Free Sites You Can't Live Without

Free Sites You Can't Live Without!
Created with Tagxedo (see below)

Description: Teachers love free...especially when it comes to technology tools that can be used in the classroom the next day. If you are looking for fresh ideas that can be used in your classroom, join us for a presentation on free internet based sites that engage students and get them excited about learning.

Presentation in Prezi of the NETA Presentation:

Jenna's Favorite Free Sites:

prezi.jpgSite Name: Prezi
Web page:
Description: Prezi is an "online" presentation tool that rotates and zooms to give your presentation a very different look and feel. If you are looking for an alternative to the traditional Power Point--this is the tool for you.

  • Classroom Ideas:
    • Social Studies:
      • Zoom into the details of a picture, a political cartoon, or a map with ease and without having to navigate out of the presentation.
      • Have the students create their own timeline of events. Easily add Youtube videos or pictures to create an interactive timeline.
      • Use the framing tool to create a Venn diagram containing images and text investigating a key question (e.g. "Was Life Good or Bad in the Middle Ages?" Images can be dragged (in editing mode) into the correct spot by students during discussion
    • Reading:
      • Create a portable, accessible, and virtual "Word Wall" complete with pictures and video. Great for helping students study those hard to remember terms. Here is a sample:
      • Create a bubble for each word. Upload a photo that relates to the term. "Hide" the word in the bubble and have students guess which word might be featured.
    • Science:
      • Easily create diagrams between related ideas or cause and effect relationships. Provide students with a prompt such as "Jenna went to a restaurant and ate a hamburger."
  • Sample Prezi:

Site Name: Screenrscreenr_logo_small.gif
Web page:
Description: Screener is a free web based screen capture tool.
  • Classroom Ideas: Screenr is a necessity for the busy teacher! Screenr is a great way to create a screen cast for your students. This tool is perfect for step by step directions for projects, research, and much more. It is easy to use and publishes in high definition. This tool allows you to move around the room and explain step by step directions while students are provided a visualize reference on the screen. Perfect for the forgetful or absent student!

wall-wisher.pngSite Name: Wall Wisher
Web page:
Description: Sometimes finicky--but worth the wait! This FREE online tool offers an online location (no registration required) where "sticky notes" can be posted on a wall that is shared via a web address. A simple double click will post a note that can be viewed by others, organized by others, etc.

Site Name: Wordleedited_teacher_wordle.jpg
Web page:
Description: Wordle creates word clouds from words that are pasted into a box on the site. Simply click the "Create" button to begin. The more times a word is typed, the larger it appears in the generated word cloud. Users can control the layout, color, size etc. of the word cloud. Use the FAQ to discover some easy ways to control color, word size, etc.
  • Reading, Math, and Science : As a class have each students brainstorm one word that they believe is the "Key Word" of the chapter, book, selection, poem, etc. have the students write the word on an index card. Type each word into Wordle. When the word cloud appears have students summarize the selection using as many words as possible from the word cloud.
  • Language Arts: Students can copy and paste their writing into Wordle. Make sure that they change the "Language" to "Do not remove common words" after the image is generated. Students can reflect on their "overused" words. They can choose to replace the redundant words with synonyms that have more "flavor."

techhub.pngSite Name: Video Writing Prompts
Web page:
Description: Teacher Hub is a great resource for any educator. Each week a video is uploaded to the website with various prompts for every level of learner. The videos are meant to engage the learners through the use of controversial, discussion-starting conversations.
  • Classroom Ideas: Videos are uploaded for all different subject areas. Here are two examples for Earth Day:
    • 3-5: Water Logging: Think about how you use water every day. Log or list all the times you use water in a single day. Based on that list, describe three ways you can conserve, or save, water on a daily basis.
    • 9-12: Man vs. Nature: This video is an example of how man has profound effects on nature and animal habitats. Do you think that people should be able to drill on untouched land such as Spy Island, where animals such as this polar bear live and breed? Why or why not? Write a 3-5 paragraph persuasive essay expressing your argument.

Site Name: Picture_3.png
Web page:
Description: Concept Mapping or "Mind Mapping" is an effective way of assessing a student's ability to synthesize, evaluate, and comprehend material. Learn the basics for Mind-mapping and Brainstorming with, a free and easy-to-use web app. Graphic organizers can be easily exported as a JPEG files. Perfect for all of your visual learners!
  • Classroom Ideas:
    • Science and Math: At the conclusion of each instructional unit provide the students with a list of terms or concepts that were covered. Have the students, using, organize their information and connect related terms. The students can print the concept maps. Learning is stretched when the students are asked to explain their concept maps to each other and justify their relationships.

Site Name: Furly
Web page:
Description: Use this URL shortener to take a long URL and make it shorter--it even combines multiple URL's Very cool!

Classroom Ideas: Great for any type of research project! After creating your shortened URL there is a small stats symbol in the top right hand corner of the bar. You can see the number of times the sites are viewed after you have shared the URL by clicking on that button. This allows you to monitor the progress of your students as they peruse through the sites.

Site Name: Tiki-Toki tiki-toki.png
Web page:
Description: Tiki-Toki offers a free interactive timeline that can be very useful to students (and teachers) who are looking to make a historical even more engaging.
  • Classroom Idea: Media integrated into timelines is a great way to get students engaged in a topic and it provides a tool to help students visualize the topic. If students are allowed to create their own timelines it can provide a way for them to reflect on important events and connect them to other world happenings of the time.

wetoku.gifSite Name: Wetoku
Web page:
Description: Wetoku is a simple video conferencing service that doesn't require you to install any software. This is an advantage if you work in a school that doesn't allow you to install conferencing software like Skype. The other potential advantage of Wetoku is that all calls are automatically recorded which is an advantage when compared to Skype. The recording shows a spilt screen viewing and allows both members to "Chat" or type messages as well as video chat.
Classroom Ideas:

  • Interview an expert during one class period, show/share it with all the others
  • Students interview offsite people as part of a research project
  • Teachers interview teachers for professional development
  • Spotlight "Student of the Week"

Site Name: SymbalooSymboloo.png
Web page:
Description: Symbaloo is a simple online start page that lets you easily organize and access favorite sites and web services on one page.

Classroom Ideas:Great for use with any type of research assignment. Students can easily navigate important sites with the click of a mouse. This site is also great for easy use of your smartboard. No more typing URLs while at the board!

Pam's Favorite Free Sites:

Site: Tagxedomacaw.jpg
Web page:
Description: Tagxedo is a FREE tool that allows the user to create a word cloud in an uploaded shape. Although a little more complicated than Wordle, you'll love the results.
  • 21st Century Skills Addressed: Creativity & Communication (others depending on how the task is assigned)
  • Teaching Ideas & Example: Put in the characteristics of Saturn and have the words in the shape of the planet, synonyms for precipitation in the shape of a raindrop, activities to stay healthy in the shape of a heart, artists from the Renaissance in the shape of a paint brush, etc. Creating a visual representation of a word helps students to remember the word and gives them a creative outlet to engage their learning and help them communicate their ideas.

Site: Linoit
Web page:
Description: Linoit was discovered when looking for a substitute for Wall Wisher ( which had become kind of flaky lately. Linoit is FREE but it requires the creator of the canvas/board to register. Depending on the way you set-up the board, users can post notes to the board without registering--which is great for classroom use. Videos, images, links, and text can be added to the canvas and due dates can also be given to tasks. This site is worth a look and some teachers are using it as a combination class web site and homework posting site.

Site: Image Chefimagechef-mosaic.gif
Web page:
Description: ImageChef has a number of tools---some more appropriate for school use than others. My favorite is the word mosaic:
To save the image you must click on the export link and then right click (Windows) or Control click (Mac) to save the image in your web browser. It saves the image in .gif format and also gives credit to the site (Image Chef).
  • 21st Century Skill: Creativity, Communication,
  • Teaching Ideas: Using the word mosaic, students can create a mosaic that is in a shape symbolic of the word with the words forming the shape. An example that was created for an elementary weather unit in science is located on the right.

Chloro.jpgSite: Big Huge Labs
Web page:
Description: descriptor here
  • 21st Century Skill: Creativity, Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking (associating an image with a definition)
  • Teaching Ideas: Teachers are using the Motivator poster for students of the week/month, for word walls that make the word come alive with a picture and a definition, student poetry & illustration, visual dictionaries and much more. You are able to save the images as a .jpg and print them yourself or include the on a web page, in a Powerpoint, etc. One of the teachers I have worked with had the students create the posters and then they posted them on their classroom wikispaces/web page and then parents could download them and print them, take them to WalMart, etc. Big Huge Labs also allows you to purchase posters from the site. (A 16 x 20 print is $20, 8 x 10 print is $10) for printing.

Site: Live Binderslivebinders.gif
Web page:
Description: Live Binders works like an on-line notebook with dividers where you can organize your notes, links, etc. in one location and share it with others. You must create a FREE account to post your own livebinder, but you can search other public binders without an account. I find this to be a great starting point when looking for resources.
  • 21st Century Skill: Life Skills, Communication, Collaboration, Creativity, Computers (ICT Literacy)
  • Teaching Ideas & Classroom Use: This tools works great for students working on projects together that want to share notes, links, etc. such as a history day project. Teachers often put together a series of pages and dividers for units of study where they can provide students notes, links and information that they can access on-line. One of my favorite uses is to begin a search for resources at Live Binders where someone has gathered and organized resources and shared them with others--collaboration!

TodaysMeetLatinI.pngSite: Today's Meet
Web page:
Description: Today's meet does not require an account and can be set-up "on the fly" for class feedback, questions and discussions. The simplicity of this tool is its strength.
  • 21st Century Skill: Communication, Collaboration, Computers (ICT Literacy)
  • Classroom Ideas for Use: Use this tool during class for students to post questions, reflect, provide feedback, etc.
  • Demo Page to try:

Site: Wikispaceswikispaces.png
Web page:
Description: FREE--no advertising premium accounts for teachers are available from wikispaces. Go to the site and then navigate to the help link (top right corner) and follow the links to free sites for educators. Here is a direct link: This page is an example of a wikipage.
  • 21st Century Skill: Life and career skills, communication, collaboration, creativity, problem solving, critical thinking, computers (ICT Literacy)
  • Classroom Ideas: Create a classroom wikispace for units of study, allow students to add pages on the wikispace, discussion tab for threaded discussions, communications with parents, sharing web sites that correlate to the unit of study or project, etc. Wikispaces are easy for students to use and to collaborate with others so that more than one person can easily contribute to the project.
  • Sample Wikispace:

pixton.jpgSite: Pixton Cartoon Creator
Web page:
Description: Pixton is a FREE cartoon creator that can be used in the classroom. There are others such as Bit Strips, Comiqs, etc. Pixton seems to appeal to the middle school and high school set and Bit Strips & Comiqs seems to appeal to the younger set. Take your pick on this fun and engaging tools.