We’ve covered many free educational resources over the past couple of months in these pages. Hopefully you’ve found one or two things that have helped you become a better educator or solved a particular problem you had in your classroom.
But free help doesn’t necessarily mean some unknown website. The big boys of tech have plenty of free resources for teachers as well, especially if you already use their products. Let’s see what the heavyweights do for teachers.
Plenty of educators integrate Google Drive, YouTube, and Google Hangouts. Google has a whole suite of pages dedicated to helping educators get the most out of their products. Google for Education is full of tips, tricks, and hints, but it also describes the various programs Google runs for educators, like certifications to become a Google Certified Teacher or Educator. You can even be enlisted as an official Google trainer, which might lead to speaking opportunities at conferences and other training events.
Apple has been a key figure in the education market since the first Macintoshes in 1984. Obviously with the prevalence of the iPad in today’s classrooms, nothing’s changed. Like Google, Apple and Education offers case studies and other educational resources. It also spends some time addressing IT needs like device management and purchasing of apps. They also offer professional development workshops. They aren’t free, but the selection is extensive.
Perhaps no one does as extensive a job at reaching out to the education community as Microsoft. Microsoft in Education is expansive and might take a while to get through. Obviously, it covers best practices for Office, Skype, and other products that you might be using. When you’re done with that, Partners in Learning is like a Microsoft-based PLC with message boards, online professional development courses, and lesson plans to implement.
Chances are, if you’re a math teacher in middle school or higher, you have some Texas Instruments equipment in your classroom. Their education site is understandably STEM-focused, but helpful nonetheless. It offers a comprehensive depository of Common Core-aligned activities for math and science as well as links to webinars and other PD resources. If you are currently using their products, their Teachers Teaching with Technology online courses can help you get the most out of your toys.
Speaking of STEM, Intel has lots of tools and activities for educators to bring to their students. From lessons that build basic computing skills in word processing and spreadsheets to activities that help students explore technology itself, like semiconductors and chips. It’s a Wild Ride is an interdisciplinary project for math, science, and language arts where students design and build a roller coaster.