Free Learning Tools from CAST

 

As part of its barrier-busting mission, CAST offers a number of robust (and free) learning tools. These tools, designed and tested as part of CAST’s research projects, help educators, parents, and students experience the power of flexible learning environments. (http://www.cast.org/our-work/learning-tools.html#.VZCwwx1BQ1I)

 

Here are some other useful tools

 

Windows XP: Narrator

Narrator is a Microsoft accessibility feature that instructs programs to represent auditory information visually.

Age Group: All ages
Content Area: All content
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection, Windows XP

Art Beyond Sight

A one stop resource for bringing art and culture to people with visual impairments.

Be sure to check out their handbook which includes theory, research, learning tools and suggestions for how to discuss and describe art to individuals who are visually impaired.

Age Group: All ages
Content Area: Art
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection; many strategies suggested do not include technology

Vocabulary Graphic Organizers

Vocabulary Graphic Organisers site, understand the research-based recommendation to teach vocabulary, watch videos on how actual schools are teaching vocabulary, and find a collection of tools and ideas to help you improve your practice.

Age Group: K-adult
Content Area: Literacy
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection to explore site; many of the strategies suggested require no technology.

Voki

Voki, is text to speech generator that allows the user to create a personal speaking avatar that can be embedded in a website. The site offers a high level of customization ranging from the overall look of the Voki to the sound of its voice.

Age Group: All ages
Content Area: All content
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection

Word2Word

Use online dictionaries in students’ native languages to help build vocabulary and background knowledge.Word2Word is a syndication of multiple language dictionaries (not all are compatible with screen readers).

Age Group: All ages
Content Area: All content
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection

Search Cube

Search Cube is an alternative search engine that creates a visual representation of the first 96 pages associated with your search and forms a cube that you can flip and rotate.
Age Group: All ages
Content Area: All content
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection

Interactives: Elements of a Story)

This interactive breaks down the important elements of a story. Students go through the series of steps for constructing a story including Setting, Characters, Sequence, Exposition, Conflict, Climax, and Resolution.

Age Group: K-5
Content Area: ELA
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection

CueCard

CueCard is a simple and intuitive flash card program.Just make up cards for what you want to memorize, and CueCard will quiz you on them.
Age Group: All ages
Content Area: All
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection

Read With Me eBooks

Education Oasis offers a collection of graphic organizers to help students organize and retain knowledge. The website contains PDFs that can be read with Adobe Reader and printed for classroom use. Organizers are divided into the following categories:

  • Cause and Effect
  • Character and Story
  • Compare and Contrast
  • Sequence, Cycle, Timeline, and Chain of Events
  • Vocabulary Development and Concept

The Read With Me eBook program provides teachers and parents with information and materials to help engage young children in activities that support the development of literacy skills.

Age Group: 3-4; Teachers and parents

Content Area: Early Literacy

Cost: Free

Technology Involved: Internet connection; print versions of the stories are also available

Digging for Answers

From the Smithsonian Institute, Digging for Answers is a quiz game that allows students to test their research skills. If students answer incorrectly, they are prompted with a link to background knowledge that will help them to find the correct answer.

Age Group: K-8
Content Area: History
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection

Create-a-Graph

Support students in tracking their progress using charts and graphs.

Age Group: K-8
Content Area: All areas
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection

Helping My Students Set Goals the Smart Way

Elona Hartjes shares the insights, resources, and practical classroom strategies that have earned her A Teacher of Distinction Award.

Age Group: K-12
Content Area: All areas
Cost: Free

Education Oasis: Graphic Organizers

Education Oasis offers a collection of graphic organizers to help students organize and retain knowledge – cause and effect, character and story, compare and contrast, and more!

Age Group: K-12
Content Area: All areas
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection needed to access the site; can print graphic organizers to use in the classroom with no technology

Cool Online Math and Financial Calculators

An easy to use, free site that includes a number of math and financial calculators for all ages.

Age Group: All ages
Content Area: Math
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection

CAST Strategy Tutor

Strategy Tutor is a web-based tool designed to support students and teachers doing reading and research on the internet.

Age Group: K-12
Content Area: All areas
Cost: Yes
Technology Involved: Internet connection

iCreate to Educate

iCreate to Educate provides K-12 educators with the resources needed to foster an engaging learning environment — specifically in the realm of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)…iCreate’s initial focus is on stop-motion animation as a learning tool, providing hands-on workshops and curricular enhancements with SAM Animation, a software developed for educators–by educators at Tufts University.

Age Group: All ages
Content Area: All
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection to download the software; additional resources around instructional strategies require no technology

Assignment Calculator

Assignment Calculator allows users to create a time management guide for writing assignments.

Age Group: All
Content Area: All areas
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection

WebAIM: Motor Disabilities, Assistive Technologies

This website lists the different assistive technologies that are available so that students can communicate with others.

Age Group: All ages
Content Area: All areas
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection to access the site; some of the tools presented require no technology

Crayon

The Crayon.net site offers electronic templates for students to create their own newspapers. The site allows you to bring multiple sources together, thus creating an individualized and customized newspaper.

Age Group: K-12
Content Area: ELA, Social Studies
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection

Expedition Exploration with the Field Museum

Follow the scientists of The Field Museum in Chicago on their exhibitions collecting knowledge and samples for the museum. The websites include information about the scientists, their research tools, and their expeditions. The sites also include interactive maps, videos, photographs, dispatches from the captain, and the opportunity to be in contact with the research team via email!

Age Group: All ages
Content Area: Science, Social studies
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection

Peace Helpers: PS 24 Brooklyn, NY

Students practice conflict resolution and peer mediation at a K-5 school in Brooklyn, NY.

Age Group: K-12
Content Area: Peer mediation; conflict resolution
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection to view the video; technology not needed to implement the strategies discussed

CAST’s UDL Editions

UDL Editions take advantage of the flexibility of digital media to reach and engage all learners. Levelled supports and the Texthelp Toolbar balance challenge and support for each learner, ages 10 and up. Select your book to get started!

Age Group: Grade 3 and up
Content Area: Literacy
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection

Teachnology’s Rubric Maker

Create 100s of custom rubrics in seconds!

Age Group: All ages
Content Area: All areas
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection to create rubrics, but you can print them out for students

Coping Skills for Kids:Brain Works Project

This website addresses the coping brain, coping challenges and coping skills and tools. It is geared toward parents and educators of pre-teens and addresses the varying ways one can cope and learn to cope. The site is also rich with resources and activities.

Age Group: Pre-teens
Content Area: Social and emotional learning
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection to view the video; technology not needed to implement the strategies discussed

Goal Setting Worksheets

Find templates for goal-setting worksheets to use with your students to support their organizational skills.

Age Group: Elementary, Middle

Content Area: All Areas
Cost: Free
Technology Involved: Internet connection to access; can also choose to download and print out