GCF Teacher Guides: Additional Resources

Lesson 6: Additional Resources


Additional resources

Here are links and descriptions for supplementary websites/resources geared toward educators and self-directed learners. Many of them are free or have free versions, but some require a subscription. Always be sure to do your research when exploring new platforms!

Adult basic education

  • TV411: This website offers engaging videos on reading and writing and sections on basic finance, science, and math. All topics have online lessons students can complete, as well as downloadable worksheets.
  • Hopelink Adult Education: This is a collection of lesson ideas specifically for adult educators in reading, writing, math and financial literacy, the GED, and workplace skills. There are also special lesson ideas for working with ESL and learning-disabled students.

Literacy and ESL

  • ReadWorks: This website offers free reading passages and reading comprehension exercises. The curriculum is aligned with Common Core State Standards and the standards of all 50 states.
  • Chomp Chomp: This website features interactive grammar exercises and printable worksheets.
  • ProLiteracy Education Network: This website offers vocabulary and reading comprehension interactives for intermediate adult readers and educators.
  • USA Learns: This site offers videos, apps, and other tools for adults to improve English speaking, pronunciation, listening, reading, spelling, writing, and grammar.
  • English in Levels: This site is designed to help ESL students learn faster and better. It lets students practice only words and grammar they need at their level of English. There are four levels to choose from.

Everyday life and professional skills

  • Hands on Banking: This website features a set of lessons for adults on using banks and making financial decisions.
  • Skillshare: This platform offers a free trial before purchasing a monthly or yearly subscription. Skillshare has tens of thousands of courses on topics like business, technology, and writing. Each course consist of video lessons and comes with its own class project.
  • Grow with Google: This platform offers little- to no-cost options, including resources to help you grow your small business and tools to help you find a job. They offer career certificates in fields like IT and marketing.

Digital literacy topics

  • Digital Learn: This Public Library Association website serves as an online hub for digital literacy support and training. It also provides an online community for librarians to discuss digital literacy issues and resources.
  • Learn My Way: This U.K.-based organization offers free tutorials in technology, reading, math, and everyday life.
  • My Web, My Way: This website shows people with disabilities how to customize their computer interfaces so they’re easier to use.
  • OnGuardOnline: This government website teaches users how to be safe, secure, and responsible online.
  • EveryoneOn.org: This is a nonprofit organization that's working to eliminate the digital divide by making affordable Internet, low-cost computers, and free digital literacy courses available to all unconnected U.S. residents.
  • Northstar Digital Literacy Project: This website offers a computer basics program where learners can earn a certificate through successful completion of the assessment at a sponsored site. It was originally only available in Minnesota, but more and more sites are being added across the country.

Advanced technology topics

  • Codeacademy: On this site, users can learn to code interactively for free. Educators’ resources are also available, including teacher training, lesson plans, and the ability to track student performance.
  • Learn X in Y Minutes: This site is a whirlwind community-driven tour of the most common computer programming languages.
  • W3Schools: This website allows users to educate themselves on everything from HTML and CSS to JavaScript and SQL in web development. Learners can study for free at their own pace; the site also offers a certificate for a fee.
  • NETTUS/PSDTUTS: These sister sites offer free tutorials in design and illustration, code, web design, 3D and motion graphics, photography, and music and audio. There are also full courses offered, but most are not free.
  • PCWorld How-To Site: This website publishes technology-focused tutorials, articles, and videos on electronic gadgets, hardware, and software applications.
  • OSXDaily: This site is a chronicle of important Apple-related news, helpful information, tips, tricks, and reviews.
  • Lynda: This website is a leading provider of online tutorials in development, design, the Internet, and video. Note that it is NOT FREE, but many libraries have a group membership and can provide access to patrons.
  • HTML5 Rocks: This website features a series of free creative commons tutorials using Apache and covers everything related to HTML5.

College-type experiences

  • Coursera: This is a massive open online course (MOOC) that offers more than 1,000 online courses from more than 120 partners. It also allows learners to audit courses and receive an unverified certificate for free or a verified certificate for a fee.
  • edX: This is a MOOC that offers more than 200 online classes from almost 50 partner universities. It offers the ability to audit a course, and learners receive a free honor code certificate or a verified certificate for a fee.
  • Saylor Academy: This website is not a MOOC but offers more than 90 courses and areas of study that are set up to mirror what learners would find at a traditional university. It offers free certificates as well.
  • University of the People: This tuition-free, accredited online university offers access to undergraduate degree programs. Students pay a small fee to apply and process exams, but scholarships are available to offset these fees. This is not a MOOC, but it does offer student support services like advising.
  • MIT OpenCourseware: This website offers the ability to audit more than 2,200 MIT courses. There are no certificates available, but no registration is required.
  • Open Education Consortium: This worldwide community of hundreds of (mostly international) higher education institutions offers thousands of college courses for free.
  • Academic Earth: This website curates a collection of more than 750 online courses from colleges in the United States and around the world.
  • Open Education Database: This website offers more than 10,000 online courses from universities and other educational organizations; it includes both free and for-credit learning options.
  • iVersity: This MOOC (and the European platform for online learning) enables universities to share a broad range of courses with students around the world, allowing students to earn recognized credentials. Students can take free online courses from professors on everything from public speaking and architecture to business and international relations.

Language learning

  • Duolingo: This website helps users learn Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, French, German, Dutch, and Irish for free. It uses gamification with a focus on mobile learning.
  • Mango Languages: This website allows users to learn more than 50 languages, including English, which is taught in 15 languages. Note that it is NOT FREE, but public libraries often offer access via library membership.
  • Verbling: This website matches learners with people speaking the language they are trying to learn. Half of the conversation involves speaking a learner’s native language, while the other half is spent speaking another language.
  • WordReference: This website features English definitions for words in 15 languages, including Spanish, French, Arabic, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, and Chinese.
  • LearnThatWord: On this website, users can practice spelling, learn English, or study vocabulary for tests like the SAT, GRE, and TOEFL.
  • Purdue Online Writing Lab: This website offers more than 200 free resources, including writing and teaching writing, research, grammar and mechanics, style guides, ESL, and job search and professional writing.

General education

  • Memrise: This website uses game-based and visual content to help users boost skills in vocabulary, languages, history, and science.
  • Open Culture: This website offers free cultural and educational media, including audiobooks, online courses, certificate courses/MOOCs, movies, e-books, K-12 resources, and language lessons.
  • iTunes U:Through this app, learners can take courses through colleges, view free lectures, and browse collections from educational and cultural institutions like Oxford, Museum of Modern Art, and the New York Public Library.
  • LearnerWeb: This website’s content is developed specifically for learners’ needs, but the site itself is geared more toward organizations to use it as a resource rather than for individual learners. Content includes GED preparation, digital literacy, ESL, workforce development, and college success and advising.
  • CSMlearn: This website features an adaptive learning system that personalizes instruction by guiding each student on a unique path through customized lessons. Topics include math, literacy, problem-solving skills, active learning, and academic habits like persistence, confidence, and self-efficacy. Students earn a CSM certificate upon completion of the program. While most of it is free, the certificate and a CSM-provided coach are not.
  • BBC Skillswise: This website focuses on English, math, and job skills for adults, with real-life applications for these skills in everyday life.
  • Shodor: This website focuses primarily on higher-level math and science activities, as well as activities for arithmetic, telling time, and other basic math topics. There's also a mobile app available.

Educational videos

  • Khan Academy: This website offer free online education using an extensive library of content, including interactives, assessments, and videos. The focus is on math, science, finance, arts and humanities, and computing. It is primarily designed for teachers and parents helping their children.
  • YouTube: This website is an excellent educational resource, with millions of channels that focus on science, education, cooking, and DIY (do it yourself) topics. A particularly fun one for learning new things in-depth is CrashCourse.
  • TED: This website features informational videos on a variety of topics from some of the greatest thinkers in the world.
  • Ignite: This website features videos from a series of speaking events in more than 100 cities designed to have each person share something innovative or inspiring in just five minutes.
  • MasterClass: By purchasing an annual membership, MasterClass gives you access to all of its video courses in which you “learn from the masters.” Basically you learn from famous actors, writers, musicians, photographers, etc. about their craft.

Free books

  • Project Gutenberg: This website gives users access to more than 60,000 free e-books, all in the public domain.
  • Bartleby: This is a large collection of reference works, poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.
  • The Free Library: This is the go-to place for access to newspapers, magazines, journal articles, and classic books.