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Distance Learning

Guidance and resources for teachers and families in K–12 schools regarding high quality distance learning.

To ensure that you have all of the up-to-date information regarding a variety of areas impacted by COVID-19, please visit the CDE’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Main Web Page.

For the purposes of the guidance and resources on this page, “distance learning” means instruction in which the student and instructor are in different locations. This may include interacting through the use of a computer and communications technology, as well as delivering instruction and check-in time with the teacher. Distance learning may include video or audio instruction in which the primary mode of communication between the student and instructor is online interaction, instructional television, video, telecourses, or other instruction that relies on computer or communications technology. It may also include the use of print materials incorporating assignments that are the subject of written or oral feedback. This page provides guidance and information for teachers, students, and parents who are transitioning, or have transitioned, to a distance learning model.

Please note that while this page refers to many specific resources to support local educational agencies (LEAs) in developing, improving and extending instruction through their distance learning capabilities, the CDE has not extensively reviewed all resources. Individual LEAs are responsible for assessing the appropriateness of any specific resource prior to implementation.

Follow @CDECurriculum on Twitter.

Guidance Documents

English Learner Support

The English Learner Support Division has collected links to distance learning resources that can assist educators with providing language support to students and families. For the latest information and resources regarding English learner education from the California Department of Education, including distance learning please visit the English Learner Updates Newsletters web page.

Grading and Graduation
Special Education External link opens in new window or tab.

Webinars

For the remainder of the 2020 school year, the CDE plans to host Distance Learning webinars on Thursdays.



Completed:

The links below are to information and resources provided in consultancy session webinars presented by the California Partnership for Math and Science Education (CAPMSE). These webinars did not record the breakout sessions, although future webinars will include that content. For more information, please visit the CAPMSE website External link opens in new window or tab..

A comprehensive listing of all CDE webinars related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

State, County Office of Education, and District Resources

This section contains links to resources, tools, and programs that local educational agencies (LEAs), county offices of education, and state partners have shared with us to support California teachers and families.

  • Developed collaboratively with CCEE, Riverside COE, and San Diego COE, the Continuity of Learning Playbook External link opens in new window or tab. provides guidance about how to best leverage existing resources, translating individual activities into an action-oriented preparedness plan for the delivery of services to support the continuity of learning for all students. Whether LEAs are implementing an on-site, remote, or hybrid model, this Playbook will support school and district leadership teams make evidence-based decisions aligned with best practices to address the following topics and needs:
    • Communication/Family Engagement
    • SEL/Trauma-Informed Support
    • Effective Scheduling
    • Special Education
    • Staff Engagement and Professional Learning
    • Assessment of Needs and Progress
    • English Learners
    • Integration of Programs and Resources
  • Kern County Superintendent of Schools: At-Home Learning ResourcesExternal link opens in new window or tab..
    Kern County schools are using a combination of paper packets and online tools like Google Classroom, Canvas, Zoom and other virtual learning applications. The At-Home Learning Resources page includes resources related to Canvas, as well as Supplemental Distance Learning, Camp KEEP Digital Content, and Distance Learning Support.

  • The California Collaborative for Educational Excellence has developed a series of modules on equity, learning systems and strategies, special education and additional matters related to distance learning. For more information visit the CCEE websiteExternal link opens in new window or tab..

  • San Diego Unified School DistrictExternal link opens in new window or tab. has created an instructional resource page designed to provide family support during school closures.

  • Online Educational ResourcesExternal link opens in new window or tab. is a crowdsourced master document of free resources that is being circulated amongst teachers and parents. It has not been vetted by the CDE, but it contains an extensive list of resources and how to access them for free.

Quality Distance Learning Guidance from California School Library Association (CSLA) Teacher Librarians

We believe: Learning takes time. We recommend being open-minded and flexible. We emphasize developing and maintaining a supportive community. We believe that instruction can be synchronous as well as asynchronous. We believe that students need time every day to read both for understanding new content as well as self-selected reading for personalized learning.

Steps to successfully implement distance learning:

  1. Check with your school district for guidelines and expectations
  2. Utilize and connect with your Teacher Librarian for support:
    • Promoting reading literacy in all formats and forms including but not limited to e-books, audiobooks, read alouds, library card support
    • Collaborating with curriculum development, inquiry, formative and summative assessment
    • Implementing instructional lessons across the curriculum
    • Providing Professional Development
    • Curating digital resources in multiple formats to target diverse student needs
    • Providing online opportunities, training, and support for students to use digital library resources for research, individual exploration, independent reading and personalized learning including CA Library Database External link opens in new window or tab. support
    • Providing one to one support and training for implementation of technology
    • Building relationships and learning communities
    • Teaching and implementing Information literacy skills and research integration
    • Integrating digital citizenship lessons to keep our students safe online
    • Transitioning face to face lessons to distance learning
    • Implementing tools and pedagogy to increase student engagement
    • Supporting ELL and Special Needs teachers and students with resources and guidance supporting IEP and 504 needs
    • Supporting synchronous and asynchronous instruction
    • Supporting SEL
    • Supporting MTSS practices and needs
  3. For specific information about online digital resources for the classroom contact your school or district librarian, your county office of education librarian or contact the School Library Technology Consultant as the California Department of Education
  4. CA State Library DatabaseExternal link opens in new window or tab. is California’s online content project for kindergarten through grade twelve. It provides no cost access to Encyclopedia Britannica, ProQuest, and TeachingBooks.net, a collection of book guides and lessons.

Check with CSLA External link opens in new window or tab. for additional resources and assistance. Email assist@csla.net

Content Enrichment and Extension

This section includes links to state and local systems, agencies, and organizations that provide opportunities to enhance distance learning. This collection includes content, resources, and tools that teachers and parents can use to enrich curriculum and promote student engagement.

Digital Resources by Content Area

Arts Education

Online resources to support remote arts education instruction.

General Arts Education Resources
  • The Arts Media and Entertainment (AME) Distance Learning Task Force has compiled distance learning collections External link opens in new window or tab. for the industry sector pathways Design, Visual and Commercial Arts, Performing Arts, Production and Managerial Arts, and Game Design and all 11 sub-pathways in the AME industry sector.
  • The California Department of Education, the California County Superintendents Education Services Association (CCSESA) and The California Arts Project (TCAP) have collaborated to produce an Arts Standards Webinar Series External link opens in new window or tab. which may be useful to arts educators to build understanding of the 2019 California Arts Standards as they plan standards-based distance learning lessons.
  • The CCSESA Arts Initiative produced Creativity at the Core, Professional Learning Modules External link opens in new window or tab., 21 Professional learning modules for arts educators on various topics. Module 2 is Distance Learning Through the Arts: Equal Access for All.
  • Educators may wish to contact the CCSESA Regional Arts Leads External link opens in new window or tab. and the TCAP Regional Sites External link opens in new window or tab. for their county to find out about additional supports for distance learning that may be available in their region.
  • The DC Arts and Humanities Education Collaborative offers a Distance Learning Resource Database External link opens in new window or tab. which is organized for searching for lessons by elementary, middle, and high school. It includes online and printable visual and performing arts and humanities learning resources for students, teachers, and families.
  • Classroom Resources External link opens in new window or tab. from The Kennedy Center include “a robust collection of hundreds of digital learning resources: lessons, articles, performance guides, how-tos and much more.” The free resources include a range of different approaches to arts integration. While all of the digital resources here can be useful for remote arts learning, there is also a page dedicated specifically to Arts Education at Home External link opens in new window or tab..
  • The National Endowment for the Arts web page Resources to Help Ensure Accessibility of Your Virtual Events for People with Disabilities External link opens in new window or tab. includes guidance for online learning events.
  • PBS Learning Media provides resources and activities for dance External link opens in new window or tab., media arts External link opens in new window or tab., music External link opens in new window or tab., theatre External link opens in new window or tab., and visual arts External link opens in new window or tab..
  • TedEd has a curated collection of lessons and videos External link opens in new window or tab. arts educators in all disciplines may find useful to supplement and illustrate concepts when designing standards-based distance learning experiences.
Dance Education
Media Arts Education
  • Adobe Education Exchange offers Adobe Distance Learning Resources External link opens in new window or tab. for educators and students who use Adobe tools in their media arts classes with free lessons, projects, and activities for primary, middle, or secondary school students and teachers.
  • The University of Notre Dame Remix External link opens in new window or tab. page supports students to learn, explore, and build multimedia (image, audio, video, data) projects. The tutorials, assignments and projects can support high school students as they master the Producing media arts standards External link opens in new window or tab. as well as educators who wish to build their own understanding of media arts.
  • The Education Development Center, Inc., an international, nonprofit organization website Digital Media Arts External link opens in new window or tab. offers free Career Technical Education curriculum for high school students that can be used to provide distance learning in media arts. The website includes overviews and tutorials.
  • Kahn Academy offers several storytelling lessons External link opens in new window or tab. such as Pixar in a Box, and Imagineering in a Box, thanks to a collaboration with Disney, where students can learn about and practice media arts production.
Music Education
Theatre Education
  • Artful Schools provides teachers and K–12 schools with free access to online theatre and dance classes and lesson plan ideas External link opens in new window or tab. from industry-leading performers, professionals, and instructors. It is necessary to set up a free account to access these resources and parents or guardians of users under the age of 18 must read and consent to the Terms.
  • The Association for Theatre in Higher Education offers Resources for Teaching Online External link opens in new window or tab.. This extensive list, which is located at the bottom of the page, includes many open-access resources and may be helpful for secondary theatre teachers as they plan distance learning curriculum.
  • Educational Theatre Association offers guidance for creating online learning External link opens in new window or tab., which includes “Top Tips from the Field,” guidance for Zoom users, and other resources for creating online learning.
  • London’s National Theatre Learning at Home External link opens in new window or tab. web page pulls back the curtain for students to view short videos of “How We Made It” and has activities for “How You Can Make It” at home. There are also short basic videos about different jobs such as “What is a Playwrite?” and “What is a Composer?”
Visual Arts Education
  • Google Arts & Culture External link opens in new window or tab. is a single portal through which to explore and interact with hundreds of museums and works of art. It can be accessed in a browser or downloaded as an app.
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History External link opens in new window or tab. pairs essays External link opens in new window or tab. and works of art External link opens in new window or tab. with chronologies External link opens in new window or tab. , telling the story of art and global culture through the Museum’s collection, while #Metkids External link opens in new window or tab. provides an interactive timeline appropriate for elementary.
  • MOMA Learning External link opens in new window or tab. from the Museum of Modern Art provides free distance learning resources and interactives that allow students and teachers to explore different eras, movements, and concepts in art history.
  • The National Art Education Association provides a Remote Learning Toolkit External link opens in new window or tab. which includes tips for teaching visual arts and design in a distance learning environment, and links to distance learning resources organized by elementary, middle, and secondary.

English Language Arts

Online resources to support remote English Language Arts/literacy and reading instruction, including lesson ideas and mobile apps for students and teachers.

  • Curriculum Associates Free Downloadable Reading Packets External link opens in new window or tab. Printable at-home activity packs that are designed to provide students with valuable self-directed exercises and practice during extended absences from school. Each pack is designed to reinforce key concepts for a given grade. i-Ready’s engaging online lessons can support at-home learning.
  • Myon External link opens in new window or tab. a student-centered, personalized literacy environment that gives students access to more than 6,000 enhanced digital books.
  • Starfall Reading External link opens in new window or tab. a free public service to teach children to read. It includes language arts and mathematics for preschool, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, and third grade. Starfall emphasizes phonemic awareness, systematic sequential phonics, and common sight words in conjunction with audiovisual interactivity.
  • StoryKit External link opens in new window or tab. is a simple storybook creation app, with a private online sharing tool. It caters to students in grades 1-4 and above, and allows them opportunities to create stories, add pictures, and infuse recordings of their own voices.
  • Core Knowledge External link opens in new window or tab. provides open access to an exemplary curriculum for preschool through eighth grade.
  • Open Culture External link opens in new window or tab. allows visitors to download hundreds of free audio books, mostly classics, to your MP3 player or computer. Below, you'll find great works of fiction External link opens in new window or tab., poetry External link opens in new window or tab., and non-fiction External link opens in new window or tab., by such authors as Twain, Tolstoy, Hemingway, Orwell, Vonnegut, Nietzsche, Austen, Shakespeare, Asimov, HG Wells & more.
  • Librivox - Free Public Domain Audiobooks External link opens in new window or tab. features recordings of books in the public domain External link opens in new window or tab. read by volunteers from around the world.
  • CommonLit - Free reading passages External link opens in new window or tab. in all literacy and nonfiction genres for grades 3-12.
  • ReadWriteThink Free Mobile Apps External link opens in new window or tab. helps students engage in literacy learning using tablet devices. No internet connection is required once the apps are downloaded. Offers resources for grade levels K-12.
  • ReadWorks External link opens in new window or tab. , driven by cognitive science research, ReadWorks aims to create world-class content, teacher guidance, and integrated tools that improve teacher effectiveness and student achievement. They leverage cognitive-science research to create high-impact instructional materials and tools that are designed for immediate use within the practical realities of current U.S. classrooms.

Health – Comprehensive Sexual Health Education: The California Healthy Youth Act

Because the California Healthy Youth Act (CHYA) requires instruction to develop student's knowledge and skills, online instruction has not been previously considered for this type of instruction. In response to the closure of schools, every effort is being made by the CHYA curriculum providers to make instruction as interactive as possible. If your school district has purchased a CHYA compliant curriculum, please contact the publisher now for new online resources.

General guidelines for comprehensive sexual health education during distance learning:

  • Be mindful of the surroundings in which comprehensive sexual health education will take place in the home
  • If possible, watch privately or with a trusted adult
  • If possible, use headphones and be discrete with the laptop screen

Free Resources:

Essential Access Health External link opens in new window or tab. . This resource helps parents/guardians talk to their own children in an age appropriate way about sexuality, healthy relationships and so much more.
ETR External link opens in new window or tab. . This resource will help with the transition from in-person teaching and training to online design and delivery. Additional resources are embedded.
ETR External link opens in new window or tab. . These lessons from Health Smart for K-12 focus on hand washing, hygiene and general health. There are multiple lessons for each grade level.
Rights, Respect, Responsibility External link opens in new window or tab. . Advocates for Youth’s sex education curriculum that meets the California Healthy Youth Act and  seeks to address both the functional knowledge related to sexuality and the specific skills necessary to adopt healthy behaviors.
Be Real. Be Ready External link opens in new window or tab. . San Francisco Unified School District’s comprehensive relationship and sexuality education curriculum designed for high school students. It is medically accurate; skills based; and LGBTQ inclusive that meets both the California Healthy Youth Act and the California State Health Education Content Standards.
For all other guidance regarding the California Healthy Youth Act, please see the California Department of Education website.

History and Social Science

Digital and online resources for teachers to develop lessons, locate primary and secondary source materials, and connect students with resources for research and inquiry-based lessons.

  • Teaching Tolerance External link opens in new window or tab. provides free resources to educators—teachers, administrators, counselors and other practitioners—who work with children from kindergarten through high school. Educators use our materials to supplement the curriculum, to inform their practices, and to create civil and inclusive school communities where children are respected, valued and welcome participants.
  • The Library of Congress External link opens in new window or tab. offers classroom materials and professional development to help teachers effectively use primary sources from the Library's vast digital collections in their teaching.
  • The Stanford History Education Group External link opens in new window or tab. is an award-winning research and development group that seeks to improve education by conducting research, working with school districts, and reaching directly into classrooms with free materials for teachers and students. Their current work focuses on how young people evaluate online content. Their Civic Online Reasoning curriculum to help students develop the skills needed to navigate our current digital landscape.
  • The Smithsonian
  • Many museums, cultural sites, and historical sites offer virtual tours and livestreaming. Here are a few, but an internet search will reveal many others:
  • Take a virtual tour of a California state park External link opens in new window or tab. .Thanks to a partnership between California State Parks and Google Maps, you can now visit many of our beautiful parks right from your computer, tablet or smart phone. A total of 110 state park destinations have been filmed using Google Trekker, a backpack-mounted camera that provides 360 degree footage.
  • The Zinn Education Project External link opens in new window or tab. promotes and supports the teaching of people’s history in classrooms across the country. They aim to equip students with the analytical tools to make sense of and improve the world today. Their website offers free, downloadable lessons and articles organized by theme External link opens in new window or tab., time period External link opens in new window or tab., and grade level. The teaching materials emphasize the role of working people, women, people of color, and organized social movements in shaping history.
  • World History For Us All External link opens in new window or tab. is a national collaboration of K-12 teachers, collegiate instructors, and educational technology specialists. This is a great site for middle and high school teachers to locate powerful, innovative model curriculum. World History for Us All helps students understand the past by connecting specific subject matter to larger historical patterns, and draws on up-to-date historical research.
  • Teaching California External link opens in new window or tab. offers free online instructional materials to support the California History-Social Science Framework, with an emphasis on primary sources.
  • The Content, Literacy, Inquiry, and Citizenship (CLIC) Project External link opens in new window or tab. offers resources for educators to take an inquiry-based approach to learning about various topics including Armenian Genocide, the Bracero Program, Environmental Literacy, and approaches to civic learning (Check with regional leads for additional resources available for online learning).
  • California History-Social Science Project External link opens in new window or tab. provides professional learning and free resources such as The History Blueprint and The Source. See links to regional sites for additional information and support.
  • BBC Bitesize History External link opens in new window or tab. Bitesize is the BBC's free online study support resource for school-age students in the United Kingdom. It is designed to aid students in both schoolwork and, for older students, exams.
  • CrashCourse History Channel on YouTube External link opens in new window or tab. Crash Course believes that high quality educational videos should be available to everyone for free. The Crash Course team has produced more than 15 courses to date, and these videos accompany high school and college level classes ranging from the humanities to the sciences. Crash Course transforms the traditional textbook model by presenting information in a fast-paced format, enhancing the learning experience. With hundreds of millions of views on our YouTube channel, Crash Course has a worldwide audience in and out of classrooms. While the show is an immensely helpful tool for students and teachers, it also has a large viewership of casual learners who seek out online educational content independently. It has changed attitudes towards education by creating a community of learners who are looking for more than just help passing a test.
  • Oyez External link opens in new window or tab. is a resource for teaching Supreme Court Cases that includes the case history, relevant precedent, arguments, and the Supreme Court Decision and applicable dissents.
  • The National Archives External link opens in new window or tab. features a website that is easy to navigate and includes lots of teacher resources. They feature a daily historical document relating to an event from that day in history. The online catalog can be searched using keywords, and 100 "milestone" documents are identified as significant to American history.
  • National Archives: Elementary School Distance Learning Programs External link opens in new window or tab. Free, interactive programs that feature primary sources from the Distance Learning Programs. Each program aligns with National Social Studies Standards and Common Core State Standards. It also provides teacher guides with pre- and post-program lessons.
  • DocsTeach External link opens in new window or tab. is full of activities for educators. The documents are organized by different periods in American history. If you're teaching "Civil War and Reconstruction" or "Revolution and the New Nation," just click on the topic to find hundreds of primary source documents. DocsTeach provides audio, video, charts, graphs, maps and more.
  • Spartacus Educational External link opens in new window or tab. is a resource for global history. It contains free encyclopedia entries that directly connect to primary source documents, making it a useful tool for educators looking to give students a starting point in their research.
  • Fordham University External link opens in new window or tab. is another resource for global history. It organizes primary sources into periods of American history, from the "Reformation" to "Post-World War II Religious Thought." Teachers can find full texts available from Fordham or similar institutions appropriate for the middle school and high school classroom.
  • Broken down by time period then listed in alphabetical order, the Avalon Project at Yale University External link opens in new window or tab. offers primary sources for global history teachers. This database starts with ancient and medieval documents and moves into present times. In addition to categories that address specific historical periods, the Avalon Project includes links to human rights documents as part of Project Diana External link opens in new window or tab. .
  • USHistory.org External link opens in new window or tab. Free Online Textbooks provides high school courses for students, teachers, home-schoolers, and history lovers.
  • Google and Life Magazine External link opens in new window or tab. have a search engine that lets users search millions of images from the Life Magazine Photo Archive. Users can type in key terms to guide their searches, look through images organized by decade (1860s through 1970s), or significant people, places, events or sports topics.

Mathematics

Online and digital resources for math instruction, assessment, and independent practice, including tutorials and videos.

Physical Education

Resources to promote and maintain physical education curricula in distance-learning environments. Many of these resources are designed for students who are homeschooled but could be used or adapted for use in a distance-learning environment.

Science

Online and digital resources for science instruction, including tutorials, videos, and online labs.

  • PhET Simulations External link opens in new window or tab. support math and science learning.
  • Legends of Learning External link opens in new window or tab. provides educational games for grades 3–8. These resources have been made available for free due to school closures.
  • National Science Teaching Association External link opens in new window or tab. contains resources from NSTA to help you support your child's learning in science at home and at school.
  • California Science Teachers Association Resources External link opens in new window or tab. is a collection of resources for educators curated by CSTA.
  • MysteryScience External link opens in new window or tab. has made their resources free in response to the Coronavirus.
  • NASA Education Resources External link opens in new window or tab. (searchable by topic) provides informative educational materials that engage student interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
  • Teach Engineering External link opens in new window or tab. - This collection aligns with state and/or national science, mathematics and technology educational standards, and uses engineering as the vehicle to integrate science and mathematics concepts for K-12 students.
  • US Department of Energy Education Resources External link opens in new window or tab. is a partnership between the US Department of Energy partnered with the National Energy Education Development Project (NEED) to create free energy education resources for classroom and educational use.
  • The Physics Classroom External link opens in new window or tab. is a collection of online tutorials, concept builders, and interactive lessons for students.
  • Edutopia: Ten Websites for Science Teachers External link opens in new window or tab. offers summaries and links to ten websites covering topics such as the process of science, field research journals, evolution, PhET simulations, Earth exploration, EdHead interactives, plants, chemistry, scientists, and more.
  • California Academy of Sciences Educator Resources External link opens in new window or tab. provides lesson plans, science videos, and distance learning programs.
  • Bill Nye The Science Guy External link opens in new window or tab. offers a collection of episode guides and videos as well as directions for home demos that can be found under the “Learn” section and cover topics such as life science, physical science, and planetary science.
  • Discovery Education External link opens in new window or tab. is an online K-12 learning platform. It provides multimedia, virtual activities and hands-on labs with model lessons in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
  • Switcheroo Zoo External link opens in new window or tab. helps kids learn about animals by playing games.
  • Californians Dedicated to Education Foundation is hosting a Lunch Bites External link opens in new window or tab. webinar series that aims to provide short sessions that provide tangible tools you can immediately use to provide online instruction.

World Languages

Online resources to support remote world languages instruction.

Writing

Online and digital resources to promote student engagement though creative writing and writing prompts. This list also includes resources for students working on sustained academic writing, including research.

  • Scholastic Story Starters External link opens in new window or tab. is a creative writing prompt generator for children in grades K-6.
  • Independent Reading Response Ideas External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) is a 2-page document with Independent Reading Response Questions.
  • The Learning Network (New York Times) External link opens in new window or tab. Each week the Learning Network offers new ways for students to practice reading, writing, and thinking using Times journalism – at no charge. Daily writing prompts for students to respond to are provided, as well as other activities for students, as well as resources for teachers.
  • StoryBird External link opens in new window or tab. is a storytelling platform to help students develop their writing.
  • Purdue Online Writing Lab External link opens in new window or tab. provides guidance for students writing academic papers, including guides for formatting, citations, analysis, and revising work.

Career Technical Education

Online resources to support remote Career Technical Education (CTE) instruction.

  • The Career and College Transition Division has collected links to distance learning resources that can assist educators with providing support with Career Technical Education (CTE) curriculum and lessons for teachers and administrators. For the latest information and resources regarding CTE from the California Department of Education, including distance learning, please visit the CTE Distance Learning Website.

Pre-K Learning, Games, and Activities

Free and open-source resources and guidance for fostering early childhood/pre-k learning at home.

Current Events and News Outlets for Students

Digital and online resources that provide student-friendly access to current events. Some of these resources also provide reading guides, quizzes, and activities to support student learning.

  • Newsela External link opens in new window or tab. has made access to their full suite of products free for teachers through the end of this year to assist with their learning continuity plans. They are also offering frequent professional learning resources to help them develop their mastery of distance learning techniques. Newsela has also created this guide External link opens in new window or tab. for planning for remote instruction.
  • Edutopia: 6 Lesson Plans for Teaching Women's History Month External link opens in new window or tab. (article with digital resources) George Lucas Educational Foundation offers free and easy-to-implement classroom resources to celebrate Women’s History Month in March.
  • Common Sense Media: Best News Websites for Kids External link opens in new window or tab. is great website for kids. The editors have made it easy with their hand-picked lists of fun, age-appropriate kids' sites and online games. It's a big world on the web, but with lists like theirs, it can be a worthwhile one for your kids.
  • Edutopia External link opens in new window or tab. suggests six online resources for primary sources which allow students to read closely, make inferences, cite evidence, analyze arguments and interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text.

Free Educational Resources for Distance Learning

We are providing a list of publishers offering free distance learning resources. At the links listed, users can learn about the specific resources available as publishers continue to expand their offerings. In this list below, educators and parents/guardians may discover the individual resources they want for a particular need.

Articles to Navigate Distance Learning

These articles that provide guidance on developing distance learning lessons and units as well as advice specifically related to moving to online instruction as a result of the coronavirus

Supporting Students with Disabilities in Distance Learning

Resources to help support students with disabilities complete tasks and assignments and adjust to new routines in the transition to distance learning.

Virtual School Programs

It is a local governing board decision whether or not to award credit for courses completed outside of the district. A variety of courses are available online, including those that are grounded in the Common Core State Standards adopted by California and that meet A–G requirements.

Resources

Districts should conduct a careful analysis of these courses and consider awarding credit where appropriate.

Language Support

The English Learner Support Division has collected links to distance learning resources that can assist educators with providing language support to students and families. For the latest information from the California Department of Education regarding resources for English learner education, including distance learning, please visit the English Learner Updates Newsletters web page.

English Language Development Learning, Games, and Activities

Online resources to support remote English Language Development (ELD) instruction, including lesson ideas and mobile apps for students and teachers.

  • COVID-19 Information: English Learners provides responses to frequently asked questions (FAQs), ELD resources, and multilingual resources to support English learners and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • BrainPOP ELL External link opens in new window or tab. is BrainPOP’s English language instruction site for English Language Learners of all ages. The curriculum is comprised of short, animated movies as well as games, quizzes and interactive features. Users practice the four principle language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
  • Colorín Colorado External link opens in new window or tab. offers resources for families that can be used for distance learning with English learners. They also appear to be growing their collecting of resources in response to the COVID-19 school closures, so more resources for distance learning may be available in the future.
  • CommonLit External link opens in new window or tab. is a collection of reading passages in all literary and nonfiction genres for grades 3–12. Reading passages are available in Spanish.
  • Duolingo External link opens in new window or tab. is a free language acquisition tool that is extremely similar to Rosetta Stone.
  • Education.com External link opens in new window or tab. features digital resources, tools, and learning materials are developed by educational experts to incorporate leading pedagogical practices. They are useful in any type of teaching moment. They offer differentiated resources that can meet a wide range of educational needs and raise kids' confidence in learning.
  • English Media Lab External link opens in new window or tab. offers free English Exercises Online—English as a Second Language (ESL) Interactive Learning.
  • Insert Leaning External link opens in new window or tab. is a great way to annotate and scaffold content on webpages.
  • International Children’s Digital Library External link opens in new window or tab. offers a library for the world’s children.
  • Khan Academy En Español External link opens in new window or tab. offers Khan Academy’s repository of video resources in Spanish.
  • Learning English External link opens in new window or tab. is Voice of America’s multimedia source of news and information for millions of English learners worldwide.
  • Listen and Write External link opens in new window or tab. is a dictation and cloze creator.
  • Literacy Network External link opens in new window or tab. is dedicated to designing exceptional education experiences for young children.
  • My Writing Coach External link opens in new window or tab. offers writing lessons aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) task types. Writing will cover main idea, inference, theme, full write opinion, as well as all eight ELPAC task types. There are video lessons and "write along lessons" where students write along with the instructor.
  • National Geographic Kids External link opens in new window or tab. is a children’s magazine that provides reading, games, videos and more.
  • National Geographic Young Explorer External link opens in new window or tab. offers science listen and read articles with highlighted text.
  • Newsela External link opens in new window or tab. allows teachers to assign articles related to social studies, science, or English language arts. Texts can be customized to fit the student’s reading level. Teachers can embed additional scaffolds to meet the needs of English learners. Aligned to the Common Core State Standards.
  • Read Works External link opens in new window or tab. allows teachers to assign articles related to social studies, science, or English language arts. Texts can be customized to fit the student’s reading level. Teachers can embed additional scaffolds to meet the needs of English learners.
  • Scholastic Learn at Home External link opens in new window or tab. offers day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing. Every day includes four separate learning experiences, each built around a thrilling, meaningful story or video. Kids can do them on their own, with their families, or with their teachers. Just find your grade level and let the learning begin!
  • Starfall External link opens in new window or tab. emphasizes exploration, play, and positive reinforcement—encouraging children to become confident and intrinsically motivated. Starfall is an educational alternative to other entertainment choices for children and is especially effective for special education, homeschooling, and English language development (ELD), English Language Learners, and English as a Second Language. It is widely used in schools that serve children with special needs and learning difficulties.
  • Storynory External link opens in new window or tab. offers free audio stories. They are a podcast and a website with audio streaming.
  • Tween Tribune External link opens in new window or tab. is a collection of nonfiction articles and current events for kids, grades K–12.
  • Tween Tribune Español External link opens in new window or tab. is a collection of nonfiction articles and current events in Spanish for kids in grades K–12.
  • USA Learns External link opens in new window or tab. offers video lessons and thousands of activities focusing on English speaking, listening, vocabulary, pronunciation, reading, writing and grammar that helps older students and adults learn English.

Multilingual Resources (Updated 03-Apr-2020)

  • COVID-19 Information: English Learners provides responses to FAQs, ELD resources, and multilingual resources that support English learners and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Babbel External link opens in new window or tab. offers students free online foreign language course for three months.
  • Biblioteca Virtual Infantil External link opens in new window or tab. offers e-books in Spanish.
  • BrainPop en Español External link opens in new window or tab. The curriculum is comprised of short, animated movies as well as games, quizzes and interactive features in Spanish. Users practice the four principle language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing.
  • Chalk Academy External link opens in new window or tab. offers links to free children’s books read in a variety of languages including Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese, Arabic, French, German and many other languages.
  • Colorín Colorado External link opens in new window or tab. offers resources for families that can be used for distance learning with English learners. They also appear to be growing their collecting of resources in response to the COVID-19 school closures, so more resources for distance learning may be available in the future.
  • CommonLit External link opens in new window or tab. is a collection of reading passages in all literary and nonfiction genres for grades 3–12. Reading passages are available in Spanish.
  • Duolingo External link opens in new window or tab. is a free language acquisition tool that is extremely similar to Rosetta Stone.
  • Khan Academy En Español External link opens in new window or tab. offers Khan Academy’s repository of video resources in Spanish.
  • NASA Ciencias en Español External link opens in new window or tab. offers solar system exploration (visuals, videos, graphics, simple text) in Spanish.
  • PBS Learning Media: Recursos de PreK–12 para Cierres de Emergencia External link opens in new window or tab. offers resources by grade level, pre-kindergarten through grade 12, in Spanish. Resources cover a variety of subject areas in Spanish and would be appropriate for multilingual programs.
  • Newsela en Español External link opens in new window or tab. offers news in Spanish and includes different reading levels.
  • Storybook Canada External link opens in new window or tab. offers stories from the African Storybook available with text and audio in multiple languages.
  • Tween Tribune Español External link opens in new window or tab. is a collection of nonfiction articles and current events in Spanish for kids in grades K–12.

 

Questions:   Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division | DistanceLearning@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0881
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Recently Posted in Curriculum and Instruction Resources