Slack. Zoom. Bam! A helpful guide to educational resources for teachers and students.

As a result of COVID-19, we are experiencing the widescale integration of technology into daily human life, an exciting evolution reminiscent of the first Industrial Revolution. People who once worked on-site or in traditional,...
Mar 24, 2020

As a result of COVID-19, we are experiencing the widescale integration of technology into daily human life, an exciting evolution reminiscent of the first Industrial Revolution. People who once worked on-site or in traditional, non-technological fields are adapting to using and relying on technology to work remotely. In the education space, teachers whose schools have closed due to the pandemic have quickly adapted to tools like Google Classroom, Google Hangouts, and Zoom. They’ve not only had to catch up fast, but they also need to find great online content to keep their students engaged.

In times like these, leaders take the lead, and our AMT members and education content partners are no exception. A number of organizations have stepped up and are supplementing teachers’ lesson plans by providing open source access to virtual classroom content. If you know an instructor who needs instructional content support to provide their students with cool learning experiences, please connect them to this helpful guide.

  • At Autodesk Education, schools can become members of the Autodesk Design Academy for free. Members enjoy access to design software and educational resources in manufacturing, including online courses designed to work at your own pace, guided webinars, tutorials, contests and class projects, and curriculums for all age levels. There is also for makers of all ages.

  • The Edge Factor Show is empowering students with their #StayHealthyKeepLearning campaign and with free cinematic tools on industries, careers, STEAM, and soft skills. 

  • FANUC America offers automation and advanced manufacturing education classes online for robots and robot preventative maintenance as well as FANUC Foundations, CNC maintenance, and CNC ROBODrill classes

  • Festo Didactic is offering free access to MindSight, their learning content management system with learning modules such as Mechatronics and Manufacturing Training, Tech-Design, and Renewable Energy. Teachers can get started with free access by emailing Festo directly.

  • Haas Automation offers a free online program, the Haas Certification Program for Basic Mill Operator, which is made up of 12 chapters and is packed with great entry-level CNC operator material. Haas also offers a Tip of the Day video series for educators.

  • Sharpen your skills with a free set of Mastercam core courses from Mastercam University. Now through June 30, you have full, free access to these online courses and more: Mastercam Essentials, Mastercam Mill 2D, Mastercam Mill 3D milling,Mastercam Lathe, and STEM Principles. Learning never stops!

  • NASA is providing STEM lessons from space for students! Students can choose their appropriate grade group and begin to explore NASA’s foundational programs. Groups are broken into grades K-4, grades 5-8, grades 9-12, and higher education.

  • ToolingU – SME and a coalition of industry partners including Lincoln Electric, Haas and SkillsUSA have formed CTE Coalition and are offering a bundle of CNC, Welding, I 4.0, Mechatronics and Foundational classes for free to the CTE market for free for 30 days.

We should anticipate that the skills gap could be further exacerbated as we come out on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic. As manufacturing supply chains have and will continue to be impacted, so too could the pipeline of qualified workers be interrupted by school closures around the country. However, because so many educators and other workers are successfully adapting to remote teaching, we could also experience a fundamental realignment of society that conditions members to seamlessly adapt to the changes to our daily lives promised by Industry 4.0. In short, the side effect of this pandemic may be that we are getting primed to use transformative technologies as a workforce and as an evolving society.

We want to thank our members and partners who support education and who were already being proactive about providing solutions to schools so that we could put this guide together so quickly.

For more frequent updates, follow @GregoryAJones on Twitter.

Greg Jones
Vice President, Smartforce Development
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