Free Resources for Tech Integration

from Educators' eZine

As a tech-lover, you know the challenges of getting teachers of all experience levels on board with tech integration. Couple this reluctance with the high price tags of some technologies, and you've got yourself a challenge.

There's hope. The following free resources can be a great addition to a variety of classrooms, and can get those teachers using tech without breaking the bank.

Dump the clip-art!

Teachers can spice up worksheets, and encourage students to illustrate their projects and other work, with high-quality pictures rather than the tired old standard clip-art.

If it's photos you're looking for, of course there isFlickr. There are lots of pictures that can be used free of charge, as long as an attribution is given—but do check the license terms for pictures.

One of the best repositories of American themes is on the Library of Congress's Flickr account. This has a vast repository of images, including 3000 that are copyright-free.

Broaden your horizons

If you don't mind venturing beyond the borders of the USA, the UK has a couple of excellent Web sites. At the Teachers' Resource Exchange, teachers upload resources at all stages of completeness, from "I have a vague idea" to "Here's a complete set of lesson notes and worksheets". As you'd expect, it's geared to the UK's curriculum, but sometimes you don't need to do much more than change a few spellings. And while you're about it, enter the 24-hour museum. It's a bit of a mixed bag, but worth exploring.

For your reference...

If you love reference books, be sure to bookmark the Internet Public Library. It is an absolutely huge Aladdin's Cave of reference works, dictionaries, blogs, and Websites on all different subjects.

Video

A list of free technology resources for curriculum integration would not be complete without a sprinkling oof video Web sites. That means YouTube, right? Wrong! There are a few very nice Web sites that are accessible from school.

  • John Locker, subtitled the "Online Learning Network," has videos on a variety of subjects. They can be embedded into a web page. Use the search facility and categories.
  • TeacherTube, the alternative to YouTube, has videos addressing various topics.
  • SchoolsTube, like TeacherTube, is intended to be an educational substitute for YouTube. It's relatively new, so there's not much there yet, but it is very promising indeed, and includes audio too.
  • SchoolTube, which has lots of videos and pictures for use in the curriculum, as well as lesson plans and other resources.
  • Finally, try the School Search Engine. This is a search engine that looks in places like TeacherTube, SchoolTube, Britannica Online.

Terry Freedman is a U.K.-based education technology consultant and publishes the ICT in Education website at www.ictineducation.org, and the electronic newsletter "Computers in Classrooms."

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