Free Online Educational Resources

Many free online educational resources are available to support student learning. This includes otherwise paid resources which have been available at no cost during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Below is a list of some notable resources:

  • Beanstalk: Educational materials focused on pre-school aged youth. Free to join during COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Britannica Digital Learning: Get free access to Britannica LaunchPacks, for social studies and science, being leveraged by schools across the world who are grappling with shutdowns, conducting virtual lessons, and working to minimize the impact on students, families, and staff.
  • Gale Resources to Support Libraries and Educators Impacted by COVID-19: A hub that includes free access to interdisciplinary, curriculum-aligned resources to support online learning from pre-K through undergraduate, as well as ways to optimize your existing resources.
    • RAILS librarians, teachers and staff can attend a Zoom open sessions by clicking on from 8:00 am – 9:00 am Monday – Friday. Our GALE Field Sales Consultant, Allison Farrar, will conduct a general “tour” of their “core databases” that are free right now to highlight key features and demonstrate how they can be used for daily instruction. There will be time for specific questions as well. If members would like to schedule another time, please contact Allison at
  • Mathspace: adaptive math program for grades 3-12 that gives students feedback at every step of their work. Also includes full etextbook aligned to state and common core standards and instructional videos and reporting tools. Any school that has closed during the COVID-19 pandemic is eligible for free access.
  • NASA STEM Engagement: A variety of STEM-related videos, homework help, and games from NASA.
  • PBS Learning Media: Curated collection of free, standards-aligned videos, interactives, lesson plans and more for Illinois teachers.
  • Scholastic Teachables: This resource for PreK – 6th Grade offers printable activities for any subject: math, science, reading comprehension, STEM, writing, and beyond. Download printable lesson plans, reading passages, games and puzzles, clip art, bulletin board ideas, teacher supports, and skills sheets. Over 25,000 teacher created, vetted printables to support your instruction.
    • User ID: schteachables46
    • Password: blue
  • ScienceBuddies: Science Buddies offers thousands of free resources for learning STEM, including a collection of 160+ fun, hands-on STEM activities and videos. Each of our K-12 activities covers a specific STEM concept, can be done in an hour or less, and can usually be done with materials easily found at home.
  • SpellingCity: Efficient game-based study of literacy skills using any word list. Currently free with code “VSCFree90”.
  • Tumblebooks: A collection of animated talking picture books, read-alongs, ebooks, quizzes, lesson plans, and educational games.
    • Public libraries across North America can email with subject line Free TumbleBooks in order to receive free links to all three TumbleBook databases so they can be shared and accessed by their patrons from their home
  • World Book: World Book databases are free through April 30, as well as online learning support for parents, teachers and caregivers. You will need to fill out an online form to access the databases. Wizard, an adaptive learning resource for math, science, social studies, and language arts, is included with the databases.

A comprehensive list of resources can also be found at This list was not created or vetted by RAILS, but is a compilation of resources curated by the educator community.