Online Environmental Education Resources for Educators

March 31, 2020 by Olivia Wisner
Man sitting in front of a laptop

Below is a running list of resources that may be useful to Educators during school closures. If you know of additional resources that should be featured email info@baybackpack.com

Professional Development
-MWEE 101: This course introduces the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience through engaging modules, videos, and discussion questions. There is CPD/ CEU/ Act 48 credit associated with this course.
-MWEE 201: This course builds off the content from MWEE 101 and provides more in depth instruction on how to plan your own MWEE or update a current MWEE. Special emphasis is placed on planning and conducting outdoor investigations and incorporating student voice and choice throughout the MWEE program.

Resources about Outdoor Learning and COVID-19
-National COVID-19 Outdoor Learning Initiative: Repurposing outdoor spaces is a cost-effective way to reduce the burden on indoor classrooms while providing fresh air, hands-on learning opportunities, and the health benefits associated with increased access to nature. Find case studies, recommendations for classroom infrastructure and webinars for educators.
-Guide to Advocating for Outdoor Classrooms in Coronavirus-Era School Reopening: This guide, produced in partnership by the North American Association for Environmental Educators (NAAEE) and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) will help you learn more about how to advocate, why outdoor spaces are so beneficial, and what to consider when planning and designing and outdoor classroom.

Planning Resources Are you interested in using your time at home to get ahead on planning? Explore these classroom resources for ideas.
-Bay Backpack Teaching Resources: Check out all of the over 650 Teaching Resources featured on Bay Backpack. You can filter by grade, subject, keywords and more.
-National Estuarine Research Reserve Estuary Curriculum and Classroom Activities: Bring estuarine science into the classroom through hands-on learning, experiments, fieldwork, and data explorations.
-Eco-Schools USA Resource Library: Library of curriculum, activities, and leadership opportunities engage students in education for sustainable development.
-50 Distance Learning Icebreakers: A list of 50 icebreakers and games to keep students engaged and motivated during remote learning! Perfect for back to school, these activities also develop important 21st-century skills like communication, creativity, and collaboration. The list is divided into three parts: relationship-building icebreakers, fun games, and top tools for distance learning.

Distance Learning Lessons
-FieldScope Do at Home Inquiry Activities with Data: BSCS Science Learning has responded to the current situation by transforming a new set of citizen science lessons designed for classrooms into student-directed versions that can be done independently from home.
-NEEF Environmental Education at Home: list of resources includes selected NEEF toolkits and activity guides that require minimal outdoor time.
-Science Inquiry at Home: These exploration suggestions are designed to explore science content at home in the event of full or partial school closures. Each suggestion starts with a question to answer. Included here are suggested materials and activities to help answer each question and suggestions on ways to communicate the findings. Kindergarten. First Grade. Second Grade. Third Grade.
-Cacapon Institute’s Potomac Highlands Watershed School (K-12):  The eSchool is a place where students learn about watershed issues, with Flash activities and a variety of other educational resources.  Teachers find support with lesson plans and ties to curriculum standards.  Just click on any door and make yourself at “home.”

Online Platforms
-Edmodo: An online teaching platform that allows educators to share content and stay in touch with students and parents.
-Flipgrid: Engage your students through short video responses to prompts you create.

General ELL/ ESL Resources Not all of these resources are centered around Environmental Education.
-PBS Learning Media: Documents, interactive resources, and videos in Spanish.

Other Lists While not all within the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, we hope these other lists can also help you.
-NAAEE Online Learning Tools and Resources: This site includes a list of resources designed to keep learners of all ages interested and engaged during the crisis, from hands-on activities and lesson plans to websites, virtual tours, and more.
-Alliance for NJ Environmental Education: Remote hub of lessons and activities broken down by grade level.
-MI Deparment of Natural Resources: Natural and Historical Education Resources for Home.
-NC Environmental Education: Click on the blue bar at the top of the page to visit a searchable database of online teaching resources and online professional development options for educators. Select “COVID-19 Education Support” under “Resource Type.”
-Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Educators: Teaching Environmental Education at Home.
-MAEOE Home-Based Environmental Education Resources: Discover a wealth of online data sources, community/citizen science platforms, multimedia, curriculum guides, and individual lesson plans.

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