Make learning come alive with free digital resources

Students want to see how learning connects with life outside of their learning experience. There are many ways we can bring technology into the small group session or one-on-one tutoring experience.

Browser extensions

Browsers like Google include more than a way to search the web. Extensions - some free - are available for download and can aid with lessons.

The Chrome Web Store allows you to search for extensions.

Some extensions to consider are:

CK-12: With more than 5,000 math and science concepts in videos, quizzes, interactive objects, flashcards, and texts, you can work with your students to bring concepts to life. Math subjects include algebra, geometry, probability, statistics, trigonometry, analysis, and calculus. Science subjects include earth science, life science, physical science, biology, chemistry, and physics.

Good for: HiSET

Google Translate: Highlight or right-click on a section of text and click on the Translate icon to translate the text into the preferred language, or click the Translate icon in the toolbar to translate the whole page.

Good for: ESL

Grammarly: Students working on HiSET essays and need grammar help can download Grammarly, which detects correctly spelled words in the wrong context, particularly homophones and homographs. Grammarly also detects and fixes hundreds of complex grammatical errors.

Good for: ESL, HiSET

Insert Learning: Insert questions, discussion, and notes on any website. When students go to the website, they can respond to the questions and discussions, see your notes and take their own.

Good for: HiSET

Newsela: Articles curated from various sources are published at five reading levels with built-in assessments. You can pick from different non-fiction sources covering current events, primary sources, speeches, biographies, and historical news. This is a great, free resources for students of all programs.

Good for: ESL, HiSET, Literacy

the Newsela front page

Open Dyslexic: This font increases readability for students with dyslexia by overriding the font on the page and inserting the Open Dyslexic font.

Good for: ESL, HiSET, Literacy

Read & Write: Teachers can get this for free with registration. Users can use this extension to create text-to-speech to hear words, passages, and whole documents with dual highlighting; dictionaries to see the meaning of words; speech-to-text to dictate words; collect highlights from text to summarize and research. Originally created for individuals with learning disabilities, this extension could prove helpful for our ABE students.

Good for: ESL, HiSET, Literacy


With so many smartphones in use, the idea of adding an application, or app, to help continued learning isn't as unfamiliar to students. These are just a few!

Building a Strong Vocabulary: This free Apple app from our accrediting organization ProLiteracy allows users to practice matching words with their definitions to improve vocabulary in three areas: Life Skills, which includes money, shopping, technology, and health; Work Readiness words for job search, interviews, goal setting, and unemployment; and Academic Preparation vocabulary for science and social studies topics.

Good for: ESL, HiSET, Literacy

Duolingo: Download free on the IPhone or Google Play. Users can game their way to learning a new language.

Good for: ESL

Learn to Speak English: This free app has more than 900 lessons and 8,000 audio files to help users learn how to speak English fluently. Users can click and listen, or have interactive conversation practice lessons.

Good for: ESL

Science Glossary: While for IPhones only, Science Glossary has several hundred scientific terms and short biographies in an alphabetical list and subtopics. Online learning modules support the definition and term for students who need extra practice.

Good for: HiSET

Science Glossary allows students to access a library of defintions, a glossary of terms, and an interactive guide to understand a word.

StudyShack: This flashcard program for IOS, web, and Android allows students to take flashcards and studying to a whole new level. Make flashcards and students can play crossword puzzles, hangman, matching games, hungry bug (a game similar to snake), unscramble, and others. When students play the games, they get pieces of a pie indicating progress.

Good for: ESL, HiSET

Virtual reality

Virtual reality experiences allow students to be in a location or time in history to better understand what is happening. Some VR experiences are better with Cardboard, which are homemade virtual reality viewers. They aren't necessary to experience the videos.

Discovery VR: This app in the Google Play store allows students to watch 360-degree videos about science, social studies, cultures, and current events topics.

Good for: ESL, HISET, Literacy

Nearpod: Created with educators in mind, teachers and students can create a free Nearpod account to use free unlocked lessons, create their own or get a premium account and use all of the thousands of lessons on all subjects.

Good for: ESL, HiSET, Literacy

Nearpod offers free and paid interactive lessons


More websites than we can name in this short space are available. Here, we'll focus on those that allow students to experience their study subject in a way that can take them "offline."

Artsandculture: Find 360-degree videos, particularly helpful if you're studying science, art, and social studies. Students will be able to explore museums related to time periods (medieval Europe), locations (geography), and experiences (Belfast warships).

Good for: ESL, HiSET, Literacy

BioInteractive: Particularly for math and science, tutors can choose videos, activities, or interactive media in a host of biology, geography, and physical science. Students can participate in the destruction of a virus, or see a conservation plan for a national park in Mozambique.

Good for: HiSET

Khan Academy: A free account gives users access to information in a variety of subjects for every learner, from grammar, math, art history, computing, and economics. Videos, interactive practice, and downloadable worksheets create an immersive learning experience.

Good for: ESL, HiSET, Literacy


Podcasts are free resources online or in apps on a variety of subjects. Students can listen any time from any phone with a Podcast app or from a website, which often includes transcripts to read along while listening.

Civics101: Students can pick from three seasons worth of information about government, policy makers and people, and laws related to life to learn more.

Good for: ESL, HiSET

Civics 101 Podcast

CollegeInfoGeek: This podcast focuses on like skills like how to make easy meals, creating good study habits, and 12 tips for test prep.

Good for: ESL, HiSET, Literacy

Hardcore History: An easy-to-listen to dive into a history topic. Students can choose an episode that relates to test prep or an interest.

Good for: ESL, HiSET

52 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
Follow Us On
Contact Us


Phone: 901-854-0288


167 Washington St.,
Collierville, TN 38017

Monday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Wednesday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Thursday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday: CLOSED

Collierville Literacy Council © 2019 by Rae Creative