Teachers, parents, companies share online resources

Amazing Educational Resources aids teachers, students and families.  

It’s teachers helping teachers. Plus parents. And companies donating their products.

They have all come together to support Amazing Educational Resources, an online databank for teachers, students and their families.

“It started as a Facebook page I started in January,” said Nick Hoover, an instructional coach at Anne Frank Elementary School in the Dallas Independent School District. “Then I made a Google doc/website. And then it just sort of took off.”

As schools across the nation shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic, teachers needed access to online content to share with their students. Hoover’s Amazing Educational Resources became a wealth of data.

“I think that’s what made it take off, yes,” Hoover told Washington D.C. Business Daily. “Everyone was looking for resources.”

He said teachers are rallying together to support each other and serve their students. They also are trying to understand how they can provide quality information to students who are in their homes.

“We have no background in this,” said Hoover, 35, who has been teaching for 14 years.

The Facebook page has lively discussions on several issues. A woman asked how high school students could access audiobooks. Responses poured in as people offered ideas, links and websites where audio material was available.

Art teacher Mary Lanker offered to donate her services. “I’m a K-12 certified art educator; I’m offering my students and anyone else 30 days of art lessons," she said. "Feel free to share! ❤️ (navigation tip - top left corner of site has a drop down bar, five lessons are up right now) 

https://sites.google.com/dps61.net/misslanker/home. I’ve also curated a virtual gallery where anyone can share their work with us. https://padlet.com/mlanker/2c9w20nydwmj.”

Another teacher, Marc Seccia, fielded a question on how many hours a student should study at home.

“I'm an educator for over 20 years, and I personally think that these home-schooling sessions and requirements should be limited to four days a week maximum" he said. "Day five should be about non-academics, like reaching out to the elderly in the community, checking on their relatives, reconnecting with parents and guardians, rethinking social media dependency, writing thank yous and pick-me-ups to first responders, and definitely not about math and reading. 

“I know people would say ’What about the weekends?’ My answer would be to just walk away from it all and eat some ice cream.”

A mother, Katie Liberatore, asked for help. 

“My son is in 6th grade and having a lot of trouble with algebra (i.e. converting fractions to decimals; fraction equivalents; solving for missing values, etc.)," she wrote "Do you guys have any recommendations on 'interventions', practice, or websites that'll help him?”

There were 32 responses with tips, links and ideas to help the boy master algebra.

Hoover said the wealth of ideas, links and posts has been amazing. He said he adds items daily and was up to 90,000 as of Friday. People can access information on math, history, physical education, yoga and many other topics.

“All of the list has come from people sharing it with me,” Hoover said. “The teachers have really stepped up. The parents have stepped up. And the companies have really stepped up, too. And they are doing it for free, which is amazing.”

The free online services will likely end, Hoover said, but his Facebook page and website will continue. He is forming a nonprofit to manage Amazing Educational Resources and said he envisions it continuing for quite some time. Anyone who can offer him advice is encouraged to contact him through the Facebook page or the website.

His goal is to continue providing this resource as it is apparent it is both needed and wanted.

“Now we can all see the many resources out there,” Hoover said. “It’s nice to have them in one place.”

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