students, technology

13 New to Me Free Tech Tools I Can’t Wait to Use

I had the pleasure of being at SLATE (technology conference here in Wisconsin) the last two days, and beside the wonderful people I got to connect and re-connect with, there was also one session that made me terribly excited. And while I am not usually one to share tech tools, these are all pretty easy, free and fantastic.  All of this come courtesy of Mickey Chavannes @mchavannes.

Doceri – This is an iPad app that students can use to take pictures and then annotate it through their voice or drawing.  You can then upload it to YoutTube for later viewing.  

Way I would use it:  What a great way to assess students in anything!  Particularly when you have a lot of students that you need to speak to.

Peanutgallery – I had forgotten about this Chrome extension one but it is a way for students to narrate over already made black and white films.

Way I would use it:  Besides just being fun I think this would be great to check for student inference and comprehension.  can they create an accurate narration to fit the movie by picking up on the clues?

Tripline – This tool creates a moveable map using Google Maps where you can plot points with text or pictures along the way for the students to read.  

Way I would use it:  Book trips!  Westward Expansion!  Explorer routes!  How awesome would this be to plot the voyages of Christopher Columbus by students?

Clipular – Another Chrome store extension,  basically a screenshot creator, however it also creates a URL citation for you.

Way I would use it:  I hate not having a easy way to do screenshots on my school PC, problem solved!

Awesome screenshot – Another screenshot capturer tool but this one is a bit more fancy.  You can snap and annotate, embed image, any document and then annotate on top of it, through an easy drag and drop.  And it can also be saved into your Google Drive for later viewing.

Way I would use it:  I would have students use this for assessment of their understanding as well as in their projects.

Little Birdtales – Great digital storytelling tool that can be used K-12 (just have students get past the cutesy look).  Students can draw a picture, write on a picture, narrate a picture – and can then share their creation with others.

Way I would use it:  For storytelling of course, but also to listen to student fluency and expression as they narrate their own work.  Or expand it outside of literacy and have them use it for a science project or social studies exploration. – Allows you to put video on one side and notes on other side of screen – great way to explain what is happening or post questions right in a video.

Way I would use it:  For when I am out of the building to get students through more detailed information, or even for sick students.  If you flip your classroom or lesson this may be a very usueful tool as well.

Audioboo – A way to do a jazzed up podcast, you can put an image on it and then narrate that image.

Way I would use it:  Book reviews for future readers!  Just put in the cover image and have students leave their recommendation for others to hear.   

Clearly – A great Chrome extension that cleans up a webpage so it is just the actual content you want students to see, even better – you can print a nice clean copy right from it.

Way I would use it:  Whenever I need to print articles from the web, no more adds, comments, or any other unnecessary items on a page.

Thinglink – Take a picture, add pinpoints to it and then it explains what the different spots are.  You can even add in picture or video.

Way I would use it:  For students to explain the significance of a picture of a person or an event. – Paste a Youtube link and it cleans it up for you – no ads or other videos.

Ways I would use it:  Any time I show a video in the classroom, no more inappropriate ads or suggested videos.

Movenote  Create an interactive Powerpoint with video and notes, you can add chapters to it so students can view the part they need and links to quizzes in a Google form.

Ways I would use it:  Again, this would be great if I am out of the building, or when students create their projects where I ask them to have an assessment component ingrained.  This way they could quiz the other students right then.

TLDR –  (Stands for Too Long  Didn’t Read) – Another Chrome extension that creates a summary for you of whatever you highlight on a page – yes really!  I even checked it in Danish and it works for foreign langues as well.  

Ways I would use it:  For my beginning readers or ELL students that need a shorter version of the same text as everyone else, this will be a must use.  

And finally the coolest idea shared that I want to do:  Tech Ninjas!  Creating your very own geek squad comprised of techy students that can troubleshoot many problems that may arise with tech in your school.  So instead of creating a tech help ticket, teachers search for a Tech Ninja instead.  I think this is just sheer brilliance, and although it was meant for middle school and up, I wonder if some of my 5th graders wouldn’t be able to do this too.


7 thoughts on “13 New to Me Free Tech Tools I Can’t Wait to Use”

  1. Pernille,

    Thanks so much for the huge list of apps with recommended applications. They are so many, and it’s hard to ferret out what will really work well.

    I have an amazing tech team of 5th graders. While they don’t go to other classrooms, yet, they do assist me and our classes with tech issues. Our tech team meets on Thursdays at recess.We share ideas, learn apps and tend to tech problems our class in encountering.
    I might teach them something I want the class to learn, and I’ve got instant teaching assistants. I strongly recommend forming a tech team!


  2. I am impressed with all of the digital tools you list. Thank you for sharing your learning. I sent my third grade team to SLATE. They came back excited about the possibilities. Just today, I saw a TodaysMeet backchannel up in one of the classrooms. Great stuff!

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