Free Online Tools for Teachers

June 21st, 2009 | Posted by Toffler in tips

It’s been almost three months since we announced the launch of our Language Marketplace, and we’ve seen thousands of teachers register to teach on italki.  So far, most of our teachers have only been using software like Skype to teach online.  However, many teachers have asked us if there were other free tools that they could use to help them teach online.  Here are some of our favorites:


Whiteboard –

  • Twiddla has a great whiteboard that lets you write and share ideas with multiple participants.  It is free, and incredibly easy to use.  You can start typing or drawing on it immediately, and all you need to do to share is to send someone a URL.  The whiteboard also comes with a text and audio chat, and you can also import pictures and documents .
  • You can try marking up this page right here:
    Twiddle this page!

Documents – scribd.comscribd

  • We’ve been long-time fans of Scribd.  With Scribd, you can upload and share word documents, powerpoints, PDF, and other types of files with students and other italki users.  We’ve integrated Scribd into the italki Resources section, so when you upload files to italki, all your students need to view it is just a link.  This avoids clogging up everyone’s mailboxes, and is a great way to spread the word about your services.
  • Note: has been blocked in mainland China.

Powerpoint / Slideshows – slideshare.comslideshare

  • Slideshows or powerpoints can be great tools for teaching or sharing information.  Slideshare has a nice way interface for flipping through different pictures and for full screen views.  If you like to teach with powerpoints, uploading to slideshare might be a nice option to have.

Communication Tools – Skype.comskype

  • We continue to think Skype is one of the best tools for teachers.  Skype continues to have some of the best
  • Microphone and webcam.  There are numerous options for this, and we haven’t actually made — if your connection can support it, we recommend doing video chats as well.

italki resources (documents, wiki, and more.)

  • italki resources are still in a very early stage, but we also want to recommend taking a look in there.  For example, there are many handouts and study guides in italki documents (this links is for learning Chinese, but you can switch the language).  Wealso  encourage to contribute to the community by uploading files or helping to improve the wiki.

These are just a few of our favorite tools that we are recommending teachers use.  If you have other suggestions for useful teaching tools that have helped you teach or learn, please leave a  comment here to let us know.  There are so many excellent free web-based tools that are being developed for teachers and students, that it is hard to keep up!

The italki Team

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  • teacherinchina

    Thanks, good resource. I am teaching inChina and getting materials is not always easy.

  • teacherinchina

    Thanks, good resource. I am teaching inChina and getting materials is not always easy.