10 Free Resources and Tools for Today's Classrooms

In a recent post, I focused on five important ideas I believe need to be in place to support student centered learning in a technology rich environment. Please note these five concepts listed below and feel free to read the last post.

  • Technology Integration Is A Step by Step Process
  • Technology Integration Must Go Beyond The Device Putting Students AT The Center
  • Technology Integration Process Must Be Open To Consider New Possibilities
  • Technology Integration Must Go Beyond The Tech Shine
  • Technology Integration Must Amplify The Learning Experience

With these ideas in mind I thought I would begin the task of collecting various free resources and tools and assembling them into a student centered toolkit. The items I collected might be a tool, possibly a resource, or collection of resources. It might directly rely on technology or could possibly be a catalyst for integration through its implementation. I wanted to keep the numbers down because I really viewed this a a starter kit. More items can always be added, and there really is so much out there I did not list. You can always let me know what to add. In order to become a resource in this kit I had the following criteria:

  • Free or at least a free tier
  • Multi-platform capability
  • Fairly easy learning curve for teachers and students
  • Provide an avenue or resource that could facilitate student centered learning
  • Provide content and performance based standards

With this in mind I would like to introduce the first half of my collection. Please enjoy and let me know what I might add!

1. ClassTools.net

About: Numerous tools for digital creation. Wonderful and engaging possibilities that help kids learn

Student Centered: Students become creators and producers with amazing tools

Highlights: Social Media Templates, Museum Box, Graphic Organizers

2. Screencast-o-matic

About: Create screen casts complete with audio that can be saved as a movie for future learning

Student Centered: Students create their own videos to curate curriculum, demonstrate learning

Highlights: Wonderful edit tools, Export videos to multiple locations

3. ReadWriteThink

About: Wonderful set of interactives that can be used in any area of the curriculum

Student Centered: A focus on student creation and production to demonstrate learning.

Highlights: Trading Cards and Bio Cube, Over 50 interactives, Hundreds of lessons.

4. Google Lit Trips

About: Using Google Earth to bring an authentic reading experience through literature

Student Centered: Instructional materials shows student how to make their own trip

Highlights: All grade levels, Possibilities for a variety of trips

5. Right Question Institute

About: Scaffolds the inquiry process promoting a technique to promote student asking of questions

Student Centered: Students take ownership of meaningful inquiry and research

Highlights: QFT- Question Formulation Technique, Lessons that can be employed

6. Weebly

About: The ability to create websites by both teachers and students to enhance curriculum

Student Centered: Students can create their own websites to demonstrate learning

Highlights: Ease of use… drag and drop, Variety of ways to demonstrate and engage

7. Blendspace

About: Teachers can make lessons, or use lessons from others that student then engage in through a link

Student Centered: Allows for differentiation and student self-regulation

Highlights: Use in or out of an LMS, Great resources included

8. Quizziz

About: Classroom quiz game that allows for group learning and individual reflection

Student Centered: Allows students to level up as they see clues of their own learning

Highlights: Embedded data tracking, Student creation possibilities

9. Nearpod

About: Provide a lesson using slide shows  on each student’s device with web visits, slides, assessments

Student Centered: Students can create their own Nearpods to demonstrate learning

Highlights: Classroom 1 to 1 management, Built in formative learning features

10. Formative

About: Wonderful feedback tool that can be used to gauge learning for individuals and whole groups

Student Centered: Students know that teacher is in tune with progress and receive instant feedback

Highlights: Just about any devices, Great drawing capabilities

In this post I have shared with you ten student centered tools/resources for the technology rich classroom. I did promise twenty tools/resources and those are coming your way in the next post! Please share with others and be sure to return! I know you will like the ones coming your way!

Michael Gorman has overseen a one-to-one laptop program and digital professional development for Southwest Allen County Schools near Fort Wayne, Indiana. He has also served as a consultant for Discovery Education, ISTE, My Big Campus, and November Learning; served on the National Faculty for BIE (BUCK Institute); and been an adviser for Tech & Learning magazine. His awards have included district Teacher of the Year, Indiana state Teacher of the Year semi-finalist, Indiana STEM Educator of the Year, Advocate for Johns Hopkins University, and Microsoft’s Global Education Hero award. Mike maintains his award winning 21centuryedtech Blog and also posts articles at T&L and November Learning. Follow on Twitter at @mjgormans

Related toolkits

Learn more now with materials from these toolkit and resource collections:

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