Free Technology for Teachers

A great blog having a great number of resources and tools which you can make use of for your classes. You can use RSS to subscribe to the posts, so that you can keep up to date with very little effort.

There are a number of other tools that you can use to keep track of the many websites which publish information that can interest you. Google offer the iGoogle reader. iGoogle is an RSS aggregator… you simply copy and paste the URL of your favourite sites, and iGoogle will keep you updated with the latest posts.

I do prefer to use Feedly. Feedly is another service which uses my gmail account. Everytime I come across an interesting blog which I want to keep visiting and which is of enough interest to me that makes me want to keep up to date with the info published I add it to Feedly. Feedly is available both on PC and Mac, as well as on all mobile platforms. A great tool to keep you up to date.

The third RSS aggregator, which is also nice to use is called Netvibes. I used to use it and the good thing about it is that whilst the other two RSS readers are personalised, and therefore available only to yourself, Netvibes allows you to create a public page with all the feeds from the websites which are of interest to you and may be of interest to your audience.

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29 thoughts on “Free Technology for Teachers

  1. The technology that I use for my course and personal life includes:

    Dropbox – this allows me to put any files and even share folders with others, which can be accessed anywhere online. The service is free, which gives you 2GB of storage online, and increases if you invite others.

    Facebook groups – this allows information to be exchanged in one location about a particular task, or sharing ideas.

    The following is not free but I still use it:

    Phoster – iPad app – allow the creation of posters on the device

  2. Yes Dropbox (wwww.dropbox.com) is excellent… I use it to store all my important files… including my research work. It’s great cause it allows access from anywhere anytime, and files can be shared with my colleagues or students.
    Have your tried Glogster (www.glogster.edu) for the creation of posters online… I found it’s really great and students (of all ages) love it…

  3. To constantly update yourself with what is out there can be quite tiring at times as new technical innovations are constantly emerging. However, I do agree that utilities such as iGoogle can help the teacher interact with her students quite efficiently. You do not need to be a rocket scientist to use such applications. Gone are the days when we had to design a website from scratch using Dreamweaver or some HTML editor. I am not saying that they are of no use nowadays however they are time consuming. Resources that have flexibility and are easy to edit can give the teacher the possibility not only to share information but also to interact in real time and to give constant feedback to the students.

    • Yes, I agree with you about Drop Box, I use it as well and it’s fantastic for me to save my work and some researched work for assignments. The advantage of it is that I can access it from everywhere, without the need of having my laptop. I find it very useful for saving assignments because I can continue my assignments from everywhere even if I don’t have my computer available.

  4. Drop box is one of the innovative ideas to keep a back up of your data and that is accessible online from everywhere you want. This is very useful for me as I may start a task on my laptop and then can continue it where I want without carrying my laptop. Apart from that you can also share folders with your colleagues. This is very useful for sharing materials with large memory as these will not be allowed to be sent via an email. This can be done by saving your files in the public folder on drop box and then chose with who you want to share your material.

  5. I came across a HUGE list of some of the best free internet resources for education, which is constantly updated…..

    http://www.boxoftricks.net/internet-resouces-for-education/

    I believe that being able to take advantage of the available technology is an indispensable skill for teachers to acquire in an age where students’ learning expectations are changing radically.

    Above all, I believe that the effective use of technology in our schools ensures that education remains relevant to our students in their increasingly digital lives.

    • Hey… that’s great…. Please keep sharing resources and interesting information that you might come across… I believe that we learn and we grow when we share what we know with others – that’s the spirit which should drive us all as professionals and as Educators.

  6. An interesting thing that I came across during my teaching practice was of having the Geography teacher, whom she had taken the initiative to organize a website where she can post the worksheets she had given to students in class. There is also space for the teacher to post any subject related videos. In addition, students can also use the forum to communicate and ask questions both to their friends and also to the teacher.

    I found this initiative very helpful both for other teachers and also for students. Sharing information and resources can help teachers to improve their teaching strategies as to motivate students to learn.

    An interesting website that I came across which is full of resources….
    http://www.tes.co.uk/Home.aspx

  7. Jien personali nħoss li xi minn daqqiet qegħda ngħix fis-sħab b’l-ammont ta’ informazzjoni li nsib ruħi fiħ fuq l-internet. Kif tidra xi ħaġa, tinħoloq xi ħaġa ġdida u trid terġa tibda kollox mill-ġdid, kull fejn tidħol trid tagħmel Sign Up u tispiċċa b’xeba accounts!
    Pero dawn is-siti li hawn hawnhekk huma ferm interressanti għal-fatt li jgħinuk f’dak li jinterressa lilek mingħajr ħafna sforz minn naħa tiegħek u għal dan il-fatt li xi ħadd bħali jitħajjar li jagħmel użu minnhom!
    Minn naħa l-oħra, nħoss li t-teknoloġija, għalkhemm xi minn daqqiet tiffrustrak, tgħin tassew speċjalment lilna għalliema fejn jidħol dak li għandu x’jaqsam risorzi, informazzjoni, kreativita’ u faċilita.

  8. There are many great websites and tools, which I find them useful in teaching and learning, as well as in my personal life. These are:

    1. Dropbox (as many have already stated) =)
    2. Google groups
    3. facebook groups
    4. blogs
    5. http://www.yousendit.com (in order to send large files and email attachments)
    6. https://www.wetransfer.com/ – in order to send larger files too
    7. http://www.zamzar.com (to download a video-clip from youtube, to convert file, manage files and sent files)
    8. vimeo – similar to youtube – one can download videos and post his/her own videos
    9. http://www.tes.co.uk – for teaching resources
    10. Photoshop – creating posters, pictures, editing photos, etc..
    11. Slideshare
    12. http://www.wingclips.com – in order to view inspirational movies and short video-clips can also be downloaded.
    13. movie maker – in order to create a movie/video-clip all by youself
    14. podcasts – in order to record your lecture/lesson
    15. e-portfolio

  9. Thanks for sharing these useful links. Some I constantly use while others are new to me.

    I agree with Duncan that sometimes it is very time consuming keeping abreast with new technological advancement and programs. I also agree with Dorothy about having to create accounts finishing with lot of usernames and passwords.

  10. I recently found out that there a teachers’ channel on youtube.

    YouTube.com/Teachers

    It contains educational videos only which some of us could use with students in class.

    A similar website to youtube, exclusively for teachers, is teachertube.com. It’s a media-sharing website where you can view, upload or share videos, audio, docs, and photos.

    • Qed nieħu gost nara dawn il-kummenti u l-ħoloq (links) kollha l-għaliex nemmen li lkoll huma utli għall-professjonalità tal-għalliem. Barra minn hekk dawn jiftħu tieqa għal firxa kbira ta’ riżorsi u jagħmlu l-mezz ta’ komunikazzjoni aktar faċli lill-għalliem.

      Nixtieq inħalli nota fuq id-dropbox. Naħseb sfortunatament dan is-sit forsi ftit baqgħalu ħajja l-għaliex naħseb kif ilkoll smajtu, ħafna mis-siti tal-file hosting qegħdin jingħalqu jew jgħalqu huma stess. Ir-raġuni hija waħda sempliċi – il-piracy. Naħseb li lkoll smajtu kif il-ġimgħa l-oħra l-FBI għalqet is-sit tal-Megaupload minħabba l-ammont kbir ta’ materjal ikkopjat li kien hemm fiha u kif dan kien jinxtered b’mod illegali bejn in-nies. Wara dan il-każ li deher f’ħafna ġurnali, is-siti tal-filehosting l-oħra bdew ifittxu u jaraw kif iħassru l-fajls kollha tagħhom jew jagħmlu aċċess biex il-fajl ma jinxteridx imma jarah dik il-persuna li tellgħu biss.

      Allura jekk għandtkom xi fajls fuq id-dropbox ħudu ħsieb u agħmlu kopja tagħhom fuq il-kompjuter malajr kemm jista’ jkun:

      Jekk għandtkom il-ħin aqraw dan l-artiklu biex jagħtikom aktar tagħrif:

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2090528/Megaupload-case-Other-file-sharing-websites-risk-prosecution.html

      • It seems that the trend in society is pointing towards using the “cloud” or the WWW for all the data. Therefore if one service closes, there will always be others that you can use. That is why getting to know what is available out there on the Web is so important. Keeping up-to-date with whatever is going on, is important for an Educator, throwing our profession into an entirely different light.

  11. I use Dropbox and Facebook groups as means of communication and/or learning. I find them very efficient and interesting. I always try to keep abreast with the constant rapid changes in the technology world although it’s not always that easy considering the fact of the very rapid changes and upgrades in this world (technology world)!!

  12. Free technology for teachers may be an extremely helpful tool, especially when planning a lesson or creating resources. Having had to prepare a number of lessons in the past and being quite computer literate, I have often sought the help of the internet in this regard. However I am still quite skeptical about the potential of such resources.

    Nowadays I use a number of apps linked to my Google Chrome browser which serve me quite well including an app to look up free information on Wikipedia, diigo to highlight all important sites.

    The problem is that (as was mentioned in previous posts) free information is difficult to come by these days. I have often tried to find lesson plans (to save time) and the only website which was particularly resourceful (and free) was http://www.primaryresources.co.uk I used this website in the past for free resources when I was working with students with special needs.

    Other websties such as TES, only have a selection of free resources, whereas most resources are for paid members only.

    I believe that in preparing lessons and resources one make use of free search engines such as google (got an app for that too) and I simply look up .PDF files in the advanced search options. This helps me to find most of the free resources on legitimate websites such as BBC.com where these are freely available for educators.

    The second part of having free technology is obviously the ability to have free applications to be able to create ones resources.

    Personally I believe a lot in google documents. Even though this web based files creation and sharing tool is quite simple (especially when compared to Zoho writer or MSN Skydrive), it is one of the fastest and the simplest to use. Since I do not have office on my netbook this web based application is really important for me. With constant updates google documents is creating a truly virtual office environment.

    I also use google documents to share with collaborators or simply send a document as an attachment.

    Personally

    I believe that even though technology serves us well, it is often time consuming to learn to use new software. Sometimes (in PSD) I also found it less stressful and time consuming to create an actual physical activity then to spend a lot of time creating a computer alternative.

    I also believe that everyone should use free technology on the internet but not at all costs. In other words the internet and technology are important resources to use in planning and creating resources as long as they serve their purpose well. Not EVERYTHING is better with technology.

  13. I have never been fanatical about technology. With regards to social networking, I am an avid user of facebook and I’m sure I don’t speak for myself when I say that time flies when I’m online! It is through facebook that i share information with friends and acquaintances, whilst keeping myself informed and updated with events and birthdays. Facebook groups and pages allow people to share relevant information. Last year I helped organise a charity event and created a facebook page..not surprisingly a large amount of those who attended and donated heard about it through facebook, as people continously shared the page.
    Personally, I often send informal important messages as a private message on facebook as opposed to email, as nowadays people check their facebook almost everyday, often more than they check their emails. Also, similiar to Twitter, people often post links or opinions about immediate happenings and I find out a lot of things on facebook, before watching the news -for instance the recent disaster of the Costa Concordia.

    After enrolling in this course I have started to discover more websites and useful online tools, realising that my use of the internet was limited. Most of the shared links above are new to me, and i am enjoying exploring and broadening the way I use the internet. I like Dropbox in particular and find it really useful and I am determined to start tweeting soon!

    With regards to resources for lesson planning…there are thousands! I particularly like http://www.onestopenglish.com, http://www.eslflow.com and bogglesworld.com – for English teachers.

    I have realised that with the everchanging world of technology it is vital to keep up to date with new advancements as it is easy to lag behind!

  14. Hi all! When I consider how much I make use of technology in preparing materials and resources, you can really appreciate the benefits of free technology. From simple pictures on the internet to tools like dropbox to back up your data, gmail, youtube to access video clips, software such as free software such as audacity to edit sound clips, Twitter and so much more! Technology has become part of the teacher. When exploring new technological concepts, I came across this phrase on an online article; ‘teachers should not wait for others but take their own initiative’………. It is true, as teachers we must be the pioneers in experimentation and initiative to make the best out of technology in our teaching. Hopefully, I will have a look into the tools mentioned above in the original blog post (Feedly etc……) see what they involve and I will be able to comment better on them.

  15. In conjunction to what has been posted above, I have found an article about youtube as an educational resource. It lists 3 new channels youtube has released for educators, schools and students too.
    http://educationaltech-med.blogspot.com/2012/02/youtube-released-three-great-channels.html

    While I was browsing I also came across and article on game based learning- using games as educational reosurces-it lists 100 links to elearning games. This is a medium I would be very much loooking forward to explore and use as a history learning resource, even though Im still green at using such applications.

    http://www.upsidelearning.com/blog/index.php/2009/06/24/top-100-learning-game-resources/

    Hope you find some of them useful and fun!

  16. Nowadays one can find various free tools and websites online which can be used for teaching and learning. I find the Dropbox account very useful. One can put files in his/her Dropbox and these files can then be accessed from other computers. These files can be accessed only by the owner of the account unless the files are put in a public folder. Once a file is in a public folder, this can be accessed by everyone and thus this can be a very useful tool for share resources. Google Groups are also very useful. These are user-owned web-based discussion groups using the individual’s e-mail address. This allows for communication and collaboration with the group members which offers a generous storage limits.

  17. There are other tools you can use. For instance there is the drop box where one can store documents, icloud is similar to it but one can only save apps and music onto it. I also have been searching onto itunes and there have been some free downloadable material especially ‘pod casts’ and ‘i tunes u’ related to my area (history). I found them of great use during my studies and they can be a point of reference while teaching a particular topic. I also found apps on the android market like quizzes related to different subjects however they are not always free or sometimes a trial version. Twitter and Facebook can be used for educational purposes too. Youtube is a great resource and also forums and blogs were people discuss a variety of topics.

  18. I have never been a tech savvy person, and my laptop contains all the basic applications I need for it to function. But looking through this post and all the links everyone has been posting just made me realize how many resources and material there is out there to help is in our studies and our teaching! I’m looking forward to finding the time to go through all the different applications and see how I can use them in my lessons.

  19. Ever since the opening of the Apple App Store on the iPhone/iPod Touch back in 2007, I’ve been using several RSS readers for my personalised News Feed. There are an infinite number of websites and programs for those interested in keeping up to date literally by the second! For those with an iDevice, I suggest Miro. A fun, intuitive and awesome little app for the news-hungry! I’m not sure if it’s available on the Android marketplace but if it is, do yourself a favour and download it.

  20. I am using itunes U a lot for the coming teaching practice. This is totally free and it provides a set of educational videos , handouts and home works which could be given to the students. These resources are uploaded by universities and qualified teachers. I suggest this program for all of you because I have found it very useful.

  21. Great post, but what is your opinion about producing a second part to this article?

    Everything you covered was excellent, do not misunderstand me, I simply believe there was some crucial
    issues you left unanswered.

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