Come Explore 10 Different Fun & Powerful Free Tools With our ‘3 Minute Teaching With Tech' Tutorials!
Have you ever peeked in on another teacher and saw them using a tech tool that made you think, “Wow! That looks really cool! I wonder how hard it is to use?”
Or maybe one of your own kids came home with an assignment or a story about work in class that impressed you with the fun technology that was used to engage students?
Well, a lot of these tools are not as daunting as they might seem. There are countless good free technology tools at our disposal that can be fun to use with our students.
I did a similarly themed post back in March of 2014 and teachers loved it … this time around I've got ten great apps that are all demonstrated in 3 Minute Tutorials that show you how to get started with them!
You've probably heard about apps that let you add questions to YouTube videos. Maybe you thought they were hard to use. They're really not. Watch the video and see how easy it is to do with EduCanon! This is a powerful capability, and it's free!
Assemble Cool ‘Linear’ Digital Lessons With Ease Using LessonPaths. LessonPaths is an easy to use tool that makes it a snap to combine web pages and other digital content into a easy to consume web based lesson content.
Movenote is a popular tool for educators because it's free, it's easy, and it makes it a snap to add a video discussion to selected digital content. Check out this tutorial video to see how easy it is, and you'll find yourself thinking about ways to use Movenote in your classroom!
With Tackk, you can create private or public online discussions around one or more pieces of digital content. Post web content, videos, your own digital content, questions, text, etc., and share them with ease. This a great way to have a dialogue, in class, or as part of an assignment, around digital learning content.
It is easy to create digital lesson content based around any YouTube video with the structured tool set provided at ed.ted.com. These lessons can be public or private, and the tools let teachers add associated content, a brief quiz, and online discussions associated with the video that is the focal point of the lesson. TedEd provides teachers summary feedback on lesson views, quiz results, discussions, etc.
Socrative is awesome. This free Student Response System can work with smartphones, tablets, and computers. This powerful yet simple SRS lets students respond to ‘quick questions' or full quizzes. It's a great way to assess student understanding, take a poll, or gather other useful feedback, quickly, and in a digital format.
There are a number of free screen casting tools available. One of the classics is Screencast-O-Matic, which is available as a web app, or as a download for your PC or Mac. The free version limits users to 15 minute videos and it does not provide editing capabilities, but for just $15, you can upgrade and get editing functionality and unlimited video length.
Remind (formerly ‘Remind101')
So this is an administrative tool, but it's tech-savvy too! Remind* lets teachers send text messages to students (and to parents or other teachers) through a web interface, for free. It will also send the same messages to email … people who sign up for the reminders can choose how they will receive them. Also, it only sends messages – it doesn't receive them (so you don't have to get bogged down in a communication stream requiring lots of attention).
Snip is a new screen capture and annotation tool (or just a ‘whiteboard’ if you want), from Microsoft. It makes it really easy to create instructional videos by writing or drawing on screen ‘snips', and saves the resulting video as an MP4 file. This is a nice way to create lessons by marking up and narrating over screen shots. Check it out (heads up though … Snip only works with Windows).
Blendspace is kind of like LessonPaths (introduced above), great for bringing together different kinds of digital content into one lesson, but the result is not delivered in linear, 1, 2, 3, order, but instead the digital materials are delivered in a grid (still numbered though). There are pros and cons to each of these tools, so if you like one, you may want to try the other (or at least watch the video) and decide if you think one makes more sense for your intended use than the other!
Of course, other readers always like hearing about your favorite free cool tools, and we'd love to hear how you make out with the we've shared here if you try them. Drop a note and share the love! Thanks for stopping by!