By Mary Jo Madda
When I was a middle school science teacher, I oftentimes found myself digging into my own pockets to pay for equipment — Bunsen burners, test tubes, dead frogs. And that didn’t change when one-to-one iPad programs in schools became popular; in fact, it added yet another item, software, to my to-buy list. So, you can imagine my excitement when I found free online products, especially those that seemed flashy.
It didn’t even cross my mind back then that using free tools (and more importantly, asking my students to use free tools) could be problematic and even potentially dangerous — more so than the free consumer products I was finding online and using in my own time.