We are compiling a list of some useful and entertaining digital resources for our older kids and teens (and adults!) We hope they will help with school curriculum, provide educational opportunities, and alleviate boredom during this time of extended isolation. We’ll be updating as time goes on, so check back for more STEM learning tools, help with databases for school assignments, craft ideas, language learning apps, free online courses and more!
Independent Learning Options
Free college-level classes and mini courses Learn to speak Spanish, take an art history class, or explore digital music production. Courses offered by universities and organizations including Stanford, IBM, Smithsonian, MoMA, Harvard, and Berkeley. Browse these catalogs for more:
Babbel Online language lessons offered free to students until June.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has made its online course catalog freely accessible to students this spring.
Code.org Learn to code – all ages, all experience levels.
Ancestry.com Explore your family’s history. In-home access available through the month of April with a library card.
Projects and crafts
Bob Ross: The Joy of Painting Tune in to this You Tube channel for painting tutorials by one of the greats.
Carnegie STEM Projects for girls Instructions for making marshmallow rockets, bath bombs, and much more.
Marin Makerspace Find all sorts of maker activities in this Facebook group hosted by Novato’s awesome Marin Makerspace.
Guitar Lessons with Fender Play Fender is offering 3 months of free online guitar lessons.
Instructibles An online community of makers sharing how-to’s for a multitude of crafts, recipes, shop projects, and circuitry.
George Eastman Museum How To Series on YouTube Learn how to create a pinhole camera, a thaumatrope, and more.
Online education resources
Marin County Free Library MCFL has dozens of research tools available online. Just enter your library card barcode and go!
CA Dept of Education The Califorrnia Department of Education has shared a collection of resources for at-home learning.
California State Library The California State Library has made available several resources at no cost to California students to help with research and coursework: Encyclopaedia Britannica, ProQuest and TeachingBooks.net.
Gale In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Gale, a library research tools vendor, is providing open access to its curriculum-aligned databases. To use, just enter your home library, zip code and state.
Kahoot A tool building fun quizzes and trivia games.
Khan Academy The kids all know this one already! Khan Academy’s resources are great for supplemental subject support and practice, as well as tutorials.
Quizlet An app that allows for creating and sharing digital flash cards.
Virtual Travels and Infotainment
Virtual College campus tours For those who have needed to cancel or postpone campus visits.
The Winchester Mystery House The iconic California mansion is offering a free virtual tour through April 7.
John Green Crash Courses Beloved teen author John Green has accumulated a catalog of fun and interesting videos covering diverse topics like philosophy, video games, world history.
Many thanks to our wonderful MCFL staff and community members for sharing info as they find it, and to the many other organizations that are also sharing resources and making lists, including:
The Scout Report
The California State Library
Ronnie’s Awesome List
School Library Journal