New website indexes free edtech resources during health crisis

(Scoop News Group)

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To support the continuity of education for students who can no longer attend classes due to the spread of COVID-19, technology companies have built a repository of free services available to teachers and students during the heath crisis, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy announced Wednesday.

TechforLearners.org is a searchable online database of educational technology tools that facilitate online learning from edtech companies, including McGraw-Hill, Instructure and Cengage. It allows educators to search for free and discounted tools and services by grade level, product type and subject matter.

“Teachers and educators across the Nation will be relying on technology now more than ever,” U.S. Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios said in a statement. “During this unprecedented time, the Trump Administration is committed to ensuring America’s educators and families have the technology tools to bring classrooms online. We are grateful to the technology and education leaders who jumped into action to launch this important resource.”

Coordinated by the Software and Information Industry Association, the site will be continually updated with new resources as technology companies respond OSTP’s request that online learning resources be made more accessible for teachers, parents, and students amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Resources include free access to tools like McGraw-Hill’s digital learning platforms, Connect and ALEKS, course content from Cengage Unlimited and Google’s GSuite email, document collaboration and video conferencing tools. With growing concerns over COVID-19, hundreds of U.S. schools, including more than 300 universities, moved classes online in the first week of March to keep students safe and slow the spread of the virus.

“As our nation deals with the dynamic challenges resulting from this public health crisis, SIIA’s members and partners are supporting education and our nation’s communities at all levels as they transition to or extend their online learning capabilities,” SIIA president Jeff Joseph said. “Tech for Learners will assist educators and school administrators in identifying the EdTech solution that best fits the specific needs of their school, student population, and educational community, from distance and online learning to remote administration and telework. Our hope is this will provide them, along with parents and students, some peace of mind and certainty in these uncertain times.”

As classes across the country moved online, several edtech companies were quick to offer free resources to students and teachers dealing with the health crisis, and now TechforLearners.org now organizes all those resources in one place.

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