Best of the Free Technology
Tools for Teachers
Steve C. Yuen, Ph.D.
The University of Southern Mississippi
Patrivan K. Yuen, M.A., M.Ed., M.L.S.
Technical Services/Systems Librarian
William Carey University
East Central Community College, Decatur, MS
September 14, 2007
The Yuens’ Top Picks
Free – no trials
Public domain or open source
Desktop or online
Easy to learn and use
Useful for teaching and learning
Categories of Technology Tools
Image Editing Software
Multimedia and Web Development Tools
Open source, multiplatform, and multilingual
Desktop and portable versions.
A full-featured office suite that's compatible
with Microsoft Office, Word Perfect, Lotus and
other office applications.
Include a word processor, spreadsheet,
presentation, drawing package & database.
Download at [www.openoffice.org]
Open source, Windows application.
A printer driver that creates Adobe Acrobat
files from any applications.
Create more than just PDFs: PNG, JPG, TIFF,
BMP, PCX, PS, EPS.
Offer a multitude of options for controlling the
output, including the ability to password-
protect PDF files to limit users’ ability to print,
copy, or modify the documents.
Download at [www.pdfforge.org]
Let you log in simultaneously to 7 IMs (AIM,
Google Talk, ICQ, Jabber, MSN Live
Messenger, and Meebe’s own network).
See all your contact in a single list, and you
can correspond with them all from a single
Allow you to do instant messaging from
Access at [www.meebo.com]
Work on most kinds of computers —
Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Pocket
Calls, chats and file transfers work
Automatically encrypt calls, chats and
file transfers before sending it through
Download at [www.skype.com]
Come with built-in Google search technology and
over 2.6 GB of storage.
Also available on mobile devices.
Integrate instant messaging right into the email
Provide spam protection using Google
Messages can be sent and read in most
languages. Gmail interface is available in 40
Free automatic forwarding and POP3 access
Access at [www.gmail.com]
Search billions of Web pages.
Search Web, images, news, groups, and
Offer advanced search and language tools.
Offer free SiteSearch and WebSearch to
educational institutions worldwide.
Google toolbar, Google Viewer, Google
Webquotes, Google wireless.
Index nearly every document on your hard
drive and then includes those files in your
Quickly search your computer for emails, web
history, and files.
View news, photos and more anywhere on
Add Google Gadgets (News, Maps, Weather,
Web Clips ...) to customize your desktop and
Download at [desktop.google.com]
Open source, multiplatform application.
A complete Web Authoring System that
combines file management and WYSIWYG
Web page editing.
Integrated file management via FTP.
Can jump between WYSIWYG Editing Mode
and HTML using tabs.
Tabbed editing to make working on multiple
Support for forms, tables, and templates.
Download at [www.nvu.com]
Access dates and meetings from anywhere,
Share your calendar with specific friends and
Remember important dates, set up automatic
Let you easily insert holidays, local weather
reports, and events from Yahoo Groups into
Optional software syncs your calendar with
Outlook, Outlook Express, and Palm PDAs.
Google Earth combines the power of Google
Search with satellite imagery, maps, terrain and
3D buildings to put the world's geographic
information at your fingertips.
Fly to your house. Just type in an address, press
Search, and you’ll zoom right in.
Search for schools, parks, restaurants, and
hotels. Get driving directions.
With Google Earth 4, you can tilt and rotate the
view to see 3D terrain and buildings.
Save and share your searches and favorites.
Download at [earth.google.com]
Offer powerful, user-friendly mapping
technology and local business information-
including business locations, contact
information, and driving directions.
Provide satellite imagery.
Can search for some locations using latitude
and longitude coordinates on Google Map.
Offer driving directions.
Can use Google Maps on mobile devices.
Access at [maps.google.com]
Best Image Editing Software
Open source, multiplatform, and multilingual
image editing software.
Can be used as a simple paint program, an
expert quality photo retouching program, an
online batch processing system, a mass
production image renderer, an image format
Expandable and extensible. Designed to be
augmented with plug-ins and extensions for
Download at [www.gimp.org]
Photo-sharing service makes uploading
pictures, sharing them with others, or posting
them to your Weblog.
Visitors can leave comments on every photo.
Set privacy levels on each photo and decide.
who can see them and comment on them.
Upload photos by email or from your
Using Flickr Organizer to sort all your photos
into Sets, which are sort of like albums.
Open source software for recording and editing
Available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows,
GNU/Linux, and other operating systems.
Record live audio.
Convert tapes and records into digital recordings
Edit Ogg Vorbis, MP3, and WAV sound files.
Cut, copy, splice, and mix sounds together.
Change the speed or pitch of a recording.
Download at [audacity.sourceforge.net]
For Windows XP only.
Create, edit, and share home movies.
Add special effects, music, and narration.
Share your movie over the Web or master it
to DVD media.
Save in WMV format only.
A Multimedia Encoder and a Multimedia Player.
Play and convert full length movies to any other format.
Require NO additional external codec to be installed.
Supported input source file formats:
Video format: 3gp/3g2(Nokia,Siemens,Sony,Ericsson)
asf, avi (DivX,H263,H264,XviD,MPEG4, etc..), dat, fli, flc,
flv, mkv, mpg (Mpeg I,Mpeg II), mov, mp4, ogg, qt, rm,
ram, rmvb, str (Play Station), swf, ts (HDTV), viv, vob,
Audio format: aac, ac3, amr, mmf, mp2, mp3, mp4, mpc,
ogg, ra, wav, wma.
Supports the conversion (encoding both ways, to & from )
of the listed formats
Download at: [www.erightsoft.com/SUPER.htm]
Desktop Screen Recorder
Similar to Camtasia.
Record activity from your screen and audio
from a microphone into AVI video files.
Can convert the AVIs into Streaming Flash
videos (SWFs) using its built-in SWF
Download at [www.camstudio.org]
Avast Home Edition
For home users and non-commercial use.
Include more than 7 different varieties of
shields, safe-surfing tools, and real-time virus
protection for your system as well as for
Both the virus database and the program itself
can be updated automatically.
Work with Windows and Linux
Download at [www.avast.com]
Spybot Search and Destroy
Find and delete spyware.
Continuously monitor your system for changes.
Has on-demand scanning, real-time prevention,
and detailed settings.
Give you an opportunity to permit or disallow
critical Registry modifications before they
Download at [www.safer-networking.org]
Online backup and file synchronization.
Allow you browse through 30 days’ worth of
backups to locate pervious versions of files.
Can halt backups if the CPU usage exceeds
a certain percentage.
Get 2GB for free.
Work with Mac and
Include six applications, enabling you to create
interactive multiple-choice, short-answer, jumbled-
sentence, crossword, matching/ordering and gap-fill
exercises for the Web.
Not a freeware, but it is free for teachers.
Create Web-based tests which can stand alone or be
linked to other tests to form a sequence of tasks.
Students can correct their own work based on the
clues and feedback set up in advance by the teacher.
Allow the teacher to specify an email address to
which scores are sent.
Download at [hotpot.uvic.ca]