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I rely on many different tools to create classroom resources for personal use and to sell on Teachers Pay Teachers. The more I create and the more I learn, the longer this list gets…but now that I have these tools in my tool belt, I don’t think I could survive without them. Funny how that works! This page outlines all of the tools I use to create classroom resources. You may find this list helpful if you’re a creator and/or blogger!
Please note: this page contains affiliate links, which means I can earn money (at no extra cost to you) when you click on the links and purchase products.
1. PowerPoint – Microsoft 365
I have a personal subscription to Microsoft 365 because I gotta have PowerPoint. Really and truly, PowerPoint is the *only* way I can imagine creating resources the way I do. You have free range to insert, resize, and arrange clip art and text, then quickly and easily duplicate pages or individual parts. Then, you just convert it to a PDF using Adobe Acrobat. It’s simply amazing. Here are just a few things I’ve created with PowerPoint:
I’ve also been playing around with creating digital games that students & teachers can play right in PowerPoint or Google Slides, and there’s a lot of potential there too! Click here to see an example of a digital game I created with PowerPoint.
2. Adobe Acrobat DC – Adobe Creative Cloud
I recently upgraded from just Acrobat to the Creative Cloud subscription to get access to more tools. I’m loving Character Animator and Premiere Pro for creating videos. Check out this video I made using Adobe Creative Cloud.
FYI, I got the banana character from Graphic Mama. She has the most amazing Character Animator puppets!
I love, love, love Canva! The first day I discovered it, I was sitting at my kitchen table and my whole family thought I was nuts because I kept oooohing and aaahhhing and saying, “Oh my gosh, this is SO FUN!” I could not stop playing around with it!
When you get a paid subscription, you have access to thousands upon thousands of photos and other elements that you can use for website design, product covers, etc. I even use it to create most of my Seesaw resources! Here are a few of my favorite Canva creations:
5. OneDrive – Microsoft 365
OneDrive is Microsoft’s cloud storage app. I love that OneDrive can automatically backup all of my projects in their original format with the custom fonts I use. I used to use Google Drive (and I still do for lots of things!), but it didn’t keep the formatting & fonts of my projects. It makes me feel so much safer to know that when I create classroom resources, all my stuff is stored in the cloud – exactly the way I created it – if my computer crashes!
Of course, with the Microsoft 365 subscription, you also get Word, Excel (spreadsheets), Outlook (email), and a few other apps that I honestly know nothing about.
1. HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop
Up until recently, I had this old purple HP laptop that served me well, but it was just…old. And wouldn’t you know, it pooped out on me the night before I was supposed to start distance learning! Ugh. Of course, I had to run around town looking for another laptop…and clearly everyone else in town was desperate for one too because the selection was very, very limited. I had to have one, like, right away, so I ended up paying extra for an HP Pavilion gaming laptop.
It ended up being a fantastic purchase! It’s so fast. The screen is anti-glare. The battery lasts forever so I can work from my bed for hours. And unlike my old one, it never crashes when I try to do too many things at once.
I’m still not sold on the neon green light-up keyboard, but it’s a small price to pay for the power this thing has – it makes it so much easier to create classroom resources! I will definitely be buying myself gaming computers from here on out.
6. Clip Art
One thing you’re definitely going to need if you want to create classroom resources is high-quality, commercial use clip art. While you can find free clip art in a Google search, you never know if it’s meant for commercial use.
That’s why I recommend using clip art from artists like Creative Clips, which you can purchase on Teachers Pay Teachers (though she also has lots of freebies!). I occasionally use clip art from other sellers, but usually only when Creative Clips doesn’t have what I’m looking for. Seriously, I love her stuff! Here’s why it’s so awesome:
- It’s adorable – so perfect for the ages that I create resources for
- It’s inexpensive – most sets are around $5 and include 20-40 different images
- She includes color and B&W in every set (so you really get 40-80 images)
- She creates lots of money-saving bundles and throws lots of sales
- All of her clip art includes commercial licensing – it’s made specifically for teachers to use in classroom resources that can be sold on Teachers Pay Teachers
Just like with clip art, be careful to use fonts that are meant for commercial use. I have a few favorites:
A Perfect Blend
A Perfect Blend fonts are SO cute and trendy, and they’re allowed to be used commercially. Not just in teaching resources, either – you can use them to create t-shirts, mugs, logos, whatever! I love that.
Kimberly Geswein has some awesome fonts that are perfect for creating resources for little learners, especially those that are focused on letter formation. My favorites are Primary Penmanship, Primary Dots, and Red Hands.
Be careful though! They’re free to download for personal use, but if you want to use them in products you sell, you need to purchase a commercial license for $5 each.
Graphics from the Pond also creates some cute fonts that are great for little learners. Their fonts are easily readable and most use proper letter formation, which is so important when creating resources for preschool, kindergarten, and early elementary. When you purchase them, they do come with a commercial license.
I’ve recently started creating tutorial videos and video previews to share with people when I create classroom resources, and I always use Screencast-O-Matic. I discovered Screencast-O-Matic during distance learning when I wanted to create read-alouds where my students could see the book and my face, like this one:
To make this video, I took pictures of each page of the book. They automatically uploaded to my OneDrive account from my phone (cool, right?). Then I opened a new PowerPoint presentation, added a background I created in Canva, and put one page of the book on its own slide. The last step was to use Screencast-O-Matic to record myself reading the book.
I like Screencast-O-Matic because you can record just your screen, just your face, or your screen with your face in a little box. You can do all this with the free version, but when you use the paid version, you also get lots of amazing editing tools that are so easy to use!
Not only that, but you can save the videos to your computer and/or upload them to your Screencast-O-Matic account, where you can share them with other people.
9. Epidemic Sound
When I create preview videos or videos for YouTube, I like to have the perfect music to set the tone. That’s where Epidemic Sound comes in! When you subscribe, you get access to all their music, which you can then download and add to your videos. You can search by mood, genre, keyword, and more…and I’ve always found just what I’m looking for.
Before I found Epidemic Sound, I was purchasing single songs from other places…which got really expensive, really quickly. Now I have access to all of them for one price with my personal subscription!
Just a note, though: a personal subscription allows you to add their music to your videos as long as you’re not charging for them. You can monetize the videos you create on YouTube, but you can’t sell your videos outright with the personal subscription. They do have commercial & enterprise subscriptions available if you want to sell your videos.