My personal preference is to use Zoom as you can set up meetings and have people join via telephone, audio link or full video call. I use it regularly to host online classes, conference calls and one to one meetings, and love the flexibility it provides in terms of being able to share screens, create 'break out rooms', record the call and even remotely access other people's computers during the call.

They've also just made the platform FREE for schools during this time of unprecedented isolation. What an awesome company!

They have some fantastic resources out at the moment too:

New to Working from Home? Here Are Some Tips to Help You Meet Like a Pro  - Zoom Blog

Best Practices for Hosting a Digital Event - Zoom Blog

Events - Zoom - some awesome online classes coming up to help you make the most of Zoom, especially if you're new to working online!

If you have any other questions for me not answered in this article, send them through on the questionnaire at the bottom of this page!

♦ Should I start selling my program even if it's not created yet?
Expand

There's a long and a short answer to this - and this article should help you decide if that's the right choice for you!

Read more here: Why selling before you create can be a recipe for disaster

♦ How can I easily get my knowledge online so my clients can access it without me having to deliver it everytime? How to take what I do in person and take that online?
Expand

There's no real 'easy' way to do that - unless you already have your lessons prepared, recorded and ready to upload. There's quite a bit that has to happen before that though, and here are some articles that will give you the low down on how to approach the process:

All these articles talk more about the process of getting your knowledge out of your head and into an online offering.

There are other FAQs that talk about how to create a quality learning product, so make sure you check out the FAQ: How do I convert my existing face to face workshops into online learning experiences that have the same impact?

If you have any other questions for me not answered in this article, send them through on the questionnaire at the bottom of this page!

♦ Should I take my business offerings online? How should I design my online offering so it works for me and my clients? How to take what I do in person and take that online?
Expand

It can, but you do have to consider a raft of issues before you make your decisions around what product you're going to offer, and how it's all going to work. I've prepared a number of articles that will help you make the right decisions for you and your clients:

If you have any other questions for me not answered in this article, send them through on the questionnaire at the bottom of this page!

♦ Can online learning be as effective as face to face workshops? How do I convert my existing face to face workshops into online learing experiences that have the same impact?
Expand

Great question!

I have a range of articles on how to do this, and also a webinar coming up with exactly that title. It's free, and will also be available in my online Library of resources.

Sign up to the 'Converting face to face content into effective online learning content' webinar here: https://mariadoyle.com/webinar-face-to-face-to-online/

Or here are some other articles that will help give you the basics around creating quality learning experiences:

and because everyone needs a laugh right now, just check this one out for a giggle: What really happens when you try to take professional videos

If you have any other questions for me not answered in this article, send them through on the questionnaire at the bottom of this page!

♦ What learning management system should I be using?
Expand

Getting your knowledge online can be a bit overwhelming.

Maybe you are confused about what learning platform you should be using – there are so many out there to choose from! Which is the best for YOUR content and client needs? Do you really need a full Learning Management System or is a simple Learning Platform enough? (and what’s the difference between the two anyway?)

Or maybe you’re even confused as to the format you want your course to run in – email responder series? Evergreen? Intensive? Which is the most cost effective and which is the ‘best fit’ for your situation?

You may also be unsure about how to cater for different client needs and learning styles, so that your course is effective for as much of the population as possible. You don’t want to waste all that precious time creating awesome content that people can’t relate to – right?!

Essentially, you're going to need either:

  • a fully hosted learning management system:
    • high end: Kajabi - fully integrated with payment carts and sales pages, it's the Rolls Royce option for hosted LMSs
    • cost effective: Teachable or Thinkific less integrations and functionality but great for getting started
  • an LMS fully embedded into your website like LearnDash
  • a third party site (which essentially will own your content, but also markets it for you) like Udemy
  • tools to make the learning experience more interactive and engaging like:

This article should shed some light on the basic questions you need to be able to answer before making a decision: How to choose the right delivery platform for your training content

Keep in mind that most of these platforms don't enable you to actually create the learning materials - that's a completely different ball game and covered in this article if you're wanting to DIY on a low budget: https://mariadoyle.com/efficiently-create-batches-instructional-videos/.

If you do have a budget, look into other e-learning software and authoring applications. There are much more sophisticated (and quite an investment but well worth it for the final products) course authoring tools like Articulate 360 which includes a set of online and desktop based authoring tools to suit all different technical skill levels. Here's a recent review of a range of authoring tools by eLearning Industry.

This article showcases the experience I've had putting one of my courses on Udemy - a hosted learning platform.

If you have any other questions for me not answered in this article, send them through on the questionnaire at the bottom of this page!

♦ Should I be starting my own business now?
Expand

If you’re considering going out on your own, starting a consultancy, or setting up a small business based on your expertise, let me share some nuggets of wisdom with you. The reality is not always as rosy as the option appears when you first consider how awesome it would be to be free of your workplace, job or boss...

I’ve been doing this since the end of 2012 and GEE WHIZ do I wish someone had sat me down and had this chat with me before I started. If you’re after a quick read, scroll down to the bottom of the article where I get straight to my top three tips of starting a small business. If you want to know how I learnt the hard way (and possibly get a few pointers on how to avoid doing the same) carry on reading the whole article here….

If you have any other questions for me not answered in this article, send them through on the questionnaire at the bottom of this page!

Did you find the answer you were looking for? If not, don't worry, I am here for you. Click here to submit your question and you'll have a response within 48 hours maximum!

FAQs for Corporate Organisations

If you are running an organisation, there are many areas and departments you need to co-ordinate. Moving your organisation online is manageable. Below are the questions and answers which will help you take the steps required.

♦ How can I upskill and prepare my team for working remotely and using new technology? What tools can be used free or paid?
Expand

Short answer, is there are many elements to working effectively as a team when you're working remotely.

First of all, consider how your team's working environment will change, and whether they're equipped at home to do the job as effectively (do they have a quiet, distraction free space to work from? Do they have the tools or hardware they need to do their work effectively like microphones, headphones, dual screens, etc). If not, are there provisions that can be made like giving extra time or arranging for the minimum equipment required?

Essentially as a team you need to be able to shared understanding around how you're going to communicate and collaborative effectively as you would in an office environment; sharing documents, working on a single 'screen'. My two go-two pieces of software that can enable you to do this, are Zoom and Google Drive (Docs, Sheets and Slides).

I use these systems on a daily basis with clients in the USA, the UK, Canada and Australia and very rarely have communication issues.

I've prepared a full article on the digital tools I use to help me work effectively and efficiently called:

The digital tools I swear by

Here's an excerpt on Google Drive:

  • G Drive and collaborative documents: absolute game-changer for business. Collaborative documents mean that you can all work on the same document, at the same time, from anywhere in the world. There's automatic version control so you can always go back and see a previous version (without all the duplication and 'who's working on which copy now?' confusion that often comes with teams working on a single document). A single folder for all documents, it's like having an intranet on the internet so there are no issues with people accessing documents from home. In Google Drive you can make Google Docs (like Microsoft Word Documents), Google Sheets (like Excel Spreadsheets), Google Slides (like PowerPoint Presentations, and Forms (which are online survey/questionnaires that automatically populate answers and can be set up to work like an online quiz or testing platform). Using collaborative documents is definitely the way forward - so flexible, so versatile! You can get the basics on how they all work here: https://support.google.com/a/users/answer/9310248?hl=en

and the excerpt on video conferencing software:

  • Zoom: There are many different types of software you can use to connect with people online - SkypeFaceTimeGoogle Hangouts for example - most of these require you to have an account with the software provider, a log in or an app, which makes it harder when you're dealing with clients or colleagues who aren't particularly technically savvy. My personal preference is to use Zoom as you can set up meetings and have people join via telephone, audio link or full video call. I use it regularly to host online classes, conference calls and one to one meetings, and love the flexibility it provides in terms of being able to share screens, create 'break out rooms', record the call and even remotely access other people's computers during the call. You do need a subscription for some of the features like calls that last more than 45 minutes, but if this is something you're doing often and you want a more reliable connection than Skype, I've found Zoom to be a much better alternative!

Other sections that may be of interest to you if you're in a corporate environment include:

If you have any other questions for me not answered in this article, send them through on the questionnaire at the bottom of this page!

♦ How do we keep our communication centralised and effective? How can we recreate the same synergy that happens in person? What systems do we need in place to support team management?
Expand

and here's a question a lot of you can relate to:

When we are all in the office we will frequently have 15 minute updates with 30+ people to relay information. Turning these into written messages clogs up already overloaded channels and prevents the emphasis coming through; online is okay but comes with technological challenges and lacks the small side conversations and interactions with peers to quickly clarify understanding. How do we overcome this?

Great question!

Short answer, is that there are ways you can use technology to your advantage.

One way is to use a team communication channel like:

  • Slack
  • Asana
  • Monday

I've got more information in a full article called 'The digital tools I swear by', which goes into each in more detail but the key here is to use an application that:

  • everyone knows how to use
  • everyone uses in the same way
  • everyone is committed to checking in on regularly

Another suggestion, is to still have your mini meetings, just set them up to pop up as calendar reminders where everyone gets onto a video conferencing software like Zoom - the same debriefing can be had, it just requires everyone to have a device, have the app downloaded, have an online calendar, be invited to the online meeting and be ready to get online at a designated time.

This is easily set up with a combination of Zoom and your online calendar. You can set up recurring meetings so the setup only has to be done once. A record of what was discussed and the actions to be taken can then be filed (even better if it's in a collaborative document) as you'd usually do in a face to face meeting.

If you have any other questions for me not answered here, or in this article on the digital tools I swear by, send them through on the questionnaire at the bottom of this page!

♦ What should be put online and what should be kept face to face?
Expand

Good question - it's not always the best solution depending on your organisation, your clients, colleagues and how you intend to use the content with them.

There are a few different categories of 'learning content' you may have in your organisation:

  1. Induction or onboarding materials
  2. Career pathway learning materials
  3. General productivity training materials (possibly outsourced training)

Whether or not it's best to be online depends on quite a few factors. This article will help you ask all the questions you need to answer before making the right decision: What to consider before digitalising your learning content: 

Sections include:

  • So what are the benefits of digitalising your intellectual property?
  • How do you make sure the delivery and user experience are first class?
    • 1. What is the best digital storage solution?
    • 2. Is the content well structured and fit for purpose?
    • 3. Is it a quality learning experience for the end user?

If you have any other questions for me not answered in this article, send them through on the questionnaire at the bottom of this page!

♦ What is the ideal learning time for online training? How can we ensure that what we put online is of a high quality that gets the results we're hoping to achieve?
Expand

Great questions!

Essentially, the shorter the learning 'chunks' the better - and the more outcomes, activities and real life application scenarios you can provide, the better.

If you have been tasked with putting learning content online in your organisation, and you don't have a 'teaching and learning' or 'learning and development' background, these articles may help on how to ensure quality when you're creating learning content (online and offline):

and because everyone needs a laugh right now, just check this one out for a giggle: What really happens when you try to take professional videos

I've also got a webinar coming up that takes you through what you need to consider before 'Converting face to face content into effective online learning content': you can sign up for this free public online event here: https://mariadoyle.com/webinar-face-to-face-to-online/

If you have any other questions for me not answered in this article, send them through on the questionnaire at the bottom of this page!

♦ Do we need a learning management system? If so, how long does it take to move face to face content to an online program?
Expand

Maybe you are confused about what learning platform you should be using – there are so many out there to choose from! Which is the best for YOUR content and staff/client needs? Do you really need a full Learning Management System or is a simple Learning Platform enough? (and what’s the difference between the two anyway?)

You may also be unsure about how to cater for different client needs and learning styles, so that your content is effective for as much of your stakeholder group as possible.

Essentially, as an organisation you're going to need either:

  • Training and learning management systems designed for hundreds of users and courses:
  • a fully hosted learning management system, which is much more cost effective for a small team:
    • Teachable or Thinkific - these platforms have less integrations and functionality but great for getting started if you don't have a large budget or a large team
  • an LMS fully embedded into your existing company website like LearnDash - nowhere near as powerful as LITMOS or Moodle, designed for a much smaller number of users.
  • tools to make the learning experience more interactive and engaging like:

This article should shed some light on the basic questions you need to be able to answer before making a decision: How to choose the right delivery platform for your training content

 

Keep in mind that most of these platforms don't enable you to actually create the learning materials - that's a completely different ball game and covered in this article if you're wanting to DIY on a low budget: https://mariadoyle.com/efficiently-create-batches-instructional-videos/.

If you do have a budget, look into other e-learning software and authoring applications. There are much more sophisticated (and quite an investment but well worth it for the final products) course authoring tools like Articulate 360 which includes a set of online and desktop based authoring tools to suit all different technical skill levels. Here's a recent review of a range of authoring tools by eLearning Industry.

This article also explain why getting the right UX and UI (User Experience and User Interface) is so important: https://mariadoyle.com/ux-ui-really-important/

This article might also help: What to consider before digitalising your learning content: 

Sections include:

  • So what are the benefits of digitalising your intellectual property?
  • How do you make sure the delivery and user experience are first class?
    • 1. What is the best digital storage solution?
    • 2. Is the content well structured and fit for purpose?
    • 3. Is it a quality learning experience for the end user?

If you have any other questions for me not answered in this article, send them through on the questionnaire at the bottom of this page!

How do I know that my team are actually doing their work?
Expand

Did you find the answer you were looking for? If not, don't worry, I am here for you. Click here to submit your question and you'll have a response within 48 hours maximum!

FAQs for Teachers and Principals

If you are running or teaching in a school, there's a fair chance you're going to be asked to provide online learning materials and solutions for your students. Where do you start? Following are some answers to FAQs schools are asking at the moment.

♦ Advice for parents from a school principal
Expand

I found this on a FB page, shared it and have had many others share it as well. Sound advice in these difficult times.


This post below was made by a primary school principal on a FB group that I am a member of, and I am sharing it with permission.
As a teacher and parent it sums up my thoughts and feelings on the situation we currently find ourselves in.

Covid Distance Learning Q&A

**Usual disclaimer, I'm a school principal but I speak only for myself. Others may have different ideas**

I'm seeing a lot of threads online with the same general theme, so I wanted to just given a schools perspective on it all and answer some FAQs. Also happy to answer any questions people have that I can answer.

Lots of people feeling stressed, overwhelmed and under pressure by the work being sent home for kids. I hope this can help with that somewhat.

Few points to note first :

1) This is not homeschooling. This is an unprecedented emergency situation impacting the whole world. Let's keep perspective. Homeschooling is a choice, where you considered, you plan for it and you are your child's school teacher in whatever form you choose . This is at best distance learning. In reality, it's everyone trying to separate their bums from their elbows because none of us know what we're doing and what's right and wrong here.

2) You are, and always have been, your child's primary educator. If you decide that your child isn't going to engage with anything sent home and is going to spend the entire period playing in the dirt, or baking, or watching TV, that is your choice. That is your right. It is clear in the constitution. There is nothing to stress or feel guilty about.

3) Schools don't know what they're doing either. They got no notice, no prep time and we're told 'continue to plan lessons as normal and just send them home' as if that is in any way possible. If it were, we'd all be out of a job very quickly. I won't rant about my thoughts on the Dept on this, but suffice it to say your school is winging it.

4) It is absolutely not possible to facilitate distance learning with a primary aged child and work from home at the same time. The very idea is nonsense. If you're trying to do that, stop now. You can certainly have activities where your child learns, but your focus is your job, and survival. Again, unprecedented. Stop trying to be superheroes.

So, a few FAQs:

- My school has sent home lots of physical work. Pages and pages, hours and hours. How am I supposed to get through it all?!

You're not, don't try. Your child's teacher spent a couple of hours in utter panic gathering things to send home so they could say they did their best and there weren't a lot if complaints that enough didn't go home. It's not a competition, or a race, it's unlikely the teacher will even manage to look at it all.

- My school keeps sending home links and emails with more work. How do I make it stop. Ahhhhhh

See above. These are suggestions and ideas because the school is worried itl be said they're not offering enough. Use them if they suit you, don't if they don't. If you're getting stressed, stop opening the emails. No one will know!

- X in my child's class has everything done and we've barely started. Will they fall behind?

Even if everything were equal in terms of support and time and number of kids etc (which its not) kids learn at different rates. In the class there's a wide range of levels in all subjects, there's different paces and there are many kids working on differentiated level of work. It's almost impossible for teachers do differentiate at the moment, so you have to do it. By expectation and by time.

Your child will not fall behind. This is all revision and reminder work. If kids could learn new concepts without specific teaching we wouldn't need teachers. They will cover all of this again, multiple times.

- I'm not doing any work with my kids. All their doing is Lego, cooking and playing outside.

All of this is learning. Very valuable learning. Give yourself and them a break.

- How can I get three different lots of work done with 3 different kids of different ages?

You can't, stop trying. If they're old enough, try to get them to do little bits independently. Otherwise try to do something they can all engage with, reading a story together, some free writing, baking etc.

- So what's the bare minimum you'd expect?

For me, survival mode. I won't pretend that may be true of all teachers, but you know what if they can't have perspective in a time like this then I wouldn't overly worry about their opinion anyway.

My ideal for my kids in our school?
- A bit of reading every day (independent or to them or via audiobook etc)
- some free writing now and then. If they'll keep a diary or something, great. If not, would they draw a comic?
- Practical hands on maths. Be that via cooking, cleaning, outside or some maths games physical or digital.
- Some fine motor work. Lego, cutting, playdough, tidying up small toys.
- Physical exercise everyday
- Some art/music where possible through the week. Doesn't need to be guided.
-Stretch goal, if old enough getting them to independently work on a project is great for keeping brains ticking over. Get them researching in a book or online and putting together something to present to you or family.
- If younger, lots of imaginative free play, the more independent the better.

You are doing enough. You are loving your kids and supporting them through a difficult time. Look after yourself. Minimising stress is absolutely vital in a time like this for mental health. Don't let this be something that stresses you. Only you can control that by accepting it is in your circle of control, you are the primary educator and this is all your call.

Happy to answer any questions if you have any.

*Apologies, this post is much longer than anticipated! *

♦ What resources are there for parents to create learning experiences from home for their children while they're in isolation?
Expand

There are a lot of resources being posted online - I'm attempting to get them all onto this page so there's a comprehensive list.


The Big List of Children’s Authors Doing Online Read Alouds & Activities


Learning Resources by Year Level (and then also filtered down to subjects) from the Department of Education Australia


Also Audible has opened up their platform for free to help kids get access to books: https://stories.audible.com/discovery


This list was provided by Shelia Connell Haaga on a Facebook page - I've copied it here as she has given permission to share far and wide and I understand many of you may not use Facebook.

Many are US oriented, but many are relevant to children all over the world. Enjoy!

--------------------- Posted as per original post on Facebook ------------------

Shelia Connell Haaga

March 16 at 11:34 AM

Help has arrived....

Ok, so LOTS of parents are suddenly home with their kiddos...

We have always home schooled after I was a classroom teacher for more than a decade, so I say WELCOME and let me help you.?

A few things to remember, this is a PERFECT time to make memories with your children and learn things beyond "normal" math and reading.

This is a great time to really help your child dig in and spend hours doing or learning something that they love or are passionate about.

Don't forget that there are TONS of documentaries on the streaming services that they might enjoy and learn a lot from.

Here are links that I have gathered to TONS of free fun learning options for all ages from toddlers to AP students to adults. Some are always free and some are only free during this current situation?

I am making this post public, so feel free to share it far and wide.? If you know of a resource for FREE education (either permanent or only during this time) please share it in the comments.

✅The San Diego Zoo has a website just for kids with amazing videos, activities, and games. Enjoy the tour! https://kids.sandiegozoo.org/

✅Tour Yellowstone National Park!
https://www.nps.gov/…/lea…/photosmultimedia/virtualtours.htm
✅Explore the surface of Mars on the Curiosity Rover.
https://accessmars.withgoogle.com/

✅This Canadian site FarmFood 360 offers 11 Virtual Tours of farms from minks, pigs, and cows, to apples and eggs. https://www.farmfood360.ca/

✅Indoor Activities for busy toddlers
https://busytoddler.com/2020/03/indoor-activities/…
✅Play games and learn all about animals
https://switchzoo.com/

✅Play with fave show characters and learn too https://pbskids.org/

✅Travel to Paris, France to see amazing works of art at The Louvre with this virtual field trip.
https://www.louvre.fr/en/visites-en-ligne
✅This Virtual Tour of the Great Wall of China is beautiful and makes history come to life.
https://www.thechinaguide.com/destinati…/great-wall-of-china

✅Math and Reading games https://www.funbrain.com/

✅Phonics skills https://www.starfall.com/h/

✅This iconic museum located in the heart of London allows virtual visitors to tour the Great Court and discover the ancient Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies. https://britishmuseum.withgoogle.com/

✅ Read, play games, and hang out with Dr. Seuss https://www.seussville.com/

✅300,000+ FREE printable worksheets from toddlers to teens https://www.123homeschool4me.com/home-school-free-printabl…/

✅Geography and animals
https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/

✅Math practice from counting to algebra and geometry http://www.mathscore.com/

✅Fave kids books read by famous people https://www.storylineonline.net/

✅Crafts, activities, mazes, dot to dot, etc, https://www.allkidsnetwork.com/

✅High school chemistry topics https://www.acs.org/…/hi…/chemmatters/articles-by-topic.html

✅Math and reading games https://www.abcya.com/

✅Math and language games https://www.arcademics.com/

✅Hands on Elem science videos https://www.backpacksciences.com/science-simplified

✅Voice based learning... learn through Alexa https://bamboolearning.com/resources

✅Fun games, recipes, crafts, activities https://www.highlightskids.com/

✅ClickSchooling brings you daily recommendations by email for entertaining websites that help your kids learn. https://clickschooling.com/

✅Math as a fun part of your daily family routine http://bedtimemath.org/

✅Games to get "into the book" https://reading.ecb.org/

✅Online history classes for all ages preteen through adults https://school.bighistoryproject.com/bhplive

✅Biology https://www.biologysimulations.com/

✅ Elem Math through 6th grade https://boddlelearning.com/

✅Educational games K-12 https://www.breakoutedu.com/funathome

✅Digital archive of history https://www.bunkhistory.org/

✅Test Prep for SAT, ACT, etc. https://www.bwseducationconsulting.com/handouts.php

✅Geometry https://www.canfigureit.com/

✅Resources for Spanish practice https://www.difusion.com/campus/

✅Chinese learning activities https://chalkacademy.com/

✅Music is for everyone https://musiclab.chromeexperiments.com/Experiments

✅Science, Math, Social Studies https://www.ck12.org/student/

✅Grammar practice for middle grades https://www.classroomcereal.com/

✅Daily free science or cooking experiment to do at home.http://www.clubscikidzmd.com/blog/

✅Chemistry https://www.playmadagames.com/

✅Reading passages for grades 3-12, with reading comprehension and discussion questions. https://www.commonlit.org/

✅Vocabulary, grammar, listening activities and games in Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Korean, and Latin. https://conjuguemos.com/

✅35,000 pages of online content on the cultures and countries of the world. https://www.countryreports.org/

✅K-5th Science lessons https://mysteryscience.com/

✅Tons of free classes from leading universities and companies https://www.coursera.org/

✅Free printable K-8 Reading and Math activity packs (available in English and Spanish) https://www.curriculumassociates.com/supporting-students-aw…

✅Digital learning content for preschool through high school https://www.curriki.org/

✅A wide range of math content from middle school through AP Calculus. https://deltamath.com/overview

✅Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing. https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/…/learnathome.html

✅3 Free Weeks of Maker Stations to keep your children creating at home! Each challenge includes simple instructions using materials around the house, QR code video resources, and a student recording sheet. bit.ly/freemakerstations

✅Classes for older teens or adults https://www.thegreatcoursesplus.com/lp/t1/freemo…

✅Online homeschool platform & curriculum for Pre-K to 12th grade. All main subjects are covered, plus extra curriculum courses. http://discoveryk12.com/dk12/

✅Printable board games, activities and more for phonics and reading all using evidence-based methods. Can be customized to any student's needs including creating flashcards for other subjects. https://dogonalogbooks.com/printables/

✅K-8 online math program that looks at how a student is solving problems to adjust accordingly and build a unique learning path for them. https://www.dreambox.com/at-home

✅Engaging reading game for grades 2-8 that combines strategy, engagement, and imaginative reading passages to create a fun, curriculum-aligned literacy game. https://www.squigglepark.com/dreamscape/

✅Higher level math series... online video series with detailed solutions to more than a thousand publicly-released College Board SAT Math, Subject Test Math Level 1, and Subject Test Math Level 2 problems.https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbQoCpvYRYRkRRvsObOPHaA…

✅Foreign languages https://www.duolingo.com/

✅Interactive video earth science based curriculum supplement. https://www.everyday-earth.com/

✅A safe research site for elementary-level readers. They are offering -- free 24/7 access
USERNAME: read (case sensitive)
PASSWORD: read (case sensitive)
https://www.facts4me.com/

✅Resources for AP students including live reviews, live trivia, and study guides! https://app.fiveable.me/

✅Educational brain breaks to help students review essential literacy and math skills, while getting in some exercise. Find over 900 videos to help your child keep learning at home and burn off some extra energy. Our site is best used for ages 4-8. https://fluencyandfitness.com/register/school-closures/

✅Movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts. https://www.gonoodle.com/

✅7,000 free videos in 13 subject areas https://hippocampus.org/

✅Carmen Sandiego videos, stories, and lessons for all subject areas https://www.carmensandiego.com/resources/

✅Math Videos with lessons, real life uses of math, famous actors https://www.hmhco.com/math-at-work

✅Entertaining & educational videos for all levels and subjects
https://www.izzit.org/index.php

✅Online education program for toddler through high school... https://www.khanacademy.org/

✅Free Printables for PreK-2nd Grade https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/…/Lite…/Price-Range/Free

✅Free printables library with activities for children 0-6 https://www.littlesparkcompany.com/printables-library

✅Free at-home kids yoga lesson plans https://littletwistersyoga.com/online-store/

✅Magic Spell is a carefully crafted spelling adventure. https://brainbox.games/

✅Resources for AP students https://marcolearning.com/

✅Enter your math problem or search term, press the button, and they show you the step-by-step work and answer instantly. 2nd grade through college. https://www.mathcelebrity.com/online-math-tutor.php

✅Elem Math games, logic puzzles and educational resources https://www.mathplayground.com/

✅Poetry and music https://www.thewell.world/mindful-mu…/mindful-poetry-moments

✅3D printing projects and Coding projects, involving math and other K-12 subjects https://www.instructables.com/…/EdgertonCent…/instructables/

✅Introductory and intermediate music theory lessons, exercises, ear trainers, and calculators. https://www.musictheory.net/

✅Scads of free resources, games, learning resources, and lesson plans for teaching personal finance https://www.ngpf.org/

✅Improve your typing skills while competing in fast-paced races with up to 5 typers from around the world. https://www.nitrotype.com/

✅Illustrated recipes designed to help kids age 2-12 cook with their grown-ups. Recipes encourage culinary skills, literacy, math, and science. https://www.nomsterchef.com/nomster-recipe-library

✅Online curriculum that builds better writers. https://www.noredink.com/

✅80+ do at home science activities https://elementalscience.com/…/n…/80-free-science-activities

✅Daily lessons and educational activities that kids can do on their own https://www.superchargedschool.com/

✅Adaptive curriculum in Math and ELA for Grades K-8
https://www.scootpad.com/

✅Novel Effect makes storytime a little more fun for kids (and grown-ups too!) As you read out loud from print books (or ebooks!) music, sound effects, and character voices play at just the right moment, adjusting and responding to your voice. https://noveleffect.com/

✅Quick & easy at home projects curated for kids 2 and up
https://www.kiwico.com/kids-at-home

✅Teaches students how to write a paragraph through interactive online tutorial http://www.paragraphpunch.com/

✅PreK-12 digital media service with more than 30,000 learning materials https://www.pbslearningmedia.org/

✅Curricular content hub specifically designed for K-3 students.
https://pebblego.com/free-pebblego-capstone-interactive-acc…

✅Science and math labs and simulations https://phet.colorado.edu/

✅An online physics problem and video bank designed for conceptual, standard, honors or AP1 physics. https://www.positivephysics.org/home

✅Prodigies is a colorful music curriculum for kids 1-12 that will teach your kids how to play their first instrument, how to sing in tune & how to understand the language of music! 21 for free https://prodigiesmusic.com/

✅Free videos from around the world from grade 3-12
https://www.projectexplorer.org/

✅QuaverMusic is offering free access to general music activities to all impacted schools, including free student access at-home https://www.quavermusic.com/info/at-home-resources/

✅For students to practice and master whatever they are learning. https://quizlet.com/

✅ReadWorks is an online resource of reading passages and lesson plans for students of all levels K-12. https://www.readworks.org/

✅Critical Thinking resources for K-6 students https://marketplace.mythinkscape.com/store/redtkids

✅Music Based Spanish Learning https://rockalingua.com/

✅Science simulations, scientist profiles, and other digital resources for middle school science and high school biology
https://sepuplhs.org/

✅The Shurley English program for grades K-8 provides a clear, logical, and concrete approach to language arts. https://www.shurley.com/

✅Sight reading and sight singing practice exercises. https://www.sightreadingfactory.com/

✅Music practice transformed https://www.smartmusic.com/

✅Spellingcity is free right now with code VSCFree90
https://www.spellingcity.com/

✅Kid-friendly workouts — choose from Strength for Kids, Agility for Kids, Flexibility and Balance for Kids, Warm-Up for Kids, Cooldown for Kids, Stand Up and Move for Kids, OR create your own custom kid workout. https://app.sworkit.com/collections/kids-workouts

✅A collection of hundreds of free K-12 STEM resources, from standalone models and simulations to short activities and week long sequences of curriculum materials. https://learn.concord.org/

✅Course sets (Levels 1–5) that combine and thoroughly cover phonics, reading, writing, spelling, literature, grammar, punctuation, art, and geography—all in one easy-to-use, beautiful course. https://www.goodandbeautiful.com/

✅At home OT, PT, and ST resources designed to build skills in children through movement and play. https://www.theottoolbox.com/

✅Science projects that can be completed with or without Internet access https://sciencespot.net/Pages/classhome.html

✅Keyboarding practice https://www.typingclub.com/ or https://www.typing.com/

✅Next Generation Science video game focused on middle school where students directly engage in science phenomena as they solve problems. https://www.tytoonline.com/

✅Short videos and readings that answer various burning questions for students. There are vocabulary challenges and comprehension questions. http://wonderopolis.org/

✅Math practice https://xtramath.org/#/home/index

✅K-5 curriculum that builds deep understanding and a love of learning math for all students https://www.zearn.org/

✅A quick start resource to help families pull together a plan for surviving the next 1-2 months at home with their kids, but it can also be a time of slowing down and enjoying kids as they learn.
Preschool through 8th grade https://abetterwaytohomeschool.com/learning-at-home-everyth…

✅450 Ivy League courses that you can take https://www.freecodecamp.org/…/ivy-league-free-online-cou…/…

✅Spelling 1-4 grade
https://www.spellingtraining.com/

✅2,500+ online courses from top institutions https://www.edx.org/

✅22 languages to learn https://www.memrise.com/

✅Learn to code https://www.codecademy.com/

✅Miscellaneous games for all subjects k-8 https://www.funbrain.com/

✅Phonics and learning to read https://readingeggs.com/

✅PreK - 5 games for all subjects https://www.turtlediary.com/

✅Online digital coloring pages https://www.thecolor.com/

✅Every course you could possibly want to homeschool preschool - 8 https://allinonehomeschool.com/

✅Every course you could possibly want to homeschool for high school https://allinonehighschool.com/

✅Phonics worksheets for kids https://www.funfonix.com/

✅Free stories online ages 3-12 https://www.freechildrenstories.com/

✅National Geographic Young Explorers is a magazine designed specifically for kindergarten and first grade students. Children can listen to the magazine being read to them as they follow along with the highlighted text. https://ngexplorer.cengage.com/ngyoungexplorer/index.html

✅Learn all about earthquakes https://earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/kids/

✅Learn all about the periodic table https://www.chemicool.com/

✅Farmer's almanac for kids... Date, weather, moon phase, etc. https://www.almanac.com/kids

✅Guide to gardening for kids https://web.extension.illinois.edu/firstgarden/

✅Website allows students to play basic games to reinforce math skills and compete against the computer or others https://www.mangahigh.com/en-us/

✅Space science for kiddos https://www.nasa.gov/kidsclub/index.html

✅Math Games, Logic Puzzles and Brain Builders https://www.mathplayground.com/

✅Games, quizzes and fact sheets take kids on a journey through time. https://www.bbc.co.uk/history/forkids/

✅NGAkids interactives offer an entertaining and informative introduction to art and art history. https://www.nga.gov/education/kids.html

✅News and more for kids https://www.youngzine.org/

✅Randomly generates 356,300,262,144 story starters
https://thestorystarter.com/

✅Immerse yourself in cryptography https://www.cryptoclub.org/

✅Math games galore https://gridclub.com/

✅Tons of science experiments that you can do at home
https://www.stevespanglerscience.com/lab/experiments/
✅An interactive way to learn history
https://www.mission-us.org/

✅Just explore, have fun, and learn some science along the way. https://thehappyscientist.com/

✅Interactive games based on the book series
https://www.magictreehouse.com/

✅Work on the 8 parts of speech https://www.grammaropolis.com/

✅Learn all about cells https://www.cellsalive.com/

✅All sorts of learning here if you dig in https://www.google.com/earth/

✅Scratch draws students of all types into coding and lays a foundation for future learning. https://scratch.mit.edu/

✅A wonderful, endlessly detailed way to get kids engaged in the world of art. https://www.metmuseum.org/art/online-features/metkids/

✅Tests kids’ geography skills. Using images from Google’s Street View, it plops players down in the middle of the street and asks them to figure out where they are. https://www.geoguessr.com/

✅Allows students to type in any city, state, or country to view an archive of historical photographs and other documents. It’s a unique way to help them learn about history.
http://www.whatwasthere.com//

✅Short videos about numbers that help kids explore complex math topics and make math more fun. https://www.numberphile.com/

✅A human visualization platform that allows students to explore the human body in really cool ways. https://human.biodigital.com/login?returnUrl=/dashboard

✅Helps kids learn to appreciate the arts by providing them with the opportunity to play games, conduct investigations, and explore different forms of art. https://artsology.com/

✅Lets kids play instruments online. Instruments include the guitar, piano, pan flute, drums, and bongos. https://www.virtualmusicalinstruments.com/

✅Crafts, activities, bulletin board designs, and finger plays for early education teachers and parents to use with kids.
http://www.preschoolexpress.com/

✅A large selection of fun songs to help teach preschool and kindergarten students https://www.songsforteaching.com/preschoolkindergarten.htm

✅Resource section includes free flashcards, coloring pages, worksheets, and other resources for children, teachers, and parents. https://supersimple.com/

✅Life skills curriculum for students in grades K-12. Their resources include strategies for teaching social and emotional skills. https://www.overcomingobstacles.org/

✅Coding for ages 4-10 https://www.kodable.com/

✅No need to travel to one of the Smithsonian’s zoos or museums — this website brings your child everything from live video of the National Zoo to the Smithsonian Learning Lab right to their screen https://www.si.edu/kids

✅Cool Kid Facts gives your child access to educational videos, pictures, quizzes, downloadable worksheets, and infographics. They can use these to learn about geography, history, science, animals, and even the human body.
https://www.coolkidfacts.com/

✅This interactive website, hosted by the U.S. Government Publishing Office, allows your child to see the ins and outs of the U.S. government by taking a series of learning adventures with none other than Benjamin Franklin. https://bensguide.gpo.gov/

✅This NASA initiative covers a wide range of topics including weather, climate, atmosphere, water, energy, plants, and animals. https://climatekids.nasa.gov/

✅Ask Dr. Universe is a science-education project from Washington State University. Kids can send Dr. Universe any question they may have about history, geography, plants, animals, technology, engineering, math, culture, and more.
https://askdruniverse.wsu.edu/

✅Your child can play games, learn fun facts, and find out how to turn coin collecting into a hobby. https://www.usmint.gov/learn/kids

✅From rainbows to tornadoes and winter storms to tsunamis, meteorologist Crystal Wicker breaks down the fascinating world of weather. http://www.weatherwizkids.com/

✅Kids Think Design explores careers in fashion design, graphic design, interior design, book design, product design, film and theatre, architecture, animation, and environmental design. http://www.kidsthinkdesign.org/

✅This educational website hosted by the Smithsonian Museum takes a deep dive into ocean life. https://ocean.si.edu/

✅Brainscape offers over a million flashcard decks for every subject, entrance exam, and certification imaginable. https://www.brainscape.com/

✅The Theta Music Trainer offers a series of online courses and games for ear training and music theory.
https://trainer.thetamusic.com/en

✅Banzai exposes students to real-world financial dilemmas to teach them the importance of smart money management. https://www.teachbanzai.com/

✅Innerbody explores the 11 bodily systems in depth. With interactive models and detailed explanations, this website will help them learn more about the internal mechanics of the amazing human body.https://www.innerbody.com/htm/body.html

♦ What learning management system should we be using if we end up having to go online?
Expand

There are a number of options depending on what your budget is, whether you're after a short or long term solution, whether your existing school website can host a learning management system (or whether you need external hosting), what functionality you're after (content, community, forum, quizzes, assessment), the technical skills of your teachers, and whether your students have access to individual devices at home.

  • Training and learning management systems designed for hundreds of users and courses:
    • Moodle: robust, open source learning platform used by universities and training colleges the world over, a large number of applications depending on the needs of your school
  • a fully hosted learning management system, which is much more cost effective for a small team:
  • an LMS fully embedded into your existing company website like
    • LearnDash - nowhere near as powerful as LITMOS or Moodle, designed for a much smaller number of users.
  • tools to make the learning experience more interactive and engaging like:

This article should shed some light on the basic questions you need to be able to answer before making a decision: How to choose the right delivery platform for your training content

 

Keep in mind that most of these platforms don't enable you to actually create the learning materials - that's a completely different ball game and covered in this article if you're wanting to DIY on a low budget: https://mariadoyle.com/efficiently-create-batches-instructional-videos/.

If you do have a budget, look into other e-learning software and authoring applications. There are much more sophisticated (and quite an investment but well worth it for the final products) course authoring tools like Articulate 360 which includes a set of online and desktop based authoring tools to suit all different technical skill levels. Here's a recent review of a range of authoring tools by eLearning Industry.

This article also explain why getting the right UX and UI (User Experience and User Interface) is so important: https://mariadoyle.com/ux-ui-really-important/

This article might also help: What to consider before digitalising your learning content: 

Sections include:

  • So what are the benefits of digitalising your intellectual property?
  • How do you make sure the delivery and user experience are first class?
    • 1. What is the best digital storage solution?
    • 2. Is the content well structured and fit for purpose?
    • 3. Is it a quality learning experience for the end user?

If you have any other questions for me not answered in this article, send them through on the questionnaire at the bottom of this page!

How can I train up my teachers quickly on how to teach effectively online?
Expand

Answer...

How do we train up parents on how to assist with learning while their children are learning from home?
Expand

Unless parents have access to a device through which they can assist with online learning, you'll need to revert to traditional methods of distance learning that involve printed materials.

If they do have access to devices, and your school has a set curriculum to follow, quick tutorials on how to access the learning management system and how to work through tasks with the students would be beneficial if you have the resources; you can use screen capture tools like Loom to show parents how you'd take children through the tasks.

If you don't have a set curriculum for teachers to be following, here are some links for resources which have been created to help parents keep their children learning during the school shut down period: (please note, I do not earn any affiliate earnings from these links, they're simply generated by and for my community).

https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html

https://www.makersempire.com/learning-at-home-coronavirus-covid-19-new-resources-teachers-parents/

What do we do if most of our students don't have devices to use at home?
Expand

Did you find the answer you were looking for? If not, don't worry, I am here for you. Click here to submit your question and you'll have a response within 48 hours maximum!

Didn't find the answer to your question?

Submit your question below and I will respond as quickly as possible to you, as well as posting your question and our answer on this page to help others in the same position as you.

Need help to move your business online?

Fancy a Complimentary 15 minute Strategy Session to help you work out how YOU can move forward on your project?


appointment

Maria Doyle
Founder and Director
SELECT Consultants Pty Ltd trading as Create Real Change™
ABN: 46 161 932 305
himaria