Virtual Classroom Resources and Best Museums to Visit Virtually
News on February 24 2020
Virtual classroom resources
As teachers, we often feel as though we do not have enough resources to do our jobs. We spend whole chunks of time grading as quickly as we can, look for materials to supplement our curriculums, or even literal minutes finding pencils, binders, and paper for our students. We can feel overwhelmed and like we do not have any resources (emotional or academic) at our disposal. An important thing to remember? Many organizations out there are always looking to partner with, invite in, or create classroom resources. Here are a few of my favorites.
Google Arts and Culture
This resource is a truly fantastic place to start if you are looking for access to some of the most important cultural touchstones that are difficult to see without traveling the globe. While there is amazing art and artifacts in many museums around the world, Google has partnered with a variety of museums and institutions to photograph and video some of the most famous works to make them more accessible for everyone. It is a wonderful classroom resource for exposing students to history!
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Met, on its 150th anniversary, boasts that you can “experience 5,000 years of art” within its walls. While that is certainly true, it is a little known fact that the Met has captured its illustrious collection on film for everyone to view online via their portal, “The Met Collection.” Additionally, the museum has great online features for teachers, workshops for educators in person and online, and an awesome interactive timeline of art history which allows students to contextualize what they learn about on the Met website.
New York Hall of Science
Just like the museum it represents, the New York Hall of Science website is by no means boring. The Hall of Science website has as many interactive features online as it does in person — some favorites include “The PACK,” a STEM-based video game, and the digital comic book Transmission. Additionally, they host a number of great classroom resources like Google Science Journal Curriculum, which will reinforce science skills for your students.
NASA Explorer (app for iPad only)
Any little aspiring astrophysicist worth their salt will lose their minds when they see the NASA Explorer app. With this app, students can explore all-new missions and many past missions in space for logs, photographs, possible video, and charts. It’s a great primary source reader for the science classroom — and it allows students to explore their curiosities in a closed app solution.
California Academy for Sciences
Looking for virtual labs, ideas for citizen science, interactive lessons, and 24/7 animal webcams? Look no further than Cal Academy! They have great virtual resources for the biology-inclined student, and you can even use the webcam resources for species observations — all without taking home mealworms or goldfish.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture
As a groundbreaking and incredibly important museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture is unlike any other collection in the world and deserves a world stage for its importance in American history. The museum hosts a robust digital collection of their art, works, and artifacts from throughout African American history. Their archives will allow students and teachers to see items and art they would likely not see otherwise, and with important contextual notes to provide understanding for students.
Smithsonian Learning Lab
Learning Lab is a classroom resource like no other. The Smithsonian set up the site so that educators not only have access to so many important museum resources, lessons, and artifacts, but also so that educators can interact with each other through that process. Unlike all the other museums above, educators can upload and save content in their own little libraries to better access it, keep track of it, and share it with their fellow educators. Educators can adapt, create, or even customize the resources or lessons. This is truly great for teachers.