7 Free Premium Accounts for Teachers

an ipad sitting on top of a pile of books next to an apple, a google home mini and an apple pencil
Photo by Thomas Kolnowski on Unsplash

With education budgets being stretched further than ever, the pressure on schools to provide the necessary resources for teachers and students is never ending. Thankfully, there are a number of benevolent edtech companies that have created free premium plans for schools. These plans frequently include features that their business customers have to pay for. To help draw attention to these generous companies, I decided to write about seven of the best free education accounts that you can sign up for. Some of these services are just for teachers, but others include student accounts too, so make sure you read the fine print and see what you qualify for.

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It’s Time to Convert Your Old Google Sites

A calendar sitting on a shelf displaying the month of September

In November, 2016, Google launched a brand new version of Google Sites. It featured a simple drag and drop interface and responsive designs that were better suited for the modern web. Today, almost five years later, some of those classic Google Sites still exist. They have still to be converted to the “new” versions of Google Sites, and sometimes with good reason. If you find yourself in that boat, your time is almost up. Google has extended the deadline more than once, but when September 1, 2021 rolls around, your classic Google Site will cease to exist. Here’s what you need to know.

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Your Tabs Are Not Your To Do List

nine post-it notes stuck to a fridge door arranged in a 3 by 3 grid

We all have our pet peeves. Things that we wish were different, but things that are unlikely to change any time soon. Towards the top of my list are tabs, or more specifically, those who use tabs as a to do list. Don’t get me wrong, I like tabs as much as the next person. I will often have 8-10 tabs open at one time as I navigate my way between multiple sites for the projects I am working on. However, my tabs are not my to-do list. They might be related to things I need to get done, but I close all my open tabs at the end of the day, and you can too. Here’s how.

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How (and Why) to Use OBS.Ninja On Your Next Zoom or Meet Video Call

Laptop on a desk next to an iPad. There is a Zoom call running on the laptop screen.
Photo by Gabriel Benois on Unsplash

I had been doing some research recently around the idea of using an iPad as a document camera on a Zoom or Google Meet call. It can be a great option for showing books, manipulatives, worksheets, or other learning materials during a video call with students. Zoom has built-in functionality to help facilitate that process. Google Meet does not, but you can make it work if you join the call for a second time on your iPad. However, if you want an easy way to show a mobile device on Zoom or Google Meet call, you should take a look at OBS.Ninja.

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How to Use mmhmm to Engage Students in Online Learning

A blue fence with a yellow desktop computer spray painted onto the fence. The computer has the words Stay Connected displayed on the monitor.
Photo by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona on Unsplash

The global pandemic of 2020 forced many classrooms into online or hybrid learning environments. For educators that had to teach like this, it was not familiar territory. They had to adapt quickly and learn new ways to engage and motivate students who were not physically present any more. Technology helped teachers navigate many of these scenarios, and it continues to have a profound effect. That’s why apps like mmhmm are quickly becoming a popular addition to a teacher’s toolkit. Here’s why.

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New Zoom Backgrounds from Canva

Create Customizable Zoom Backgrounds for Canva.

Have you seen the new Zoom backgrounds in Canva? These customizable templates can be a great way to add some visual prompts in a remote learning environment, but they can also be a simple way to inject some fun into an online classroom. In this post I will show you where to get them, how to add them to Zoom, and an easy way to combine multiple backgrounds so that you can quickly change between them when you need to. Here’s what you need to know!

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Loom for Education: Free for Schools

Loom for Education is a free premium tool for teachers and students at K-12 schools, universities, or educational institutions. It can be used for screencasting or video messaging and is an increasingly popular alternative to Screencastify or Screencast-o-matic. Loom is available as a desktop app, Chrome extension, and a mobile app for iPhone and iPad. Here’s why you might want to take a look at this great free screencasting tool.

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5 Alternatives to Zoom for Video Calls

A rotary dial telephone. Text reads, the best alternatives to zoom cloud meetings

We have used Zoom at work for a few years now, but today it seems like everybody is using Zoom. It’s a great tool and has a lot of useful features to make communication easier and more efficient. However, it’s not the only video conferencing tool that is out there right now. So, if you feel like a change, consider one of the following alternatives to Zoom.

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The 5 Best Ways to Take a Screenshot in Windows 10

A Microsoft Surface on a dark surface. Text reads, How to take screenshots in Windows 10.

When a screencast is overkill and a GIF is just too much trouble, the humble screenshot is exactly what you need. Whether you are reporting bugs, capturing evidence, or creating tutorials, the ability to take screenshots is a valuable skill to have. In this post, I am going to show you five ways to take screenshots in Windows 10.

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Jamboard: Google’s Best Kept Secret!

A long table with five chairs. Text on the wall above the chairs reads, Jamboard: Google's Online Collaborative Whiteboard.

In October, 2016, Google unveiled their vision for the future of interactive whiteboards. They called it the Jamboard, and it began shipping to customers in May of the following year. The Jamboard has a 55″ 4K touchscreen display that includes WiFi connectivity, an HD camera, microphone and speakers. The $5000 price tag puts it out of reach for many people, but the software that powers it is free for anyone to use, whether they have a physical Jamboard or not.

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