4 FREE #edtech Writing Tools for Your Class

Once upon a time, it seemed like one of the main computer writing tools was Microsoft Office. But if you didn’t have access to it, you were out of luck when it came to easy-to-use writing software. In recent years, however, there’s been a quiet shift in this area of #edtech. We’re seeing more and more companies offering robust and flexible alternatives that are perfect for your class. Plus, with the passing of time, there now seems to be an option for just about every single device. While this list isn’t meant to be exhaustive, it’s a good starting point for adding some digital writing tools to your class. And it doesn’t hurt that they’re all absolutely, totally free.

LibreOffice - Windows, OS X, Linux

For many years, LibreOffice has been the de facto substitute for Microsoft Word in the open-source community. You can save files in all the most popular file formats and the suite includes a word processor, spreadsheet program, even presentation software. It’s word processor (LibreOffice Writer) remains a staple in the open-source writing world. Easy to install, and also, free.

Google Docs - Web-based

You’ve probably seen some #edtech tweets or articles floating around about Google Docs. And for good reason. This completely web-based word processor doesn’t require any downloading, installing, or complicated setup. Instead, it aims to give writers a quick and simple writing tool wherever they go. This means you can use it from an Android phone or a Mac computer. It really is remarkable how flexible it is. You can even download, share, or collaborate on documents with just about anyone. And guess what? Unconditionally free.

Evernote - Android, iOS, OS X, Windows

This #edtech writing tool has gotten a lot of attention in the creative and business communities. And you can see why that is. While you might think that Evernote is just for jotting notes, it really does offer a lot more than that. In fact, you can check out this video for using it as a complete writing tool. Even if it's only used as a smartphone writing tool, it presents a good way for students to brainstorm for their next writing piece or create rough outlines. Plus… by now you know… perfectly free. (Evernote does offer a paid version, but you can still use the free one with plenty of features)

WriteMonkey - Windows

This choice is a little less known, but as educators, we love it for a few reasons. First, forget distractions WriteMonkey is designed to get students focus on one thing: writing, writing, writing. It’s full-screen mode hides away everything but the content you’re working on. It’s also designed with minimalism and simplicity in mind. You don’t even have to install it! Just download and go. This makes it a good choice when you want to get one of your new student writers up and running quickly. You’ll also find the content length progress bar to be a big win in the classroom. Set the needed length, and students can see exactly where they’re at. It also has a timer and many other cool features! An amazing program for any writer…. And for free!

What #edtech tools would you recommend most to a teacher new to the business? We want to hear from you!