In the last few years, as more people have gained access to the internet, software marketing methods have changed a bit. Instead of requiring the customer to drive to a store and buy a physical piece of media with the software on it, many companies have started offering people the chance to download the software directly from their website. Giving you access to some of these options is what this page is all about. This way, some of the work has been done for you.
Some of the software can actually be downloaded for free for a trial period. When you get to the company's website, you will have to take a look and see what sort of deal is being offered. More often than not, you will have about 30 days to use the software before it disables itself. In addition to the commercial software links, you will notice that some of the links actually are for software that costs nothing. In other cases, there are links to other sorts of online educational resources besides software. All of these can play a role in education and trying to share this information is important. If you happen to know of a good resource that is not currently listed, or if you have a question about something, please let the WITRC staff know by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
From this website you can download a trial version of both Inspiration and Kidspiration. Each will work for 30 days. Both software packages are designed to help improve thinking skills. From the Inspiration website, "Learning to learn. Learning to think. These are the true core skills that launch success for all students. At Inspiration Software®, Inc. we're dedicated to developing and providing visual thinking tools that help build a solid learning foundation for all students." Kidspiration is designed for grades K-5, and Inspiration for grades 6-12 and beyond.
For over 10 years, HyperStudio has been the de facto standard classroom multimedia authoring program. The first major release in over five years, HyperStudio 4 represents the next level in desktop and online multimedia communications for educators and students. Even though Microsoft Powerpoint has a big chunk of the market, HyperStudio is still able to be used by kids (and adults) of almost all ages to create great multimedia projects. The program has features that MS-Powerpoint does not. For example, the current version includes Morph 2.5. This popular digital video creation program is bundled with HyperStudio 4 at no extra charge! With Morph, you can create QuickTime or AVI movies that smoothly transition from one object or image to another resulting in "mild-to-totally-wild" effects. Plus, with Morph, you can create warping and caricature effects of still images or create dynamic morphs between two digital movies. The resulting movies are easily imported into HyperStudio projects. To find out what other features this program has, head over to their website. The HyperStudio® 4 Preview that you can download for free is a fully functioning evaluation version of HyperStudio 4. It is limited to one save up to a maximum of four cards.
If you don't want to have to buy MS-Office, there are a few alternatives. StarOffice[tm] software is an affordable alternative in office productivity suites that runs on multiple operating systems, including the Solaris[tm] Operating Environment, Microsoft Windows, and Linux. The suite has a simple, easy-to-use interface and contains full-featured applications including word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and graphics capabilities. You can actually buy the software for a low cost, or you can download the software for free. The free version is not an evaluation copy. The software currently costs nothing if you download it. However, the download is rather large (about 79-110 MB) so if you have a dial-up connection to the internet you may want to wait until you have broadband access before attempting to start the download.
The components of StarOffice include:
StarOffice Writer: word processing
Another low cost MS Office alternative is ThinkFree.com's ThinkFree Office, a Web-based productivity suite which the company claims is fully compatible with Microsoft Office. Developed from the ground-up in Sun's Java programming language, ThinkFree Office provides identical features whether you are using Windows, Mac, Linux, or UNIX. Their file formats are identical for all platforms, so any ThinkFree Office document created on one computer can be opened on any other computer, with no need for conversion or "importing." Your work is stored on a "cyberdrive" so you can work on your files from any web-enabled computer attached to the internet.
The ThinkFree Office family of applications includes:
Write: Microsoft Word compatible word processor/HTML editor
OpenOffice.org is a free alternative to MS-Office. Their mission
statement is, "To create, as a community, the leading international
office suite that will run on all major platforms and provide access
to all functionality and data through open-component based APIs and
an XML-based file format." They do that by offering a free
product that is compatible with MS-Word, MS-Excel, and MS-Powerpoint.
It is a large download, but it's hard to beat the price.
Macromedia has many different products that can aid in creating multi-media products that can function on and off the web. Many of these products are available for download, and most have a 30 day trial period where they are fully functional.
MX: Rapidly develop rich Internet applications with approachable,
integrated tools that leverage leading web server technologies and
Busy Teachers' WebSite K-12
CEO Forum on Education and
From Now On: The Educational Technology Journal (Jamie
McKenzie) - Journal entries on integrating technology in the classroom.
Gateway to Educational Materials - One-stop access
to educational resources on the Internet.
International Society for Technology in Education
- Resources for using technology in the classroom.
Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators
Mid-Continent Regional Educational Laboratory
MultiMedia Schools Magazine
North Central Regional Technology in Education Consortium - No longer operating.
Tammy's Technology Tips for Teachers
TEAMS Distance Learning for all K-12 Educators
The WebQuest Page
Instructional Media and Technology Team - Wisconsin
Department of Public Instruction
Wisconsin Educational Communications Board
Zen and the Art of Educational Standards
Quiz Lab (You can have your students take quizzes online
and the their results will actually be e-mailed to you.)
Flash Card Creator
Math Worksheet Creator
The Worksheet Archive
A to Z Kids Stuff - Preschool and elementary education resource/activity
Alphabet Ideas - Preschool-grade 1. Poetry, lessons, art projects,
etc. to assist with teaching alphabet recognition.
Argus Clearinghouse - Selected topical guides from the Internet
rated for content excellence.
Baker Street - Sherlock Holmes' stories; includes some illustrations.
The Biography Maker - Step by step lesson to help grade 4-8
students write biographies. Includes a Great Explorers of the World
link biography source.
Calendar of Monthly Activities - Class project lists Internet
sites relevant to each month; links to additional student Internet
projects provided. Primary Grades (ages 5-9)
ERIC Clearinghouse on Reading, English and Communication -
Resources include: publications, lesson plans, parent involvement
materials, distance education, and more.
Global SchoolNet Foundation - Global Internet projects for
students and educators. Newsletter.
Landmark Project - Resources for assisting with the integration
of curriculum and technology. Web tools include template for seeking
permission to use copyrighted materials for classroom use.
On-Line Books Page - More than 7,000 English works can be
downloaded free for personal, non-commercial use. Search by author,
subject, or title.
Outside the Box - Parent and teacher resoures for students
with ADHD, special needs and/or learning disabilities.
PBS Teachersource - Over 1,400 pre-K through grade 12 lesson
plans and activites for curricular areas that include: Arts &
Literature, Health & Fitness, Math, Science & Technology,
and Social Studies. Access to program segments such as Nova, Frontline,
The American Experience and Sesame Street is available.
Teaching and Learning with Technology - Technology integrated
lesson plans by grade level, K-12.
Cyberchase Club - Liquid Volume
The Netsmartz Workshop
Online Geography Games
Game Aquarium - Games for the kids to play
The Weather Unit
The Cool Food Planet
Animals and Where They Live
Artic Animal Matching Game
The Virtual Cave
The Batting Cage - The Science of Baseball
The Science of Energy
Cool Science for Curious Kids