Best of the Free Technology Tools for Teachers

I have been frequently asked by teachers about free software tools. Well, it is no secret that there are great number of freebies—applications, services, and sites available on the Web. However, how do you find these free technology tools, retrieve them, and use them in teaching and learning? Wouldn’t it be great if you know exactly where to go on the Web to get the information, applications, tools, or Web services you need for your teaching? To answer these questions, Patrivan Yuen and I reviewed hundreds of free technology tools and selected the best of very best tools that we thought are valuable to teachers. As a result, we came up our favorite list and made a presentation a presentation entitled “Best of the Free Technology Tools for Teachers” at the Mississippi Educational Computing Association (MECA) conference early this year. Our presentation reviewed our favorite list of the best, hidden stashes of incredible free technology tools on the Web that are valuable to teachers.

Hope you benefit from these freebies.

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About Steve Yuen

I am a Professor Emeritus of Instructional Technology and Design at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, United States.
This entry was posted in Educational Technology, Open Source. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Best of the Free Technology Tools for Teachers

  1. Heather Whisenhant says:

    When we were doing our assignments in It 365, I actually used some of these “freebees.” I found them extremely helpful. In pure honesty, I wanted to know more free teaching tools that I can use when I do become a teacher and I viewed the slide show, it did not come up, but I did see what was on each slide, and I could see how these software tools would be benificial. By the time I actually graduate, there will most likely be several more online “freebees” for me and other teachers to use in the classroom. I really found this blog to be helpful.

  2. Michelle Johnson says:

    I think it is awesome that Dr. Yuen gave us a list of freebies. I really liked the freebies and I am going to use them in my classoom. I think it is good I am aware of this information now before I get in the classroom. Because I can look through these freebies and decide which ones will be good for my classroom.

  3. Lisa McBeth says:

    I think that the free software offered for teachers is a great asset to the classrooms. Educational funding is not so great in our public school systems, so any educational tools that are offered for free are extremely important. I learned about many of these free tools in IT-365, and I plan on using them in my classroom. Tools like Inspiration that helps instructors make Concept maps will be very useful because the public school I used to work in used “Bubble Maps”, which are the same as concept maps. The students learned very much from these maps. I will definitely use Inspiration in my class. I will also use the online Rubric maker and the Online Quiz maker.

  4. Chris says:

    I have found your excellent ppt on slideshare. However, when I go to download it, I get a bad link. Could you email me a copy of that PowerPoint?

    As a tech integration coordinator for a school district I really appreciate people like yourself that allow others to use your material.

    Thanks
    Chris

  5. Roxanna Mathis says:

    As a teacher candidate I am always looking for ways to be able to not only intergrate technology into my classroom but to also find resources that will help me better as a teacher. I had found some free software tools, but I was really amazed when I came into IT365 and was introduced to other great software. I enjoyed all of the sites we visited with my favorite being the Online Quiz Maker. It’s great to know that there is a place where I can make a quiz for my students to access for free. I also like School Notes. It will be a great tool to use once I have a class!

  6. I love the fact that there are free tools for teachers. For teachers benefit, they may not have the time or money to look or buy the software.

    I believe that the tools would be convient for teachers, and since I had the chance to work on the software I love it. I cannot wait to use these softwares when I become a teacher.

  7. Pingback: Recommended Free Technologies for Teachers « Clif’s Notes

  8. Tawana Alexander says:

    Anything that says free will catch just about anyone’s attention. You should consider posting flyers or something. Teachers are already under paid so this would be a wonderful gift for struggling teachers. How could we get access to this list that you created? I am sure that teacher will greatly appreciate this opportunity. People like you make teachers appreciate their job. I just can not imagine becoming a teacher and realize that I am expected to purchase a number of things for my class. I will not be a happy camper. Well, I am sure that there are several free things out there we just have to search for them, people like me may not like doing so, but in the long run it will definitely pay off.

  9. Holly Grover says:

    The word “free” is definitely one of my favorite words. Those four little letters come together to form one beautiful idea. Free!
    I have a friend who is a first-year teacher, and she often gives me advice about teaching. One of the things she told me is that I need to get as much free resources and tools that I can possibly find because the school systems usually can not afford to provide teachers with much money. So, I love the fact that there is a list of freebies that I will be able to use when I start teaching!

  10. Kemiaya Jackson says:

    The word free always catch my eyesight. Free software would make anybody check out the websight. In IT 365 the different free trials for teachers were very helpful. I feel in love with all the different website that had free software. Teachers have so much to buy and prepare for the classroom. The different quizzes and puzzles were very fun. I am sure that I could use that particular website in my classroom. The important thing about this different software is that the children can access this for free also and the parents can see what their children are learning.

  11. WMoye says:

    I will share this information with other teachers who have very little money but wants to use technology. Although the word “free” always catches our eye sight, we have to be careful to learn to use software that has a direct impact on our classroom (students) learning. No matter what the software,once you create a digital copy, you have it a lifetime. This is just more helpful information to be able to use when the need arises.

  12. Houbin Fang says:

    I benefit a lot from free software. It is true the free software can be a valuable resource in education to both teachers and students. It can help us with technology and pedagogy and it can also promote the values of all kinds of projects in the schools. I finished my assignments for many times using free software.
    Some people may say that you have to do surveys or register to get free software online or sometimes you have to bear receiving junk mail for commercial purpose to get free tools. Even you do all these still not enough because almost all the free tools have limitation, either the limited function, time or any other limitations.
    These are all true, but I am still appreciated. Thinking about hundreds of dollars for the official version, how many students can afford it? Especially, when you think that even you buy a license you still have a limited time for using it because some licenses will be expired in either one year or several month. Furthermore, think about that if we cannot find any open source online what are we going to do with these assignments? The only way we have is to pay.
    Another thing I want to mention that not all the free tools online have limitation to free users. And even most of time these free tools have limitation to free users, but it does not matter because most of the time we do not need to use that many functions either.

  13. Andrea Howard says:

    Dr. Yuen,

    This slideshare presentation is fabulous. It is no secret that teachers are always looking for new ways to enhance their instruction, but lack the funding and resources to do so. Your “best sites” provide a plethora of free resources which allow teachers, among others, to have the most productive technological experiences why utilizing the computer in their classrooms or their homes. Thank you for doing all of the hard work for us.

  14. Pingback: Clif’s Notes » Blog Archive » Recommended Free Technologies for Teachers

  15. 陳旭能 says:

    在智權觀念發達卻又同時注重使用科技軟體教學之現代教育發展模式下,如何取得又好用又不必耗費金錢之教學軟體,的確是教育工作者一最感興趣之話題。服務企業界人力資源工作多年,我發現這樣的問題亦相同存在於企業之內,甚至更加艱難。其中最大原因為企業乃將本求利之營業單位,軟體發展者對於企業之智權監控遠比學校嚴苛;比如以統計軟體SPSS而言,學生做研究時取得SPSS軟體便不似企業人員作問卷調查時般困難。不過即使如此,仍有許多免費又可用之教學軟體資源可供所有教學或訓練者共用。其中除了本文所提及者外,經由任教於國小之同學分享,我亦發現在「教育部校園自由軟體應用諮詢中心」網站中,其實有許多自由免費軟體可供運用,提供給大家參考。

  16. 陳旭能 says:

    補充提供–「教育部校園自由軟體應用諮詢中心」網站
    http://ossacc.moe.edu.tw/modules/tinyd1/index.php?id=3
    網址如上,請參考!!

  17. 陳旭能 says:

    在智權觀念發達卻又同時注重使用科技軟體教學之現代教育發展模式下,如何取得又好用又不必耗費金錢之教學軟體,的確是教育工作者一最感興趣之話題。服務企業界人力資源工作多年,我發現這樣的問題亦相同存在於企業之內,甚至更加艱難。其中最大原因為企業乃將本求利之營業單位,軟體發展者對於企業之智權監控遠比學校嚴苛;比如以統計軟體SPSS而言,學生做研究時取得SPSS軟體便不似企業人員作問卷調查時般困難。不過即使如此,仍有許多免費又可用之教學軟體資源可供所有教學或訓練者共用。其中除了本文所提及者外,經由任教於國小之同學分享,我亦發現在「教育部校園自由軟體應用諮詢中心」網站中,其實有許多自由免費軟體可供運用,提供給大家參考。

  18. 陳旭能 says:

    補充提供–「教育部校園自由軟體應用諮詢中心」網站
    http://ossacc.moe.edu.tw/modules/tinyd1/index.php?id=3
    網址如上,請參考!!

  19. Patrick Chiang says:

    我看完這篇的第一個問題是,這些工具是如何被認為可以幫助老師?以及提供哪些幫助?好像沒有特別著墨在這些部份耶!不過,如果是單純以Best of the Free Technology Tools來看,則我認為這篇對大家的價值是100%的,因為這些都是我們一般所需要的工具,而且是免費的,以大家對於軟體所需的類型多且價格普遍不低,如需讓自己的電腦功能完整的話也需要一筆不少的費用來說,這些免費的軟體的確解決了我們大部份的需求。

    我認為對身為老師的人來說,我們的重點不僅是在於要會使用這些軟體,應該是先了解自己的教學上,學生是否需要以及需要哪種類型的輔助,而為了達到這樣的目的,我們就必須先了解有哪些工具?這些工具可以做哪些事?這些工具有哪些限制?

    最後就是要思考如何將這些軟體所做出來的教材或素材整合起,而不是變成零散的檔案。比方說我們可以將自己的文字稿講義用open office編輯成ppt檔、利用audacity編輯出演講的聲音檔、利用slideshare將兩者整合起來變成有聲投影片、利用影音編輯軟體製作具體示範的影片、利用super軟體做後製的編修、如有需要還可以在利用screencasting錄製操作的步驟、再將影片檔上傳到分享網站Youtube、最後再利用wiki將文字投影片影片等整合到一個課程主題上、進行班級合作學習或小組學習活動、利用blog做心得或筆記或報告分享、利用Twitter等將訊息Po出去給所有的同學知道、……。把所有的軟體的協助變成是我們製作一套完整教學課程的流程,相信即使剛開始不順手,但漸漸地我們會發現我們可以主動地照顧到那些不同學習類型的學生,且讓學習活動變得更生動有趣。因此我所認為的重點,不是只在知道有哪些軟體,而是在如何組織這些軟體應用的教學準備與教活動。

  20. Patrick Chiang says:

    我看完這篇的第一個問題是,這些工具是如何被認為可以幫助老師?以及提供哪些幫助?好像沒有特別著墨在這些部份耶!不過,如果是單純以Best of the Free Technology Tools來看,則我認為這篇對大家的價值是100%的,因為這些都是我們一般所需要的工具,而且是免費的,以大家對於軟體所需的類型多且價格普遍不低,如需讓自己的電腦功能完整的話也需要一筆不少的費用來說,這些免費的軟體的確解決了我們大部份的需求。

    我認為對身為老師的人來說,我們的重點不僅是在於要會使用這些軟體,應該是先了解自己的教學上,學生是否需要以及需要哪種類型的輔助,而為了達到這樣的目的,我們就必須先了解有哪些工具?這些工具可以做哪些事?這些工具有哪些限制?

    最後就是要思考如何將這些軟體所做出來的教材或素材整合起,而不是變成零散的檔案。比方說我們可以將自己的文字稿講義用open office編輯成ppt檔、利用audacity編輯出演講的聲音檔、利用slideshare將兩者整合起來變成有聲投影片、利用影音編輯軟體製作具體示範的影片、利用super軟體做後製的編修、如有需要還可以在利用screencasting錄製操作的步驟、再將影片檔上傳到分享網站Youtube、最後再利用wiki將文字投影片影片等整合到一個課程主題上、進行班級合作學習或小組學習活動、利用blog做心得或筆記或報告分享、利用Twitter等將訊息Po出去給所有的同學知道、……。把所有的軟體的協助變成是我們製作一套完整教學課程的流程,相信即使剛開始不順手,但漸漸地我們會發現我們可以主動地照顧到那些不同學習類型的學生,且讓學習活動變得更生動有趣。因此我所認為的重點,不是只在知道有哪些軟體,而是在如何組織這些軟體應用的教學準備與教活動。

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