Learn at Home with MontanaPBS

Beginning Monday March 30, MontanaPBS will dedicate its daytime weekday schedule to Montana state standards-aligned educational programming provided by MontanaPBS and the Office of Public Instruction. The new 6:30am to 5:30pm weekday schedule includes specific blocks of time for pre-K through 8th grade levels and covers subjects, including English language arts, social studies, science and math. MontanaPBS’ regular primetime schedule is not affected by this change.

Online Learning

IMPORTANT! Be mindful of how student information privacy protections are defined by FERPAHIPPACOPPA, and Montana Pupil Records--Online Privacy Protections law. The Montana Student Privacy Alliance has additional guidance and resources.

Important Teleconference (Zoom) Privacy and Security Recommendations 

On March 30, 2020, the FBI released an article, warning users of teleconferencing sessions being hijacked (also being referred to as “Zoom-bombing”) all over the nation. The FBI has received multiple reports of conferences being disrupted by pornographic and/or hate images and threatening language. In the wake of reports of this activity being reported to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaints Center (IC3 -ic3.gov), they have published the following recommendations:

  • Do not make meetings or classrooms public. In Zoom, there are two options to make a meeting private: require a meeting password or use the waiting room feature and control the admittance of guests.
  • Do not share a link to a teleconference or classroom on an unrestricted publicly available social media post. Provide the link directly to specific people.
  • Manage screensharing options. In Zoom, change screensharing to “Host Only.”
  • Ensure users are using the updated version of remote access/meeting applications. In January 2020, Zoom updated their software. In their security update, the teleconference software provider added passwords by default for meetings and disabled the ability to randomly scan for meetings to join.

Important Considerations for Remote and Online Learning Delivery

  • Is online learning the best solution to serve the needs of each student to continue learning?
  • Does online learning provide equitable and appropriate access to learning for all students?
  • Do digital resources have copyright restrictions (many of these may also require account creation)?
  • Do ALL students have access to devices and internet service to support remote or online learning?
  • What support do parents and caregivers need to help their children learn?


Remote Learning Sharing Sessions

Join us for our Remote Learning Sharing Sessions Weeks 9 and 10: Monday, May 18 -Thursday, May 28! Many of our session are paused, but we still have a few sessions still running strong. We will be discussing and sharing distance learning resources for a variety of subjects and grade levels! Check out subject areas, times and simply click on the Zoom link, or call in, to join the meeting! We hope this will be a collaborative time to share and learn from districts, schools and teachers across Montana and their plans for continued distance learning. 

  • Sessions will not be recorded but a "meeting notes" summary will be shared.
  • We plan to repeat sessions over the coming weeks.

Previous Remote Learning Sharing Session Notes:

 Contact Marisa Graybill, marisa.graybill@mt.gov with questions.


Distance Learning Planning

The Montana Digital Academy has created two helpful resources for districts to make short term plans and longer term implementation of distance learning options. 

Distance Learning Options by Mike Agostinelli or Download Printable Version

Access the School Closure Learning Continuity Readiness Rubric by Mike Agostinelli here.

Teacher Learning Hub

Introduction to Online Course Design

This course will take you through everything you need to know to get started creating your own online course - from the basic principles of online learning, storyboarding, delivering content and building interaction. The first half of the course is applicable to any learning management system (LMS) but the second half will focus on how to create a course in Moodle. Additional training resources are linked for those using another LMS other than Moodle.  Part 1 is one hour and the whole course is three hours. Visit the Hub homepage to enroll in the course.

2019 and 2020 Montana Teachers of the Year Share Pro Tips 

Use this checklist to help you get started!  Please consider taking the Introduction to Online Course Design course on the Teacher Learning Hub for a deeper dive into the basics.

  1. Determine the Learning Management System (LMS) you will use

    • Moodle

    • Canvas

    • Edmodo

    • Google Classroom

    • Schoology

    • Others?

  2. Explore the LMS and the features it offers

  3. Create an outline for your content - backwards plan just as you would with regular instruction.

    • Set goals

    • Map out the weeks

    • Map out the days

    • Map out sections to break it up for students (think subjects, topics, etc)

  4. Determine the details - include the online tools/features you will use for each exercise. Start simple at the beginning and then go back and add complexity as you become more familiar.

    • Think about how content will be presented

    • Think about how students will:

      • Engage and interact with content (not just reading or listening)

      • Submit work

      • Interact with each other

      • Interact with you

      • Be assessed

    • Think about how you will grade and provide feedback

    • Think about additional tools you will need:

      • Video recording apps

      • Online Apps


  1. Get started!

    • Have your outline beside you

    • Get access to FAQs or Tech Support

    • Collaborate - reach out to other teachers to get ideas

  2. Keep learning - this process is new to both teachers and students, so you may not be perfect the first time and that is okay.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has created a list of broadband providers who have pledged to help keep Americans connected.

The Keep American Connected Pledge asks providers to:

  1. "not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic;
  2. waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic; and
  3. open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them (Chairman Pai Launches the Keep American Connected Pledge, 2020)."

Montana Providers Information

Note: This list may not be all-inclusive of the providers in Montana. Please communicate with your provider regarding procedures for COVID-19 services.


  • 3Rivers Communications - 3Rivers Communications is suspending service disconnections for non-payment.
  • Access Montana - Access Montana will provide free internal installs and will offer a $25 credit per month credit.
  • AT&T - AT&T has joined the Keep Americans Connected pledge.
  • Blackfoot Communications - Blackfoot Communications has joined the Keep Americans Connected pledge.
  • CenturyLink - CenturyLink has joined the Keep Americans Connected pledge.
  • Frontier - Unknown at this time.
  • Hot Springs Telephone Company - Unknown at this time.
  • InterBel - InterBel has joined the Keep Americans Connected pledge.
  • Lincoln Telephone Company - Lincoln Telephone Company has joined the Keep Americans Connected pledge.
  • MidRivers - MidRivers has waived late fees.
  • Nemont - Nemont has joined the Keep Americans Connected pledge.
  • Northern Telephone Cooperative - Northern Telephone Cooperative has joined the Keep Americans Connected pledge.
  • Range - Range has joined the Keep Americans Connected pledge.
  • Southern Montana Telephone - Unknown at this time.
  • Spectrum - See the section titled "Community Assistance" for more information and how to receive assistance.
  • T-Mobile - T-Mobile has joined the Keep Americans Connected pledge.
  • Triangle Communications - Triangle Communications has an emergency response plan and encourages members to contact them for support.
  • Xfinity - Xfinity has waived fees from March 13 - May 13, 2020. 
  • Verizon - Verizon has joined the Keep Americans Connected pledge.


Whether you are an Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or YouTube learner, here are a few people, organizations, and hashtags to follow.

Montana Educators Organizations, and Districts

  • Billings Public Schools Technology Integration Specialists @bpstis 
  • Montana Digital Academy @MontDigAcad
  • Shape Montana @ShapeMontana
  • Montana PBS
    • @Montana PBS
    • @NVradenberg
  • Montana Ed Chat #MTedchat Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m.
Organizations to Follow
Social Media Hashtags to Scroll
  • #onlinelearning
  • #RemoteLearning
  • #coronavirusedu
  • #AmericaLearnsRemotely
  • #MTLearnsRemotely
  • #ClosedNotClosed

Be mindful of how student information privacy protections are defined by

The Montana Student Privacy Alliance has additional guidance and resources.


Videoconferencing Tools

Montana EdReady : Montana EdReady has created a guidance document for support. They are here to help! 

Google Classroom: Video tutorials to help get you started.

Microsoft Teams for Educators: Webinars and resources 

FlipGrid: Students/teachers/parents can share via selfie videos.

EdPuzzle: A way to create video lessons. 

Zoom: (Zoom District Privacy Policy) Getting started with zoom created by Billing's Teachers Traci Piltz and Sarah Rainey. Zoom best practices

TextHelp: Includes Read&Write, EquatIO, WriQ and Fluency Tutor support.

Read Aloud/Publishers Policies for Copyright:  School Library Journal is updating information as it is available about temporary copyright releases for online or remote learning.

Montana PBS: Montana PBS online learning resources, apps and videos. 

Scholastic Learn at Home: Day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing. The site will be updated weekly until 20 days of content is available.

BrainPop: Typically not free, but the company is offering free access during closures!

TED-Ed: Education Videos including topics: Arts, Language & Literature, Math, PE/Health, Science, Social Studies, French, Spanish, Special Education

General Resources

Native Knowledge 360:  Teaching resources from the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian

Everyday Native: Invites teachers and students in grades 4-12 learn about Native American history and contemporary life

Lessons of Our Land: Innovative curriculum for Pre-K through grade 12 teachers

OPI IEFA YouTube Channel:  Host site for videos created by the OPI IEFA Unit


OPI Lessons and Units

Essential Understanding One: Tribal Diversity

  • This online-ready lesson helps students learn more about Essential Understanding One: Tribal Diversity. This lesson is appropriate for grades 5-12. 

Blackfeet and Crow Star Stories

  • This online-ready lesson helps students learn more about Blackfeet and Crow Star Stories. This lesson is appropriate for grades 5-8.

Learning About Tribal Sovereignty

  • This online-ready lesson helps students learn more about tribal sovereignty. The lesson is appropriate for grades 9-12.

Resilience in Indian Country: Yesterday and Today

  • This online-ready lesson helps student learn about resiliency through stories of American Indian women from yesterday and today. It is appropriate for grades 6-12.

Resources for Learning About Contemporary American Indian Issues: Bison Restoration

  • This online-ready lesson helps students learn more about bison restoration and the importance of the bison to Montana American Indians. This lesson is appropriate for grades 6-12.

Newsela: Free access for the remainder of the year

CommonLit: The digital Lesson Library is free for teachers.

Learning A-Z Raz-Kids: Through this link, you can access a free trial through June 13th. (They also have readers in Spanish and French!) 

Book Creator: A list of ideas for using Book Creator for remote learning – ideas that you can put in place today to help keep kids engaged whilst unable to attend school.

Epic!: Free for teachers, parents can get 30-day free trial

Montana EdReady : Montana EdReady has created a guidance document for support. They are here to help! 

Dreambox: Adaptive, online K-8 math program. Usually fee based.  For a limited time, parents can get a 90 day FREE trial so children can learn at home.

ST Math: Free digital accounts for parents and school districts. 

Estimation 180: Building number sense one day at a time. This site has awesome activities that a student could really think about and could really empower their estimation skills.

Khan Academy: Khan Academy has provided some guidance on how to use their resources for remote learning during school closures.

Desmos: Free Online Calculators, activities and webinars for teachers.

Statistics in Schools: Free, Census data explorations for students, parents and teachers. 

Mystery Science: K-5 science lessons available with no signup or login required. The phenomena offered in this course can range K-12. 

National Geographic: Bring a classroom alive online. 

NASA STEM Engagement: Activities for grades K-12



The Kennedy Center: Media & interactives 
List of Museums with Virtual Tours: Online tours of 12 National Museums 
Davis Art: Free access to the Davis Digital platform through June 30th, 2020.
Google Arts & Culture Experiments: Interactive “experiments” with art.
Missoula Art Museum: Museum as Megaphone includes video tours, an interview with artist Lillian Pitt, lesson plan resources about contemporary art, and a guide for an at-home art-making project all through remote learning. 


Music Teachers National Association : websites for Kids and parents. 
Chrome Music Lab: A collection of interactive "experiments" for elementary students 
Classics for Kids: Resources and games. 

Health and Physical Education Online Learning Modules

Open Phy Ed Active Home: Lessons & Activity Logs. 

Billings Public Schools PE Online Learning: Google folder with Online learning activities. 

GoNoodle: At home videos and games for movement. 

Search #HPEatHome

ColorinColorado: COVID-19 resources for multilingual families and those who work with them. (fact sheets, infographics, lesson plans, and more)

EdSurge: Article and podcast on taking care of students first. 

National Association of School Psychologists: Parent and student resources during COVID-19. 

American School Counselor Association: Suggestions and resources.

Social Emotional Learning: Social Emotional resources specific to COVID-19

CDC: Managing anxiety and stress.

Trauma-Informed Approach to Teaching During the Coronavirus

Visit the OPI Autism Education Project Blog for COVID19-specific resources for supporting students.