Educational technology tips for teachers, librarians and schools.

6 Free Productivity Tools You Probably Haven’t Heard Of

6 Free Productivity Tools You Probably Haven’t Heard Of

By Veronica Johnson

The technology industry is careening forward with advancements, and we’re all taking advantage of the over-abundance of apps to streamline certain tasks.

While you’ve likely used technology to streamline work in your classroom, you may not have used it to its fullest potential outside of the classroom to grade faster, record and re-listen to lectures and more.

We scoured for the best productivity apps for teachers specifically and came up with these six free tools. See if you can use them to make your life easier and more productive.


If you’ve ever found yourself in need of transcribing lecture recordings, then you must know just how much time it takes to manually rewrite the entire lecture, especially when juggling between different tabs. oTranscribe is a free online tool that lets you place your video right by the embedded text editor and transcribe the audio while adjusting the speed with F3 and F4 keys.

Scanned PDF to Word Converter

Another freebie for repurposing older material, this PDF OCR converter will let you convert scanned PDF documents to Word (scanned docs are the ones that look like an image when you open them). In short, it has an advanced Optical Character Recognition technology and no limitations to the file size or number of conversions. You’ll be thankful you bookmarked this one.


Jing is worth mentioning because of its wide range of functionalities. It allows you to take custom screenshots and record your screen when preparing a presentation or a specific set of exercises. Additionally, you can use its onboard symbol editor to add square boxes and arrows, which are useful when highlighting certain parts of an online resource, document or project.


This free productivity tool allows you to create perfectly formatted tests in just a couple of clicks, even adding multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank questions. You can then export the entire test to MS Word or PDF for further refurbishment. Free users have a limit of 25 tests.

Plagiarism Checker

This necessary tool lets you analyze a paragraph (or a complete text) for duplicate content in just seconds. Copy a part of the text you’d like to analyze, paste it into the central box and hit the green button below. With Plagiarism Checker you will always be one step ahead.


There are certain tools that you can live without, but would be much better off if you used them. Essaytagger is one of those, providing an online dashboard for tagging parts of your student essays and adding comments. This tool makes grading papers a walk in the park.

In our opinion, 2016 is the year of productivity and maximizing results. By adding these six tools to your Web 2.0 toolbox, you can rest assured that you’ll spend less time working and more time focusing on creating educational, engaging content for your students.

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View Comments (3)


  1. Leila

    June 24, 2016 at 8:16 am

    Great list of tools, but honestly, I prefer to use Unplag rather than any other plagiarism checker, as is at has a few special features such as ability to check up to six docs at once, compare doc(s) with doc(s), keep files in your library and create folders. You should check this tool out, Veronica, I bet you’ll enjoy it too.

  2. Pingback: 15 Gmail Hacks for Busy Teachers

  3. Nandini

    January 9, 2018 at 3:00 am

    Great post. I’d like to suggest ProofHub in this productivity tool list. ProofHub’s work management system brings your projects, remote teams and clients under one roof, empowering you to keep things always under your ultimate control.

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