Teaching at a Distance: Online Resources for Educators

As the Bay Area shelters in place, educators of all kinds are finding creative solutions to remote learning. smcl.org offers a range of free online resources that can help teachers, tutors, and community volunteers connect with students outside of the classroom.

These websites and databases can guide you through book selection, discussion questions, digital pedagogy, and more. Whether you are looking for ready-made lesson plans or in-depth studies as you develop your personal approach to online learning, our resources are yours to explore.

Discover Engaging Books for All Readers

Find yourself adjusting your course calendar or looking to enrich your students’ newfound free time? We have tools to help you guide students of all ages through great literature.

Of course, the first step is picking the right book. The NoveList database allows you to search for books by age, plot, character, writing style, and more. For example, using the “appeal mixer tool,” you might search for a “fast-paced,” “banter-filled” novel featuring “courageous” characters. Or, maybe your students are in the mood for an “intricately plotted,” “thought-provoking” read. You and your students can mix and match to your hearts' content.

If you’re feeling less sure of the right literary mood, you can also simply browse by genre or peruse lists of award-winning novels. There are many routes to a great fictional fit.

For teachers with younger students, NoveList K-8 is perfect for limiting your search to age-appropriate selections. And don’t worry—curious readers of all ages can enjoy the appeal mixer tool!

Check out our tutorial, opens a new window if you need help using NoveList.

Spark Learning and Discussion

As you shape your digital classroom, you might be searching for great books and complementary instruction materials developed to support lasting learning.

The collection of databases on TeachingBooks.net provides just that to teachers of children’s or young adult literature. Thanks the California State Library, our patrons can get access to the following TeachingBooks databases:

Even as you instruct at a distance, the right teaching tools can keep students thinking critically and creatively. For example, asking a carefully crafted discussion question over a video conference or on a classroom forum invites students to take part and collaborate from their homes. And, the TeachingBooks tools can save you some time and stress as you adapt your teaching process.

Access Insight and Creative Approaches

So often, the foundations of great teaching are laid behind the scenes. In other words, to best support their students, teachers are always learning about learning.

If you’re wondering what other instructors and education experts have discovered about online classes, our research databases can light the way.

Academic Search Complete connects you with an extensive selection of academic journals. Simply search keywords like “remote teaching” or “online classroom” to find a variety of illuminating studies and research papers that can offer the insight you need to cultivate an effective digital learning environment.

If you wish to narrow your search, the Professional Development Collection database is specifically geared toward educators and education researchers. Here, you can find comprehensive guides to digital courses and online instruction. What could be better than tangible tips rooted in extensive research and pedagogical theory?

Whether you are teaching at a distance temporarily or starting a career in digital learning, we have tools for you.

Have you used an online resource to help with a lesson plan? Let us know how in the comments!