When I was in middle and high school, teachers will still experimenting with digital classrooms. In computer labs, instructors would have complete access to our display screens at any time. They could freeze our screens, they could take control of our desktops, and they had full viewing capabilities.
However, these capabilities were limited to the computer labs and all laptop mobile labs were controlled only by a teacher’s ability to individually monitor screens while unsubtly hovering over our shoulders. Any work done from home was completely free of the jurisdiction of teachers, and online lessons were unheard of.
Since then, technology has changed and entire lessons are able to be conducted and managed from home if necessary.
Digital classroom management and other tools don’t have to soak up your budget. Manage your classroom, instruct individual students, and conduct digital lessons for free with the top free collaboration tools and digital classroom management software.
Free Classroom Management Software
iTALC is an open-source digital classroom management software that gives you complete control of your students computers, allowing you to display lessons, aid in corrections, view workstation progress, and lock out particular users.
The first impression I had about iTALC was how clean the user interface was for a free and open-source software. As far as user interfaces go, iTALC is visually pleasing and straightforward with 3-D icons, simple prompts, and easy navigation. Adding to its user-friendly nature, iTALC is also easy to install and run on any major operating system (Windows, Linux, OSX).
- Overview Mode (classroom supervision)
- Power on/off Workstations
- Send Texts to Workstations
- Works with Workstations on Multiple Operating Systems at One Time
- Demo Broadcasting
- Homeschool Broadcasting
LanSchool Lite is a digital classroom management software offered by Lenovo that is a free version of their full LanSchool program. This option is light on features, as its name suggests, and is also unavailable for Chromebooks unless one purchases the full LanSchool software.
That being said, it has a clean user interface which allows up to 3,000 screens for monitoring. Where LanSchool Lite falls short of other software, such as iTALC, is the limited interaction with the monitored screens. With LanSchool Lite you can view screens in real-time, view their active applications and last visited website, and you are able to arrange the screens in any order you desire.
Unfortunately, functionality and features ends there. In order to unlock interactive features, you must purchase the full LanSchool software.
Free Classroom Collaboration Tools
These are tools that are useful when running a digital classroom, whether you are broadcasting your screen onto all displays or each student is contributing their own actions in a collaborative app. All apps are free!
Bubbl is a collaborative mind-mapping tool for generating new ideas and concepts in the classroom. The free version allows up to three mind maps at a time, all of which are savable and shareable.
Bubbl is an online tool; no installation required.
Wiggio is a collaborative workshop tool that offers group messaging, calendars, group polls, file sharing, and virtual meetings.
This tools is perfect for those who choose LanSchool Lite as their free classroom management software in order to make up for the lack of interactive and collaborative features. This way you can still monitor your students and keep in contact with them even while they are working remotely.
Cacoo is a free diagram and flowchart creator made specifically for real-time collaboration. This app is perfect for visual learning in the classroom and off-site so long as teachers and students have an internet connection. Cacoo also integrates with other free educational programs such as Google Apps for Education, allowing for easier sharing and access to information.
Think of Edmodo as social media for teachers, students, and parents. Teachers can assign work, students are able to complete the work, and all performance assessments and lesson plans are available to all parties.
No longer are parents unaware of what their children are working how well they are performing now that all three main aspects of education are on a collaborative platform. Edmodo is also able to integrate with Google Apps for Education, making assignments easier to submit and view.
This tool is growing in popularity with over 48 million users worldwide.
ThinkBinder is a collaborative whiteboard and study tool which allows teachers and students to share files, ideas, and build projects together. Groups are separated off with their own codes so that you can set up codes for the entire classroom as well as for group projects, which are all accessible to the teacher.
This is a fantastic tool for tracking classroom or group progress on assignments.
It is amazing just how far digital learning has come in the past decade. It’s only a matter of time before education moves away from in-person learning to the digital world. We should all be prepared for this.
Have you used any of these free digital classroom tools? Are there any others you would recommend for our list? Let us know in the comments below!
Looking for School Administration software? Check out Capterra's list of the best School Administration software solutions.