Free Teacher Resources for the Classroom
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Technology Resources for Teachers
Being a teacher is about the greatest job there is. Okay, I'm a little bit biased. Anyway, as a social studies teacher and now primarily a computer lab teacher I am always in a constant search for free technology resources that I can use somehow in my job as a teacher. I'm not against paying for something that I know is really good and can help but lets face it, free resources are appealing because they won't cost you anything.
Much of the software resources that are available are referred to as open source. This means that there are some smart computer software developers that want to be able to share their skills and give people alternative to some of the expensive software that people sometimes feel that they have to buy. Teachers spend plenty of money on materials and things for their rooms so free technology resources for teachers is something that I feel is important and worth taking a closer look at.
Teacher Stuff from Amazon
This software was not meant for capturing and recording a Web session, however, a lot of folks use CamStudio to do that very thing.
CamStudio can record everything you see and hear on your monitor while performing a task such as surfing the web or working with software and then save it to an AVI video file. It has a feature that can convert your captured AVIs to Adobe Flash or SWF format, which is often preferred for video clips that need to be accessed online because of its much smaller file sizes.
CamStudio is a great free technology resource and despite the slight learning curve, is worth the effort. This program is often used by software publishers to create tutorials. Imagine using this great free teacher technology resource in your class room. CamStudio costs us absolutely nothing to get and use.
Typing.com was formerly known as typingweb.com. This is a great resource to use for keyboarding instruction. I generally send my students to work on this site after they have completed their Type to Learn 4 software lessons. The students enjoy typing.com as a nice change from the in class software lessons that they just finished. I even choose to work on my own marginal typing skills on typing.com. I highly recommend this site to teachers. You can set up free classes and free student accounts. Most of the stuff is free to access. There are of course paid premium lessons that you can purchase later on if you want to.
Artpad at Art.com
You're probabaly familiar with programs such as Paint where the user can use their imagination to create, write, draw, spray paint, brush, etc. all kinds of cool things. Well there is another program that has all that and a lot more available to use online at the art.com website.
I have had this website linked on my own class website this year and I've noticed that the students really enjoy the site when I give them the free time to explore around on some of my links for a while. Take note of the replay painting feature which is really cool. It gives you a stroke by stroke replay of what it took to create some of the wonderful paintings that are on the site.This free technology resource can really be fun and don't be surprised if you find yourself killing some time on this website yourself.
How to Search Google for Free Power Point Files
- How to Search Google for Free Power Point Files
In the course of my work as a teacher of social studies for Junior high school students I use Microsoft Power Point quite a lot to present information to my class. When I first really started using Power Point I...
What's up with Wordle?
Wordle is a really cool website with all kinds of educational possibilities. Use this site to take text and then make a word cloud of the most used words in the text. You could copy and paste a any group of vocabulary words about science or social studies to emphasize these words during your unit work. You might copy and paste important primary source documents like the Declaration of Independence or the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution and then have your students narrow down the top group of words down to the most important ones and explain why they chose those words as most important.
Another idea for Wordle's use in your class could be used in reading . Before your students begin to read their stories, have your students do a brain storming activity on their thoughts about what a story might be about. This free technology resource for teachers is only going to be limited by your creativity and imagination.
Drive of Your Life
If you need to teach your students about possible careers they may choose one day when they get out of school, then the great free technology resource at www.driveofyourlife.org from the Indiana Youth Institute is a wonderful resource that I discovered a few years ago. I have been using it for the past few years now in my seventh grade technology lab and it has been a great resource that is specifically designed for use my middle school age kids. It starts by having them answer questions for a personality survey to see what type of person they might be and what their interests are. Then the students eventually get to to choose from several different cars and then they eventually get to take these jobs for a test drive. They may find that there are some grown up things that could happen to them along the way that may detour them from their dreams and goals which is of course just like real life as we know. Anyway, this is a great website and it is free to use and would be a great resource for any middle school teacher to use on a career unit.
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Please leave comments as you use these free technology resource for teachers in your class room. There are of course many more resources available. This is really just a quick sampling. Leave your own suggestions too. I'd love to hear your success stories.