Let’s see if we can save thousands of teachers money.
Don’t buy any books or educational programs just yet!
Check the list below for the following:
1. Free and useful apps and programs for teachers
2. Free books online
3. Free educational sites
4. Free English stuff
FREE AND USEFUL APPS & PROGRAMS FOR TEACHERS
I swear by these sites, and I wish someone had told me about them sooner!
- Classroom management– Try ClassDojo. Give students points for good behaviour and take off points for poor behaviour. This program sends weekly updates of student behaviour straight to the parents. Students like the gamified approach to classroom management. I recommend this if you have an ipad. Good for elementary to high school.
- Engaging lessons- Try Kahoot.com for interesting review of course material in the form of quizzes. Students can compete individually or in teams using their cell phones. Very engaging and a classroom favourite. Best for reviewing material and checking for understanding. Lots of ready-made quizzes to use!
- Study aids- Try Cram.com to create or access ready-made subject specific flashcards. The flashcards can be used to review concepts or vocabulary. The program can be accessed by students on their cell phones and at home. Try vocabulary.com for spelling/vocabulary tests. The site comes with a wide range of vocabulary words with easy-to understand definitions and examples. Make your own vocabulary lists, or have students make their own.
2. FREE BOOKS & BOOK RELATED RESOURCES
Librivox– Tons of classic books to listen to, both fiction and non-fiction. A good selection of history and philosophy books too.
Books Should Be Free– Everything from religion to romance. Formats: iPhone, Android, Kindle, mp3.
Bookboon– Short pdf textbooks for most subjects relating to math, science, business, or law.
Scribd-An online document sharing hub. Experts upload their thoughts in pdf, word, excel formats. Want to share your expertise? Please Scribd it.
Bibliomania– Try not to lose your mind as you read so many books, study guides, teacher resources, and research posted here. The site claims to be selective about which books it lets “in.”
Planet eBook– Ever wonder how Oliver Twist paid for the novels assigned for him in English class? He didn’t. He downloaded all classic books, from The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald) to The Idiot (Dostoevsky) on Planet ebook.
Many Books-Should be called so many books: both fiction and non-fiction. Most of the collection is dated, though. Still, lots to pick up from earlier eras, like: The American Gentleman’s Guide to Politeness and Fashion and Clairvoyance and Occult Powers. All formats including Kindle.
Read Print-Plays, poetry, short stories, essays, novels—all the classics at Read Print.
Full Books– Non-fiction books in the mix. Only problem: no site- search option.
Bartleby– Fiction for you.
Public Literature– The old and new collide here, like in a real public library.
BookYards- More e-books. All subjects.
E- Books Directory– Title says it all.
Book TV– Enjoy stalking the authors of books you’ve read? It’s easier now with Book TV. Authors on screen.
3. FREE EDUCATIONAL WEBSITES
[listed alphabetically by subject category]
*websites with video content are italicized
ALL SUBJECTS- FOR THE GENERALLY CURIOUS
Memrise.com– I discovered this resource through a teflresearch blog. Based on a neuroscientific research, the site teaches you subjects ranging from languages to math in a way that is “so fun, so secure, so well directed and so mischievously effortless that it’s more like a game – something you’d want to do instead of watching TV.” Relies heavily on mnemonic learning and repetition over time. Highly recommended!
About U– Ideal for busy professionals with only enough time to check their emails. Sign up for any of About U’s courses, ranging from the academic (computing & technology, business etc.) to the practical (style, spirituality, relationships, jobs & careers, etc.) and get an email update daily/weekly!
PBS FRONTLINE– If you’d like to become a better informed, interesting person, without falling asleep while you’re at it, FRONTLINE is a good resource. Watch documentaries on current issues. Some recent documentary titles: “Climate of Doubt,” “The Battle for Syria,” “Digital Nation,” and “Money, Power, and Wall Street.” Current, perfect discussion-starters in the classroom.
TEDtalks– Lectures by leaders in their fields. Great to get your mind back after a holiday. Subjects: technology, entertainment, design, business, science, and global issues. If you get really into it, you can attend a TED conference and rub shoulders with “The Young. The Wise. The Undiscovered.”
Boston College Magazine Front Row– The same types frequent TED and Boston College, so you’ll hear some intelligent people (activists, CEOs, politicians, professors, and the like) talk.
Youtube EDU– A massive educational videos collection. Videos for three types of learners: kindergarten- grade 12, university/college, and adult learners (continuing education). Various contributors, from Stanford University to Sesame Street.
The Discovery Channel Online– The past and present, good and bad, ordinary and weird—all to be discovered here.
ALL SUBJECTS- UNIVERSITY LEVEL
Apple iTunes U– Why not study as you walk/bike/bus your way to The Towers of Doom and Gloom? Download audio lectures from universities like Stanford, Yale, and MIT. Whatever your pet interest, it’s here.
UN OpenCourseWare– For the future UN delegates.
Academic Earth– A collection of video lectures from Yale, CarnegieMellon, Stanford, MIT, Berkley, and Darmouth College. PLUS: GMAT and SAT test prep videos.
Notre Dame OpenCourseWare– The site provides old syllabi, course materials, notes, and assignments from University of Notre Dame’s past courses in all subject areas, from aerospace engineering to professional writing.
MIT OpenCourseWare– The site provides old syllabi, course materials, notes, and assignments from Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s past courses in all subject areas, from business to education.
Open University OpenLearn– Free access to the UK’s Open University course materials. Great for someone thinking of changing careers/area of study. Offers practical courses like money management and how to start a business.
UMass Boston OpenCourseWare– Your usual university courses with a few unique offerings: communication studies, critical and creative thinking, early education development, nursing, performing arts, and special education.
Capilano University OpenCourseWare– Full course materials for courses in: anthropology, art history, business, chemistry, computing science, English, geography, mathematics, statistics, philosophy, and studio art. PowerPoint presentations uploaded.
Free-Ed. Net– An online university offering degrees from these departments: arts & humanities, business, marketing, & economics, career development, computer science & informational technology, skill trades & transportation, nursing, science, social studies, mathematics, hospitality & services, environmental science, education, engineering and technology, public services, exam preparation. BONUS: Provides scannable QR codes so you can access the material on your cell phone.
The Street– Business and banks for the rest of us. Lots of “101,” and “How To” articles, plus “Top 10” lists. Easily understood.
My Own Business– A well-known truth: Everyone is either planning to write a book, or to open a business. Don’t delay and make it happen today. Enroll in this online course. Get a certificate.
U.S. Small Business Administration– Perfect for the local small business owner. Practical videos with experts who’ve been there, done that. Everything from starting, managing, financing, marketing, and licensing the business.
KutzTown U Small Business Development– Kutz to the core of business. Everything from accounting, business planning, finance, marketing, sales, small business tax, starting and growing a business, etc. Nothing impractical. Lessons like: “preparing a balance sheet,” “valuing a business,” “targeting your market,” etc.
Personal MBA 99 Best Business Books-Get an MBA by reading this list. It’s about books, not spending bucks. You’ll spend some, but only a fraction of what an MBA would cost. Spend nothing if you visit the library.
For Business People
Video Lectures. Net (Business)– TED for business types. Talks by important leaders on subjects like concurrent enterprising, venture capital, logistics, virtual enterprises, etc. Videos come with slides for you to read over and over.
MIT Sloan School of Management– Choose from over 30 business MIT courses ranging from the hands-on (listening to the customer, practical leadership, etc.) to the lofty (ethical practice, global climate change), to the cutting-edge (network optimization, business in modern China and India).
Financial Management Training Center– As impressive as it sounds. Eight courses on capital. Downloadable. Exams for each course. Certificates provided.
Bookboon.com (Business)– E-books for business people. Specific subjects like “Email Marketing,” “Internet Marketing,” “Excel Advanced,” etc.
Investopedia.com– Investopedia helps any investor, with guides for investing (top trends for 2013, dividends), personal finance (retirement plans for 30-somethings, calculating net worth), trading (oil stuff, key ratios), and Forex.
Research in progress. Check back soon.
Research in progress. Check back soon.
History Channel– With the web address “history.com” there can be no mistake—it’s the place to go for historical clips. The only downside is these clips are short (1- 4 minutes). If you’re after a quick primer, you’ll find it here. Check out the historical games and quizzes.
Bio’s Best– History buff home. Offers succinct summaries of historical figures’ lives. Also: mini-biographical videos of famous people, from Theodore Roosevelt to Tupac.
Digital History–The most comprehensive and engaging US history site out there. Like HaveFunWithHistory.com, this site offers short video clips of the events in American history. It also offers an entire textbook online (click on the chapter you want), the important quotes/texts of the era, films, recorded speeches, music, images, timelines, and even quizzes.
HaveFunWithHistory.com– Although it’s focused on American history, many Canadian students will benefit from the subjects covered on this site: colonization, War of 1812, early 1900s, WWI, Great Depression, WWII, Pearl Harbor, Martin Luther King, etc. Over 200 great documentary videos with real historical footage.
CBC Digital Archives– For all those who think Canadians are unpatriotic, ambivalent, ahistorical friendly people: a comprehensive digital archive of OUR HISTORY. Watch interviews with leaders ranging from Fidel Castro to John Lennon as they grapple with the North. Study primary resources from all areas of history, from fashion to war. Great lesson ideas for teachers.
HyperHistory Online– Don’t be put off by the basic design of the website–it’s got great content. This site offers timelines of world history from the pre-history to the present. It functions as an online “book” with chapters on each section. Mini-biographies of famous people and old maps. Ideal exam prep for students in need of a jargon-free overview.
U.S. Government Archives– If you’re looking for primary documents for your history paper, you’ve hit the jackpot (coupled with the Digital History, possibly gold).
Research in progress. Check back soon.
Research in progress. Check back soon.
How Stuff Works– Every science student has stared at the faded pictures in their wrinkled textbooks and wondered: but how does this stuff actually work? This site offers real-life explanations of concepts from subjects ranging from engineering to zoology (and more). Includes a glossary of terms. It works.
NOVA Online– Answers to your most burning scientific questions can be found here. What will the future be like? What makes us human? What are drones? How smart can we get? What are animals thinking? Documentaries brought to you by PBS.
The Khan Academy– A site so educational, I don’t know where to start. I’ll start with a list of its scientific offerings: biology, chemistry, physics, cosmology and astronomy, organic chemistry, computer science, healthcare & medicine, etc.
Harvard Medical School OpenCourseWare– Get an medical degree online— just don’t practice yet!!!
TEST PREP (CMAT, TOEFL, MCAT, LSAT, etc.)
LearnHub– Studying for the GMAT, GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, SAT OR LSAT? Peruse a collection of old exams, read tips specific to the test, and get help here. You’ll also find old tests by subject: English, math, chemistry, physics, and others.
Academic Earth-University lectures + GMAT and SAT test prep videos.
Free Ed. Net Office of Scholastic Achievement– Online classes and materials to help you prepare for the SAT, GED, ACT, etc.
4. FREE ENGLISH STUFF
Here’s a list of resources to help develop your vocabulary, as well as writing skills.
Vocab Made Easy– An Online GRE, GMAT, CAT, XAT, MAT, FMS Vocabulary Picture Dictionary composed of Barrons Wordlist. Memorable pictures for visual learners. Here’s an example– their image for the word “ideology”:
Vocabulary.com- Ideal for pre-vocabulary test practice at home. Make your own vocab list quizzes, or have students make their own.
These are considered the two best writing manuals for good reason. Both available online at bartleby.com…
The King’s English, by H.W. Fowler
The Elements of Style, by William Strunk Jr.
For more writing tips from great authors, click here.