S'cool Tools of the Week: Back-to-School Updates

IT GETS BETTER AND BETTER: In the midst of sun and summer fun, edtech companies were jazzing up their current products with updated bells and whistles for the new school year! Here are some highlights:

Free! Ten big companies, including Autodesk, Adobe, AT&T & Prezi, promised President Obama that they would give away millions of dollars worth of software and services to schools beginning this school year. Most of those materials are there for the asking--so do ask! (Prezi, a cool presentation software, just put up the link to get your free EDU subscription here.) For the full list, check out descriptions of the program here, with links about how your school can get the materials you want.

Free! TodaysMeet, a backchanneling tool, now has comment moderation and teacher accounts. If your students veer off on tangents, with the new TodaysMeet account, you can close rooms when conversations get off track, restrict access to rooms, and keep general tabs on all open rooms at once.

Free! Online open source curriculum website CK-12’s been busy putting together a collection of back-to-school resources, including class posters, name tags, textbook, videos and more. Build your own customized “teacher box” here.

Free! Padlet, a collaborative sticky note app, has new features to better support your note-taking and brainstorming needs. There’s Padlet Mini, a Chrome extension for students to use as a collaborative tool for bookmarking and a new grid layout option (no worries, you can switch back and forth between the original stream layout and this grid one).

Free! School text messaging service Remind became available worldwide this summer, with the English version Remind 4.1 offered for free in Apple and Android app stores for teachers, students and parents. And by the way--Remind hit the “top five” category for all free apps on the iOS App Store. Pretty swanky. Rumor has there are more goodies in the works, so stay tuned.

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