Remote Learning Resources Guide

On March 17, 2020, public schools closed across the state of Illinois in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. As of March 27, 2020, 1.5 billion children worldwide were impacted by school closures. With these closures, many schools quickly transitioned to remote learning. While college classes may more easily shift to audio-recorded lectures and online learning platforms like Blackboard, K-12 teachers had to face a new reality in class preparation. Past studies have considered the impact that localized environmental crises had on students’ education. However, these environmental crises did not have the national reach, duration, and economic impact of COVID-19.

This shift to online learning was unprecedented and no national protocols were put in place to support schools during this transition. Preparation time and resources available to teachers varied greatly from school to school. While some teachers already utilized communication tools like ClassDojo or Zoom and had access to school-wide individual laptops and tablets, these resources were not nationally available. Additionally, some students faced hardships of no home Internet access, no computer access, special developmental needs, and no family support. As education switched to remote learning, teachers had to additionally navigate social and economic disparities in order to teach their students.

The Department of Population Science and Policy created an online survey to examine the successes and challenges K-12 teachers faced during the transition to remote learning. Participation lasted from April 28, 2020, until June 17, 2020. A total of 488 respondents (94.7 % from Illinois) responded to the question “What resources (old or new) are most effective for educating students now? (e.g., books, YouTube, MobyMax).” Teachers could report as many resources as they liked in a free response format.

The following guide, available as a PDF download, presents the information collected in the online survey of teachers. It includes information on the resources teachers found most effective during online learning due in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, an alphabetical list of every resource reported by a teacher, and a brief description of each resource and its features.

We hope that this list of resources encourages teachers and school districts to consider alternate ways to meet students' needs regardless of their circumstances. For more information about other data in this survey, please contact Dr. Nicole Summers-Gabr, Assistant Professor, Department of Population Science and Policy.

Download the guide below:

Online Learning Resources: A Guide for Teachers