Apps for teachers: Mostly free
by National Hall of Fame Teacher Alan Haskvitz

Using Android or iPod cell phone applications in the classroom is easy to do, but finding good ones is very difficult and time consuming. Since there are apparently new ones coming out daily my recommendation is to check through these large collections using your “find” feature to locate those that have the ingredients you need most. Most of the apps listed are free, but some carry a charge. Use the Internet to harvest opinions about what others say about a particular application before purchasing.

Another good one is a listing of 20 good ones for teachers.

Using applications in the classroom is very challenging, especially with nearly 40 students in some rooms. I suggest that you only use one and hook that up to an overhead for sharing. It would be nice to build learning centers around them, but the monitoring of them would be a huge challenge.

The future is clearly in your hands, pun intended, and the creation of applications is just beginning to show some maturity. For the most part they are silly games or material you could easily live without. But in some cases they offer a change for you to add depth to lessons, make individualizing lesson much easier, and save on the cost of supplementary materials.

One of the most useful apps is from Awesome Stories and it is called the Story Builder. It enables students to use primary and secondary resources to create stories, reach conclusions, and it is applicable to various subject matter.

Best Free apps
Wide variety of topics

Top Free 50 from Apple

Best Free Educational Software
An interesting array of all levels

Free application list site

Android applications for teachers

Free phonics app

Great site that enables teachers to share ideas, resources, and lessons. Exceptionally useful.

An improvement over Twitter for teachers and students to share information. Private. Must register.

Send work to be checked for plagiarism. Takes a while to master.
Plagiarism Detect. May have charges to use.
Millions of copies of original historical documents located in the Library of Congress and other government resources.
Note taking app

An interesting sharing site for most curriculum areas. This is a fun site to see what other teachers are doing and share yours. You can make your own multimedia presentations online. Check for costs.

Brain Tuner
Challenges your brain. Great for early finishers.,review-2267.html

Cliff Notes on the Go
Read quick/simplified versions of classic literature.

Mainly encyclopedic type facts related to history.

QuickVoice :
Quick Voice
Enables you to record your thoughts.

Turns an iPhone into a book reader. Charge

Information on all US presidents.

Words of the World
Learn new word every day.

Best free apps for Language Arts

Best free apps for Mathematical

Best apps for science and social studies

Best apps for working with autistic students

Technology Help Sites

by Alan Haskvitz

Author of Sorry I Am a Teacher

These sites include everything from tutorials to copyright laws to grants. Each one has its own personality so you may want to take your time with them.

How Teachers Learn Technology Best

Technology Grants

Important Laws and Ideas about Using Technology in the Classroom

Massive Link site

Technology Organizations and Companies


Free video tutorials


Hundreds of animated explanations, interactive tutorials and instructional videos.

Technology Tutorials

Over most najor software

Top 100 Technology Blogs


A website dedicated to educational technology


Teacher Technology Resources

Free Technology for Teachers

Technology Resources and Grants

by Alan Haskvitz

With the reduction in available technology funding this might be a good time to take a look at what is out there for free of for very little cost. For example, I found a little company that provides open source computers and servers that are used by many larger institutions and has US based customer service. The company was, and I am sure there as others out there as well. The savings in software cost alone was significant and there wasn’t even any licensing costs.

Here is a list of resources that might be of value to educators and others:

Large link site that includes grants and lessons

General Technology links

More for knowledge techies.

The Association for Educational Communications and Technology is more for professionals interested in educational technology and its application to the learning process,

Ties magazine supports technology education and the integration of math, science and technology curriculum mainly in middle, junior and senior high schools.

Computer Using Educators

Really great conferences.

An active group that promotes hands on technology conferences.

Education with New Technologies is designed to help educators integrate new technologies. You need to register

Review of Staff Development topics and resources for technology

A Practical Guide to MultiMedia

An interesting site that provides a wide array of resources and current events.

Microsoft Educator site

Everything from best practices to help for parents

Useful Apple sites:


Macintosh resource with Software and hardware links and the Buyer’s

Guide make this potentially valuable.


Questions answered about problems with Macs

Latest information about Macs

Association of Macintosh Trainers

Federal Department of Education

Technology related articles

The Center for Democracy and Technology

A site about law and the future of the Internet and other new communications media

Technology software and other resources for special education

Large link site.

The International Forum of Educational Technology and Society

Technical Committee on Learning Technology

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) works to provide professional development, knowledge generation, advocacy, and leadership in the field.

Sites for information on technology funding and other help

Federal list of grants

A compilation of web pages and books of potential interest to nonprofit organizations seeking funding opportunities related to computer technology.


Find out what companies and individuals might be offering free technology help for your school.


Grants and other help from IBM

Directory of Technology Grants.

Virginia State Standards for technology

Practice tests for grades five and eight

National Cristina Foundation (NCF)

Provides computer technology and solutions to give people with disabilities, students at risk and economically disadvantaged persons the opportunity, through training, to lead more independent and productive lives.”

Good models of teaching with technology

World Wide Web for teachers

4Teachers works to help you integrate technology into the classroom by offering online resources.

Technology Tips

Acceptable use policy

A handbook and sample from Pennsylavina and Virginia.

White Papers on Technology Issues for Educators

456 Search Engines listed by Country

Teacher’s Guide to International Collaboration on the Internet

Listed by subject area.

Domain & Trademark issues for lawyers, consumers, and others

Twitter in the Classroom

It is difficult at best to keep up with the latest in technology let alone find an acceptable use for it in the classroom. Add to that school policy on cell phones, Internet blocking software, and the epidemic of text messaging and teachers are doing well to hold their own.

Now comes Twittering. This is essentially text messaging limited to 140 characters and it is can be sent as broadcast messaging and Instant Messaging to one person or several. Twittering can be limited to friends or as a subscription. However, its importance in the classroom, if allowed, is its potential to motivate students to share ideas and to even improve their note taking abilities.

First, you need to register your name. Try for a video and more information. You can also practice on that site and you can follow others who can provide ideas and guidance. I suggest you make your Twitter stream private, there is no need for it to be on the Internet. This also makes it mush safer for classroom use where you can communicate with your students and answer questions in nearly real time, if you have the time.

Remembering that Twitter is like Post It Notes, quick and to the point, and not email, which is more formal and has many more functions. Twitter is fast, and if you want to get more involved there are hashtags, a Twitter search engine and Retweeting.

To start to use Twitter students must sign-up for your Twitter feed and you obviously need to budget time to answer the Twits you receive. After that I recommend you start small and expand as your time and interests permit. Remember to make sure you have administrative and parental approvals.

Here are some ideas I have come up with for the public school classes. First, a quick review of what was covered and what is going to be covered in class that day or the next. Secondly, a few quick review questions and some good websites to add depth to a lesson. Thirdly, privately seeking questions from students who don’t have the moxy to ask in class. Next, the ability to quickly relate what is happening in the news to the class and make teachable moments more meaningful and more personal. And, Twitter can also be used to share ideas, help absent students keep up with work, and provide homework assistance.

What may be the greatest use of Twitter is the networking possibilities with students around the world. For example, while your class is studying Japan’s involvement in World War Two students in Japan could be sending messages about their perspective. As the visionary Marshall McLuhan envisioned, Twitter makes possible an immediate Global Village.

The possibilities are vast, but remember that some students may have to pay a fee for such text messages and so check before hand and always make Twittering an elective. Of course, students can set their Twitter so all messages come as emails, which is the only way to really avoid these charges, but this does remove some of the immediacy of the Twitter concept.

There are some ideas posted here that are used by a professor in Texas that might key some ideas for the public school classroom.

Obviously, there are down sides and caveats to using Twitter in the classroom and all such ideas need to be supported by the administration. But there are upsides as well. Imagine the students following President Obama’s by subscribing to his Tweets or getting Tweets from students who are under duress around the world.

As a teacher you can also use Twitter search to find other educators and learn about conferences, ideas, and even share lessons and concerns.
Other areas to explore include edmodo. This service enables teachers and students to send files, links, and even assignments to each other. Teachers sign-up for an account and create a class code. Students sign-up and the messages are held to just those in the loop. A great tool for ESL and gifted students and others who need a differentiated curriculum.

Twitter in the Classroom (University)


Twitter in the Classroom

Some insights into how Twitter can help you as a person.

A little vague, but stretches the reach of Twitter and helps one understand the value of such a program outside the educational realm.

21 Ways to use Twitter in the Classroom

Seven Things You Should Know about Twitter

Huge listing of free technology links

Teach with Computer Games

Clean up your computer

Free virus software

Free software for Teachers

Protecting your students and yourself on the Internet

Other technology resources

Educational Software

Computer Games that Teach

By Alan Haskvitz

There is an abundance of educational games that teach specific skills and provide remediation. Unfortunately, the value of these games varies widely and some are designed more as an end in themselves rather than as a teaching tool. Another caveat is that these games can require a wide bandwidth and can have several advertisements.

As such, I have reviewed several of the ones I felt most appropriate. If you have others to suggest please email me by clicking on my name on the opening page.

Free software of all types for teachers

Interactive Games

Free PowerPoints

Nearly every topic is here and all free to download.

Build a Prairie

Watershed Game

A large selection of interactive games

Varying quality.

Nutrition Games

Online Interactive maps

Money Games

Music games with several levels


All printables for elementary

Large link site to printable games

Printable Primary Learning Games


A diverse collection of games by subject matter.

Travel Games

For primary

Printables for young learners and ESL

Games by grade level

Some are very simple and others are simply fill-ins, but there are others that are most challenging for students.

Elementary Games

Top 100 Games

Take a look for yourself if these are the best. Some are excellent.

Geography Game

Relates well to national standards.

Primary games that teach Internet Safety

Interactive Websites, Games, and Activities

Games by grade and subject

A very large collection of simple games

By subject area.

First grade games


Interactive math games

Math link page

Huge selection of math printable games

Free Mac Applications

I have a large selection of Mac Application links here as well as some free sites that offer scholarships and grants

Things to do in the new year: Clean up your computer

By Alan Haskvitz

Everything from dust bunnies inside your computer to unwanted programs and other data that are slowing your processor can be cleaned easily. Here are some links and suggestions on how to do this quickly. However, remember that every computer has different applications and hardware so read the information carefully as I cannot take responsibility for these sites and procedures.

1. First update your virus detection or download one.

Free virus detection and clean-up sites

General technology links

Technology grants

Excellent computer links and lessons

Clear your browser cache to keep sites current.

2. Clear your inbox to zero messages and get it organized

3. Clean-up your desktop.

4. Creating a cleaner desk top

5. For windows users

For Mac users

General how to site

6. Clean-up your dock with Overflow or AppZapper. Get rid of applications you no longer need.

7. Review your contacts

Take a look through your email contacts. Get rid of those that are no longer valid or of no use. There are software programs that can enable you to put these in order by importance such as for Macs and

8. Take a moment for iTune culling

If you download music take the time to organize them by section such as jazz or best of the 1980’s and get rid of the songs you no longer want.

9. RSS improvement for blog users

Blogs take time and need to be kept current. Here is a how to site that will enable you to make the task easier.

10. Backup your data

On a dramatic note, the worst thing that can happen to you is data loss – so backup now! Buy yourself an external hard-drive and archive/backup all your documents, pictures, movies, and sites from the previous year using a tool such as SuperDuper! If you don’t want to fork out for a new HDD, connect your iPod to your computer and drag your most important data onto its icon; this will create a copy of it on your iPod to use as a backup.

Buy a large zip drive/external drive and download everything, including all applications, to it. Try using to help and to recover broken systems as well.

11. Rid your machine of unworthy programs.

Get rid of them carefully. Here is a program that is worth checking out that helps you remove them.

12. Clean up your start-up section as well as dealing with cookies and registry issues. If your computer is slow to boot-up it might be because you have too many programs that are opening.

Here is a how to for start-up issues

This is a free program that helps with that.

and others

13. Work on bringing order to your documents

14. Every time you use your computer the files are stored for future use whether or not you use them again. These temporary Internet files enable anyone to follow what you have been doing on the computer forever unless they are automatically deleted. Here is how to easily do this:

15.Sometimes you forget what you have downloaded such as music or photos. The best way to avoid these and other duplications that you might have on your computer is with WinMerge, It is ease to run and you’re probably going to be surprised as the duplicates you have onboard.

16. Take the time to map your hard drive. It doesn’t take much time and it reveals where you are using your disc space.

17. Clean out what you thought you had cleaned out

You may not realize it but when you delete files from your hard drive, the data is still there. You need to run a program such as Eraser to permanently get rid of this information. Make absolutely sure you don’t delete what you need. And, make equally sure that when you donate or junk your old computer you wipe its hard drive clean with a program such as Eraser or formatting.

18. Five steps to clean your computer files

You need to register to enable this software to look for unneeded material in your hard drive. As usual with downloads, beware.

19. How to clean-up after someone has broken into your computer

20. How to clean-up a computer registry

Six ways to clean up your computer

21. Finally, get rid of the dust and hair with this the information from this site:

22. After you have done all this to into the systems tools section of your computer and defragment it. This is essential for a better running computer. Other systems features include a disc cleaner which you can use to find unneeded material on your computer, too.

General technology links

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