Last Updated: April 2017

There is a wealth of free educational multimedia online if you know where to find it. Below is a sampling that I have found to be valuable for teachers. This list is periodically updated, so if you find any other good sites to share with our colleagues please let me know. You can reach me easily via my Contact page.

If you’re unsure of your rights and responsibilities under the “Fair Use Act” provision of copyright law, see this concise explanation by the US Copyright Office. They’ve done a good job of explaining the details all educators should be aware of. Acting within the constraints of this provision, it is still possible to assemble a huge library of multimedia resources that can make your classes more visual and dynamic. Over the years, I’ve actively sought to build my collection and accumulated gigabytes of material.

On that same topic, educators should be aware of the wealth of copyright-free material available at Wikimedia Commons. At last count (2017) they listed over 38 million media items (photos, drawings, animations, videos, audio, text). Their huge database is easily searched, and growing every day.

Students love this stuff. Having it all there on your classroom (or home school) computer is a great tool. It’s the equivalent of a 3D moving chalkboard, supplementing your traditional materials, allowing improvisational breaks from the routine, and providing visual answers to student questions. The following online resources focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). I’ve tried to avoid sites with excessive advertising, but on some high-traffic sites you’ll run into a few ads.

SKY LIGHTSDan Heim's astronomy, meteorology, and earth science blog
ALGODOO FOR EDUCATIONvirtual 2D physics sandbox, cool games and simulations
LINE RIDERclassic kinematics and mechanical energy simulator
KHAN ACADEMYexhaustive collection of free math and science videos
THE EYEBALLING GAMEtest your visual acuity and innate sense of geometry
FANTASTIC CONTRAPTIONgreat puzzles based on accurate physics simulations
THE MECHANICAL UNIVERSEclassic 80s Cal Tech series available as streaming video
RAINBOW SYMPHONYsource for budget 3D glasses and anaglyph viewers
ANAGLYPH IMAGESnice collection of 3D anaglyph images
JET PROPULSION LABORATORYNASA gateway for images, maps, and videos
ACRONYM FINDERa translator for the alphabet soup of acronyms
ASK A SCIENTISTDOE knowledge base with many great Q&A threads
ASK A SPACEMAN!podcast blog for Q&A with a real spaceman
HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE MOONeverything you always wanted to know about the Moon
MEASUREMENT CONVERTERconvert anything to anything with this handy utility
NASA: HDEVlive HD view of Earth from the ISS
INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATIONbeautiful interactive 3D model of the ISS
SPOT THE ISSwhere and when to look for the ISS in your skies
FLIGHT EXPLORERreal-time tracking of commercial aircraft flights
ANIMATION LIBRARYlarge collection of animations, some nature and science content
SCIENCE E-BOOKSscience e-books, animations and links, some free, some pay
PHYSICS ANIMATIONSphysics software and animations, some free, some shareware
DMOZ OPEN DIRECTORY PROJECTsoftware and media for STEM and other disciplines
EXPLORATION IN EDUCATIONelectronic picture books, mostly astronomy
PROGRAMFILES.COMphysics simulation programs, freeware & shareware
GAME DOWNLOADSeducational arcade games, learning and play, all free
SCIENCE U LIBRARYcool site with lots of free science graphics and animations
ONLINE LEARNINGguide for success using online learning resources
SCIENCE LESSON PLANS FOR TEACHERSresources for students K-8, teachers, and parents
SATELLITES FOR EDUCATORSeverything you ever wanted to know about satellites
SOLAR ACTION ALLIANCEeverything you ever wanted to know about solar energy
AFFORDABLE COLLEGES ONLINEresources for selecting your online degree program