March 31, 2020
As Schools Continue to Close as a Result of the Coronavirus Pandemic, Some of the Most
Respected Companies in Education, Media, and Tech Join Forces to Offer a Free and Open
Collection of Quality Online Learning Resources to Educators and Families
Wide Open School Partners Include American Federation of Teachers, Amplify, Apple, Boys &
Girls Clubs of America, Comcast, Google, Head Start, Khan Academy, National Geographic,
Noggin, PBS, Salesforce, Scholastic, Sesame Workshop, Time for Kids, YouTube, XQ Institute,
and Zoom Video Communications, Inc.
(San Francisco, Calif. — March 31, 2020)— Common Sense, the leading nonprofit organization
whose mission is to help kids, families, and educators thrive in a world of media and
technology, has convened a group of education, media, and tech partners to launch
WideOpenSchool.org, a free online resource to support families and educators who are
transitioning to remote learning as a result of the coronavirus.
Wide Open School features the very best resources from publishers, nonprofits, and
education companies, including the American Federation of Teachers, Amplify, Boys &
Girls Clubs of America, Head Start, Khan Academy, National Geographic, Noggin, PBS,
Scholastic, Sesame Workshop,Time for Kids, XQ Institute, and YouTube.
Common Sense is curating the content on the platform and coordinating with key
distribution and technology partners including Apple, Comcast, Google, Salesforce, and
Zoom to ensure families and educators are aware of the resources and can access them.
"The coronavirus pandemic has elevated the need for quality learning materials all in one
place for families and educators, and Common Sense is proud that trusted experts and
partners have joined together to launch Wide Open School so quickly," said James P.
Steyer, CEO and founder of Common Sense. "Many organizations have moved swiftly to
respond to this crisis with incredible resources and special offers for educators and
families. We wanted to use our nearly 20 years of experience as an expert reviewer and
curator to create the go-to source of quality content that will provide educators with the
support they need to shift to remote teaching and a one-stop, trusted place for families to
engage kids who are now learning from home."
With the likelihood that schools will remain closed through the end of the school year,
families and educators are facing an unprecedented challenge to educate and entertain
kids and maintain social connection, and to make sure that all students have access to
online learning and engagement. Wide Open School aims to make learning from home an
experience that is accessible to all and that truly engages kids and teachers, relieves
family stress, and restores community in the face of long-term school closures and other
shutdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"While technology alone won't solve the unprecedented challenges we're facing today, we
believe it can be a powerful part of the solution," said Avni Shah, vice president of Google
for Education. "We are excited to partner with Common Sense on Wide Open School to
help connect educators, students, and families to educational resources as they navigate
the challenges of learning from home."
"The need for online learning has never been greater," said Khan Academy founder Sal
Khan. "We're glad to be part of Wide Open School and to help parents, students, and
teachers across the country make the most of our free educational resources."
"To help educators and families navigate a world of change and disruption, National
Geographic has curated K – 12 resources designed to spark curiosity, engage learners, and
ignite the spirit of exploration by bringing the wonder of the world to students," said Dr.
Vicki Phillips, executive vice president and chief education officer at the National
Geographic Society. "We are delighted to partner with Common Sense and share these
resources everywhere with Wide Open School."
"Salesforce is committed to equal access to quality education and supports programs that
give everyone the opportunity to learn and succeed," said Sarah Franklin, executive vice
president and general manager, Salesforce. "We're proud to support Common Sense and
partner with leading education, technology, and media organizations to deliver these
amazing learning resources to kids, families, and educators everywhere during this
"We know that families around the world are struggling to adjust, adapt, and keep each
other safe. Common Sense has brought together top-tier content and technology partners
to help parents, caregivers, and teachers keep kids engaged and learning," said Steve
Youngwood, president, media & education and chief operating officer, Sesame Workshop.
"We're proud to be a part of this initiative with our deep library of content as well as new
resources featuring the Sesame Street Muppets. Along with all of the Wide Open Schools
partners, Sesame Workshop is committed to supporting families for the duration of the
"We are delighted to be part of Wide Open School to bring content and connection to help
the millions of students and teachers now out of school continue education online. Our
goal, as a company, is to help as many students as possible around the world continue
their education, even if they have to stay home, by leveraging Zoom," said Eric S. Yuan,
founder and CEO of Zoom Video Communications.
Wide Open School is a free and open collection of the best online learning experiences
and activities for kids curated by the editors at Common Sense and organized by grade
band and subject. Everything on Wide Open School centers on the schedule, which is
programmed each "school" day for each grade band. The experts at Common Sense along
with our partners are working to keep kids learning, entertained, physically and creatively
engaged, and emotionally strong during these challenging times.
While the platform officially launched today, Common Sense will be forging additional
partnerships with media and education companies, nonprofits, teachers, and kids in an
effort to make Wide Open School a free and open source for the best education and
entertainment materials, including those for social-emotional learning, mental and health
information, and digital citizenship and well-being lessons. With a focus on and a
commitment to equity, Wide Open School also will reach families through mobile,
desktop, and television; provide a clearinghouse of information for lower-income families
to gain access to broadband services; and provide an aggregation of trusted resources to
help families access urgent services addressing health, hunger, shelter, and psychological
Wide Open School launch partners
American Federation of Teachers, Amplify, Apple, Boys & Girls Clubs of America,
Comcast, Crisis Text Line, GoNoodle, Google, Head Start, Jr. NBA, Khan Academy, Mind in
the Making, National Geographic, Newsela, Noggin, Outschool, PBS, Playworks,
Salesforce, Scholastic, Sesame Workshop, Southern Education Foundation, Time for Kids,
Understood, Vroom, XQ Institute, YouTube, Zearn, Zoom
About Common Sense
Common Sense is the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the
lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and
independent voice they need to thrive in the 21st century. Learn more at