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Resources for Educators

In light of the guidance from the CDC, the White House, OPM, OMB, the Virginia Department of Health, the Governor’s Office, and so many more agencies and officials, millions of Americans are now practicing social distancing by teleworking, staying home, limiting travel, and moving much of their face-to-face activities to the online world.

As such, the Smithsonian Institution will offer new distance-learning resources to support teachers and students facing unprecedented learning challenges in the midst of nationwide school closures due to COVID-19 (coronavirus). The resources, which focus on pre-K-12 education, include tailored lesson plans tied to national learning standards and added support for educators and parents.

The Smithsonian, which has more than 1.7 million multimedia educational resources available online, worked closely with District of Columbia Public Schools to curate a set of distance-learning opportunities tied specifically to the schools’ educational priorities through the spring. For grades K-8, Smithsonian educators have identified online lessons and activities with a direct tie to goals in the DCPS curriculum guides to help keep students on track while schools are closed. Teachers can find these recommended activities broken down by grade and subject on the distance-learning resource webpage.

In addition, parents can find activities designed specifically for them to work with their children at home. These distance-learning resources include options for every learning environment, ranging from technology-free activities that don’t require computers to resources for students and educators in high-tech learning environments.

The Smithsonian’s distance-learning resources draw on content and expertise from across the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, nine research centers and 21 libraries. These activities are tied to national learning standards and can serve as a resource for teachers, students and parents across the country.

The Science, Space and Technology Committee has put together this document that lists a wide variety of resources for teachers related to stem learning.

While the Library of Congress currently has limited access to facilities (more info), the public can still access many Library resources through their websites, and

The National Gallery of Art has a number of resource on their homepage. Other resources include the NGAkids Art Zone app for iPadLook 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.

Both Verizon and AT&T have announced initiatives and resources geared towards helping students and teachers successfully engage in distance learning.