One-Stop Shop for Online Learning

Parents frazzled by sorting through an avalanche of online content to create homeschool routines for their children now have help.
San Francisco-based Common Sense has partnered with some of the biggest names in technology, education and media to launch Wide Open School to help families and educators navigate unprecedented school closures during the coronavirus pandemic.
The free platform has resources for families and educators arranged in grade-level blocks with online content and offline resources covering academic subjects, emotional well-being, exercise, life skills, special needs and more.
Daily schedules are offered for children in PreK, grades kindergarten through 2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12, with lessons and activities suggested for sections of the day, including age-appropriate evening entertainment. A live events section lists free online storytimes, drawing and music lessons, streaming concerts and shows, and other entertainment.
There are also tips and resources for getting started on learning at home and, for teachers, setting up a virtual classroom, with how-to’s from Zoom, Google for Education and others.
“The coronavirus pandemic has elevated the need for quality learning materials all in one place for families and educators, and Common Sense is proud that trusted experts and partners have joined together to launch Wide Open School so quickly,” said James P. Steyer, founder and CEO of the national nonprofit dedicated to helping families and schools navigate technology and media.
Other partners and content providers include the American Federation of Teachers, Khan Academy, National Geographic, Noggin, Outschool, PBS, Scholastic, Sesame Workshop and YouTube.
The site launched on March 31 and is expected to be updated frequently with more partners coming on board. Content will be offered through mobile, desktop and television. Wide Open School is also providing a clearinghouse of information for low-income families to access technology and broadband services.

Janine DeFao is an associate editor at Bay Area Parent.


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