The Ultimate List of FREE Online Resources & Tools for Teachers
This article was written by Alex J. Coyne — a journalist, writer and language practitioner with ten years' experience. His features have been published People Magazine, Funds for Writers, Great Bridge Links and Moneyweb, among others.
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Teachers are trusted to have a wealth of information stacked in their heads for every question a student might have, but no one person can be expected to know everything. Take a look at some of these specialized search engines that can help you find the quickest route to resources – and impress the heck out of your students.
Need free-to-use images to make part of a project for students? Search through Creative Commons Image Search, which will also bring up the copyright license (and source for attribution) with your search results. Click on “advanced search” to refine details like tile format, image color, size and specific copyright attributes.
TinEye is what’s called a reverse image search engine. Basically, you upload and image – and it then searches the net for the image’s origin – with links, attribution and often important accompanying information. Google Images and ImageRaider do the same job.
There’s even a search engine aimed at searching through the fine art catalogues of the world. Artcyclopedia can find you almost anything – and if it can’t, we’d recommend you take a look on ArtNet.
Bookfinder can track down a copy of almost any book for sale, which makes it perfect for tracking down a copy of Shakespeare with notes for students or a textbook that’s been long-since out of print. You can search titles by author, title and ISBN – and then enter your chosen budget to narrow it down. They search more than 100, 000 booksellers to find a copy of just what you need. Similarly, take a look at AddAll for used and out-of-print texts.
Google Books is perfect if you’re looking for a couple of paragraphs to quote in a hurry. You can search by title or author; you can even type in a partially-remembered quote and it’ll search through its immense database. Books are usually available for purchase once you click on the link.
Here lies the worldwide database of ISBN numbers – useful, of course, for tracking down information about nearly any book out there and where to start tracking it down.
Lesson Plans is a huge network of teachers and lesson plans. Search through thousands organized by grade and subject, or upload your own lesson plan to help other teachers.
Teacher Created lets you search more than 400 lesson plans by keyword, subject and grade. You can download lessons directly in .pdf format.
This Lesson Plans Page (run by HotChalk) has more than 4, 000 free lesson plans for teachers: Access those through their search engine, or upload your own lesson plans to the site.
Scholastic has been a long-reliable source for teachers and students. Here’s their searchable index of ideas and lesson plans aimed at teachers, fairly comprehensive and organized by grade or subject.
Teachers.net has many free resources for teachers including a searchable index of almost 5, 000 lesson plans for all grade-levels and subjects.
Teacher.org has their lesson plans searchable by keywords, and then organized by subject or grade – everything for free.
Teacher Vision offers many free resources for teachers – here is their searchable index of thousands of lesson plans for teachers, organized by subject.
iSeek is an academic search engine designed to work for students and teachers both – among other things, it’s able to search free-to-access lesson plans from schools and universities all over the world.
Lesson Planet is just one of the web’s many resources for searching through lesson plans and teacher resources. We’d also recommend The Busy Teacher.
ACADEMIC TEXTS AND MORE RESEARCH
Founded in 2008, ResearchGate isn’t nearly as ominous as it might sound – instead, it searches through more than 100 million academic publications and research sources to find what you’re looking for.
Microsoft Academic is said to search through more than 120 million academic publications to find what you’re looking for.
Google Scholar searches through only academic texts and studies.
DuckDuckGo is the search engine designed for safety, and it promises not to track the search engine habits or information of its users. That has made it the go-to choice for many, and makes it worthy of a mention here.
Teachers with younger students might still love to make use of tech – but fear what might pop up while they’re looking something up. Here’s the answer, powered by Google, and completely safe to search.
The results of most search engines are added – or “indexed” – by automatic gremlins called bots. Parents-Teachers.com has created a search engine indexed by humans that looks specifically for free teaching resources. Similarly, All Teacher Websites has developed a search engine with results only for teachers.
Could your students benefit from seeing the Victoria waterfall or Times Square? Take them as close as you can with this search engine of live (and, of course, legally and publically broadcasting) webcams the world over.
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