Free resources to help teach computing remotely

By Amy O'Meara. Posted

There are many free resources students can access at home

Amy O’Meara shares some of the best resources to inspire your students at home

At the time of writing, some lockdown restrictions are beginning to be eased in countries around the world. However, it is likely that remote teaching and blended learning approaches will continue to be a significant part of how we educate going forward.

When it comes to support for learning and teaching computing, there are a lot of resources out there. While this list is not exhaustive, we have compiled a snapshot of free resources that we hope will support educators in teaching their students remotely.

Khan Academy

Computing is one of the many subjects on offer from the non-profit organisation Khan Academy. Students from all over the world can avail themselves of their library of free videos, articles, practice questions, and lessons. During school closures, the organisation is offering free PDF schedules for children aged between two and eight. There are loads of resources to support teachers, including a step-by-step guide to remote learning, videos for engaging students remotely, professional development webinars, and more.

khanacademy.org

Crash Course: Computer Science

Crash Course is a popular educational YouTube channel where learners can access courses in a wide variety of fields for free. The computer science course is led by Carrie Anne Philbin, Director of Education Support at the Raspberry Pi Foundation and regular Hello World contributor. With over 40 instalments, the course covers the history of computing, the basic elements of programming and software, the evolution of how computers are used, and much more. It is ideal for anyone who wants to understand more about how computing has shaped our world.

helloworld.cc/crash

Amazon Future Engineer

Amazon Future Engineer is a programme that provides young people with access to computer science education, particularly those from underserved communities. To support learners during the pandemic, the company is offering free online computer science courses to teachers and students in the USA. There is a range of resources available for educators from Amazon Future Engineer and their partners, including online professional development, lesson plans, exam support, and more.

amazonfutureengineer.com

Barefoot Computing

Barefoot is a UK-based initiative that aims to support teachers with delivering the primary computing curriculum. The group provides a range of free resources, such as cross-curricular lesson plans and online guides. In addition, their Learning Together activities are fun and engaging exercises for parents to do at home with their children.

barefootcomputing.org

Scratch in Practice

Scratch in Practice (SiP) is a platform where the Scratch team and educators from around the world can share ideas and materials. Each month, there is a new theme for educators to discuss and explore, such as Getting Started with Scratch, Curriculum Connections, and Many Paths Many Styles. Within each theme is a key activity or resource, a video from Scratch co-founder Mitchel Resnick, and a blog post by Lifelong Kindergarten group research scientist Natalie Rusk. Each theme also features tips from real educators. SiP is an opportunity to connect with other educators from around the world, and many of the resources on offer can be applied to remote teaching. 

sip.scratch.mit.edu

Home Teaching

Home Teaching is a free programme from the National Centre for Computing Education (NCCE) that is designed to help students continue their computing studies while at home. Teachers and parents can schedule the activities as part of the school day. Using their network of computing hubs and a vast range of computing resources, the NCCE provides a timetable of sequential, topic-led activities and live online support sessions. The programme covers all priority curriculum topics, across all Key Stages. ncce.io/hometeach

Online courses from the Raspberry Pi Foundation

The Raspberry Pi Foundation offers a range of free online courses based on various aspects of computing and digital making. There are lots of courses that are aimed at educators specifically, such as ‘Impact of Technology: How to Lead Classroom Discussions’, ‘Programming 101: An Introduction to Python for Educators’, ‘Introduction to Cybersecurity for Teachers’, and many more. 

Much of the content from these courses can be applied to remote, as well as in-person, teaching. Teachers in England can also use a subset of the courses as credit towards their National Centre for Computing Education CS Accelerator Programme certificate.

helloworld.cc/rpicourses

Isaac Computer Science

Isaac Computer Science is a free online platform for both teachers and students, which is part of the NCCE. For teachers, the platform offers a range of online professional development courses, high-quality materials written by experienced teachers, homework support, and much more. All the materials aim to correspond to A-level specifications. In April, the Isaac Computer Science team launched a set of new topics as well as a new series of free online workshops that teachers and students can partake in from home.

isaaccomputerscience.org

Digital Making at Home

Digital Making at Home is a content series from the Raspberry Pi Foundation. The initiative, which began in late March, aims to support young people to get involved in coding activities from home. Each week, the team shares a weekly blog introducing a new theme, accompanied by code-along videos led by experienced teachers. There are activities for both new and experienced young coders, and many of the featured projects have been translated into multiple languages. This series is a free and accessible resource that educators can share with their students. 

rpf.io/home

Apps for Good

Apps for Good is a UK-based charity delivering workshops and courses to thousands of students. During the coronavirus pandemic, the team has built new versions of their courses that can be completed from home, and both classroom and home projects from around the world are eligible for an Apps for Good award. Some of the courses available that can be completed at home include: ‘App Development using App Lab’, ‘Design an App—Paper Based’, and ‘Machine Learning—Home Study.’

appsforgood.org

Tynker

Tynker is an educational platform on which young people can learn how to make apps, games, websites, and more. The platform has a range of block- and text-based courses tailored towards different age groups. While schools are closed, Tynker is offering free access to premium coding courses. Teachers can create a free account that will provide them with three free coding courses, over 35 Hour of Code activities, professional development, and more. The platform is also offering distance learning resources for schools affected by coronavirus closures.

tynker.com 

Edpuzzle

Edpuzzle is a free platform where teachers can engage their students through interactive video lessons. Using simple editing tools, teachers can personalise pre-existing videos from websites such as YouTube, Vimeo, TED, and National Geographic by adding questions, audio notes, or comments. Once the video lessons have been assigned, teachers can then track their students’ progress. As learning becomes more asynchronous, with lessons conducted through video, tools such as Edpuzzle will become increasingly valuable. 

edpuzzle.com

Code.org

Code.org is a US-based non-profit that aims to expand access to computer science in schools, with an emphasis on increasing participation by women and under-represented groups. Teachers around the world can create a Code.org account and access the organisation’s curriculum, lesson plans, tools, and support for free. 

Code.org


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