Technology is playing a significant role in the way educators teach and students learn. Innovative educators are taking advantage of it and using it to reinforce and expand on the concepts taught in the classroom. The Internet is teeming with free and inexpensive online teaching resources for help with lesson plans, activities, and classroom presentations. Here is just a sampling of what you can find.
AtoZTeacherStuff.com has everything from articles and downloads to lesson plans and printable worksheets. Some are free, and some have a fee. There is also an online teacher discussion forum if you are looking for advice from your peers for your personal classroom challenges.
Discoveryeducation.com offers free lesson plans, interactive games, and worksheets in the subjects of science, English, math, and social studies for grades K-12. There are also videos, student contests, and even an advice section for new teachers.
edHelper.com is an online resource with lesson plans and printable worksheets for just about every topic. Aside from the traditional subjects like reading, math, geography, and science, the site also includes some important topics, such as bullying and gang violence. There is a yearly subscription fee, ranging from $19.99 to $39.98, based on your level of membership. School licenses are also available with a minimum of five teachers.
EdTechTeacher.org offers free online technology resources for teachers compiled mostly by teachers around the country. The site has blogs, webinars, workshops and more. One of the best features is the App Recommendations for Mobile Devices listing which can be searched by device type or learning activity.
Freemathworksheets.net allows teachers to design and print math worksheets, including basic math, pre-algebra, money and time worksheets. You can also design word searches, brainteasers, and other puzzles—all for free.
FunBrain.com is just what it says – entertaining interactive games, books, puzzles, and more, designed for your students in grades PreK-8. Your classes can have fun while learning about math, reading, science, and social studies. Here you can even put an online version of Amelia Bedelia or Diary of a Wimpy Kid on your interactive whiteboard for the class to read together.
Math-drills.com offers free math worksheets spanning the basics of addition and subtraction to higher level math such as algebra and geometry. There are also some fun activities to print such as sudoku puzzles. The site also offers a free quarterly e-newsletter.
Mathfactcafe.com allows teachers to design and print free math worksheets, flashcards, and time and money problems for grades K-5.
MDE Educational Outreachhttp://www.mde.state.md.us/programs/Marylander/outreach/Pages/MDEEducation.aspx
The Maryland Department of the Environment offers online resources for student projects and classroom lessons related to the environmental challenges of the Chesapeake Bay and the air and land that surround it.
MES-English.com offers tools for teachers of students in grades K-6, including free printable worksheets, flashcards, and lesson plans. There are also activities designed for students using English as a second language. Another unique feature of the site is the International Project Exchange Library. Your students complete a project, and you email it to the site to share with other students around the world. You also have the opportunity to click on projects completed by students in other countries to share with your classes.
Microsoft www.microsoft.com/education/en-us/teachers/Pages/index.aspx Understanding that even teachers need a lesson now and then, the site provides product how-to advice for Word, Excel, and Powerpoint, as well as free lesson plans and advice on utilizing the technology in the classroom.
National Geographic education.nationalgeographic.com/education. This site offers free multimedia activities such as videos, classroom projects, interactive maps, and news stories. The free GeoMentor Program pairs classrooms with local community members whose background can help educators and students learn more about geography.
Origami-kids.com may have you ducking for cover under your desk, but it’s all in fun and learning. This free site illustrates how to make origami airplanes and boats. Some are easy, some are challenging, but all are meant to fly or float. No scissors, glue, or tape required, just a little patience.
PBSlearningmedia.org offers free lesson plans, background essays, and discussion questions for PreK-12 educators that align with Common Core State Standards. The site features content from NASA, the National Archives, and PBS programs such as “NOVA,” and “Sid the Science Kid.”
Promethean Planet http://www.prometheanplanet.com/en/ Inviting teachers to share lesson plans, downloads, advice, and more, the site offers a monthly calendar with free daily resources, downloads, teacher blogs, games, and webinars for various subjects.
Scholastic.com/teachers expands the Scholastic brand by offering free tools for teachers, including lesson plans and student activities. With the addition of interactive whiteboards to many classrooms, Scholastic added a tab to include activities to use with this technology.
SchoolTube.com is a YouTube alternative which offers educational videos. The site indicates that as of 2013 there are registered users representing over 50,000 K-12 schools, uploading over 1,000 videos a day – all monitored by approved educators for content. Unlike other video sharing sites, it is not generally blocked by school filters because all of its content is moderated.
Sciencebuddies.org offers free project ideas and directions for students in grades K-12. There are also curriculum guidelines for teachers, printable handouts, guidance for planning a science fair, and an online advice forum where scientists and engineers provide guidance to students who are working on science and engineering projects.
ShareMyLesson.com is a site created by teachers for teachers providing classroom resources, a forum for the exchange of ideas, and an in-depth discussion of Common Core State Standards.
Spark Afterschool Program http://www.Sparkpe.org is a site that helps afterschool leaders quickly and easily increase physical activity through a wide range of activities. There are more than 230 session plans that include tips for adapting the activities for different ages, difficulty levels, and more. The program also incorporates STEM resources to make connections between physical fitness and the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math.
Superteacherworksheets.com offers just what the name says – free worksheets for teachers. Primarily for the elementary grades, the site has free printable worksheets for almost every subject. There are also printable puzzles and brain teasers, reward charts, award certificates, and a free Excel grade book.
TeachersFirst.com is a free, advertising-free website offered as a service to teachers by The Source for Learning, a non-profit learning and technologies corporation. The site includes lesson plans, projects, and interactive whiteboard presentations.
Teachers Pay Teachers www.teacherspayteachers.com. Online marketplace where teachers buy and sell original downloadable educational materials, hard goods, and used educational resources. Over 175,000 free items! Many items at $5 or less.
Theteacherscorner.net has lesson plans, themed units, and worksheets for the core subjects including reading and math, as well as art, music, and physical education. There is also an online collaboration project page where you can share your students’ work with other classrooms and a free pen pal service to match your classroom with another from around the country or even around the world.
Thinkfinity.org offers lesson plans, interactive games, and other learning materials courtesy of the Verizon Foundation. There are also free recorded webinars on how to integrate various forms of technology into the classroom.
Thinkport.org is the product of the partnership between Maryland Public Television (MPT) and Johns Hopkins University Center for Technology in Education (CTE). The site offers teachers free online educational resources, professional development, and multimedia learning tools. The Reading Strategies tab provides help for struggling readers.
Youtube EDU http://www.youtube.com/education You can do more than watch cute kitten videos with Youtube. This section designed specifically for educators covers just about any topic you can think of – from the evolution of life on Earth to basics about algebra, spanning all levels from primary and secondary education to the university level.
Along with regular websites, the social network aspect of the Internet has opened the door to many other resources for teachers. From Twitter pages dedicated to teachers and blogs offering advice for and from teachers, there are thousands of options. Here are just a few of resources available out there in cyberspace. Don’t see one that peaks your interest? Just visit your favorite social networking site, search “teacher” and start browsing.
Ed Week Teacher@edweekteacher is a resource out of Bethesda, Maryland for K-12 teacher leaders covering instruction, school environment, classroom technology, curriculum, and more.
NOAA Teacher at Sea@teacheratsea gives K-16 teachers insight into our ocean planet and increases understanding of earth system science through real research projects.
PBS Teachers@pbsteachers offers multimedia resources and professional development for America’s preK-12 educators.
Scholastic Teachers@scholasticteach is the official Scholastic Teachers account featuring talk of books, education trends, and life as an educator.
There are so many choices, it can be daunting to decide which blogs to follow. However, theEduBlog Awards tries to narrow it down for you. Started in 2004 in response to community concerns relating to the blocking of learner and teacher blog sites for educational purposes, the site promotes and demonstrates the value of social media when used properly. With multiple categories, there is something for everyone from administrators and teachers to librarians. There are even categories covering other resources such as podcasts and mobile aps.http://edublogawards.com/