Top 10 Web Tools For Teachers to Check Out During Summer Break

By Rob Klindt

While students are on summer break, many teachers take a breather from daily classroom chores and test new technologies that might become valuable tools when classes resume in the fall.

Teachers can choose from thousands of online resources including classroom planners, automated testing programs, downloadable books, music and multimedia presentations. We’ve compiled a list of our top 10 favorite programs that teachers should consider during their summer break. They include:

Multimedia Resources

  • iVideo Converter. This free downloadable software allows PC users to download audio and video posts from YouTube, Vimeo and many other online video sites to their desktops. It also can convert existing video files to different video formats.
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  • Skype. Classroom possibilities are endless with this live video chat program, which connects people via webcams. Teachers can use it to bring experts from various fields of study into classrooms to chat and answer student questions.
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  • MediaFire. Teachers can use this free program to upload, store and share documents, video, audio, photos and class presentations. Free online accounts offer 10 gigabytes of online space and can be expanded up to 50 gigabytes. Downloads are ad-supported.
    Visit the site

Classroom Organization

Screen shot for Planboard.com Planboard is a tool that lets teachers upload and streamline lessons and plan class activities

  • Planboard. This Web-based organizational tool is designed specifically for teachers and includes 500 megabytes of storage. Users can easily upload and streamline lessons, plan class activities and even track student progress in Common Core State Standards subjects.
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  • Share My Lesson. Teachers can share lesson plans, test-preparation materials and resources aligned to Common Core State Standards in this free Web-based community page. Chat forums also allow educators to share professional development tips.
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  • MasteryConnect. This cool administrative program lets teachers share student assessments with colleagues and track State and Common Core Standards. Teachers also can streamline their grading processes with the program’s built-in classroom grading tools.
    Visit the site

Testing and Classroom Presentation

  • QuizStar. Teachers can create custom true-false or multiple-choice tests that students can complete online. The software grades each test automatically and sends the results to the teacher. An option also allows students to see right away which questions they missed.
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  • Diigo. The classic yellow highlighter goes digital with this program allowing users to highlight online text, bookmark passages and even add electronic sticky notes to Web pages. It’s perfect for classroom presentations. Free and paid versions of the program are available.
    Visit the site

Books and music

  • The Online Books Page. From classic literature to reference and science, this University of Pennsylvania site boasts links to more than a million digitized books that can be downloaded free from a variety of online sources. Formats for most popular tablet readers including iPad, Kindle and Nook are supported.
    Visit the site
  • Classic Cat. In an era of limited funding for school music programs, Classic Cat is a good resource for teachers. It offers an online directory of 6,000 classical music performances that can be downloaded royalty-free. The site is fully searchable by composer, composition and even by types of musical instruments.
    Visit the site

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