TeachersFirst's BYOD Dream Tools: Free Tools that Work on ANY device!
This collection of reviewed resources and tools from TeachersFirst includes web tools and apps that are available for FREE on iOS (iPad, iPhone), Android, and web devices. Come here to find tools that your students can use as they do instructional activities in your BYOD or 1-1 classroom. In this collection, you will find tools and resources that include calculators, quiz creators, game makers, curation tools, interactive lessons, Venn-diagram creators, literacy accessibility tools, online time trackers, meme creators, podcast makers, translator tools, task list creators, and many other free tools that will work on any device.
Even the best device-agnostic resources have slight differences in capabilities on different devices. Encourage your students to share what they discover about additional or missing features on each type of device. Your class will quickly appoint experts for each resource or tool. TeachersFirst encourages our members (membership is FREE) to add comments and ratings to help other teachers and students who are trying these tools. Free resources and tools change quickly, so we welcome your comments on any changes that may occur to these tools and their free status.
(image credit: Jeremy Keith)
In the ClassroomCompleting the Book Creator Certified Author course is an excellent way to learn about the numerous features included in Book Creator, available when making engaging and interactive books to share with students or for students to use when creating books. Use the many available templates as a starting point to create books to enhance student learning and for students to share their learning. Find out more about how to use Book Creator by visiting the TeachersFirst review found here.
GradesK to 7
In the ClassroomBe sure to check the schedule often for upcoming events and add them to your calendar to take advantage of the opportunity to participate in the Storyvoice activities. Also, remember that recordings are only available for 24 hours following the event, so including them on your classroom calendar is crucial. Prepare for upcoming events by sharing stories from the featured author as a read-aloud or in reading centers. Have students prepare questions to ask during Storyvoice activities, then have your class vote on which questions to have available to share with the author using a voting tool such as Poll Everywhere, reviewed here. Have students write a thank-you letter to the author as a final activity. Find templates for friendly letters and a letter generator tool at Read Write Think, reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomInclude Focusable as one of your tools to assist students who have difficulty staying on task or with students who have anxiety as a teaching tool to learn meditative breathing and focusing techniques. Download the Research Guide for Education to understand the research behind Focusable and learn about ways to incorporate Focusable into classroom routines that develop healthy work habits and routines. Then, be sure to add a link to Focusable on your class website or newsletter for students and parents to access at home. To reinforce your focus routines in the classroom, ask a student or a group of students to share a weekly report on progress using Focusable. Students may include new breathing techniques learned, how routines are used at home, or how paying attention to focusing techniques improves class performance. Record and share short student video presentations using Adobe Express Video Maker, reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
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In the ClassroomCastbox is an excellent podcast-sharing option for simple podcasts or when sharing audio recordings that have already been edited, for example, using editing tools on your computer. Create regular or special podcasts to share on your class web page or wiki. Are you looking for even more ideas? Record class assignments or directions. Record story time or a reading excerpt for younger ones to listen to at a computer center AND from home, adding a touch of blended learning to your classroom! Have readers (perhaps older buddies) enhance their learning and build fluency by recording selected passages for your non-readers. Launch a service project for your fifth or sixth graders to record stories for the kindergarten to use in their reading and listening center. Challenge students to create "you are there" recordings as "eyewitnesses" to historical or current events. Make a weekly class podcast, with students taking turns writing and sharing the "Class News," encourage and extend learning and have students create radio advertisements for concepts studied in class (Buy Dynamic DNA!). Invite students to write and record their own stories or poetry in dramatic readings. World language students or beginning readers could record their fluency by reading passages. Allow parents to hear their child's progress reading aloud, etc. Compare world language, speech articulation, or reading fluency at two points during the year. Challenge your Shakespeare students to record a soliloquy. Write and record a poem for Father's or Mother's Day (or other special events) and send the URL as a gift to that special person. If you have gifted students who lean toward the dramatic, this tool is simple enough for them to create dramatic mini-casts without needing any additional tools. Learn more about using podcasts in the classroom by watching this archive of the OK2Ask: Engage & Inspire: Podcasting in the Classroom available here.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes Interaction w general public/ public galleries with unmoderated content
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
Multiple users can collaborate on the same project
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse gotLearning to focus on student learning using formative feedback and collaboration based on students' work. One advantage of using this site is that it helps students to organize and share work through one tool instead of trying to manage it within notebooks or folders. Include other support staff, such as counselors, special education instructors, and ENL/ELL teachers, as part of your learning conversations to provide a holistic approach to student learning. Share student growth documented on gotLearning with parents during conferences to help support upcoming learning goals.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomAccess the included guides to learn about the features of Spaces and to import your class. After creating a class, invite students to join by sharing the class code or link. Access is available on all devices and through apps available on Google Play and the Apple App Store. Introduce students to Spaces by asking them to upload a short video or photo introducing themselves to the class. Create and share student portfolios that demonstrate growth in reading, math, science, music, art, or other subjects. Share student work during parent/teacher conferences to show and highlight student progress.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark and save this site for many purposes for geography lessons and lessons about indigenous people worldwide. Engage students in learning by finding indigenous people who lived in or near your location and then exploring the provided links to learn more about their way of life. Instead of using paper and pencil for suggested journal activities, use Telegra.ph, reviewed here to create simple websites that include student writing and images. Extend learning by asking students to create podcasts using Buzzsprout, reviewed here. Share podcasts that feature information about different indigenous tribes or focus on one tribe through a series of podcasts that discuss the land they lived on, their lifestyle, and the history of the tribe.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomThis site is perfect for use on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use the practice problems to engage students when learning new math concepts. Create a link on classroom computers for students to use when checking work. Share a link on your class website for students to use at home. Have students provide their attempts at problem-solving. Have students share where they were stuck or having problems in finding a correct answer. How do you prevent this from becoming an instant homework "cheat?" Always start with actual word problems, not equations, so students must first generate their own equations. Require students to "show their work" on paper as they solve, including explaining each step. Even if they are copying from the website, they are still copying down the explanations. If they use their own words, that will show comprehension.
GradesK to 5
In the ClassroomUse Educandy to create games and practice activities to reinforce vocabulary for any subject. Embed your activities into your website or learning platform for students to use at home. Turn the quiz creation around and ask students to create a list of vocabulary terms and definitions to use within the games. Introduce new vocabulary using Educandy to assess student knowledge at the start of any new unit. Extend student learning after vocabulary practice by having them create infographics, posters, social media posts, or guides with tools found at Canva Edu, reviewed here, using the new vocabulary and your topic of study.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomAdd this game to your toolkit of lessons and activities when teaching Internet safety and media literacy skills. The Teachers' Guide already includes many ideas on integrating the game into classroom lessons and includes using technology to enhance and extend learning. Use these ideas as a starting point to build student engagement and help them understand the real-world applications for the information found in the game. For example, use the suggested Padlet, reviewed here, activity to compile quiz questions as suggested in Activity 5. After completing that activity, have students create their own videos, fake social media posts, or news articles that contain misinformation and create quiz questions for their peers to complete. Adobe Creative Cloud Express for Education, reviewed here, is an excellent tool for students to use when creating websites, flyers, and infographics. As a final project, and to extend learning, have students share what they learned with others by producing podcasts using Buzzsprout, reviewed here, or digital books for younger students using Book Creator, reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
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