DemLabs blog

Image: Inspired Teaching

Free home education apps and resources to teach their children how to cope with pandemic induced anxiety. 

Resources created by non-profits for developing countries now meet a critical need in America. They're free, easy to use, available in different languages and most work on basic phones with or without internet access.

  1. Roots of Empathy

    Mary Gordon is an Ashoka fellow and founded Roots of Empathy, sends a message to all parents, all caregivers, all of us who care for children on how to ease children's anxieties as they watch and listen to how adults in their lives react to the coronavirus pandemic.

  2. Global Digital Library

    A wonderful collection of free books and games that provide access to free, high-quality, early grade reading resources in different languages. It is an international program led by the Norwegian Digital Learning Arena (NDLA) to transform book development and distribution so  no child is without books.

  3. Playworks

    Download the Play at Home Playbook in English or Spanish. Livestream broadcast #PlayAtHome Recess live on Facebook at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. (CT) Monday through Friday. Tune in for stretching and warm-ups, interactive games, cheers, and cool down activities. Check out Morning Stretch and Up Down Stop GoJill Vialet, an Ashoka Fellow founded Playworks.

  4. BookSmart

    This wonderful program from WorldReader offers parents access to a library from their mobile phones so they can support learning while schools are closed. It provides a free base collection of 75 great books suitable for young readers from the Google Play Store. Books can be saved for offline reading for those with limited data.

  5. Inspired Teaching

    Students learn best when they are engaged on interesting topics. Aleta Margolis, an Ashoka Fellow, created online lessons after extensive research to fine what works. Learn how to be a better teacher during stressful times with the free Instigator of Thought resource.

  6. Ustad

    A free app with a wide variety of open educational resources, online or offline. Both the app and content can be shared offline between devices. It includes content from the internet's leading Open Educational Resources (OER) sites including Khan Academy, Global Digital Library, Voice of America and Pratham Books.

  7. Kukua/Sema

    This inspiring organization provides entertaining mobile apps  to teach reading, writing and arithmetic.

    They're offering a list of 10 exciting experiments that your kids can do using at-home materials while they're at home and schools closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. They offer several apps for both iOS and Android on reading, arithmetic, and learning to write.


  1. Ashoka is an amazing 50 year old non-profit based in Washington DC. Many of the solutions listed above were created by Ashoka Fellows.  "Ashoka builds a community of change leaders who see that the world now requires everyone to be a changemaker." Please support Ashoka.
  2. ICT Works™ is the premier community for international development professionals committed to utilizing new and emerging technologies for communities to accelerate their social and economic development.

Co-Founder, DemLabs

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DemLabs applies innovative technology and storytelling tools in service of democratic values. It lowers the barrier of funding for worthy candidates and non-profits by applying existing free/affordable solutions.