Sermon 2020-04-26

By request of Roy and some other parents Today will be about online resources for homeschooling your children.

While I have taken a certain amount of joy in not having to deal with ornery children during this pandemic (ornery adults on the other hand …) and Online Education is a core tenant of the neo-Buddhist belief system. We are also looking for volunteers who would like to produce a live online course for sundays as a test, then possibly moving to weekdays if successful. Please email [email protected] where thiswebsite is, if you would like to volunteer to be trained to operate a custom moodle installation to deliver courses.

We are also aware of the digital divide that disproportionately effects the most vulnerable.

We will be including and updating a list of libraries which offer laptops or other electronic devices to be lent out. For other people in more remote locations, we will be starting a donation drive here to purchase a large number of Rasperry Pi computers, which can be used even in remote locations, and using surplus electronics like old computer monitors, have a fully functional linux computer, while also including some for the best tech support around, generously provided by HighSec Inc. to ensure smooth operation even in remote locations and in languages other than English. (non-english preference are required to submit requests via email or ticketing system, video calls are supported but voice support in other languages is not) Inquiries on participating in any of these projects can be directed to the online form here:

I know most of the parents are going to gripe that this list is primarily aimed at highschool or college level, instead of grade school for smaller children. Just scroll top the bottom. That is simply because most people do not chose that as their primary demographic. If you would like to get involved in producing such educational materials and then having them published here, please contact us here.

Educational Resources

Coursera is a website that partners with universities and organizations around the world. This brings a wide variety of topics and perspectives to one searchable database.

Partnering with many post secondary schools, Khan Academy offers a useable, well organized interface. Also curating many courses from around the web, Khan Academy offers impressive depth on many different subjects.

If you are struggling to find exactly the material you are looking for, try Open Culture’s listing of free online education courses. The page highlights 1000 lectures, videos and podcasts from universities around the world. The site features a lot of material found only on universities private sites, all in easy to browse categories. This means you can find hundreds of university courses, without having to visit and search each university’s own site.

Udemy’s free courses are similar in concept to Coursera’s but additionally allows users to build custom courses from lessons.

Another site with courses from many different schools is Academic Earth. Much like the three sites above, Academic Earth brings together top notch courses from many different sources, and focuses on offering a wide variety of subjects.

Another great option for free online education is edX. Also bringing together courses from many different schools, the site has impressive, quality information for everyone. edX covers a great range of topics.

Unlike the previous sites on this lists, Alison is a free education site offering certification in some areas. Alison offers courses mainly in business, technology, and health, but also includes language learning courses.

A very convenient place for free online education is iTunesU, because it integrates seamlessly with your iPod, or any app-ready Apple mobile device. On iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, users download the iTunesU app.

Your hub for all the online offerings from Stanford University, Stanford Online offers self-paced and session based courses. While Coursera features some courses from Stanford, many classes are only

available via other hosts. Some courses require iTunes, but most are completed in your web browser.

Like Stanford Online, Harvard Extension features free online education courses from Harvard only. This is another excellent source for top notch course material, though the course variety is less rich than multi-school sites.

Open Yale Courses echoes Harvard Extension and Stanford Online, in that it offers only courses from Yale. While the site is similarly limited to topics taught at the school, Open Yale Courses offers a lot of videos of actual campus lectures. The availability of videos makes the site a great option if you’re looking for quality courses, but learn better by watching than by reading.

Much like the other schools on this list, UC Berkeley has a variety of free online education options. The school has slightly fewer courses than the schools above, but includes some supplementary lectures, webcasts and RSS Feeds, making it easy to keep up with the topics you choose.

Similarly, MIT offers a variety of free courses. The school has a comparable number of courses to the schools above, plus includes very in-depth course materials on the subjects available. MIT also offers free RSS feeds, a convenient way to continue learning.

Carnegie Mellon’s free online education site is comparable with the other school’s on this list, however, Open Learning Initiative also covers a smaller range of topics. But for the topics that are covered impressive, in-depth material is available.

Software Development specific sites:

Codecademy is a website dedicated specifically to teaching coding. Where other coding sites follow an example/practice session workflow, Codecademy includes a live practice window. This means you can practice coding while still viewing the lesson material.

Code is another website focused on coding and app writing. A site with high quality courses, Code also features learning options for kids.


The podcast page on the University of London website is another great source for free education. While the courses are limited to podcasts, the site features podcasts from it’s own campus, as well as eleven universities in and around London. This gives learners a wide base of topics and lectures, but still ensures in-depth material.

Similar to the University of London, the University of Oxford features many different podcasts. Most are public lecture series or lectures from visiting professors, with several different recordings available.

Another great destination for more general learning is TED-Ed. From the same people that brought you the all encompassing, motivational web series, comes a site chocked full of educational videos. Most include impressive animation, and all are ten minutes long or less.

LessonPaths is another great tool for those looking for a more usable and convenient way to access learning material. On this site, users create link playlists of their favorite learning materials from other sites. Users then rank these collections, making it easy to find many different high quality, accessible sources on a given topic.

Another impressive free online education site offering ease of use and convenience is Memrise. Available both on desktop and as an app, Memrise is a particularly powerful tool if you are studying a language. The site encompasses many other topics as well, though some of the course material is user generated content.

– Your daycare in a box –

The kids site for National Geographic is another site that makes free online education applicable for younger users. For those looking for kid friendly education, a large variety of games, puzzles, videos and photos keeps kids interested on this site.

The kids site for National Geographic is another site that makes free online education applicable for younger users. For those looking for kid friendly education, a large variety of games, puzzles, videos and photos keeps kids interested on this site.

Fun Brain is another good option for kids who want to learn online, but focuses on games and fun puzzles. Particularly focused on math and reading, Fun Brain’s game based approach can be valuable if the child in question struggles to pay attention.

Similar to the sites for kids free online education is Whyville a destination for preteen online learning. The site includes a variety of social features, with a focus on learning materials geared for young teens.

And for a long list of sites which are targeted at the k-12 demographic.

Another well vetted source is

For the critical Thinkers out there:

If you have far more specific projects but need general knowledge in a narrow area, check out:

especially under the sources section.

Another sometimes overlooked topic is Incentivisation. How to get those stubborn kids, who have demonstrated the power of tictoc for getting their homework apps removed from the app market.

[mumbles something about not being your mother] so be creative. Fortunately most of these resources track usage, so you can check on your loved ones progress.

Maybe consider a reward system that takes chores and weights them against progress in the online education app, at the end of each week, that is how chores are alloted. Or maybe rewards of favorite foods for progress, which must be near average or better, not simply activity. Some of the more privileged may even consider financial incentives.

Online shopping has prevented people from a real disaster, like disruption of not just their jobs, but compounded with food insecurity (of which many actually are) like if running out of toilet paper was the worst tragedy. Is that really a tragedy ? Terrible math tells us that most of these death statistics are meaningless in the face of bold faced dishonesty, so the only people who can actually feel the scale of the tragedy, aren’t even considered people at all.

Doing all that alone isn’t easy either, but now seems like a good a time as any to embrace the “it takes a village” mentality, digital. By even goig so far as to have groups of parents watch eachothers kids, while they are out on errands, via web-conference. To ensure in the unlikely event of an emergency, response is immediate and intelligible.

The theme song for todays sermon is: