COVID-19 and Online Learning

In response to the spread of COVID-19, an increasing number of schools are temporarily closing their doors and turning to online learning. Our community of preK-12 education researchers offer the following activities (online curriculum, modules, and/or simulations), tools (apps and general resources), as well as tips to support remote student learning or teacher professional development.

Find resources for all learning settings in our Curriculum & Resources for Educators collection.

(Last updated September 2021)

  • A Medical Mystery

    A free middle school science program that supports teachers in the effective instruction of an NGSS-aligned, EQuIP-reviewed body systems curriculum unit. Includes the complete middle school science curriculum unit, a teacher’s guide, and an online professional learning course. Visit BSCS' collection of online resources
    Grade Level(s): Middle
    Keyword(s): Science, Curriculum, Professional Development
  • Analyzing Instruction in Math using the Teaching for Robust Understanding Framework (AIM-TRU)

    The Analyzing Instruction in Math using the Teaching for Robust Understanding Framework (AIM-TRU) learning cycle is the result of a research-practice partnership centered on using the analysis of videocases grounded in high-quality instructional materials for use as a resource for in-service and pre-service professional learning. For videos, materials, slidedecks and a facilitation guide, please visit our website (note: a free user name is necessary to access the materials).
    Grade Level(s): Graduate, Other
    Keyword(s): Mathematics
  • Connected Biology

    Connected Biology provides a sequence of lessons for high school biology that fosters integrated learning of genetics and evolution. This novel curriculum is aligned with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) performance expectations and supports students’ development of a model of the relationships between molecules, cells, organisms, and populations. The curriculum package includes online lessons, an interactive Teacher’s Edition, and a real-time Teacher Dashboard. Additional background materials and supplemental resources are also provided.
    Grade Level(s): High
    Keyword(s): Biology, Science, Curriculum
  • COVID-19 Curriculum Materials

    This resource presents a curricular module for high school biology classes related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The module is made up of 8 lessons that will likely take about 10-15 hours of instructional time. Major themes of the module include viral transmission, media literacy, data analysis, argumentation, and modeling. The following driving questions are explored: How do viruses such as COVID-19 spread? What is the responsibility of governments, organizations, and individuals in mitigating the spread of deadly viruses? What challenges do social vulnerabilities present as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic? Individual lessons descriptions are provided along with Teacher Guides that provide rationales for many of the design decisions made and suggestions for implementation.
    Grade Level(s): High
    Keyword(s): Biology, Science, Curriculum
  • Data Nuggets

    Data Nuggets are free classroom activities, co-designed by scientists and teachers, designed to bring contemporary research and authentic data into the classroom. Students are guided through the entire process of science, including identifying hypotheses and predictions, visualizing and interpreting data, making evidence based claims, and asking their own questions for future research.
    Grade Level(s): Elementary, Middle, High, Undergraduate, Graduate
    Keyword(s): Mathematics, Science, Curriculum
  • Early Math with Gracie & Friends

    Play nine math learning apps and dozens of hands-on activities at home or in the classroom. A digital Teacher's Guide supports use in the classroom, and a digital Family Fun Guide provides activities to do at home.
    Grade Level(s): Pre-K
    Keyword(s): Mathematics, Educational Technology
  • Early Science with Nico & Nor

    Explore six early science learning apps and dozens of hands-on activities. Use the digital Teacher's Guide to implement the technology-based science curriculum into preschool classrooms.
    Grade Level(s): Pre-K
    Keyword(s): Science, Educational Technology
  • Earth Science Resources

    This online collection of transformative geoscience resources includes Earth system models, data visualization tools, and curriculum modules. Each module is designed for middle and high school students and is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards. Teacher Editions, which include detailed background information, tips, and exemplar student responses, are available to help teachers guide their students through each module. Classroom management tools, reports, and a real-time dashboard to help teachers track their students' progress are also available through the Learn portal. Validated pre- and post-assessments for each module are provided.
    Grade Level(s): Middle, High
    Keyword(s): Earth Science, Science, Curriculum
  • ecoXPT

    EcoXPT is an immersive simulation in which students use inquiry to learn how ecosystems work.
    Grade Level(s): Middle
    Keyword(s): Science
  • eRebuild

    eRebuild is a math learning game for students in grades 6th-8th. The game focuses on teaching the concepts of geometery and ratios and proportions through gameplay.
    Grade Level(s): Middle
    Keyword(s): Mathematics
  • Exploring Infectious Diseases

    This site provides an engaging and scientifically accurate set of instructional materials and resources aimed at deepening high school students’ understanding of infectious diseases (including Ebola and COVID-19) and enhancing students’ skills in seeking out additional information they need to make informed decisions, and influence their behaviors in response to future outbreaks and epidemics that undoubtedly will occur.
    Grade Level(s): High
    Keyword(s): Biology, Science, Curriculum
  • Extended Reality Initiative: 360 Videos of Teaching/Learning Mathematics

    This website provides a growing repository of 360 videos of classroom instruction (currently focusing on elementary mathematics). We also have created and are disseminating tutorial videos for using or creating similar media.
    Grade Level(s): Other
    Keyword(s): Mathematics, Professional Development, Teacher Practice
  • Family Science Activities

    Each short video provides ideas for family science activities for preschool-grade 3 students that reinforce NGSS 3D learning.
    Grade Level(s): Pre-K, Elementary
    Keyword(s): Mathematics, Science
  • Flipgrid

    Promotes video responses and discussion around a topic.
    Grade Level(s): Pre-K, Elementary, Middle, High, Undergraduate, Graduate, Other
    Keyword(s): Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Science, Technology
  • High-Adventure Science

    High-Adventure Science brings several of the big unanswered questions in Earth and space science to middle and high school science classrooms: What is the future of Earth's climate? Will there be enough fresh water? Is there life in space? Will the air be clean enough to breathe? Can we feed the growing population? and What are our energy choices? Each module includes interactive computer-based systems models and real-world data on unanswered questions scientists are facing today.
    Grade Level(s): Middle, High
    Keyword(s): Science
  • Hurricane Risk & Impact

    Students will use the Hurricane Explorer model to explain and predict how the path and strength of a hurricane can change, investigate real-world case studies on the risk and impact of hurricanes, and explore the effect of rising global temperatures on hurricanes.
    Grade Level(s): Middle, High
    Keyword(s): Climate Change, Earth Science, Science
  • Interactions curriculum

    This NGSS aligned curriculum is designed to support high school physical science students in developing an understanding of the forces and energy involved in atomic and molecular interactions. The year-long Interactions curriculum could be used in a physical science class, or tweaked to embed activities into a chemistry class. Interactions can be offered as a paper-pencil curriculum with the teacher facilitating web based simulation activities on a classroom computer, or it can be offered completely online for classrooms where students have personal (or shared) computers. Students will develop and use models of interactions at the atomic molecular scale to explain observed phenomena and develop a model of the flow of energy and cycles of matter for phenomena at macroscopic and sub-microscopic scales.
    Grade Level(s): High
    Keyword(s): Science, Curriculum
  • Math Mapper

    A digital tool that offers compelling student middle grades math problems and provides students with assessment tools and a dynamic learning map.
    Grade Level(s): Middle
    Keyword(s): Mathematics
  • Model My Watershed

    Model My Watershed is a watershed-modeling web app that enables citizens, conservation practitioners, municipal decision-makers, educators, and students to analyze real land use and soil data in their neighborhoods and watersheds; model stormwater runoff and water-quality impacts using professional-grade models; and compare how different conservation or development scenarios could modify runoff and water quality.
    Grade Level(s): High
    Keyword(s): Science
  • Moon Phases & Eclipses

    Moon Phases & Eclipses is a free and innovative 3-day unit that provides interactive videos, hands-on activities, lesson plans, and student worksheets to explore why the Moon's phase changes.
    Grade Level(s): Middle
    Keyword(s): Science, Curriculum
  • Ocean Tracks

    Use the Ocean Tracks interactive map, curricular modules, and data analysis tools to explore and quantify patterns in the migratory tracks of marine animals in the northern Pacific Ocean and relate these behaviors to fluctuations and trends in physical oceanographic variables.
    Grade Level(s): High, Undergraduate
    Keyword(s): Science, Curriculum
  • Padlet

    Online tool students can post responses to that allows for multiple means of expression, representation.
    Grade Level(s): Pre-K, Elementary, Middle, High, Undergraduate, Graduate, Other
    Keyword(s): Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Science, Technology
  • PhET Interactive Simulations

    Collection of 158 free interactive math and science simulations from University of Colorado Boulder. Engage students in math and science practices, and virtual labs, during remote learning. Find over 2,000 sim-based lessons under teacher resources. 
    Grade Level(s): Elementary, Middle, High, Undergraduate
    Keyword(s): Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Mathematics, Physics, Science
  • Plate Tectonics

    The Plate Tectonics module "What will Earth look like in 500 million years?" helps students build a systems view of plate tectonics through focused case studies and interactions with the Seismic Explorer (A data visualization tool) and Tectonic Explorer (a dynamic plate tectonics model). 
    Grade Level(s): Middle, High
    Keyword(s): Earth Science, Science, Curriculum
  • Proportions Playground

    Proportions Playground is designed to build understandings of proportional reasoning.
    Grade Level(s): High, Undergraduate, Graduate, Other
    Keyword(s): Mathematics
  • Research Quest

    Research Quest is a series of science investigations designed to improve students’ critical thinking skills. Registration and use is free! Parents can also sign up free for Research Quest Live, hosted by a live museum education facilitator (https://nhmu.utah.edu/rq-live).
    Grade Level(s): Middle, Other
    Keyword(s): Science
  • SageModeler

    The SageModeler systems modeling tool facilitates student exploration and understanding of phenomena through the development of their own computational models. Students can validate their models by comparing model output to real-world data sources or output from experimental simulations. The intuitive drag and drop interface for creating and linking system components does not require formal programming or equation writing, making it possible for a wide range of ages and abilities to engage in modeling, systems thinking, and computational thinking.
    Grade Level(s): Middle, High
    Keyword(s): Science
  • Seasons

    Seasons is a free and innovative 8-day unit that provides interactive videos, hands-on activities, lesson plans, and student worksheets to explore the causes behind Earth’s seasons.
    Grade Level(s): Middle
    Keyword(s): Earth Science, Science, Curriculum
  • Seismic Explorer

    Explore the pattern of earthquakes on Earth, including magnitude, depth, location, and frequency.
    Grade Level(s): Middle
    Keyword(s): Earth Science, Science
  • SmartGraphs: Algebra

    The Concord Consortium has developed 19 activities for teaching and learning algebra that are available online or as an app for iPad or Android tablet computers. These activities—which cover a variety of algebra topics, from linear equations to transformations of functions—help students develop skills creating and using algebraic functions and graphs to solve problems. Hints and scaffolds support learners who need help.
    Grade Level(s): Middle, High
    Keyword(s): Algebra, Curriculum, Cyberlearning, Educational Technology, Gaming/Virtual Environments
  • SOLID Start K-2 Curriculum Materials

    SOLID Start (Science Oral Language and Literacy Development from the Start of School) curricula are guided by a driving question and puzzling phenomena that engage young students and elicit their natural curiosities. The units are designed to support young students’ science learning and oral language and literacy development.
    Grade Level(s): Elementary
    Keyword(s): Science, Curriculum
  • Tectonic Explorer

    Use a fictional Earth-like planet to explore plate tectonics as a system of interacting plates.
    Grade Level(s): Middle
    Keyword(s): Earth Science, Science
  • TEEMS Curriculum

    Transforming Engineering Education for Middle Schools (TEEMS) is a free engineering curriculum for gr. 6-8 learners with units on the engineering design process and materials and tools that connect engineering to NGSS science topics of waves, matter and its interactions, body systems, Earth’s systems, Earth’s place in the universe, and evolution.  View the Website for Teachers | Website for Student Resources
    Grade Level(s): Middle
    Keyword(s): Engineering, Curriculum
  • ThingLink

    Way to promote multiple means of engagement around a topic.
    Grade Level(s): Pre-K, Elementary, Middle, High, Undergraduate, Graduate, Other
    Keyword(s): Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Science, Technology
  • Tip: Leveraging Your Networks

    If you are looking for online resources, many museums, universities, teacher networks, and educational organizations are curating lists. For example, the Exploratorium has created a Learning Toolbox featuring free materials addressing coronavirus science, as well as general science support for at-home learning.
    Grade Level(s): Pre-K, Elementary, Middle, High, Undergraduate, Graduate, Other
    Keyword(s): Science
  • Tips for Using Videos to Teach Math Remotely

    The Flipped Mathematics Study offers advice on how to use video to teach math remotely.
    Grade Level(s): Middle, High
    Keyword(s): Mathematics
  • Tools for Ambitious Science Teaching

    Choose from a series of videos that demonstrate ambitious teaching.
    Grade Level(s): Graduate, Other
    Keyword(s): Science
  • Understanding Ebola

    This is a free resource to educate the public about Ebola. The website includes an interactive model that allows teachers, students, and community members to actively explore the factors that influence a disease’s spread and mortality rate. Visit BSCS' collection of online resources
    Grade Level(s): High, Undergraduate, Graduate
    Keyword(s): Science
  • Visual Access to Mathematics Resources

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic school closures, the VAM project compiled example strategies, tasks, and apps for supporting students who are English learners (ELs) in mathematics, with information about how to adapt these examples to remote learning. Online workshops related to the resources and strategies were also offered for educators. 
    Grade Level(s): Middle
    Keyword(s): Mathematics
  • Voicethread

    Way to promote multiple means of engagement and express around a topic.
    Grade Level(s): Pre-K, Elementary, Middle, High, Undergraduate, Graduate, Other
    Keyword(s): Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics, Science, Technology
  • Wildfire Risks & Impacts

    The Wildfire Module asks students to consider the question, "How will wildfire risks and impacts change over the next 100 years?" This five-activity module helps students build an understanding of the variables that influence fire spread rate and intensity, the risks that wildfires bring to people and their communities, and the impact of climate change through focused case studies and interactions with the Wildfire Explorer model.
    Grade Level(s): Middle
    Keyword(s): Climate Change, Science
  • WISE: Web-based Inquiry Science Environment

    Free, standards-aligned, and research-based inquiry curricula that address NGSS 3D proficiency. Includes Interactive scientific models plus hands-on activities, personalized guidance, and rich embedded assessments. For teachers, WISE offers a a virtual workshop for customizing WISE units for distance learning.
    Grade Level(s): Middle, High
    Keyword(s): Biology, Earth Science, Engineering, Environmental Science, Science, Technology, Assessment, Curriculum