Antivirus: Free Windows/Mac Antivirus Software
Avast is a well-reviewed and free antivirus software available for Windows XP, 7, 8/8.1, 10 and Mac operating systems.
Google Chromebook & G Suite for Education Presentation
- G Suite for Education Training Session #1: Google Chrome, Gmail & Mobile Apps
- Click here
- Details the switch to Chromebooks and G Suite for Education
- Click here
- How to connect to printers using Google Cloud Print
- Click here
Google Chrome Web Browser
Google Chrome is the most popular web browser in use today. It is highly regarded for its speed, simplicity, security & privacy, customization and the ability to log into your own personalized browser, on any computer with Chrome installed, using your username and password. This is useful for logging into a computer and having all of your bookmarks and extensions available. If you currently use the web browsers Microsoft Internet Explorer or Apple Safari it is recommended that you consider switching to Google Chrome.
Google Chrome Download
- Click here
Google for Education Training Center
Google for Education offers free online training programs that help learners better understand the suite of free Google classroom software and how they can be implemented into the classroom. The training covers topics such as fundamentals, advanced training, device, digital citizenship and safety and tools for diverse learners. Once the training is complete, you can take a test to earn a Google Certified Level 1 and Level 2 certifications.
- Click here to go to the Google for Education Training Center
Google Chrome Extensions
Google Chrome browser extensions are small software programs that customize your browsing experiences. They enable users to tailor their web browsers for specific functionality and behavior to fit their individual needs and preferences. There are a lot of extensions that are created specifically for productivity and educational purposes including extensions for users with specific learning disabilities.
Ad Blocking Extensions
Ad blocking software is used to block advertisements that appear when using computer browsers. While ad blocking software doesn’t block all ads, it does block a majority of ads. This can help to minimize distractions in the classroom when using a web browser.
Chart Creation Extensions
- Lucidchart: Lucidchart is an easy to use browser-based flowchart creator. Integrated to work with Google Drive. Free 7 day trial, free for users with .edu email accounts, otherwise $4.95/user/month.
- MindMup 2: MindMup 2 is a free graphical chart creation tool that allows users to create “mind maps” to help focus and build out key ideas. Users can publish maps as .pdf’s, PowerPoints, outlines, etc. Integrated to work with Google Drive.
- Extensity: Extensity manages the extension in your browser window. Simply click on Extensity to see a list of your installed browser extensions and click on the specific extension to enable or disable it.
Math Support Extensions
- EquatIO: EquatIO is a Google Chrome extension that helps users to more easily create math expressions such as equations and formulas by helping to understand what expression the user is trying to create and turning expressions into clear, accurate on-screen formulas. Integrates with Read&Write application to provide Math-to-Speech capabilities. Compatible with Google Docs, Forms, Slides, Sheets & Drawings. Free 30-day trial, free for teachers, pricing between $1 – $10/user/ year depending on quantity.
Reading Support Extensions
- BeeLine Reader: The BeeLine Reader applies a color gradient to text that helps reduce “line transition errors” (accidentally skipping a line or re-reading the same line twice). The color gradient generated by BeeLine Reader helps guide the reader’s eyes from the end of one line to the beginning of the next, which significantly reduces the chance of accidentally skipping or repeating lines.
- Mercury Reader: The Mercury Reader extension removes ads and distractions, leaving only text and images for a clean and consistent reading view on every site. Best used for viewing individual articles and not on home pages.
- Visor: As well as being a great general purpose screen dimmer, Visor’s overlays and point of focus feature may be assistive to users with visual perceptual difficulties such as Dyslexia, Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome and Visual Stress.
Text to Speech Extensions
- Read & Write: Text-to-speech to hear words, passages, or whole documents read aloud with easy-to-follow dual color highlighting. Text and picture dictionaries to see the meaning of words explained. Dictate words to assist with writing, proofreading and studying. Simplify and summarize text on web pages to remove ads and other copy that can be distracting. Cost: Free 30 day trial and free for teachers.
- Select and Speak: Text-to-speech to hear words, passages or whole document read aloud. Simply highlight the text to be read, right click and choose the select and speak function.
- Snap&Read Universal: Reads aloud text from websites, images, Google Docs, eBook Readers, Kindle Cloud Reader, email and other sources. Cost: Free for 7 days, $3.99/month after 7-day trial.
- Speak It!: Text-to-speech to hear words, passages or whole document read aloud. Simply highlight the text to be read, right click and choose the Speak It! function.
Writing Support Extensions
- Citelighter: Citelighter is an easy to use academic research tool that provides an organizational framework for writing papers. Citelighter allows you to capture and cite text and images from the web, documents and .pdfs. You can then insert the specific text directly into the document you are working on and a running citation is automatically created. Integrates with Google Docs.
- Co:Writer Universal: Google Chrome browser extension that features word prediction, flexible spelling suggestions, speech to text, topic dictionaries and text to speech. Free 7 day trial, $4.99/user/month after that.
- EasyBib Toolbar: The EasyBib Toolbar extension allows users to quickly and easily create citations with the click of a button.
- Grammarly: Grammarly is a Google Chrome browser extension that automatically detects grammar, spelling, punctuation, word choice and style mistakes in writing.
- Snapverter: Snapverter quickly transforms classroom papers, images and eBooks into accessible Google Drive friendly files. Snapverter is an add-on for the Read&Write extension. The first 10 conversions/email account are free, a subscription is required after that.
- Word Bank Universal: Google Chrome browser extension that allows users to create and use word banks for writing, vocabulary, spelling, comprehension and recall. Click to insert and speak on hover built into extension. Free 7 day trial, $3.99/user/month after that.
- WriQ: WriQ is a Google Docs add-on that allows teachers to score and keep track of student’s spelling, punctuation and grammar errors. WriQ auto-scores the students docs and tracks the followings over time: times spent writing, text maturity, spelling error rate, grammar error rate, punctuation error rate, percentage error-free and correct work sequences score.
- FocusMe: A Pomodoro Timer and Website FocusMe provides a simple, but effective, UI to manage extended periods of focus and relaxation. FocusMe is based on the Pomodoro technique for time management. When faced with a large task or series of tasks, break the work down into short, timed intervals (called ‘Pomodoros’) that are spaced out by small breaks. This allows you to immerse your mind and get good work done. FocusMe now also includes the ability to block distracting websites so you can stay focused on your work.
- Momentum: Momentum is Google Chrome browser extension that changes your browser settings so that when you open a new tab in your browser an inspirational daily quote, programmable daily focus goals, to-do lists as well as the weather is displayed.
- RescueTime: RescueTime tracks the time you spend in the active tab or window of Chrome, this helps to give you a clear picture of what you were actually doing all day, to better help manage your digital life. RescueTime does it’s best to auto-categorize the sites you visit and scores them from very productive to very distracting.
Google Drive is a file storage and synchronization service that allows users to store files on their servers, synchronize files across devices and share files. Google Drive offers apps with offline capabilities for Windows and macOS computers, as well as Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. Google Drive encompasses Google Docs (word processor), Sheets (spreadsheets) and Slides (presentations). Users can change privacy settings for individual files and folders, including enabling sharing with others users or making content public. Google Drive allows users to edit the same file at the same time and to see who edited what and when it was edited.
Google Drive Apps
Google Drive Apps are web applications that work within Google Drive. These apps can be downloaded from the Chrome Web Store.
- Click here to go to the Chrome Web Store
Useful Google Drive Apps
- CloudConvert: CloudConvert is an online file conversion utility with more than 200 different formats supported. For example, you can easily convert a .pdf document to a .docx (Microsoft Word) document. It also supports audio, video, ebook, image, spreadsheet and presentations conversions.
Accessible Text Apps & Websites
- Book Creator: Book Creator allows teachers and students to create their own digital books by combining text, images, audio and video in an easy to use interface. The books can then be published to the web to be read by anyone with internet access.
- Bookshare: Bookshare is a website that allows users to listen to books with high-quality text-to-speech voices, hear and see highlighted words on the screen, read with digital braille or enlarged fonts, create physical braille or large print as well as other additional features.
- Newsela: Newsela is a database of current events stories tailor-made for classroom use. Indexed by broad theme (e.g. War and Peace, Arts, Science, Health, Law, Money), stories are both student-friendly and can be accessed in different formats by reading level. You can use Newsela to differentiate nonfiction reading. Newspaper writers rewrite a story four times for a total of five Lexile levels per story. All articles have embedded, Common Core aligned quizzes that conform to the reading levels for checking comprehension. An account is required to use Newsela, both for teachers and for students, but students sign up using a teacher or parent provided code rather than an email address. Teachers can create classes and assign reading-level specific articles to individual students, or download printable PDF copies of the article in any of its reading-level versions.
- Storynory: Storynory is a website that provides free high-quality audio stories including fairy tales, classic authors, myths and the world, educational, poems and music stories aimed at younger learners.
Microsoft Office Online: Free!
Microsoft offers a free online version of Office. This includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Calendar and others. To access, you will need to enter an email address, create a password and enter a code that is sent to your phone.
- Click here to access
- Kami: Easy to use .PDF editor that works seamlessly with Google Docs. Allows users to edit text, add highlights, drawings, etc. directly to .PDF’s. Teachers can transform existing coursework into fully editable collaborative .PDF’s.
- Dochub: Easy to use .PDF editor. Allows users to edit text, add highlights, drawings, create templates, insert signatures, add pictures etc. directly to .PDF’s. Works with Gmail, Google Drive and Dropbox.
- Prezi: Prezi is a visual storytelling software that is an alternative to presentations software such as Microsoft PowerPoint. Prezi presentations feature a map-like overview that lets users pan between topics, zoom in on details and pull back to reveal context. To see an example of a Prezi presentation of Task Planning and Execution: The Get Ready, Do, Done Model click here.
- Drop Task: DropTask is a visual task management application that provides the bigger picture with the use of diagrams. It goes beyond to-do lists by allowing the user to stay on top of not only everyday tasks but also of their goals and priorities. With the use of drag-and-drop technology, users work with interactive colorful circles. It is a free web application that runs across different platforms. It also synchronizes across devices and integrates with many other third-party applications.
- myHomework Student Planner: myHomework is a digital student planner that lets you easily track your classes, homework, tests and projects to help make sure you never forget an assignment again. Works in conjunction with Teachers.io account.
VLC media player: VLC is a is a powerful free media player that allows the user to play most any type of video file. If you have trouble playing a video file using traditional software such as Windows media player, VLC is a great alternative.
- Click here to access a PDF tutorial