Sunday, November 9, 2014

FREE Technology Resources!!

I've been trying to move away from traditional paper/pencil activities, and trying to incorporate more technology-based activities in my classroom  Especially since students have their own tablet devices they take home each night.  It hasn't been an easy task, especially because these devices seem to have more problems than solutions... but, we have them and might as well use them!

Here are the FREE websites I've used this year with the windows-based tablets, and last year with iPads. Some work on both devices, some only work on the tablets.

1. Smore
This is a website where you can make free digital flyers.  It's a great way to replace the poster-assignments. It is extremely user-friendly and my 7th graders had no problem working it. When saved, it creates a unique hyperlink that can be edited further if needed, but also sent to be graded.
Please note: This website needs to run through FireFox or it won't always work correctly.

2. Haiku Deck
This is like PowerPoint but BETTER. It limits the amount of text that can be put on each page, which we all know students like to write paragraphs in their presentations. It has fun fonts and backgrounds to choose from, and is a bit easier to use than PowerPoint is. When finished, students can export it as a PPT file, or PDF. One downside is that adding your own pictures is tricky. Once you've exported it to PPT, you can add pictures more easily.

3. Doctopus
If you use GoogleDrive, you need to install this app.  Through this, you can send out digital worksheets to students. You can create different, differentiated documents for your students on GoogleDrive, send them electronically to students through this app. No need to pass out paper sheets. The great thing, you can differentiate sheets and NOBODY NEEDS TO KNOW they have a different sheet! Setting it up take a bit to get used to, and there is a great informational video on the homepage that walks you through the basics.

4. MindMup
Digital mind mapping. Great for connecting big ideas, and visualizing thinking. You can export this to GoogleDrive, as a PDF, and to PPT

What free technology resources do you use in your classroom?

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