A new way to learn from home
Wide Open School began as a way to meet the change in learning needs of students, teachers, and families due to the coronavirus pandemic. Our work represents the collective action of more than 75 content partners and supporters.
The pandemic has highlighted the invaluable role that teachers play in students' lives. It has also made the connection between schools and families more essential than ever. We've continued to improve the site so parents, caregivers, and teachers can find the advice and support they seek about distance and hybrid learning and so students in preschool through grade 12 can easily find engaging learning activities.
Where quiet study hall meets PE, art class, and a buzzing science fair
All of the resources on Wide Open School have been curated by the editors at Common Sense in what will be a challenging school year, to say the least. Every day students can access free, high-quality activities across subjects, all in one place, in an easy-to-use experience designed and built by Amplify.
Wide Open School can only fulfill its mission if all kids and families can access it. We know that millions of kids are without home broadband internet access and devices, leaving them without access to critical learning and support services.
Our partners and supporters are stepping up to create access for all by offering free and low-cost broadband and devices, as well as free content and services that can be completed offline or on smartphones. As homes double as classrooms and after-school programs, we know we need to find new and better ways to keep all families and educators connected and supported. That's why we've included more tools for social-emotional learning and digital citizenship, plus resources on racial justice and equity and for kids with learning and thinking differences, English-language learners, and Spanish-speaking families.
A note on privacy
Protecting kids' privacy while they learn and explore online is core to our mission. We have screened sites to only include those that meet or exceed our basic requirements for security and privacy. It is up to individual discretion to review the privacy policies and information-collection practices of any external websites and apps before using them with children.
We welcome your suggestions and contributions, and we're here to support you and your kids during these challenging times—and whatever comes next.
—The team at Wide Open School
We gratefully acknowledge and are thankful to the generous supporters who have helped make Wide Open School possible.
The digital divide is creating a learning gap
The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the digital divide's toll. Right now, up to 16 million students in the U.S. don't have access to the technology they need to participate in distance learning. Lack of access to the internet and devices during school closures puts students at risk of significant learning loss. Communities of color and rural communities are disproportionately affected, and it's not just students—up to 400,000 teachers are without adequate internet access for teaching remotely.
Advocating to connect all students
Internet access is essential for each and every student and young learner today. Wide Open School and our partners are committed to closing the digital divide for good, starting with a national campaign to Connect All Students. Wide Open School will continue to work to ensure that students, their families, and their teachers can access technology where they live and learn.
Get free or low-cost internet today
If you or anyone you know is struggling to get set up for distance learning or unable to access low-cost internet or devices, there are resources to help. You can find a list of providers and more useful info in the Family & Teacher Center. Learn how families qualify, what kinds of discounts are available, and more.