National Geographic Society offers free resources for parents
Last updated 4/24/2020 at 4:59pm
The National Geographic Society is offering free, easy to use resources for parents looking for ways to further their children's education throughout the life of the COVID-19 pandemic, the society announced recently.
From the Explorer Classroom featuring live broadcasts connecting young people virtually to National Geographic Explorers to Curated Collections and even a resource library, NatGeo hopes to further education in students from around the world, Vicki Phillips, chief education officer of The National Geographic Society, said.
"We have a very large resource library that has been built for educators, but when all of this started to happen and schools were closing so rapidly, we were hearing from educators and parents both how they didn't feel equipped with the right resources," Phillips said. "So we started curating collections on this page we developed called 'Learn at Home' that is easy to navigate but best of all has activities that are great to be done at home and can be used by both parents and teachers alike."
Activities focus on everything from backyard science to arts and music.
"We have collections for every single age and grade range of students and then we have some very cool things like citizen science they can do in their backyard," Phillips said. "We have some cool collections about what our explorers do."
Explorer classrooms are offering a live broadcast connecting students and parents with National Geographic Explorers who share information about their expeditions, adventures and findings in the field, Phillips said. The live classroom is offered at 11 a.m. each day.
"It's fantastic," Phillips said. "We used to do it periodically and we always got good reviews, but when schools closed so rapidly, we decided to create a daily format. We've had 135 of our explorers sign up to do this."
Explorer Classrooms are being offered in English, Spanish and closed captioned.
"We feel strongly about being able to expose teachers, students and families to our NatGeo scientists, resources and storytellers," Phillips said. "We've heard from teachers around the globe about how powerful it is for their students to feel connected."
Also available are curated collections consisting of learn-at-home activities for all ages to build their skills in science, social studies and more. Offerings include traditional classroom activities as well as courses on things like storytelling through photography, archeology and protecting endangered animals.
"If they go onto our website and pull up the learn at home section, there are sections by grades, and those are activities that we pulled out of our resource library and we have made sure they are things that can be done given the current circumstances," Phillips said, adding that NatGeo put them in one easy and accessible spot.
"Our resource library has about 5,000 items in it and we knew that could be tough to navigate as quickly as parents and teachers need it, so that is why we did these curated collections," she said.
Even with the curated collections, the resource library is still available for parents and educators and has free lessons, videos and articles across a range of subjects and grade levels.
"We have activities ideas and lessons for learners grades K-12," Phillips said.
Also available is the community and connection section of the website, where educators and parents can share resources, ideas, instructional tools and even encouragement with other educators.
"We've also partnered with our colleagues at Disney to do NatGeo At Home and at that site people can also get access to our collections as well as find an array of other things." Phillips said.
Visit https://news.disney.com/magicmoments for more on the partnership.
As far as helping parents looking to keep the little ones busy through school closures, Phillips said NatGeo is happy to help any way it can.
"Our explorers have really stepped up and are eager to help," she said. "Our goal is to support educators and families to the greatest degree we can and continuing to help children learn through this unchartered and unprecedented time."
For more information or to access the NatGeo resources, visit https://www.nationalgeographic.org/education.
Kim Harris can be reached by email at [email protected]