Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Time for a change

If anyone is still out there following this blog (I'd be surprised if you were as I haven't posted much this year!), you should hopefully see some changes in the coming months. I started this blog about 18 months ago and was originally blogging twice a week, before the baby arrived. I am very grateful to the guest posters who have kept it going in the mean time and I will be posting lots of new content this summer.
My big plan is to completely overhaul the template that I use and get rid of the depressing grey colours in favour of something lighter and brighter. If anyone knows of any good blogger templates, let me know.
There will also be a change to the content. So far, I have been writing mostly about free software. I am going to widen my scope to include good value, cost saving hardware, working towards reducing paper consumption, and also have a greater focus on effective digital pedagogy.  I might sometimes also write about software which is not free if I feel it provides a good cost saving for schools. This is in part driven by my own schools move towards certain paid-for solutions.
Thank you for following Free Tech for Schools and I hope that my continued contribution to the blogosphere will help you with using technology to enhance the learning experience for the students you teach.

Friday, June 27, 2014

A Nice summer read

It has been a while since I have posted anything due to the time constraints of fatherhood and this post will not be technology related. As most of you fellow teachers normally like to read a lot during the summer, I thought I would recommend a book written by a teacher.
An ex-colleague of mine who teaches English has written this hilarious book called 'I Never Liked Mrs Carlsberg Even Before She Made That Bomb'. It is about about Billy Rivers, a fifteen year old boy who gets into hot water involving his useless Geography teacher, a bomb, a world-famous sprinter, a peculiar almost-superpower and the most beautiful girl in school.

Any teacher who is constantly told about what to do for the 'perfect' lesson will love the fifteen year old's dissection of what we think results in good learning.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Been for Education

This is a guest post by David Kaluper. it was originally posted here

Been, the innovative site for visually bookmarking a site and collaborating has just launched a educational portal that makes it perfect for educators to use with their class. This free web tool is not only ideal for social bookmarking in schools but real-time collaborative web browsing as well. Been's new web portal now allows for educators to create student accounts, and communicate with them in real-time while bookmarking/browsing the web.

This is ideal for Guided Learning, Flipping a Classroom, Project Based Learning, and can be used by any subject or curriculum. Educators can use it to create internet scavenger hunts, to research/introduce a topic, or any other number of possibilities.

The educator account is perfect for moderating student's 'Beens' (bookmarks/collections), comments, resetting passwords, etc. Being "housed" inside of an educational portal allows for educators to see public Beens but only allows for students to see those of their teacher. Teachers can also collaborate w/ their peers to allow for collective Beens that can be use for group projects.

Finally, the ability to collaboratively surf the web when being on the same page allows for students/educators to share comments and surf together to guide instruction. Also, educators can assess students who have questions when surfing the web or researching a topic.

I highly recommend checking out Been for Education by clicking here!!!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Door 24

This is a guest post by David Kaluper, Ed Tech blogger/ and consultant. 

Door 24 is a fantastic new iPad for Math grades 4th-8th. This app is aligned to Common Core Standards and focuses on basic Math facts, number sense, and logical/algebraic thinking. It uses fun interactive animated problems to help fix Victor Robot's circuits and find out the mystery of Door 24.

From their press release, "The app’s focus on computational fluency supports problem solving and higher-order thinking and builds the mathematical processes and proficiencies that the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) identify in the Standards of Mathematical Practice (SMP)."

I highly recommend checking out Door 24 by clicking here!!!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Amazing iPad Apps for Teachers

This is a guest post by Lim Chuwei, a tutor working at and father of two teenagers, the author actively makes use of iPad apps in his own classes and has benefited much from the use of these apps.

Every teacher has something to share and explore with their students. In today’s technology driven world, having a latest Apple gadget is not just trendy, but also very handy. Teachers can help unearth the hidden talent of their students using unique ways provided via iPad’s App pool. So, whatever the lesson, you can make apps part of the plan. The power lies on your mighty Palm with the presence of these Apps.

iPad is touted today as a versatile tool in education. It is defined as “Everything you need to teach anything”. With some of the Apps described further in the reading that make students feel delighted and captivate them on the topic being taught. These apps provide a deep insight into the new world of learning possibilities.


Evernote is very popular, easy-to-use, free app that helps you to stay organized.
It helps you by collecting and finding everything that matters. Evernote app lets you take notes, capture images, record voice reminders, synchronize files across all your devices. With this you can remember everything about your ideas.


CloudReaders is free book /movie viewer/ comic, which is fully optimized for iPad. With its new version 2.02, it’s now possible to share your books over WiFi. It also supports on iPhone/iPod touch too! This app is freely available on itunes store.

iPad outline

iPad outline is completely free to download and use. Outline is a robust app for note taking and drawing. Everything you create using it is saved in a user friendly notebook format with sections, subsections, groups and pages. It is similar to exactly using the old paper notebook. Outline is very powerful text editor with a variety of features that came as a Built-in. It helps in emphasizing text and provides a good organizational framework.


Numbers is the most innovative spreadsheet app designed for a mobile device like iPad. This amazing app lets you make interesting spreadsheets in minutes. Using just your fingers you can add tables, charts and images into this app.
Teacher Tool One
Teacher Tool One is an app designed for updating teachers always. It offers a combined package of gradebook, calendar, notebook and course register in your pocket that is always available and complete.

Super 8

With the help of Super 8 you can make professional-quality videos, movies and also add the shake effects. You can also arrange clips and scenes the way you want.
Teacher’s can add their own credits also.

Science 360

Science 360 app is the result of creativity from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for iPad. This app provides easy access to engaging Science and Engineering images and videos from around the globe. A news feed featuring breaking news from NSF-funded institutions is a bonus.

Dictionary for iPad

Dictionary is an Excellent, intuitive, consistent, hyperlinked, consistent and integrated English illustrated dictionary and thesaurus, spell checker, vocabulary builder and Wikipedia browser. It is premium quality reference, fast, reliable, up-to-date and really easy to use. You will love it! 


ShowMe can be freely downloaded from iTunes. This app turns your iPad into your personal interactive whiteboard. ShowMe allows you to record voice-over whiteboard tutorials and share them online without any delay. It’s an amazingly simple app that is best suited for teachers.
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