Coronavirus & Remote Learning

Updated: Free Arts Resources for Schools During the COVID-19 Outbreak

(Updated May 6) Education technology companies and organizations have stepped forward to help educators bring STEM and STEAM experiences to students in virtual ways during the COVID-19 closures. The following is a list of free resources in the arts. We have a separate listing for crafting and making. This will be updated regularly as announcements are made. (If you know of a company that should be included on this list, please send details to [email protected].)

The Academy of Art University is hosting a free series of online events, including guest experts in art and design speaking through Zoom, movie afternoons and nights, and virtual workshops on sketching and the use of various software programs.

Adobe is offering free access to Creative Cloud tools through May for home use by students attending schools that currently only provide lab access through May.

Adobe and Time Magazine have teamed up to provide a weekly art lesson online. The "Draw with Drew (and Rosie!)" sessions take place at 10 a.m. Pacific time on multiple websites. Drew Willis is the creative director of "Time for Kids" and a book illustrator; Rosie is his 10-year-old daughter; and both are "avid artists." Each episode includes a new drawing assignment, and participants vote on what they'd like the next assignment to be.

The Annenberg Space for Photography is offering educational resources to teachers, including 10 documentaries from previous photographic exhibitions that educators can use for free. The films run between 20 and 25 minutes and cover climate change, refugees, Cuban history, wildlife and hip-hop. Each film comes with discussion questions, and museum experts are volunteering to visit classrooms virtually for remote discussions.

BrainVentures, an initiative of the University of Michigan Center for Digital Curricula, is making daily learning adventures free. These are crafted by classroom teachers to give students choices of learning activities; they accommodate different learning preferences and engage the learner in constructing animations, videos, photo albums and stories while taking them on field trips and having them play games and run simulations.

Mazaam is making its classical music app for children ages four to six free until Jun. 30, 2020. The music is intended to promote the development of emotional, cognitive and psychomotor skills. The app is available in English and French. There are versions for iOS and Android.

Pantone is offering free access through July 2020 to Pantone Connect. The tool enables designers and artists to build and share color palettes, convert and cross-reference colors and match Pantone colors through Adobe Creative Cloud.

Pencils and Plums, a drawing site, is offering a free 125-page ebook titled, "2,500+ Drawing Ideas," with hundreds of printable drawing pages for elementary and older students.

The Seattle Symphony is livestreaming rebroadcasts of previous concerts, led by Music Director Thomas Dausgaard, as well as two "family-friendly" educational broadcasts: "Meet the Instrument" and "Tiny Clips for Tiny Tots." Those are available through Facebook and the Symphony's YouTube channel

Soundtrap for Education, an online recording and editing studio, is extending its free trial for any school that signs up to try it with students this semester. Using the program, teachers and students can create, communicate and collaborate with "creative sound-making" through audio stories, music creation, podcasting and literacy training. Free access is available to support distance learning initiatives for 120 days and up to 500 seats per school with a trial account. To set up a free school trial account, visit the company's website and select " Start as a Teacher."

Unity Technologies is providing free access to Unity Learn Premium, a 3D development platform, through Jun. 20, 2020. Registration provides access to live sessions with Unity experts and 350-plus hours of tutorials, hands-on projects, and courses for game developers, covering topics from "Game Mechanic Design Fundamentals" to "Getting Started with Post-Processing Stack for VR." Unity is also delivering virtual classes through "Create with Code Live," free for students, instructors and anyone else interested in learning to code; those sessions kick off on Mar. 23 at 9 a.m. Pacific time or 5 p.m. Pacific time.

WURRLYedu is offering 30 days of access to a web-based version of its teaching software and creation tools for students. According to the company, the program includes access to lessons on general music, modern band, vocal ensemble and jazz, along with non-music subjects; and a recording studio to let students and teachers adjust the key and speed of the track, select instruments, apply one-touch audio and video filters and perform remote duets. The students don't require access to musical instruments.

Find more resources for schools during the COVID-19 crisis here. Or return to the main list of free resources.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.