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School-to-Home Access for Virtual Spanish Learning

Hey Calico Spanish, what are your virtual learning options?

Requests for virtual Spanish learning have come across our desk from time to time for a long time.

Sometimes it takes a crisis to make you figure out how to move something from the back burner to a front burner, and we’ve been watching that happen all around us, across industries and governments.  For us, we’ve heard our customers ask for at-home access for learners and their families for years, but the obstacles in the way kept it low on our list.

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Students seeing the same content you as the teacher see?  Making our program something that happens exclusively between a child and a computer fundamentally violates our language learning philosophy.

Student logins? Believe us when we say that child online privacy laws, COPPA specifically, while necessary and helpful in protecting children, have made it incredibly costly and difficult for online learning programs to offer student logins.  That’s why the majority of software that does this is from billion-dollar companies (or small ones that really wish they hadn’t stepped in that mess). You couldn’t afford the price we’d have to charge to make it worth the investment and hoops.

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Enter the coronavirus pandemic.

Forced to learn remotely

Suddenly, teachers en masse were separated from their learners.  It didn’t matter if kids learn language (or anything) best in contact with other people.  This was the new reality, and we had to figure out together how to make it the best it could be.

At first, we made sudden changes because teachers needed help now. Through the course of the spring, we gave away tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of free access. Meanwhile, we brainstormed how to create something sustainable we could do to support teachers and learners who continue to be separated.

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Virtual learning GOLD: Calico Spanish Video Stories go HOME

Remote learning

In the Calico Spanish Stories program, the core input for learners comes from the Video Stories where characters interact using the language kids are acquiring, in the context of a fun story. It’s really the only piece of the program that can’t be downloaded or embedded. But it’s the most important piece you need to be able to share with kids learning remotely at home in this challenging time. So the question was, how could we provide this for our subscribers?

We’re so excited to announce the launch of our newest feature: School-to-Home Video Access, an add-on subscription you can purchase to make 100% of our video and audio library available to kids at home, anytime.

How does this remote learning option work?

Caveat: first, you’ll need to get a teacher subscription to Stories, and you can learn all about our fantastic, comprehension-based online curriculum here.

Then, you can choose to add on a subscription to School-to-Home Video Access. You can purchase access for up to 100 families ($149), up to 500 families ($399), or up to 1,000 families ($729), or you can request a quote for access beyond that. Then, we create a page with a URL dedicated to your school. For example, let’s say that your school is Bloom Elementary. We would create for you.

Then, when your school families go to the page, they see a box for a password.

Password protected

We can assign any password you want, or you can use the one we suggest. The password for your virtual learning page should be simple enough your young learners can type it in. For this one, let’s use the example “bears,” because the Bears is your school team mascot.

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When children or their caregivers type “bears” and click Enter, they see a main page similar to what you see if you log in to your subscription and click the purple Resources tab. However, whereas you have 10 tab options incorporating all of the resource types in the curriculum (from videos to poster PDFs), your school families will see all five of the video/audio media options: Video Stories, Music Videos, Dialogue Videos, Songs & Stories (MP3s), and Storybook Videos.

Resources example

Families can click to see just the Video Stories, just the Level A content, and so on. When they click on a specific video, they see a very simple page that only requires clicking “play.”

Video example

The best feature here is…

Of course, the best feature of this virtual learning option is that you, the teacher, can select any specific Spanish story, music, dialogue, or storybook video and send the specific URL for that video to your learners – or, more importantly, link it in a lesson plan in Google Classroom, Seesaw, Schoology, Edmodo, or whatever learning management system you’re using.

More support for your Spanish virtual learning?

To learn more about all our support for your elementary Spanish class,

Click here to explore our Remote Spanish Learning page.


Are you a homeschool family looking to journey together on the road to speaking real Spanish to real people? Check out what Cathy Duffy says about our program, and then explore our homeschool options.

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Sara-Elizabeth Cottrell
Sara-Elizabeth Cottrell is a homeschool mom of three bilingual children. She’s also a Spanish teacher and the COO and chief storyteller for Calico Spanish.

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