Amazing Educational Resources helps parents, distance learners and educators connect to online resourcesNov 09, 2020 15h30 ● By Drew Crawford
Distance learning has had its challenges. (Jeshoots.com/Unsplash)
By Drew Crawford | [email protected]
Daily life and the delivery of services has changed during Covid-19 and in almost no area is this truer than in public education. School districts are continually changing their plans on how to conduct classroom functions, leaving many parents uncertain about how well their children are retaining the instruction that they receive.
Nick Hoover, an elementary school instructional coach from Dallas, was concerned just like many teachers at the beginning of the lockdown about how students would adapt to distance learning.
Inspired by his career, Hoover had previously created a Facebook page in December of 2019 to share educational resources. At the time, Hoover was exploring ways to best help others to access a variety of tools that could be found in one place. When learning changed in March, he decided to help parents and educators by creating a Google sheet that listed a few companies that offered free educational resources.
The list of materials was met with overwhelming interest by the learning community, and according to Hoover, was shared an estimated 900,000 times over the next few months and received 10 million views.
“I was in education so I’m in a ton of education-based Facebook groups and I started to post it in as many Facebook groups as possible, and said ‘Hey, here’s some resources, if you know any more, email me, and I’ll add it to this Google Doc that we can all see, and it will keep growing.’ And it just completely exploded,” Hoover said, describing how he would get thousands of emails daily.
Hoover quickly moved to make his organization a 501(c)(3), to improve accessibility, and it has continued to expand rapidly. At the time of writing, the Facebook page that he originally created has 158,000 members that are able to collaborate and receive feedback on how to best help their loved ones as they learn.
“With everything going on, a lot of parents are now having to be the teachers, teachers are trying to figure out how to do distance learning, so it has become this really awesome community,” Hoover said.
Originally, the resources shared on the website were ones that users decided to share, but now they are primarily businesses that go to Hoover and ask to have their materials listed.
“I’m in contact with all of the companies, so the companies now reach out to me and say, ‘Hey, we’re offering something, or we want to be listed because we’ve heard about your website’ and they email me now,” Hoover said. “People can suggest resources, but the majority of them now come straight from the businesses. And the businesses can list on the website, it’s completely free for them to list on the website.”
So far, the most discussed topics and shared resources include how to help young children learn how to read, and how to set up a home learning environment that supports various learning styles.
If you are a parent or educator you can access the now over 1,600 paid and unpaid educational resources referenced in this article by visiting www.amazingeducationalresources.com. Visitors to the website can like or comment on the resources, recommending them to others. On the Facebook page, located by searching the same name, they can ask questions to the learning community and get instant feedback.
Hoover hopes that his nonprofit will permanently change how education resources are accessed. He now runs Amazing Educational Resources full time and plans to invest more in funding and marketing over the foreseeable future. All donations currently go to the cost of the website and web development.
“When I was an instructional coach, we just had to do all of the research on our own. There was like three or four that everybody knows about and always goes to, but through these last couple of months I’ve noticed that everything you could ever need is out there, it’s just trying to find it,” Hoover said. “Hopefully, by putting it all in one place it’s made teachers’ lives easier, instructional coaches’ lives easier and also parents.”