Monday, July 7, 2014

Loving Classroom Tools That Start Free, and Stay Free! We Appreciate You!

Click the pic to take you to the article on WeareTeachers Blog!

It is common knowledge that teaching is one of the hardest professions. We  make very little money, and yet , we have a high level of "out-of-pocket" expenses.  That's why I (and probably every teacher I know), love it when someone comes out with a Fun Resource that Entertains and Engages,(FREE) ! Get it?

However, what irks, and disappoints  me the most,  are the companies who provide you with a free tool when they first enter the market.   They reel you in, and you use their products for an entire school year, loving every minute of it.  You get to the "How could I teach without this? point", and then BAM! They want you to pay! 
Isn't there another way? Couldn't they be a little less expensive? 

And I'm already way ahead of them on solutions to affordability.
"Write a grant" they say.  Grant writing is a timely process and just like money, that's not something I have a lot of!
"Ask your district", they say. Can anyone say "budget cuts?"
"JUST $29.95 a year!" Well imagine if I pay every company for the tool I enjoy using $29.95 a year every year! Do the Math...
"We have the free version", and the free version sucksess-fully(I have to say, some non-premium products  are still pretty cool), though keeps me from giving 20+ kids what would really benefit them in the classroom.
"Come up with an innovative idea, and then get hundreds of people to come to our site and vote for you!"

I know, it's their companies and they have the right to charge and make a profit, it's the American way! I  am also aware that I do not have to purchase the product or tool. 

But understand this.

I am one of those teachers.  

That teacher that is going to dig among the lint in his/her pocket, swipe that card, and buy that product, in order to offer my students the education I would give my own children. A lot of us are, and maybe that's why many of these companies start charging after they gauge how many of us would pay.

But, enough venting, I end with a special shout-out, "Woo-Hoo!" to all those companies, (You know who you are), that offer teachers tools that are still free, (or even give a free version that's doable).
You are truly appreciated!:)


  1. I'm with you! I think the currently popular subscription models make it even harder for schools to afford these tools than the old "pay to purchase" software we used to use. NewsELA is one of my current favorite free tools. I hope it remains free.
    I have a very small classroom budget, so I'm always looking for quality free tools. What are some of your favorites?

  2. I've used quite a few of those types of tools. However, most of the ones that really end up being useful to me are those that are either free or cost very little. I've tried a lot of different iPad Apps: