The COVID- 19 outbreak has many families wondering how they will keep their teens engaged and learning from home for weeks, or perhaps months, at a time. Here is a list of free digital tools and resources to help parents and teachers keep teens focused on positive activities while at home.

 

Learn to code

Khan Academy offers free online courses on a variety of subjects, including coding. The website provides them with a certificate of completion for every hour completed, which is a feedback mechanism that can keep students motivated. 

Girls Who Code also has online resources. Their activities cater to beginner and intermediate level students and include screen-free creative exercises that can build problem-solving skills.

Reflection: Ask students what they liked or disliked about their coding activity, what they would change, and how they think coding could be valuable to them now or in the future.

 

Tour a Museum Online

A number of museums offer free online tours, and many are hosted through Google Arts & Culture, including The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), The Museum of African American History and Culture, The British Museum, the National Gallery of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Belvedere in Vienna, and more. Visitors can view famous works of art, learn historical facts, and gain insights about the techniques used to create each piece.

For students interested in science, NASA offers virtual tours of its facilities, including the Glenn Research Center, the Hubble Space Telescope operations center, and the International Space Station.

Reflection: Ask students what their favorite piece or part of the tour was, why it was their favorite, and what they learned overall from participating in the tour.

 

Learn a New Language Online

Duolingo is a free, fun, and evidence-based way for kids of all ages to learn over 30 languages. The engaging tool guides students at any level through learning modules that are self-paced and easy to understand.

Reflection: Ask students why they chose their language, how that language will help them now and in the future, and what they learned in their lesson.

 

Seek a Digital Volunteer Role

Many nonprofit organizations rely on volunteer support for social media management, email marketing, and more. VolunteerMatch.org and Points of Light are great places to search for virtual volunteering opportunities.

Reflection: Ask students why they are volunteering for the cause they have chosen to support, how they think their service impacted the organization, and how it made them feel.

 

 

About Ascend

Ascend is a student empowerment platform that enables schools and mentoring organizations to cultivate, track, and measure student goals and achievement. Ascend is proud to be a minority and woman-owned business and supports organizations in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Texas, and beyond.