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The 5 Best Free Digital tools For Teachers

There are students leaving school today that have no idea what life was like before computers. Online learning is simply second nature to most students. And although it can be tough for teachers to keep up with this shift and even tougher to try and stay within tight classroom budgets, many lesson activities in today's schools are better performed via online platforms.

This is where the world is heading. And as such, children will benefit hugely from being educated through the medium that is set to play a huge role in their lives and careers.

There are so many programs, apps, and online tools being used in novel and interesting ways in schools and the consensus is that kids can't get enough of them. It's clear technology isn’t going anywhere, and the more involved and engaged teachers can keep their students, the better prepared they'll be for the real world.

Here we've rounded up a selection of the best free learning platforms that are available online today. Use them to help organise your classroom and also deliver lessons and activities that your students are sure to love.

1. Wallwisher

Think of Wallwisher as a virtual classroom wall covered in post-it notes that offers endless possibilities to collaborate with students and other teachers.
Rather than just physical sticky notes, you can post links, photos, digital files, and mind mapping ideas directly to your wall, with just a simple click. Then its ready for you to share it with others or keep it as a personal reminder system (free from the destruction of the kids).

2. Storybird

With no email required for sign up, Storybird is great for use with younger children who don’t have email accounts. The platform opens up an extensive library of beautiful illustrations to be used by students in everything from story building and creative writing to poetry and report writing activities.

Individual students can use Storybird to add illustrations to their ebook projects or groups can use it to work on larger projects. A particularly nice feature is their monthly challenges that call for entries for things like unexpected fairytales and letters to send loved ones after leaving Earth.

3. Popplet

Children think and learn in a highly visual way. Popplet is a mind map program that helps students to organise different ideas, photos, and facts in a way that is more conducive to this type of learning.

The program is a valuable tool for a wide range of year groups. Depending on your needs, mind mapping projects can be custom created or used as lesson presentations. However you use it, make sure to advantage of its ability to show students the relationships between different ideas and facts in a highly effective visual manner.

4. Slack

Created as a platform for idea sharing and collaboration, Slack is a messaging and content sharing program that offers private online groups as places to meet and exchange ideas and files.

There are apps available for all devices so students and teachers can take everything with them wherever they go. It's particularly great when working in a group and sharing things like photos, links, documents, messages, and other project details.

5. Google Classroom

The main goal of Google Classroom is to allow teachers to create, distribute, and grade lessons for their students in a completely virtual and paperless way.
Everything is online and connected to your Google account, and so it combines popular apps like Google Docs, Gmail, Sheets, and slides all in one place. Students can take advantage of this and share files with classmates, project members, or you from wherever they are — whether it's to
hand in homework or complete an assignment when out on a school trip.

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