Resources for At-Home Learning

Alabama Library Media Online - March 2020

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About This Online Resource Guide

In response to Alabama K-12 public schools closures, this document hopes to provide resources, tools, and guidance for supporting at-home learning for students, promoting learning activities for families to engage in, and provide independent learning opportunities for students.

This resource guide provides a type of online library of resources gathered by crowdsourcing ideas and links to provide to teachers, families, and students to promote at-home learning during the time of social distancing in the wake of COVID-19.

Please take into consideration, students, teachers, and families should visit the websites of their school and public libraries for available resources that may be specific to the school, school system or community. Each school and public library will have varying resources, and therefore this document cannot be expected to be comprehensive, but at least a starting point for educators, students, and families.

Visit the Google Doc version of this guide for all updates made. This document should be considered a living document, meaning that it will be updated as needed and resources/information comes available.

Virtual Professional Learning - "Copyright, Reading Aloud Online, Resources & Support in Times of School Closure" Webinar

In light of school closures, I will be hosting a webinar on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 9:30 - 11:00 AM on the topic of "Copyright, Reading Aloud Online, Resources & Support in Times of School Closure". It would be hosted on WebEx in the same format (live and recorded) as First Friday sessions.

Please pass this webinar information to other educators and colleagues who may be interested. It is very timely and pertinent information as we continue to provide resources and reading materials to students at this time.

Enroll in the PowerSchool session by clicking here.


JOIN BY PHONE: 1-650-479-3208 Call-in number (US/Canada)

Access code: 925 502 730

Access more information about the webinar at the First Friday website:

#ALLibraries Resources Library for Promoting At-Home Learning Google Classroom

In an attempt to keep this document and the conversation going, you can join the #ALLibraries Resources Library for Promoting At-Home Learning using the following Google Classroom code: rxqkxiv

Library Resources & Reading Materials

Public Library Resources

Find Your Local Public Library HereAlabama Public Library Service - Public Library Listing

If families have public library cards, encourage them to check out the local library’s offerings for digital resources:

Some public libraries are allowing the online issuance of library cards in order for patrons to access digital resources and books. There is not a comprehensive list of public libraries offering this service, but it is highly encouraged to contact your local library to find out more information. Also, find your local public library on social media for more information.

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This is not an exhaustive list of digital book offerings, but these are either openly accessible or currently made available for open access by the company.

Access the Google Doc for detailed information, access codes, and direct links for each listed below.

At Home Learning Resources (Multi Grade Levels & Content Areas)

This is not an exhaustive list of resources to promote to families to help students continue the learning at home.

  • Alabama Virtual Library (AVL) - High-quality resources including databases, videos, articles that provided levelized content. Access all information through the AVL website without a log-in. (Click here if you are having difficulty accessing AVL. School Librarians, Public Librarians, and the AVL HelpDesk will be able to assist issuing AVL library access cards.)

    • PebbleGo - K-3 Animals and Science modules great for research and discovery (Capstone/PebbleGo is making more modules available at this time.)

    • Gale - K-5, Middle and High School leveled databases and articles

    • InfoBits - Great K-5 database for content

    • Pronunciator - Learn a Foreign Language in this online platform, discussion coaching, cultural connections and much more

    • Magazines and other reading material available as well!

  • K-12 Standards-Based & Grade-Aligned Instructional Resources - The ALSDE office of Student Learning has developed an optional “Distance Learning Resource” platform to assist LEAs with planning efforts to provide instructional opportunities for grades K-12 by grade-band and by subject.

    • General Information

    • Parent Communication Resources

    • Standards-Based Instructional Materials

    • Alabama-Aligned Instructional Resources

  • Khan Academy - Build a deep, rock-solid understanding in math, grammar, science, history, SAT®, AP®, and more.

  • iXL - Find content to support nearly any lesson, with more than 8,000 skills, cover five-subjects

  • Scholastic Learn at Home (K-9) Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing.

  • NASA STEM @ Home for Students (K-4) Resources for keeping students engaged at home with photos, projects, problems, and other fun activities from NASA.

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Read Alouds - Currently Online or Streamed

We Are Teachers: The Big List of Children’s Authors Doing Online Read Alouds & Activities Link Thank you to We Are Teachers, an online media brand for educators committed to one of the toughest, most rewarding jobs out there, we have a fairly comprehensive list of children’s authors providing read alouds streamed live or recorded.

Storyline Online is a great resource for promoting read alouds to families learning at home. Celebrities are reading children’s titles some with animations and sound effects.

Educator’s Guide to Reading Aloud Online

The purpose of this portion of the document is to provide copyright guidance when reading aloud online to students in a streaming or recorded format. It is important to respect copyright laws pertaining to educational use even in an unprecedented time of school closures due to COVID-19 or at any time.

This article, published by School Library Journal in April 2019 by ALA Director of Policy & Advocacy, Carrie Russell, “Tackling Copyright Concerns When Taking Storytime Online” that sums up a logical breakdown of fair use in regard to online storytime:

“In the online environment, copyright law does not say that user and library rights also apply to the digital environment. The copyright law was written in a different time, but Congress was prescient when including fair use which is technology-neutral. It allows us to assess a concern when we are just not sure, even in the digital environment. What we do know is that storytime online or in person is a “public performance,” an exclusive right of the copyright holder. The common fear in the digital environment is that the possibilities of infringement and market replacement are compounded.”

Copyright Guidelines for Educational Use & Online Distribution

School Library Journal has created and is maintaining a website dedicated to publisher information relating to copyright and fair use of reading books online in a streaming or recorded format to students during the time of school closures due to COVID-19. It is important to read through each publisher’s copyright guidelines as these are not the same publisher to publisher.

Kate Messner, author, is tracking publisher permissions for her titles on her website on a post entitled, “Publisher Guidelines on Fair Use for Online Storytimes and Read Alouds During COVID-19 School Closures.”

Copyright Best Practices During the Time of School Closures

Above all else: Be respectful of these guidelines and follow them.

  1. Adhere to individual publisher’s guidelines for posting copyrighted material. Contact publishers and/or authors to ask permission prior to recording the work and posting online. (Consult School Library Journal’s website on publisher guidelines for copyrighted material.)

  2. Children’s picture books can typically be read in their entirety while longer works of fiction should only be read as excerpts.

  3. Only share the recordings in a group that is closed. Meaning in a learning management system or platform only accessible by teachers or students in the school or district, closed social media group, unlisted link sent via email only to school members (teachers, students, or families). The purpose of this so that it is not shared publicly and widely would violate the fair use of copyrighted materials for educational purposes.

Copyright & Fair Use Information

Source: Stanford University Libraries, Copyright & Fair Use

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Recording a Read Aloud: Creation Tools

This section is to provide school librarians and educators with technology tools to record online read alouds and some to help with distribution of the recordings or streaming video as well. This is not an exhaustive list, but it consists of technology tools with a lower learning curve.

On a Mac:

QuickTime Video

  • Easily create a video using the built in camera and microphone.

On a Chomebook:

Use the build in camera on the Chromebook to easily record and send your video to Google Drive for storage and distribution.

Cristin M. Dillard, Education Specialist for Library Media

Cristin M. Dillard is currently the Education Specialist for Library Media for the Alabama State Department of Education.