21st Century Tools.

Communication:

  • Google Docs: Live edit documents with multiple people at once! Whether you are editing student’s work while they are writing or getting them to work together on a single piece it makes group collaboration much easier.
  • Discord: Skype but stable and with no required download. Created largely for gamers it has simple chat room abilities with voice enabled. Extremely easy to create a private chatroom for either your classroom or your co-workers with the ability to even further divide things up by groups if need be.

 

Finding texts and video:

  • YouTube: It has a video on practically anything you want. How appropriate the video is, though, needs to be determined. With that you have YouTube in a nutshell!
  • TeacherTube: The safe version of the above. It might not have what you are looking for, but has less of a chance of being blocked at school and has less of a chance of showing something you didn’t want the students to see.
  • DarkHorse: Want free comics? They have free comics.
  • Google Virtual Reality Tours: Get a tour of many famous museums and locations in a panoramic view for free and from the comfort of your classroom.
  • National Archives: More than likely this place has something you are looking for. Run by the National Archives themselves this has many primary sources to look through for either a lesson you want to teach or to give students sources for projects.

 

Tools to build either lessons or projects:

  • Prezi: Powerpoint but better, free, and online. It gives students a great chance to use a different program as well as opens up new options for lessons.
  • Google Docs: A large suite of free word processors and survey tools.
  • Paint.NET: A free image editing software suite. It isn’t Photoshop but it is far better than Microsoft paint. Whether you are changing an image to show to the class or having students make an image for their presentation it comes fairly highly recommended for its price point.
  • Strawpoll: Fast and free simple multiple choice survey tool. Create a single question and send out links via a simple URL. While you can’t ask as much as SurveyMonkey it is far faster if you just wish to quickly figure out how much students know about a single question.
  • Audacity: Listen, record, and edit just about any audio file you want. Listen to or edit your own podcast, song, voice clip, and more! Simple to use and free to boot!
  • Easybib: An easy to use MLA citation generator. Be careful though as it can produce bad citations, but could be a great starting point with students working with citations.
  • JeopardyLabs: Who doesn’t like Jeopardy? A handy tool to make a game for you and your students to enjoy!
  • Imgur: Easily post photos and GIFs here with easy linking tools. Be careful, there can be other pics to distract your students. If you want a quick way to get an image online though there are few better options.

 

Additional help:

  • Reddit: Be careful with this one. There is a community here for just about everything you can think of with easy tools to make one. From communities dedicated to certain forms of literature to communities dedicated to helping teachers it is all here. Of course, the risk is that there is a community for just about everything you can think of.
  • Purdue Owl: Use this. It has information on every citation and paper format you can think of for free.