FREE DIGITAL TOOLS and APPS
Tools for Distributing and Collecting Assignments
Google Classroom is a free web service, developed by Google for schools, that aims to simplify creating, distributing, and grading assignments in a paperless way. The primary purpose of Google Classroom is to streamline the process of sharing files between teachers and students. This is part of every G Suite for Education domain.
Tools for Creating and Narrating Videos - UPDATED for 2020-21 SY
Screencastify supports teachers and students in easily recording and editing videos. See here for Screencastify resources for schools. Screencastify is offering a range of free premium resources, such as unlimited access to 'Recorder,' full access to 'Video Editor,' and an upcoming phased release of 'Submit'. Use coupon code: CAST_COVID
Google Hangouts Meet is Google's video conferencing software, provided as part of G Suite for Education. Features have been expanded to a limit of 250 participants and hosts may video record.
Tools for Formative Assessment
Formative is a web-based tool that allows teachers to create assignments, deliver them to students, receive results, and provide individualized feedback in real-time. Formative is donating access to all features for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year for teams impacted by COVID-19. Fill out the request form here.
Kahoot! is a game-based learning platform. Its learning games, "Kahoots", are multiple-choice quizzes that allow user generation and can be accessed via a web browser or the Kahoot! app. Kahoot! is offering free premium access here.
Edpuzzle is an easy-to-use platform where you can make any video your lesson. With just one click, you can find video lessons created by other teachers, including formative assessment! Another click and you can adapt that video by embedding your own questions or audio. With the final click, assign it to your students and get hassle-free analytics. Students can re-watch the video as many times as they need at their own pace, while you can easily check their progress from your account. Edpuzzle is offering some free features for educators here.
Flipgrid is a website that allows teachers to create “grids” of short discussion-style questions that students respond to through recorded videos. Each grid is effectively a message board where teachers can pose a question and their students can post 90-second video responses that appear in a tiled “grid” display.
An easy-to-use, content and assessment platform, and a convenient way for teachers to assess students and for students to keep track of their progress. LearnerPal is offering free school site licenses to NYCDOE schools. Speak to your administrator about registering.
The Chrome Canvas web app links to your Google account, allowing you to automatically save and edit your drawings on multiple devices to your Google account. Features a basic toolbar consisting of pencil, pen, marker, chalk, and eraser tools, and a color palette. You can export drawings as a PNG file when you’re done, or pull up the same drawing on your phone, and vice versa. You can also load an image as your drawing surface for annotation.
Explain Everything is a presentation app that integrates content from many sources that students and teachers can use to create lessons, tutorials, and more for class or personal use. Users can import photos, PDF files, movies, and more from many sources to use in the presentation. Onscreen drawings, annotation, animation, and audio can also be included. Explain Everything is offering extended free access to Explain Everything Whiteboard here.
Educreations is a unique interactive whiteboard and screencasting tool that allows users to annotate, animate, and narrate nearly any type of content. This is a web-based tool that also has an app for use with iPads. Educreations is offering free Pro upgrades to teachers through May 1, 2020 here.
Online Resources for Assignments: Readings, Videos, Self-Paced Activities
BrainPop is a group of educational websites with over 1,000 short animated movies for K-12, together with quizzes and related materials, covering the subjects of science, social studies, English, math, engineering and technology, health, and arts and music. There's also a companion site for younger kids, a Spanish language site, and a separate site for English Language Learners. BrainPOP is offering free access for the remainder of the school year here.
Newsela is an online news-as-literacy platform that features high-interest articles on everything from current events to myths and legends and from literature to science.
Stories from a wide range of sources (from the AP to Scientific American to the Washington Post) in English and also often in Spanish. All articles are available in five Lexile levels, from G3-12. Each leveled text features a quiz tailored to that particular article plus a writing prompt that asks students to write and respond to what they've read. Newsela is offering free premium access here.
Nearpod is an instructional platform that merges formative assessment and dynamic media for collaborative learning experiences. Upload and tech-enhance existing materials or customize over 7,500 pre-made, standards-aligned lessons for all K-12 subjects. Nearpod has opened up the self-paced lesson functionality for Silver memberships until June 30, 2020.
The Discovery Experience platform contains over 190,000 assignable, editable activities and resources (videos, interactive activities, and complete, ready-to-use lesson plans) for K-12, based on core curriculum concepts and popular topics in math, science, social studies, ELA, and health. Discovery Education Experience is offering free access remainder of the school year here.
Google Applied Digital Skills is a free, online curriculum that can be used remotely or in the classroom. Project-based units help students practice basic digital skills using Google's G Suite for Education apps. Students watch step-by-step video tutorials, pausing to complete activities. A teacher dashboard manages student assignments and progress, and the curriculum is aligned with ISTE Standards for Students.
Students must connect to a teacher's class using a code. Though the curriculum is self-paced, the lessons encourage collaboration and peer mentorship; some activities require teamwork. There is more than 100 hours of curriculum, including lessons such as Research and Develop a Topic, where students develop tests for credible sources; and Plan and Budget, where students collect and analyze data. For example, the If-Then Adventure Story unit fits easily into a creative writing class, but would also be a good project for a history class where students use real events to envision alternative histories.