Virtual learning materials have taken on added importance during the pandemic, including an educational platform offered by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland.
Rock Hall EDU offers free lesson plans, activities, presentations, videos, playlists, and writing prompts to help teachers engage their students. The offerings have broad applications according to the Rock Hall's education director Mindy Smith.
"It doesn't just teach music," Smith said. "We also really specialize in STEAM - Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. Even more so than that, ELA and social studies standards too. Most teachers can go and find something on our platform to help them teach through the power of Rock and Roll. One of the challenges teachers are having right now is keeping students engaged, especially virtually. Students have pretty short attention spans. I do too. So having these five minute videos or activities to break up a lecture going can really help them retain what you're trying to teach them and maintain their interest in a topic."
Smith says the platform has reached more than 723,000 students from 5,000 cities and 111 countries. The content also integrates the Rock Hall's virtual exhibits.
"One of the newest things we have up there is our It's Been Said All Along collection," Smith continued. "It basically talks about how African American Rock & Roll artists have really talked about social justice since the beginning of Rock & Roll. I think that's going to be a great topic to discuss this year because of everything that's been going on the past few months. Hopefully we can help give teachers some materials to talk about these really difficult but important social justice topics with their students."
All materials are free, but teachers and parents must register and create an account. Here's a link for more information.