Four Free Ways San Antonians Can Improve Their Kids' Educations During the Pandemic School Shutdown

Twitter / TICalculators
If students were ever excited to get an extended spring break due to COVID-19 school shutdowns, by now they're probably anxious about falling behind.  Fortunately, companies are chipping in right and left to offer their services free of charge to both pupils and educators.

Amazon Future Engineer

This childhood to career program is designed to bring computer science learning resources to underprivileged and underrepresented communities. Now, until at least Fall 2020, it's giving free online access to 6-12 grade material, including computer science courses and EarSketch, a program that teaches students to code by remixing music from celebrity artists like Ciara and Common. There's even a virtual robotics class available through partner platform CoderZ for grades 2-12. More info is available at

Texas Instruments

Even if you've never had the privilege to hold a TI-84 graphing calculator, you might have see one in a textbook. This Dallas-based company is so ingrained into the educational hegemony that it's a enjoyed a virtual monopoly for more than two decades. But now and for the next six months, students who can't afford the $100 machines required for core math and science courses nationwide can download an emulated version to any PC or Mac. Specialized apps for iPad and Chromebook are free through April 30 and August 15 respectively. Find out more at

Fast ForWord Scientific Learning

Developed for kids with difficulty learning to read and developing reading skills, Fast ForWord's Reading Assistant Plus program guides students K-12 through reading skills with real-time feedback by listening to users read aloud. Software Licenses are free for schools, districts and teaching staff through June 30. The program is accessible at

JASON Learning

Inspired by the Greek myth of Jason and the Argonauts, JASON develops digital STEM curricula emphasizing real world problems and the researchers solving them. Learning resources include magazine-style digital texts written by researchers, videos and interactive games, as well as webinars for educators.
Any school district closed due to the effects of COVID-19 will have free access through the end of April. Get learning with a visit to

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