20 Free Online Tools, Apps, and Downloads Blogging & Technology by Karen Schweitzer - August 4, 2009June 30, 20102 This is a guest post from Karen Schweitzer who writes for OnlineCourses.org. The Internet has tons of online tools, apps, and downloads with the tech-friendly teacher in mind. This list offers 20 free sites that would be genuinely useful to educators throughout the school year: ThinkFold – ThinkFold is a structured environment for groups to collaborate on documents, presentations, ideas, and plans. This free app is perfect for students and teachers who want to brainstorm, interact together on an outline, and make changes in real-time. Mindomo – This site provides a versatile mind mapping tool that can be used to organize and store research. Educators can share their maps online or embed them into an existing webpage. SchoolTool – SchoolTool provides free class management software to teachers around the globe. The software features a gradebook, attendance book, calendars, and other resources. Netvibes – Netvibes is a free way for teachers to create a customized home page featuring all of their favorite online media sources (i.e. news, weather, blogs, photos, email, and social networks.) Teacher Planet – Designed specifically for teachers, Teacher Planet features a free worksheet generator to create worksheets on a wide variety of subjects. The site also offers a free puzzle creator. Task Coach – The Task Coach is an open source personal task manager and to-do list. Teachers can use it to manage lists and tasks for themselves and classrooms. GroupTweet – GroupTweet is a way for teachers to use Twitter as an educational tool. After creating an account, teachers can invite students into a private group to post quick messages, assignments, and updates. Quizlet – Quizlet is a free flashcard creation site that can be used to study, create, and share flashcards. Teachers can create their own flashcards for students or use pre-submitted cards. VoiceThread – This collaborative multimedia site is a good place for teachers to create slideshows using images, documents, and videos. VoiceThread allows slideshow viewers to comment online in five different ways. GradeConnect – GradeConnect is a free online classroom management system that provides teachers with a secure online gradebook, assignment poster, and email system. ProProfs – ProProfs Quiz School makes it easy to create quizzes, tests, exams, and trivia pages online. Teachers can create a quiz, share it with students, and view results instantly. Edutagger – Edutagger is a new social bookmarking site that was created strictly for K-12 educators and learners. It can be used to save, manage, and share websites and bookmarks with students or colleagues. Hooeey – This personal web app allows users to record and customize web links. Teachers can comment, tag, and rate links to share with students. Class Wiki – Class Wiki provides tools that can be used online to support teaching. Simply drag and drop content such as graphics, text, and video to create your own classroom Wiki. Yugma – Yugma is an online web conferencing tool that can be used to communicate with students and colleagues. This free conferencing tool allows you to share your screen with up to 20 people at once. Postica – Postica provides a unique way for teachers to share notes, reminders, and files online. The site allows users to create web-based sticky notes, upload files or photos, and email collections to other people without an account. TeacherLED – TeacherLED provides a wide range of resources for teachers who use interactive whiteboards in the classroom. EdTechTalk – EdTechTalk is a podcast for teachers who want to learn about the various uses of technology in education. New episodes are recorded each week. 4 Shared – This free file sharing network provides storage for music, videos, photos, and documents. 4 Shared offers five GB of free space per user. NextGen Teachers – NextGen Teachers is a free online social community for teachers who want to explore and discuss technology in education and the next generation of learning and teaching. Karen SchweitzerKaren is the About.com Guide to Business School. She also writes for OnlineClasses.org, an online college class resource.