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Are you having problems engaging with your students in the classroom? Comprehending and retaining knowledge of new material Learning doesn’t have to be a chore. If you’re armed with a good choice of digital tools it’s easy to get your students excited about learning.
Free tools for the digital classroom are available for:
- History/Social Science
- Arts and Crafts
- Language Arts
- Health and Wellness
- Classroom Management
Since technology allows access to different people in different places, students can work together online without having to go to each other’s houses. Money can be saved on educational infrastructure and resources if educational technology is integrated heavily into the educational system. Educational Technology consists of certified teacher specialists who empower all educators in the innovative integration of technology through modeling, coaching, professional learning, and ongoing support.
We’ve searched the internet to find the best free and low-cost tools to improve your classroom teaching experience. Add any or all these resources to your educator’s toolkit to help inspire your students to learn more, understand faster, retain more of what they learn and — best of all — enjoy what you’re teaching!
Top 7 Digital Tool to Make Learning Awesome
With practically everything in the classroom now digitized, finding low-cost or even free resources is more important than ever. We’ve compiled a list of 7 of the best teaching and education tools for the digital classroom. While the basic versions of these tech tools are free many also have pro, enhanced versions.
Most of these tools are available to use on iOS devices, Chromebooks, Android devices, Kindle or desktop computers.
- 360 Cities
Although 360 Cities wasn’t originally designed as an educational tool for schools, it has many applications that are being used by educators to better engage with their students in the classroom. This tool is a website that features detailed 360-degree images of cities around the world.
This tool has a variety of applications for helping students learn science, language arts, history and more. Technology integration specialists are using this resource to let their students search for images of sites mentioned in the books they are reading — this gives them a total immersion experience as they can virtually walk the streets of any city they want to explore. Your class can also work together to photograph panoramic images of local landmarks and upload their photos to the website to share with other 360 Cities users.
GoConqr is the perfect tool if you are looking to discover educational resources that can be tailored for each student’s personal learning journey. You can search the community resource library and create e-learning activities in the form of mind maps, quizzes, notes, slides, and flashcards.
This tool lets you develop customized lesson plan bundles, track progress, test abilities and give your students instant feedback. GoConqr is the perfect independent and autonomous platform to help make learning fun for the entire class.
Rewordify improves students reading skills, is free to use and requires no software to install since you use it directly on their website. This tool rewords difficult text and website content according to whatever grade level or age you choose.
Simply copy and paste the text you want to be reworded to simplify difficult words and phrases for faster comprehension while helping students build their vocabulary. The website also has many classic literature and public domain writing samples to choose from including Shakespeare and the works of Edgar Allan Poe.
Storybird helps students unlock their creative writing skills, improve their media literacy, enhance their digital citizenship skills, and is used in over 400,000 K-12 classrooms. The basic version of this digital tool is free for educators and their students. Storybird is used to inspire students to read often and write better by letting them create poetry, picture books and long form books. They can even work on their socialization and collaboration skills by co-creating stories with their classmates.
Educators use the storytelling website to create assignments, review stories and provide feedback to their students. Students can add artwork, provided by Storybird artists, to illustrate their books. Besides writing their own stories, students also can read, review and comment on the work of their peers.
Quizlet is an online study aid, for students ages 6-12, that supports education at home, in school or on the go. Students use Quizlet to improve their grades by studying with flashcards, quizzes, games and more. As an educator, you can search millions of study sets or create your own to keep students engaged and motivated.
There is an interactive feature, Quizlet Live, that lets students collaborate by working in teams to solve problems in real-time. This tool also offers support for ELLs and students with learning differences.
- Seesaw: The Learning Journal
Seesaw is a digital platform used by educators to enhance student engagement. This tool lets educators accommodate a variety of learning styles. You assign tasks to students and, once the assignment is complete, you can review the student’s portfolio, comment on their work and offer positive feedback.
Seesaw lets you find and create activities to share with your students while students can create an online portfolio of their photos, images, text files, drawings, videos and more. There is even a library filled with activities aligned with the Common Core for all grade levels. Get the app on Google Play or download in the App Store.
- Project Gutenberg
While Project Gutenberg isn’t technically an ed tech tool, it is a tremendous resource that can be used in your classroom. Project Gutenberg offers over 57,000 copyright free eBooks on their website. Choose among free e-books, free kindle books, download them to your laptop, or read them online. You can even copy and paste text from this site and use Rewordify to simplify the content according to age or grade level.
So, there you go, the top 7 list of FREE, or low-cost, must have tools, apps and resources for the digital classroom to help your students. Common Sense Education is another great resource to find recommendations on the best educational technology tools to use in your classroom. Their site includes detailed analysis and reviews by educators on free, free to try, and paid EdTech tools.
Exploring EdTech Tools at FETC 2019
Registration to the Future of Education Technology Conference gives you access to many great workshops, sessions and presentations including Let’s Design a Learning Space Together Using Free Software which looks at a few extremely easy-to-use design programs that will help you reimagine your classroom.
Innovative Mathematics: Real World Application Meets Creativity and Online/Free Tools is another great session to help your students develop a deeper understanding and a passion for math making them more likely to retain the information you teach.
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Additional sessions, presentations and workshops at FETC specifically focused on tools for the digital classroom include:
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- How to Evaluate, Select and Implement New Technology
- Free and Low-Cost Assistive Technology for Teachers and Students
- Personalized Learning: 19 Apps, Extensions and Add-ons for 2019
- Google Tools to Promote Inclusive Learning and Differentiation
- Maximizing Technology Purchases Through Innovative Learning Environments
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Register today for FETC and learn more!