Finding free technology tools and teaching aids is a great way for teachers to engage students in learning while keeping their class within budget. The Internet has tons of hi-tech resources for teachers of language arts, history, math, science, art, and music. Here are 25 tools and sites to explore before the beginning of the new school year:
Cast UDL Book Builder – The Cast UDL Book Builder makes it easier for teachers to build reading skills in students. The site provides tools to create, read, and share digital books.
Shmoop – Shmoop is a unique study guide site designed to help students appreciate and understand literature, history, and poetry. This site is a way for older students to hone and improve literary analysis and writing skills.
Academic Skill Builders – This site is loaded with free online video games for learning language arts, vocabulary, and mathematics. The goal of Academic Skill Builders is to make classroom learning as effective as possible.
TumbleBook Library – This reading site can be used with interactive whiteboards in the elementary classroom. TumbleBook resources include a collection of free animated books.
VisualWords – This online graphic dictionary is a great literary tool for building K-12 vocabulary and language comprehension. With VisualWords, students can see an illustration of how words relate to one another through “word webs.“
DoHistory – DoHistory provides an interactive way for students to understand the skills and techniques needed for interpreting history. This site, which can be used on interactive whiteboards, is based on the 200 year old diary of Martha Ballard.
Race for the Superbomb – Complete with a teacher’s guide, PBS’ Race for the Superbomb takes an in-depth look into the creation and use of nuclear weapons. Throughout this virtual experience, teachers will find films, timelines, maps, and special features.
History Podcast Network – The History Podcast Network offers links to a wide variety of history–based podcasts. Teachers can use the site to find podcasts on the military, U.S. history, British history, periods in history, and much more.
History Classroom – The History Classroom from History.com offers a wide variety of interactive games, learning materials, and tools that teachers can use in the classroom to create a fun, engaging history experience. Resources include study guides, videos and speeches, and lesson plans.
Library of Congress – The Library of Congress offers media-rich tools and interactive opportunities that teachers can use in the exploration of history. This site also features activities, lesson plans, and themed resources.
Math and Science
The Blobz Guide To Electric Circuits – This interactive guide teaches groups of students about the intricate networks of circuits. The Blobz guide is a good interactive teaching aid for math and science classes.
Volcano Explorer – The Discovery Channel‘s Volcano Explorer can be used to teach students about volcanoes. With this interactive exploration, students will get an up-close look at this beautiful yet deadly force of nature.
OceanNow – This interactive expedition into the ocean is a wonderful teaching aid for exploring the science of nature. OceanNow allows you to view video, track maps, and get instant updates.
NumberNut – NumberNut is a free elementary math teaching aid. NumberNut covers everything from shapes and colors to ratios and money math.
Art and Music
Renaissance Connection – The Renaissance Connection can be used to teach students about Renaissance art history. This site connects students with the past through in-depth looks at artworks, innovations, and other visual learning tools.
Artopia – Artopia is a comprehensive art experience for middle school children. This site allows students to examine and learn about styles, principles, and processes in dance, media arts, music, painting, sculpture, and theatre. Teachers can also find a how to guide for incorporating Artopia into their classroom.
ArtsEdge – This interactive website provides teachers with tools and technology for exploring and understanding art. Throughout ArtsEdge, teachers will find resources for teaching, connecting, and exploring several different art forms.
Essentials of Music – This site for music teachers provides materials on eras of music, composers, and a glossary with examples. By using this excellent teaching aid, teachers can provide a vast amount of information on composers and eras through MP3 formatted examples.
ArtPad – ArtPad is a creative and mess-free way for students to express their creative side. Once students are done creating art, the works can be printed or emailed.
GeoEdu – GeoEdu is a free game and interactive atlas for learning worldwide geography. This software is designed for teaching children of all ages.
PlanetInAction.com – This site offers a 360 degree virtual tour of historical and geographical sites. PlanetInAction.com is an interactive alternative to images in books or slide shows.
BrainPop – BrainPop is a fun teaching aid for all subjects. This interactive site uses games and activities to engage students in subjects ranging from art to social studies.
ARKive – This site allows students to explore life on earth through videos, images, and facts. ARKive offers an extensive collection on thousands of species around the world.
The Periodic Table of Videos – The Periodic Table of Videos is a nice teaching aid for illustrating the periodic table. This site utilizes webcast for a visual demonstration of each element.
Guest post from education writer Karen Schweitzer. Karen is the About.com Guide to Business School. She also writes for OnlineCollege.org, an online college resource.