Online education tools for schools and teachers are more important than ever in the age of pandemic remote and blended learning. Although free teaching resources are available, paid tools often include many valuable extra features, providing a deeper learning experience for students while saving time for teachers.
But which education tools are worth paying for? A free trial can help answer this question, but only if it is long enough to permit a full exploration of the benefits.
All trials in this list are at least 30 days, with some as long as 60 days—and one offering a remarkable full-year free trial.
Best Free Trials For Education
MathReady is designed to prepare students for college-level math by creating a personalized learning program for each student. The two-month free trial includes: an initial assessment; progress reports; personalized math practice; phone, email, or chat consults; and the ability to switch between English and Spanish. First-time subscribers who sign up by October 18, 2020, are eligible for two months’ free access to ALEKS MathReady from the date of signup.
Drawp for School
Drawp for School allows teachers and students to manage assignments digitally and provides a single platform for teachers to upload, assign and grade. COPPA compliant, it includes Common Core-aligned lessons and unlimited cloud storage. Videos offer guidance on setting up and using the built-in tools. With the free 30-day trial, users get full functionality, including the web-based platform and apps for iPads and Android tablets.
HearBuilder, from Super Duper Publications, is an online, research-based, foundational literacy program that helps students in PreK-Grade 5 strengthen skills in the four essential pre-literacy areas of following directions, sequencing, auditory memory and phonological awareness. It features self-directed activities, monitoring of student progress, and short and targeted tasks. It complies with state and Common Core educational standards and is accessible at school or at home on desktops, laptops and tablets, including Chromebooks and whiteboards. Free 60-day trial.
Noteflight Learn is an online music education platform that integrates with Google Classroom, Canvas, Schoology, and other Basic LTI learning management systems. The COPPA-compliant site features assignment creation, live audio recording, hundreds of lessons and thousands of scores from the Hal Leonard Online music library. The company offers a 60-day free trial for teachers, who can sign up to request their trial.
Peergrade is an online platform to facilitate peer feedback among students. Teachers create assignments and choose from a library of feedback rubrics or devise their own. Students anonymously review their peers’ work using the feedback rubric. Students respond to feedback on their work within the rubric. The teacher monitors commentary and provides clarification as needed. 30-day free trial of Pro plan.
An ad-free audio streaming service for kids 3-12, Pinna provides podcasts, audiobooks, and music to build listening skills and support literacy instruction. The company offers a generous six-month free trial for teachers, who can get started with an email address—no credit card needed.
Prodigies is a music curriculum for ages 1-12 that teaches kids how to play their first instrument, how to sing in tune, and how to understand the language of music. Prodigies focuses on teaching the basics of pitch, rhythm, and music vocabulary, while providing teachers curriculum, lesson plans, workbooks performance tracks, and quizzes. 30-day free trial.
Targeted to music teachers, Quaver Music provides interactive teaching resources, a song catalog, drag-and-drop curriculum customization, automated gradebook, professional development, and district or school-level management reports. Lessons are aligned to the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS); custom curricula have been created for selected states. 30-day free trial.
A new web-based reading program designed to strengthen K-5 students’ foundational skills, Reading Rangers can be used in-person or remotely. Students rescue animals and embark on journeys filled with challenges, puzzles, and activities. 30-day free trial
Softchalk is content-authoring software that helps schools and educators with the transition to online learning by letting teachers create their own interactive lessons. The site is divided according to school type: K12, community college, and university, and includes detailed instructions on integration with various learning management systems. 30-day free trial
Sutori is a collaborative teaching and presentation tool for the classroom or online teaching. GDPR, FERPA, CCPA and COPPA compliant, the platform provides specific guidance for teachers of social studies, math, science, language, ESL, and English. Free 30-day trial of all features. Work completed during the free trial will remain accessible and shareable via the free Essential version.
Symbaloo offers a single location for educators to house all their bookmarks, from favorite teaching sites to educational videos, documents—or anything with a URL. 30-day free trial of ad-free Symbaloo or a three-month sponsored free trial.
Teaching Textbooks is a complete math curriculum marketed primarily to independent homeschoolers, but which is also adaptable for school teachers. Teaching Textbooks’ generous free trial consists of full access to all curricula up to lesson 15, including lectures, audiovisual solutions, eBook, and automated grading. Trial users can select any or all of the curricula, from Precalculus to Math 7. The trial has no time limit.
The Character Tree
The Character Tree is an online video series that teaches character development to K-2 students. Subscriptions includes 36 episodes, 36 printable activities and 36 teacher’s guides. Each episode discusses classroom citizenship or a positive character trait exemplified by people like Jane Goodall or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The videos can be used in the classroom and during remote learning. 30-day free trial.
Typetastic School Edition is a full keyboarding curriculum spanning all K-12 grades. Features include gamified learning and a dashboard for teachers to keep track of their students’ progress. No ads. Free 60-day trial for teachers, schools and districts.
Teaching online STEM topics may be one of the greatest challenges of remote education. Tyto Online integrates real-world student-led investigations with online games and storylines. The company provides extensive teaching resources and employs strategies to support girls and underrepresented minorities. Free 60-day trial.
Vernier Graphical Analysis Pro App
Graphical Analysis Pro allows users to collect, share, and analyze sensor data. Synchronize graphed data to experimental videos and use the replay feature to speed up or slow down phenomena. Teachers can create their own videos to distribute to students studying remotely. Free 30-day trial for educators.
Vooks is a safe, ad-free streaming digital library of animated storybooks. The site’s resources for teachers include lesson plans and discussion worksheets. A full free year is available to new teacher accounts.