What Are Learning Resources?

For many people, the words educational materials invoke images of large, print, classroom textbooks with small type, outdated information, and content that covers the breadth but not depth of a subject. But learning resources are more than that. They are any tool that helps teachers teach and students learn.

Learning resources include:

Textbooks (print and digital)
Manipulatives (blocks, beads, etc.)
Educator workshops
Non-fiction books
Educational games

Online courses
Activity books
Graphic novels
Reference books
Magazines & periodicals

Study guides
Teacher guides
Televisions shows
Maps & atlases

At the AAP PreK-12 Learning Group we support the development and delivery of quality learning resources in all media, across all ages, for all educational settings. Our members provide a rich array of innovative educational materials for formal classroom instruction and personal learning outside the school, touching virtually every school, teacher, student, and family. Content can encompass an entire semester on the works of Shakespeare or provide a deeper dive into a single topic like multiplying fractions or learning how to juggle.

We acknowledge that students can’t learn from one type of instructional material alone and believe that it’s the educators, parents, and administrators who can best determine what content will be effective for learners. Supplemental resources help teachers differentiate instruction and engage students who, for whatever reason, need enrichment beyond the core classroom material. No matter which materials are used, though, parents and educators should hold all instructional content providers accountable for the quality of their learning resources.

Resources for formal learning must consider reading, language, developmental, and ability levels; include qualitative and quantitative assessment; and contain comprehensive teacher guides. In addition, they must be accurate, evidence-based, objective-driven, and designed to engage today’s students and teachers as well as aligned to state, district, and curriculum standards. Informal learning resources must still adhere to quality content and design standards as well as providing a meaningful education experience.

For more a checklist of quality content markers for any resource, read here.

Read here for more information on instructional materials funding.