Searching the Internet for high-quality and engaging classroom resources can be a time-consuming process, especially if you aren't quite sure what you're looking for. While there are some sites out there, many of them either cost money or are limited in scope. The CK–12 Foundation may be the solution to both of these problems. With the compilation of a variety of STEM resources and the creation of FlexBook Textbooks, CK–12 is able to meet the needs of all your students for free.
This easy-to-navigate website provides resources for science and math on all levels. You can simply search for the specific topic you are teaching or browse the different concept strands. Each will provide a multitude of material categories, including reading passages, simulations, videos, web links, activities, lesson plans, assessments, and concept maps. A particularly unique feature is “Real World,” which connects the concept to an engaging and relevant topic through articles, videos, and discussion questions.
If you are looking for a digital replacement for your textbook, CK–12 also offers FlexBook Textbooks. This feature acts as a textbook for your students, integrating all of the resources in one place. Reading passages may include embedded videos, simulations, or other activities. This allows students to interact with their text and make personal meaning. As a teacher, you can even make edits, add notes, and personalize the text to meet your class needs. You can build one from scratch or work with something that has already been created.
While a majority of the material has been created by CK–12, teachers can contribute as well. Similar to other sharing websites, you can add articles, links, and videos to your library from your browser or import from Microsoft Word. If you are having trouble, multiple webinars, blogs, and guides will ensure that you are using all that this site can offer.
A surprising feature of this website is that your students can sign up for free. You can create class groups in order to assign concepts to your students for remediation or even assessment. You are able to track performance and upload your own resources for them. Students can then create study groups to chat and work with each other in a social-media-style feed.
CK–12 is a great addition to any middle or high school science class. The collection of resources will allow you to create an engaging lesson for any topic. Whether used as a resource tool for you, or as a teaching tool for your students, CK–12 proves to be a valuable website to add to your favorites list.
Remy Dou taught high school life science for eight years before becoming an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow (2011–2013). Currently, he works as a Graduate Assistant at Florida International University where he contributes to STEM education research.