There are so many sites that start their virtual life being free for teachers but move to a fee based model. We all remember Blackboard when it was FREE or even the latest Ning drama. Is there a site that you used frequently and now there is a charge? Did you pay or find an alternate site? What would you be willing to pay to keep your favorite tools?
I always used Quia to create quzzes and games. LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the site but I didn't want to pay so I found a substitute. I now use Studystack. I am sure there are other quiz/games sites so please share and also tell us about your substitutions.
Actually, I'm considering right now if I want to renew my Quia subscription. Hands down, it's still one of the best online test creators with self-grading out there. The only downside with Quia is the missing embed code piece. Not sure if that is because they are a Java site rather than Flash, but it's a true downside.
Not sure if there is a better tool, so I'll probably purchase it again, esp with 100 students this year. If there is, I'm definitely interested in knowing about it.
I've been offered online subscription services regularly in my capacity as my District's Science Specialist. Most of the subscriptions included content that might help students comprehend science better. My concern with most of these options has been that they either began as - or later morphed into drill and practice sites. In my quest to encourage deeper thinking I am unwilling to promote or encourage more "drill and practice" activities. I've looked at BrainPop and considered it - but my state provides free videos that cover similar material. It's hard to spend money on something that is already provided for free for teachers. On the other hand, I do not have a problem paying for software that I find helpful for students or teachers. I've been told that the doc on my MacBook has more apps than any other. If there is a good software program, I'm willing to pay and use it.
I just saw this poll in the Tech and Learning newsletter http://www.techlearning.com/section/VotePoll/32178 Instead of a specific tool...what type of tool would you be willing to pay for?
I was real close to paying for NING for this year with the group of science teachers I work with. Ning has been a great place for us to share ideas, receive feedback and just plain learn from each other. It was a great place to form an online professional learning community.
At the moment I'm going to use Grou ps. It allowed me to copy all of my content from my Ning site (even videos and photos). I haven't organized it yet or started using it with my teachers, but I will and I will share what I find out.
I also will have major withdrawals if I couldn't use PB Works anymore. Whenever I do PD I always upload my content to a PB Works site.
The real cost of online services is staff development. I couldn't even begin to count the amount of times I thought we found the "silver bullet", and did massive staff development, only to have the service disappear. Some of these services were free, some we paid for. Paying for a service never guaranteed longevity. You can only hope!