10 Remarkably Free Digital Tools for Educators and Students

1) Hemingway Editor


This is a free Web-based app that lets you paste in your writing to be analyzed and edited for optimal readability. The app quickly identifies hard to read sentences, passive voice, and overuse of adverbs. It also will instantly grade your work according to level of writing. I pasted in a couple paragraphs from my last article and got a grade 16 but needed to fix 6 hard-to-read sentences. I’ll be using this for all of my writing going forward! They’ve just released a desktop version for $6.99.


2) Coffitivity


I absolutely love the idea of this app, especially being a New Yorker. This creative app gives you the ambient noise of a coffee shop, university campus, or lunch-time conversations on your phone or Mac desktop. The best part? You can still use your music apps at the same time!!! This one is genius.


3) TheBrain


TheBrain combines the best of note taking, file synchronization and mind mapping apps to give you the ultimate digital memory. This app is perfect for anyone who wants to get super organized and have brainstorming tools at their fingertips. There are apps for Windows, Mac, IOS, and Android. The Wall Street Journal describes the app as “Software that thinks like you do”.


4) ZooBurst


ZooBurst is a ditial storytelling tool that lets you easily create your own 3D pop-up books and even interact with them via augmented reality. This is a fantastic app that’s quick and easy to use. Educators that want to teach lectures in a visual way or assign 3D books such as the one pictured above titled “the Battle of Hastings” will get a lot out of this free application


5) GifBoom


Ever wonder how people create those animated gifs that have made a comeback recently? With GifBoom for iOS, you can make GIFs, stop motions, time lapse, videos, and photos from all sources. You can add vintage filters, text overlays, and music and share to Facebook and Twitter with one tap.


6) Adobe Voice


Adobe Voice is a new, easy-to-use, storytelling app released in June. It allows you to create stories using a combination of still images, icons, voice narration, and background music. The end result is a cross between a video and a slideshow which is perfect for creating instructional videos.


7) Pocket


Previously known as Read It Later, the Pocket app enables you to access and read links you have collected wherever and whenever you wish.  Add an article or website to your Pocket and it automatically syncs across your phone, tablet, and computer so you can view it anytime on any device, without an Internet connection. You can even share links via Facebook, Twitter, or email.


8) iBooks Author


Create your own course textbooks with the iBooks Author iPad app! Customize pre-designed templates and page designs, add widgets for interactivity, create a photo gallery and much more.


9) Skitch


Mark up photos, take screenshots from the Web and annotate them, use shapes to mark up maps and more. Show your students instead of telling them with this handy app! Skitch is part of the Evernote family of apps and is available for iPhones, iPads, Android devices, Windows and Macs.


10) Evernote


Instructors can capture all of their ideas, notes, and content for lessons in this ultra organizational app. Clip content from the Web and sync it with images from your computer or notes you’ve created within the app. Collect and organize all of your info and materials in one place with Evernote.