The OUTBREAK of COVID-19 has closed schools in most parts of the United States, affecting more than 55 million students who can only study from home,media outlet TechCrunch reported. This has led to an increase in the demand for family education resources. On Monday, National Geographic responded by launching a new online center, NatGeo@Home, that integrates all of National Geographic’s family-friendly educational content into a one-stop shop for parents and teachers.
This free digital resource combines national geographic education with the National Geographic Children’s Channel and other tools and services. This includes visiting the National Geographic Society’s “Study at Home” portal, where you can find educational content such as articles, courses, videos, and other online events.
The content on the site is targeted at Students in Grades K-12, categorized by Grade, and labeled “Read,” “Watch,” or “Play” depending on the article, video, or activity. In addition, the website provides lesson lessons, which parents and teachers can collect into their libraries after logging in.
The new site also includes Explorer Classroom, a live video lecture that will provide protectionists, scientists, filmmakers, explorers and other experts, and will air Sunday at 2 p.m. EST. The lecture will cover wildlife, ocean dialogue, photography, space exploration and more.
In addition to educational resources, the portal provides families with advice and information on how to learn online and talk to children about COVID-19. Some of its recent stories include how to take their children to work at home and provide new coronavirus 101 explainers to parents in need to help them better understand complex health crises in order to answer their children’s questions.
The portal will also be part of the hashtag “DisneyMagic Moments,” Disney’s new home site that brings together stories, videos and events from Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, Marvel and National Geographic.
“It’s hard enough to juggle a work life with a child’s school life. When the two worlds collide, like many families, it adds layers of challenge,” Rachel Buchholz, editor-in-chief and vice president of National Geographic,” said in a statement about the release. “That’s why our goal is for all ages to be educated, entertained and inspired to help them become the global stewards of the future,” she added.
Disney isn’t the only institution to launch a family education package in recent days. Common Sense, a children’s media nonprofit, just last week launched The Wide Open School, a comprehensive collection of resources for parents and teachers that includes age-appropriate educational activities and daily schedules. National Geographic is one of the partners in the campaign.
As one of The Wide Open School’s partners, Apple has also launched Apple Education Learning Series, a video series designed to help schools and educators take advantage of Apple devices for distance learning. In addition, Comcast has partnered with Common Sense to provide nearly 2,000 hours of educational programming to Xfinity users.
In NatGeo’s case, its educational content had been used by educators across the United States to supplement classroom learning before the coVID-19 outbreak, so it made sense for the organization to fill the gaps in the home school curriculum.
NatGeo@Home is currently available free of charge, but that may change when schools reopen in the future.