Free Resources for Teachers

Do you need resources to share with your students so they can use to take their projects to the next level?

On this page, you will find a list of great sites where you can get free resources such as graphics, music, presentation templates, gift cards and more.

Find a copy of a slideshow below, as well as links to additional resources and the padlet where you can share YOUR free resources for colleagues!

Webinar_Free Resources for Teachers


1 - Tools to Transform Your Teaching

Seesaw Up! ISTE 2017

Get Seesaw Plus Free for a Month

Want to kick the tires on Seesaw? While you can certainly take advantage of its best features that way, there is a LOT more to Seesaw in its Plus version. Learn more about the excitement by visiting Angela Gadtke.

Why I Seesaw by Rafael Alba (@RafaelAlbaEd)

Nearpod is an interactive presentation and assessment tool that can be used to amazing effect in the classroom. The app’s concept is simple.

A teacher can create presentations that can contain Quiz’s, Polls, Videos, Images, Drawing-Boards, Web Content and so on. The children can access a teacher’s presentation through a code. It is up to the teacher to then move the class through the presentation and let them interact with the media as they go.

The app is ‘web based’ and is accessible on a ‘log in’ basis. This means that you can access your Nearpod account through any device that connects to the internet. Transform your existing PPTs, PDFs, and Google Slides into engaging Nearpod lessons by adding interactive activities. (Source)

Assessment Tools

  1. Exit Tweet: Ask students to briefly summarize what has been learned.
  2. Text Polling: Use tools like Google or Microsoft Forms, Kahoot, Quizizz to capture student responses to a question. You can also use Office Mix‘s built-in question feature!
  3. Classroom Response Tool: Use Socrative, Kahoot, Plickers, GoFormative.com, or Zipgrade.com to get insight into student learning in real time or a video with EdPuzzle.com.
  4. Additional “Rev Up Your Review” strategies: These are shared by Lisa Monthie (@lisamonthie) in the #tceachat Voxerchat:

Multimedia Text Sets (MMTS) and Hyperdocs

"MMTSs are just docs with links meant to build schema through exploration," says Lisa Highfill

"...it’s a group of resources—print, audio, and visual—on a particular topic or theme presented in a variety of genres" (Source: Mary Ann Cappiello and Erika Thulin Dawes in Teaching with Text Sets).


"HyperDocs are transformative, interactive Google Docs that replace the standard worksheet method of delivering instruction" (The HyperDocs co-creators).

Hyperdocs can also serve as vehicles of inquiry-based learning.

Get access to multimedia text sets and hyperdocs online at hyperdocs.co and http://hyperdocs.co/teachers_give_teachers

2 - Copyright-Friendly Media

Screenshot Tools

Windows

Mac/Chromebook

  • Built-in screen capture tools

3 - Presentation Templates & Tips

Mirror Your Device Screen for Presentations

“Most human behavior is learned observationally through modeling: from observing others, one forms an idea of how new behaviors are performed, and on later occasion,s this coded information serves as a guide for action,” says Albert Bandura, social learning theorist. Screen sharing facilitates teacher modeling. Research, as pointed out in various studies, has shown that “modeling is an effective instructional strategy in that it allows students to observe the teacher’s thought processes” (source).

Modeling serves as a way to scaffold students’ own efforts. When they master their own approach to a technique or use of technology (e.g. green screen weather forecast or lesson), then they can engage in student-centered modeling.

Tools for Mirroring Your Device

You probably already know about these apps for mirroring your iOS/Chromebook device to a computer connected to a digital projector:

One FREE alternative for Windows users to mirror their iOS device is LonelyScreen. Like the other solutions, it offers these features:

  • Cast AirPlay to PC/MAC.
  • Share on the big screen.
  • Capture and save.

4 - Video Annotation & Reflection Tools

  1. Flipgrid.com - Flipgrid is a free, fun, and easy way to have a video chat. It is a great way to get student feedback while incorporating student voice. There is an iOS and Android app.
  2. Recap - Like Flipgrid, Swivl's Recap provides teachers with new, creative ways to gather evidence of student thinking using video.
  3. VideoNot.es - Have students use this Google Drive App in conjunction with their Google account in order to take notes while they watch a video that you assign. Their notes are synced with the video - click on a line in the notes and have it jump to that portion of the video.
  4. Vialogues - Vialogues allows you to create conversations that revolve around a video.
  5. EdPuzzle - EdPuzzle allows you to use only what you need from any video, insert audio notes or record over a video with your voice, and add questions at any point in the video and track your students' understanding.
  6. Educannon (Playposit) - A great way to annotate already existing Youtube videos for students to watch at home.

Free Video Creation Tools and Digital Whiteboards

Chromebook Friendly

  1. Adobe Spark
  2. My Simpleshow
  3. Pixiclip
  4. PowToon
  5. Sharalike
  6. Stop Motion Animator
  7. WeVideo

Mind-Mapping Tools

5 - Screencasting Tools

  1. CaptureCast - Works well on Chromebook
  2. Screencastify - Screencastify is a Chrome extension that allows you to Record, Edit, Annotate, Store, and Share video screen captures. Record a specific tab, or your whole desktop at the click of a button. The free Lite version limits recording time to 10 minutes per video and has a watermark. 7 Super Screencasting Activities for School by Eric Curts.
  3. Nimbus Screencapture/Screenrecording - Nimbus is a Chrome extension for capturing web pages, either part of it or the whole browser window. You can also edit your screenshots. In addition screen record your desktop or a particular tab.
  4. Screencast-o-Matic - Screencast-O-Matic is a fantastic tool that will let you record directly form the site. You can record up to 15 minutes and it allows for webcam picture recording. Videos are saved in .mp4, .flv, or .avi video format or you can upload directly to YouTube.
  5. Powerpoint+Office Mix - Office Mix is an add-on for powerpoint that allows you to incorporate screencasts, quizzes, and whiteboard drawings into your powerpoints. Upload them to the Mix gallery to turn them into videos and track student assessments.

6 - Online News & Note-Taking Tools

  1. Dogo News – Dogo (which means young or small in Swahili) News provides serves as a leading source of news and information for current events, news and non-fictional content for Common Core ELA, Science and Social Studies. You may also want to visit companion Dogo sites focusing on books, movies, as well as one for teachers.
  2. Newsela – Current event articles covering many subjects, each written at five different Lexile levels so all students can read the same material at an appropriate level.
  3. Newseum – The goal of this source is to promote, explain and defend free expression. Special attention is given to the five freedoms of the First Amendment, including religion, speech, press, assembly and petition.
  4. Science News for Students – This site publishes stories about recent research and current events across the full breadth of STEM fields. We offer several types of articles, blog posts and weekly features. Each article is associated with additional content that can aid the classroom. Stories are grouped into topics, such as “space,” “life & evolution” or “math & technology.”
  5. Tween Tribune – Over 200,000 registered teachers are using free Smithsonian teacher tools in their classrooms. The site provides access to Daily AP news articles and self-scoring quizzes (both Lexile leveled for K-12), critical thinking questions, student commenting, Spanish AP articles, weekly lesson plans, weekly videos, and weekend “Monday Morning Ready” newsletter as prep for the week ahead.

Looking for great note-taking tools? Want to create power checklists for yourself and your students (or empower them to create their own!)?

Both of the following come with free Android/iOS apps, as well as are accessible on whatever computing device you may have (e.g. Chromebook, Mac/Windows laptop)

Great for Notes, Unformatted Writing and Checklists

Great for Notes, Document Repositories, Checklists and More

Keep in mind that if you are a Google Suites user, Google Keep will probably be your go-to. If you are Windows/Office 365, then definitely use OneNote. Or, if you are on a Mac, give SimpleNote a try if the Apple Notes app isn't your favorite.

7 - Free Software

Windows 10

If you missed it, there are tons of free, open source software you can use.

Here is a short list:

  • Ninite.com: Install and update all your programs at once. Scroll down to see all the available apps. Get my favorite Ninite picks (this will actually get you a copy of my favorites).
  • Open Source Windows
  • Compression Software (e.g. zip): 7-zip or PeaZIP
  • File Copying/Moving or Management: TeraCopy and FreeCommander
  • Text Editors: Notepad++, ConText
  • Free Adobe Alternatives
    • Scribus: Create great-looking, print-ready posters, newsletters, and magazines.
    • GIMP: Refine your photos or create your own artwork from scratch, with support for Photoshop plugins.
    • LightZone: A digital darkroom for converting, editing, and managing photos in batches or individually.
    • Inkscape: A versatile, open source vector editor that’s ideal for hobbyist illustrators and web designers.
    • Unsplash: Professional-quality stock photos in the public domain – totally free to download and use.

Although this blog entry has gotten long, there’s more to share. Check out this list of Microsoft apps for your surface book/tablet as well as other great Win10 programs.

Macintosh

  • MPEG StreamClip - Open/convert most movie formats
  • Seashore - free image editor
  • TextWrangler - Powerful, free text editor
  • The UnArchiver - uncompresses just about anything. Here are two great compression titles you can use to create archives.
  • VeraCrypt - lets you create encrypted drives so that you can store your private information in them. Very easy to use...put your confidential information in the encrypted containers this program can create.
  • VirtualBox - run Windows software, GNU/Linux software on your Mac
  • VLC Media Player - This media player will let you play MP3, OGG, MOV, AVI, and, in short, most video and audio formats available on the Web.
  • Outlook blends a simple interface for email and calendars and provides support for Microsoft OneDrive.
  • Inbox offers simple responses, email organization and more but lacks a unified inbox. It's a Google alternative to the stock Gmail app.
  • Spark‘s interface takes email management to the next level above tools like Google’s Inbox and Outlook, automatically sorting your inbox into various categories.
  • Astro features a Mac OS and iOS app. It enjoys an artificial intelligence (AI) that can help you manage your email (with Slack and Alexa support, scheduled emails, snooze emails).

Transform how you interact with your Gmail with either SortD.com or the Drag add-ons.

Wish you could move your Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, or Email around with click-n-drag or point-n-click? Check out these two awesome solutions:

  • CloudHQ.net - Free for 15 days (plenty if you are just moving your Google Suites for Education stuff to a personal Gmail/Drive account), and more if you tweet/blog about it
  • Multcloud.com - Free with paid plans available, great for helping high school seniors backup their data

8 - Cards and More

Walmart Gift Cards Every Six Weeks

Check with your local Walmart to see if you can participate in a program that gives a $25 Walmart gift card to teachers each six weeks. If yes, you will have to sign up for it and show your teacher ID. Then, you can go to the service desk each six weeks to pick up your gift card.

9 - Self-Paced, Personalized Learning

Ready to get your technical skills up to speed with self-paced, personalized learning opportunities? The more you explore and seek to share with others, the more you will grow.

While you can certainly pay for Lynda.com, Udemy.com, and many others, you may want to take advantage of several free alternatives first.

  • Microsoft’s Educator Community: This online community provides access to free, online professional learning courses. These courses often grant you points in the Community and/or digital badges you can display. Some offer certificates that you can print and put in your portfolio. They cover the basics of Office 365 tools like OneNote, Word Online, PowerPoint Online, and more. You can get started using your free Microsoft account, Twitter, or Facebook account.
  • G Suites Learning Center: This website provides access to various facets of Google Suites for Education. Definitely explore it to develop your learning.
  • YouTube: Many millennials and Gen Z’ers are growing up learning how to do something on their own. They accomplish this by watching videos on YouTube. You can search online to find a wide variety of topics and learn, then apply what you watch. One of my favorites on new tech is Steve Dotto.

Wait, TCEA Offers Online Professional Learning!

TCEA offers online professional learning for the low-cost of $49 a year. These learning opportunities include Lunch-and-Learn webinars, Get Your Google On webinars, Microsoft Academies, webinar bundles, face to face conferences/conventions, and more. Be sure to check out our blog to see the latest and great idea sharing. Also, be sure to register online via TCEA Events.