Saturday, August 10, 2013

Free Finds for Teachers

As a economically challenged high-school teacher from North Carolina (thank you, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report for your support) who perpetually runs out of room on our school's shared drive and number of photocopies, I've had to find tech tools and free books to survive. So, here are a couple of my favorites today to help all my fellow teachers find resources to use and adapt in your own classrooms. You can create an account for free and upload your own documents and presentations rather than lug around flash drives. Here's one of mine for my AP English Language students. I make mine public so anyone can use. I've had the perk of receiving thanks from kids I'll never meet in other parts of the country who found my presentations useful.
Another perk of slideshare: you can search for presentations from others to use in your classroom. Why reinvent the wheel? I believe this is one of the best ways for educators internationally to pool knowledge and help each other and our students. A word of caution, though: make sure you preview any material for accuracy and appropriateness. Some great presentations may be a little more permissive in content than your school will allow, so always check it out first and edit to your own needs. Also, I appreciate I can share them via other social media and use the embed codes to embed into my teacher webpage. Free and handy!

Ap lang q3 help from Wendy Scruggs

Free Books

I've tried to spread the word with my colleagues about the ability to score entirely free textbooks and teachers' editions, so I'll continue to spread it. I'm not sure why more people don't do this, but for a few minutes on the web, you can literally receive hundreds of dollars of material to use for your research and classroom completely free. Here's what I do to score them.
1. Go directly to a book company website. I just use the company names on the textbooks I either have an older edition of, or look them up on the web. 
2. Request a free review copy. 
3. Wait for the books to come in the mail.
Now, once I'm on the sites, I request review copies of everything relevant to what I teach, as well as what I may think a friend needs in a different course. I've received over $600 worth of brand-new teachers' editions for AP at a time. As any AP teachers know, our materials are rarely cheap, so this is definitely a score with trying. I've had great luck with Bedford and Holt. If you've never done this before, don't be afraid; the worst that can happen is that the company says no, which has never happened to any materials I've requested. I've filled an entire bookcase with free materials this way.

Free whiteboard apps

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