Distance Learning Resources from FCIT

With schools in many parts of the world closing to reduce infection rates, some teachers are conducting distance learning classes for the first time and many parents are scrambling to find learning activities for their students at home. The Florida Center for Instructional Technology websites are a great place to start looking for online content. Since our sites have over 100,000 pages total, we’ve pulled together a few suggestions for where to start.

FCIT Digital Content Collections

An important mission of FCIT is to provide students and teachers with high-quality collections of digital content that can be used in class assignments and other projects. These copyright-friendly items become the raw material that students create their projects with. Explore our collections of audiobooks, illustrations, photographs, maps, and other historic documents.

Lit2Go Audiobook Collection

A great resource to start with is Lit2Go. This site offers over 5,500 audio passages arranged in over 200 collections/books. The passages range from kindergarten level through high school. Here you’ll find many familiar works traditionally studied in school as well as a number of surprises. The site is easy to search by reading level, title, author, or genre. Keep in mind that if you’re using the audio files, a student’s “listening level” is usually higher than the reading level. Look for content that supports curriculum needs and interests your children. Note that the passages are also formatted as PDFs for printing and that most passages include a separate PDF with a related student activity. You’ll find additional suggestions for using Lit2Go in the following two posts.

Using Lit2Go Audiobooks in the Classroom (and at Home)

This post contains over a dozen ideas for using passages from Lit2Go in classrooms. Many of these same activities can be used with students at home.

Tales for All

You might think of folk and fairy tales as being just for the youngest students. This post links to Lit2Go passages and activities for students up through eighth grade.

ClipArt ETC

This digital content collection includes over 70,000 illustrations. Most were digitized from 19th century textbooks. Your students will find curriculum-related images in many subject areas including 10,000 illustrations of animal pictures, 9,000 of plants, and nearly 10,000 for math.

ClipPix ETC

This Educational Technology Clearinghouse (ETC) website contains over 20,000 stock photos for use in student projects. All of the photos are available in four sizes and include informative descriptions.

Maps ETC

This ETC collection includes over 5,000 historic maps from all parts of the world. Each map includes historic information. Some maps have zoom features allowing students to explore smaller details of the map. Most are also formatted so that they can be easily printed out using the linked PDF.

Exploring Florida

This Florida history website contains thousands of pieces of digital content for students to work with. Explore historic photos and maps. Grab a pair of red/blue 3D glasses and enjoy over a thousand 19th century stereoviews.

FCIT Teaching Collections

A hundred thousand random pieces of digital content can be a bit overwhelming. To get you and your students started using the digital content, we’ve pulled together over 150 curated collections of content around various themes such as historical events, authors, or locations. Many of the collections are tied to a specific day of the year, but don’t let that stop you from using them at any time. January 2nd may be National Science Fiction day, but The Time Machine is a great read any day.

Off-the-Shelf Activities

Not ready to create your own activities using FCIT’s various digital content collections? No problem! Here are some ready-to-use activities for students. Most of these resources can be adapted to a variety of grade levels by teachers or parents.

All Things Water

All Things Water is a free video series and photo collection about wetlands, watersheds, groundwater, the water cycle, water quality, and alternative water supply. Each video is accompanied by a PDF with coordinating activities for students. The videos and photographs were created by FCIT for the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

San Antonio Missions: Spanish Influence in Texas

This iBook explores the Spanish attempt to protect their Texas claim by bringing the Christian faith and Hispanic culture to the American Indians there. 126 pages. Student activities include Native Americans of the Southwest, comparison of Spanish and English colonial policy, the Columbian exchange, and community research.

Atoms, Elements, and Molecules

Chemistry is the fundamental science at the center of all life sciences. Interactive content addresses topics in the areas of atomic theory, chemical compounds, stoichiometry, and chemical periodicity.

Using Exploring Florida in the Science Classroom

This module provides examples of ways teachers in grades 6-12 science classes can bring the digital resources from Exploring Florida into the hands of students in classroom activities that support the science standards.

Rancho Los Alamitos

This iBook examines cultural change in Southern California from the Spanish colonial days through the Mexican territorial era to the modern American period through the study of a single ranch. 132 pages. Student activities include model-building, journaling, essay and persuasive writing, and garden designing.

Using Primary Sources

Primary sources such as documents, photos, illustrations, and maps are “windows into the past” can engage students, help to develop critical thinking skills, and provide opportunities for students to construct knowledge. Here are teaching guides and resource links to get started.

The Castillo de San Marcos

This iBook provides a comprehensive history of the fort from 1668 until its transfer to the United States in 1821. 158 pages. Student activities include making a visual dictionary, putting themselves into the shoes of historic characters, studying the transfers of the fort, and creating a commemorative marker.

Photos as Writing Prompts

FCIT hosts over 25,000 photos from various locations and time periods. Many of the images make excellent writing prompts. Here are dozens of suggested prompts spanning descriptive, expository, narrative, and persuasive writing and links to a variety of photos to get started.

Once upon a Dime

Once upon a Dime is a series of economics lessons for younger students. Each lesson is based on a familiar fairy tale. Select from: Jack and the Beanstalk (trade), Town Mouse and Country Mouse (advertising), Dancing Princesses (writing product descriptions), and Peter Rabbit (decision-making).

Gran Quivira: A Blending of Cultures in a Pueblo Indian Village

This iBook is the story of the Native American Puebloan People and the Spanish attempt to bring roughly 10,000 American Indians into Spanish society. 76 pages. Student activities include making an infographic, pottery, a trade chart, and building a model.


This module provides resources and information to support the teaching of bioremediation – the utilization of organisms such as plants and microbes to clean up environmental contaminants.

Castolon: A Meeting Place of Two Cultures

The Castolon community provides an example of the mixing of American and Mexican farmers and ranchers along the US-Mexican border during the twentieth century. 81 page iBook. Student activities include managing a store, historical research, and brochure design.

Coastal Dynamics

The focus of this module is on natural forces that change beaches and other coastal areas. These forces include normal tidal action as well as storms.

Florida History

Florida Then & Now is a set of 70 reproducible readings, questions, and activity sheets for an upper elementary study of Florida History.

From Many Lands

From Many Lands supports reading and social studies at the elementary and middle school levels. Easily navigated by young students, the site pulls together engaging stories, interesting photos, and some basic information about each country. Includes a games and activities section.

Historic Maps and Google Earth

Google Earth is a great tool for students to explore the planet. Many students don’t know that it can also be used to explore the past. Here’s an activity for students to add images of old maps to the modern view of the world and make comparisons between the two.