Just in time for back-to-school: New distance learning resources are available on Wide Open School.
The CK-12 site has a wealth of great content that teachers can use in the classroom. CK-12 is essentially a digital textbook. However, in addition to text, teachers and students will find multimedia such as videos and interactive simulations. You're likely to find material that directly corresponds to what you're teaching, and the diagrams and videos are very accessible. Teachers can assign content to students from the teacher dashboard, sent as a link, or through Google Classroom. As students dig into the material, teachers and students can monitor progress on quizzes and through the dashboard. Teachers can also assign adaptive practice activities, which increase in difficulty and complexity as students answer correctly. Teachers in the primary grades will probably find CK-12's resources better used in a group or whole-class format, as navigating and understanding many of the directions or problems would be very challenging for younger kids. And it's important to know that much of what CK-12 offers is reference material, and won't take the place of meaningful hands-on learning activities.
The real power of CK-12 comes from the teacher's ability to customize content for individuals or small groups. Teachers can set up "classes" that are actually groups of students or individuals and assign content that's more tailored to specific learning profiles. For example, the teacher can edit the text in a Flexbook 2.0 chapter, removing everything except for the essential information (and even add or rephrase text). This rewriting process is not as time-consuming as it may sound, as each chapter has a summary of the main points that the teacher can use. Likewise, teachers can modify or create custom quizzes for the content they've created. Next, the teacher can assign videos and interactives to these students that drive those concepts home. If what teachers want isn't available within CK-12's resources, they are free to upload their own for students to access. Overall, CK-12 enables teachers to create a far more individualized experience than an ordinary textbook or website.Continue reading Show less
With CK-12, teachers can invite students by email with a code, add students without email, or upload a roster. It's also possible to import from Google Classroom. Teachers can then explore subject area content of interest in mathematics, science, and social studies. The breadth of subtopics available in each of these areas is what educators might expect to find in a typical set of K-12 textbooks. Topics like astronomy, technology, photography, and health are also available.
Within each subject, you can click on a circle, each of which contains several Concepts (short, chapter-like lessons). For example, if you click on Matter and Change, you will be given a list of topics that includes homogeneous mixtures, chemical symbols, and reactants and products. Within these topics, you can choose from a series of modalities: Read, Practice, Video, Real World, and more. Content is available in nearly 100 languages. The text on CK-12 should work with most screen-reading software and web extensions. As students read, they can highlight text and make notes. Some problems have a virtual scratchpad available for students to solve problems on.
Teachers have access to reports, including what practice items students answered incorrectly on the first and second try, as well as what they answered. Teachers can use this assessment information to target just-right instruction to the class, groups, or individuals. Additional content includes PLIX interactives, which allow students to view or manipulate models to answer challenge questions. The engaging physics simulations are recommended for middle and high school students. CK-12 also has dedicated iOS, Android, and Chrome apps for practice.
Students can learn a variety of STEM and social studies subjects through CK-12, as well as study skills and SAT prep. Some subjects, such as anatomy, require straightforward memorization, while others, like life science, will encourage students to reflect on the world and how its pieces fit together. Material on the site is well organized and very accessible. Without teacher modifications, CK-12 will likely appeal most to students who are already fairly studious; it doesn't oversimplify ideas. Thankfully, for many subjects and chapters, CK-12 provides "other ways to learn," which can point teachers and their students to content that may be more accessible for individuals. While it does cover simpler subjects such as arithmetic, its presentation might be too advanced for students of the appropriate age and level to understand on their own.
CK-12 is committed to reaching students with all types of learning needs, and the inclusion of video, audio, quizzes, and other tools may open doors for those who are having trouble in the classroom. The site is essentially transforming a textbook into a multimedia experience. Information is broken down into very specific segments, with great attention to detail. For example, students can choose between lessons on jawless fish, cartilaginous fish, or bony fish; beneath each of these topics are at least four modalities. Some of the PLIX interactives, however, lack rigor and are best suited for practice once students have learned the concept. Because it covers so much ground and allows for lots of customization, it's a great resource for teachers and students alike.
Key Standards Supported
Expressions And Equations
Write and evaluate numerical expressions involving whole-number exponents.
Distinguish between defining attributes (e.g., triangles are closed and three-sided) versus non-defining attributes (e.g., color, orientation, overall size); build and draw shapes to possess defining attributes.
Draw points, lines, line segments, rays, angles (right, acute, obtuse), and perpendicular and parallel lines. Identify these in two-dimensional figures.
Measurement And Data
Estimate lengths using units of inches, feet, centimeters, and meters.
Number And Operations In Base Ten
Recognize that in a multi-digit number, a digit in one place represents 10 times as much as it represents in the place to its right and 1/10 of what it represents in the place to its left.
Number And Operations—Fractions
Add and subtract fractions with unlike denominators (including mixed numbers) by replacing given fractions with equivalent fractions in such a way as to produce an equivalent sum or difference of fractions with like denominators. For example, 2/3 + 5/4 = 8/12 + 15/12 = 23/12. (In general, a/b + c/d = (ad + bc)/bd.)
Operations And Algebraic Thinking
Solve addition and subtraction word problems, and add and subtract within 10, e.g., by using objects or drawings to represent the problem.
Statistics And Probability
Understand that statistics can be used to gain information about a population by examining a sample of the population; generalizations about a population from a sample are valid only if the sample is representative of that population. Understand that random sampling tends to produce representative samples and support valid inferences.
Key Standards Supported
Reading History/Social Studies
Identify key steps in a text’s description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).
Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.
Integrate quantitative or technical analysis (e.g., charts, research data) with qualitative analysis in print or digital text.
Evaluate various explanations for actions or events and determine which explanation best accords with textual evidence, acknowledging where the text leaves matters uncertain.
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.