Welcome to TEL4U
TEL4U is an amazing resource for kids from Pre-K through Grade 5. Administered by the Tennessee State Library and Archives, this website provides a safe “online galaxy” for kids, including homework help, state history, ebooks, games, and even a coding club to practice and learn about computers and coding. More importantly, its FREE! to Tennessee residents.
What You’ll Love About TEL4U
As more students are learning on electronic devices, whether at the library, school, or home, having a collection of safe and reliable internet resources is more important that ever. And this database is so easy to navigate – even an adult can do it! Not to mention, you can click on Tug the Dog for space jokes, and what kid doesn’t love a good space joke?
TEL4U is Well Designed
- The Homepage design is clean and simple, with a dynamic “outer space” theme kids will love.
- The Comic Sans font is easy to read, especially for students with dyslexia.
- The menu is simple to navigate so kids won’t become frustrated or overwhelmed. There are only six categories: Homework Help; State History; EBooks; Games; Look it Up; and Coding Club. Even if a student is unsure which category to choose, looking at all of them doesn’t require a lot of time or effort.
- When students click on one of the above-mentioned categories, again, the design remains simple and easy to follow, with four to eight carefully curated links. For each link, there is a logo and short synopsis to help the student decide if it’s what they’re looking for. The intended audience is also listed for most links. For links without a recommended age group listed, the user is left to assume the link is appropriate for pre-K through fifth grade.
- And if a student still can’t find what they need, there are additional related resources listed in side bars.
But What Resources Are Provided?
- Educational resources go beyond World Book and Gale in Context: Elementary, to include learning resources from important educational institutions like the Smithsonian, NASA, and even the Old Farmer’s Almanac.
- Games and activities come from trusted organizations such as PBS, National Geographic, and Sesame Street.
- The Coding Club section has resources for practicing and learning about computers and coding for young students. For parents and teachers, there are resources to make learning about internet safety understandable and fun.
Just a Few Downsides…
Unfortunately, not all children have regular access to computers, smart phones, and other electronic devices. Nor do all children, especially in rural areas of the state, have access to reliable internet. As such, while TEL4U is an amazing resource, the next step is ensuring that all Tennessee children have the means to benefit from it.