March 2016 • Tony Vincent showcases 10 free digital tools teachers can put to use right away. He's selected sites, apps, and resources that you might not have heard about before!

See a list of extra font characters and emoji that you can simply click to copy and paste them anywhere else, including worksheets, newsletters, tweets, etc. No more using the square root symbol for a checkmark because CopyPasteCharacter has checkmarks!
✿ ☺  ⌘ ⇧ ☆ ✔ [Looking for emojis? Copy them from Emojipedia]

Oftentimes when we shorten web addresses to share with others, the shortened URL is difficult to say aloud or type. Be sure to use a URL shortener’s customize feature to make short URLs friendly to say and type. You will need to be signed in to create a shortened link.

Your inbox can quickly fill with exchanges when trying to schedule a meeting or event. Instead of coordinating through email, use Doodle. Doodle enables you to propose several dates and times and participants can indicate their availability online.

Easily record your voice for instant playback online with Vocaroo. Recording a Vocaroo requires Flash, so you'll need to record on a Mac, PC, or Chromebook. Flash is not required to play Vocaroo, so students can listen on mobile devices. Vocaroo recordings stay online for a few months. If you want to keep recordings longer, use and save to Google Drive.

Create and share mind maps. Log in with your Google account. Mind maps can be color coded, and you can invite others to collaborate on the same mind map. Hint: Hold down the Control and click on an item in your map to see options.

Search and download copyright-friendly images. When you click download the citation for the image in stamped onto the bottom of the image. Having the attribution as part of the photo makes citing super easy! has a variety of timers that you can make full screen. Click the button at the bottom of the screen to change the timer type. Click Classroom Timers to see a nice selection. Hint: For a super quick timer, simply do a Google search for "timer for 5 minutes" and a working timer appears at the top of the results.

Consider breaking videos into clips and adding some interaction. Watching shorter clips with time for thinking and review is more effective than simply watching one long video. With EdPuzzle you can trim a video from YouTube (and other sources) and add pauses to the video and insert annotations, audio, and questions. Students join your EdPuzzle class using a Join Code or through Google Classroom.

One handy way to collect web links onto one page is by making a Blendspace. You can organize web resources in one place. You can also insert text directions and quizzes right into your collection. Each collection you create has its own web address. An alternative to Blendspace is Symbaloo.

Create online or printable Bingo cards with Bingo Baker. Simply input words or drag photos into your board. Generate and copy the link to your online playable board. Each time that link is accesses, the items on the board are randomly positioned. If you want to make changes, change the play in the web address to view. Clone the board and edit the new version.


Bonus Tools

Collect, sort, and share student responses with sticky notes! Open Post-it Plus and create a new board. Then snap a photo of one or multiple sticky notes. Post-it Plus digitized them, allowing you to sort them and share the board as a PDF. Currently Post-It Plus is iOS only.


The Noun Project has a huge collection of symbols and icons. You can find an image to illustrate just about any idea. You have permission to use The Noun Project's images in your own project because they are covered under a Creative Commons Attribution or a Public Domain license. You can only download black icons, but there is a way to recolor them.