• Introduction
  • Assessment Tools
  • Community Tools
  • Knowledge Tools
  • Learner-Centered Tools
  • Tech Tools Showcase 2016
  • 2017 Tech Tools Showcase
  • Abstracts
  • Download
  • Endorsements
  • Front Matter
  • Search
  • Abstracts


    AnswerGarden is an easy-to-use polling tool that allows a teacher to quickly collect students' thoughts and ideas. It adopts a minimalist design that allows users to create, share, answer, and manage topic questions without signing up for accounts. Although it is a simple app, it has the potential to be used to accomplish a wide range of educational tasks, such as brainstorming, polling, synchronous and asynchronous communication, and formative assessment.  For example, a math teacher can post a warm up question to activate students’ prior knowledge, as shown below.


    Blooket is a trivia and review tool that allows educators to “level up classroom engagement” (Blooket, 2021, para. 1). Blooket is a gamified learning platform where teachers host games through question sets and students answer on their own devices. This is an assessment-centered tool, specifically formative assessment. When students get correct answers, they receive points, which allow them to buy and sell ‘Blooks’. On Blooket there are hundreds of premade question sets for you to use or you have the option to make your own set unique to your class. This new take on reviewing or practicing material can increase student engagement and excitement.


    ClassDojo is a community-centered learning website and application that provides a platform for teachers, students, and parents to collaborate and build a community together. Having multiple uses, ClassDojo is “actively used in 95% of all K-8 schools in the U.S. and 180 countries” (Class Dojo Press, para. 2). While ClassDojo is most commonly known for its practical teacher/parent communication application (with text translation to over 35 languages), it can also be a useful tool to build classroom culture, practice positive classroom management, and let students showcase their work on their digital portfolio. Teachers can use ClassDojo to share classroom updates and announcements with parents privately or “publicly” (within their classroom). Additionally, students can display the work they are most proud of to their parents in their personal portfolios in ClassDojo. 


    Classkick is a free digital formative assessment tool that allows teachers to create lessons and assignments that students work through on their devices at their own pace. Teachers can observe student progress in real time and provide immediate feedback. In addition to receiving help and feedback from the teacher, Classkick allows students to anonymously request help from their peers. Text, images, video, and audio can be easily integrated into assignments. It is a great tool for synchronous and asynchronous communication, blended classrooms, personalized learning, and cooperative learning.

    Classkick is now both web- and app-based, it can be used from a web-browser, Chromebook, or iPad.


    EdPuzzle is a free assessment-centered tool that allows teachers and students to create interactive online videos by embedding either open-ended or multiple-choice questions, audio notes, audio tracks, or comments on a video. Edpuzzle interactive videos can be made with videos from a number of websites, including YouTube, TED, Vimeo, and National Geographic.

    Flippity is a site that gives teachers access to a variety of tools to use in the classroom to enhance student experience and engagement. There are currently 27 different tools on Flippity. Some of these tools work directly through the Flippity site, and others work through unique, customizable Google Spreadsheets. The current possible functions on Flippity are: Flash Cards, Quiz Show, Random Name Picker, Randomizer, Virtual Breakout, Board Game, Manipulatives, Matching Game, Connecto Game, Bingo, Timeline, Badge Tracker, Leaderboard, Typing Test, Spelling Words, Word Search, Crossword Puzzle, Word Scramble, Snowman, WordMaster (Wordle), Progress Indicator, Word Cloud, Fun With Fonts, MadLibs, Tournament Bracket, Certificate Quiz, and Self Assessment. All of these functions are customizable in some way.

    Floop is a browser-based tool that eases the process of providing students with digital, interactive feedback on their paper-based assignments and it’s available on all platforms. With Floop, students can submit their assignments by snapping a photo of their worksheet or document and uploading it online. Teachers and classmates can post comments and mark-up a student’s document digitally. Students can see and respond to feedback instantly or ask questions privately in order to enhance their learning


    Formative is a real-time, interactive assessment tool.  A formative assessment is a formal or informal opportunity to do two things: identify which students are struggling AND intervene.  “If an educator does not make an intervention, then they have not done anything formative. However, if a teacher is looking at every moment of the day as an opportunity to make an intervention, then they are in fact always formative” (Craig Jones).


    Gimkit is an interactive digital quiz-style game that can excite and inspire learning. Similar to Kahoot!, Gimkit allows educators and students to create multiple choice questions from scratch for any topic area and it also allows users to import Quizlet sets to easily create a “Kit.” One of the motivating features within Gimkit is the ability to earn “money” (by getting answers correct) and using the “money” to buy various power-ups, such as earning more points per question, gaining additional points when on a streak (getting two or more consecutive answers correct), and using insurance if a question is answered incorrectly. Teachers receive a data report at the end of each game that shows the overall class and individual student responses. The data makes this a helpful tool for formative assessment, providing students with quick feedback, and identifying areas that need to be taught/re-taught.


    Goosechase is a digital tool and app for creating multimodal scavenger hunts. Using Goosechase, students can take photos or videos of scavenger hunt items, solve riddles and word puzzles, and tag themselves at a GPS location, such as a historical monument. Students are able to compete either individually or in teams in order to earn points for different missions they complete. They can also see a live leaderboard, which adds a competitive component to the activity. Scavenger Hunts can be an active way to engage students in exploring content, especially on field trips. Scavenger hunts allow students to find information for themselves, work in teams, and enjoy an authentic learning experience. That being said, because of privacy concerns and the use of GPS data, we recommend using Goosechase only if you have students over the age of 13.


    GoSoapBox is a web-based student response system. Its creator and CEO, John Styley, remembered that he shied away from asking questions when he was a college student. Feeling he had missed opportunities to express his lack of comprehension and that it had hindered his chances to excel as a student, Styley promoted GoSoapBox to provide a platform for both teachers and students to communicate.

    Google Forms

    Google Forms is a free online tool from Google which allows users to create forms, surveys, and quizzes as well as to collaboratively edit and share the forms with other people. Educators can use Google forms to assess their students at the beginning of the class  and gauge pre-existing knowledge. Furthermore, Google forms can be used to give feedback to and receive feedback from students and parents. Similarly, students can use Google forms to assess their own learning and set the learning goals as well as to collect data for their research projects.


    Do you want to organize and categorize your comments while providing feedback? JoeZoo may be the perfect tool for you. JoeZoo is an online summative and formative assessment tool that enriches the feedback process between teacher and students. JoeZoo is a free Google add-on or app that is designed to work with Google Docs and Classroom. Teachers can synchronize their class roster on Google Classroom with JoeZoo.


    Kahoot is a free student-response tool for administering quizzes, facilitating discussions, and collecting survey data. It is a game-based classroom response system played in real time. Questions are projected on a shared screen, while players answer the questions with their smartphone, tablet, or computer; creating a social, fun and game-like environment. Kahoot allows for the design of multiple-choice quizzes as well as polls and surveys that populate on-the-spot data; the quiz questions and polls stimulate quick instructional decisions as well as whole-class discussion.


    Mentimeter is an online presentation-building tool that facilitates audience engagement. The tool allows presenters to include polls, multiple-choice and open-ended questions, quizzes, and scales that audience members can interact with live. Mentimeter was founded in Sweden in 2014 and by the end of 2021 had over 270 million users worldwide (Investor Information - Mentimeter). If you are struggling with getting students to share their thoughts, Mentimeter is a tool that should definitely be considered. It allows students to remain anonymous while still being able to express their thinking and view others' thoughts. For example, if a teacher or presenter wants to ask an open-ended question, an ongoing post-board will appear on the screen and students can add responses to the question as they please. The post-board can be seen in the screenshot below.


    Mote is an audio-based feedback tool that saves time, improves connection, and expands access. This assessment tool is a Google for Education partner that has been used to give feedback more than 30 million times by over one million users (Mote, 2022). Audio-based feedback has been used for more than two decades in education, but previously, audio files (i.e., MP3) were very large and hard to share (King et al., 2008; Merry and Orsmond, 2007). Mote takes audio-based feedback to the next level by allowing users to leave a voice comment directly on any google file, so users do not have to download a large MP3 file. Studies have shown that students prefer audio comments because they are easier to understand, give more in-depth strategies to solve problems, and are more personal (Merry & Orsmond, 2007). Additionally, audio-based feedback takes teachers roughly a quarter of the time that they spend on written comments and it also increases the quantity of feedback by 255% (Ice et al., 2007). Mote is a great tool if you are looking to provide multimodal, higher quality feedback while also decreasing the amount of time you spend commenting on students’ work. Students, too, can make their own motes, therefore, this tool could also be used for student peer review or asynchronous discussions.


    Nearpod is a formative assessment and learning tool that allows educators to teach their students in a variety of modes, such as live participation, student-paced, and front-of-class teaching. With Nearpod, teachers have the opportunity to create their own lessons for their students or they can select from the more than 15,500 pre-created standards-aligned lessons. Educators can track students' learning through formative assessments and dynamic media, with the ability to adjust lessons on the fly, and offer support to students based on real-time performance data. Nearpod is a great interactive presentation tool that allows students to engage in several types of activities (e.g., drag-and-drop, multiple choice) during a synchronous or asynchronous presentation.

    Educators have the option to choose among a variety of pricing plans, depending on what best fits their classroom's needs. Nearpod is currently used in 75% of districts across the United States, and is always taking in feedback from their user community to better their platform (Daniel Green, Vice President of Product Management). One of the main benefits to Nearpod is it provides educators with post-session reports after students complete a Nearpod session, which allows them to track the progress of their students and provide immediate feedback or identify areas that need to be retaught. Through Draw It, Polls, Drag & Drop, Open-Ended Questions, VR Field Trips, PhET Simulations, and more, students gain a deeper understanding of the topic, and are far more engaged in their learning.

    Pear Deck

    Pear Deck is a popular formative assessment tool that allows teachers to design interactive presentations and engage students in learning through multiple choice questions, drag-and-drop and text-based prompts, drawing, interactive maps, and more. Teachers can create their own presentation slides or rely on Pear Deck lesson templates. Pear Deck can be used to enrich and support student learning, both asynchronously and synchronously. Students can use Pear Deck slides to learn at their own pace, or they can follow along with an instructor-driven lesson. Teachers can get instant feedback on the effectiveness of their lessons by using the dashboard and session review capabilities within PearDeck. Teachers can make student answers anonymous in order to encourage even the shiest of students to participate. Teachers can also share students’ answers with the class to extend the lesson. With the premium subscription, Pear Deck provides a lot of templates to use before, during, and after a lesson. Teachers can also install the Pear Deck add-on to their existing Google Slides or PowerPoint to make them interactive. There is no limit to the number of participants, so it can even be used for community forums, such as a virtual open house. 


    Playposit is a interactive web-based video platform that allows educators to conduct formative assessments both inside and outside the classroom. Teachers are able to embed questions and prompts into videos from Youtube, Vimeo, Khan Academy, and other popular video platforms. Data can then be analyzed - providing powerful insight into educational trends in the classroom.


    Plickers is an assessment tool made by a teacher who was looking for a quick and simple way to check student understanding.  This assessment tool allows teachers to collect on-the-spot formative assessment data without the need to have students use devices or paper and pencil. Teachers can use this tool with previous planning or on the go as needed.  This tool provides teachers with the data needed to inform their instruction.  It’s a data collection tool that’s helpful for teachers and fun for the students.

    Polldaddy (CrowdSignal)

    Crowdsignal, formerly Polldaddy*, is a website that allows you to create, distribute, and interpret the results of polls, surveys, quizzes, and ratings. Crowdsignal is an easy to use assessment tool that will change the way you teach for the better; check it out today by clicking here.

    *Since Polldaddy was extremely popular, the references to this tool will be kept as “polldaddy.”

    An account is required at set up and you can choose from multiple pricing plans. This site is great for creating quick assessments to be used at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of a lesson or class. The quizzes, polls, and surveys have a variety of question styles and you can quickly and easily view the results to improve your instruction. You can even share the results to help your students become more self-reflective learners.

    Poll Everywhere

    Poll Everywhere is a dynamic online polling platform that allows students to vote on custom teacher-generated polls through text messaging (SMS), smartphone, or computer by visiting this website. With a free educator account with Poll Everywhere, polls can receive up to 40 votes, enough to accommodate most classrooms. There are two types of poll questions that can be used in the classroom: multiple choice or open text. Teachers can easily generate polls to be deployed individually or as a series of questions. All polls can also receive submissions through a combination of devices. Students can text message, vote online with a smartphone, handheld device, tablet, laptop, or computer.

    Students can respond by following the instructions shown on the poll when it is displayed. They respond by sending a text message to the number provided to them on screen or teachers can get and share a custom url with students to respond in the web app or even through Twitter. Teachers can set preferences for each poll about how they want to allow responses to be sent in.

    Poll Everywhere can be used as a formative assessment strategy that enhances and amplifies classroom discussion, participation, and understanding. In addition to the quick-serve nature of the tool, site-generated polls can be integrated into PowerPoint presentations for real-time audience participation.

    Slide is an online question and answer polling platform that teachers can use to get feedback from their audience. Slido is “Trusted by more than 750k customers worldwide” (Sli.do). Slido users can create polls, quizzes, and word clouds and integrate these into their slideshow presentations on Google or Microsoft. This tool can typically be used by educators who want to get a feeling for their audience’s opinions on a topic.

    Socrative is a quiz-based, formative assessment tool with multiple features that can enrich teaching and learning. Teachers can design quizzes, space races (picture being at the county fair and squirting water at a target to move a horse across the field…just like that but for quizzes!), exit tickets, and more to collect and analyze student data in real-time to make on-the-spot teaching changes and improve student learning.

    TED Ed

    TED Ed is a “lesson creator” platform that allows you to structure an assignment around a video and assess students’ engagement with the material. The lesson format consists of a lesson title, a written introduction (“Let’s Begin”), a series of multiple choice or open-ended questions (“Think”), a place for additional resources to encourage further exploration (“Dig Deeper”), an interactive class discussion (“Discuss”), and a closing (“And Finally”).

    Quizziz is an online assessment tool that allows to teachers and students to create and use one another’s quizzes. After providing students with a unique access code, a quiz can be presented live as a timed competition or used for homework with a specific deadline. After the quizzes have been completed, students can review their answers. Furthermore, the resulting data is compiled into a spreadsheet to give the instructor a clear visual of the students’ performance in order to analyze trends in which areas might need the most focus in the future. This immediate feedback can be used by teachers to revise future learning activities and altar the focus of material by putting a larger emphasis on concepts that students are struggling with.


    Quizlet is a digital learning tool that can be used by students, parents, and teachers.  The site contains over 100 million sets of study materials created by other users that range in topics from Landmark Supreme Court Cases to Structures of the Heart and the entire site is available in English, Spanish, and German, however, Quizlet supports many international languages/keyboards for those wanting to input text from a wide array of languages.  These study sets are free to use, or users can create their own, so the possibilities are limitless!  Quizlet takes information and converts it into flashcards, quizzes, and games, so that users can study the same information in a variety of forms.  And users aren’t constrained to using just text – images and audio are easy to include in study materials.  Best of all – study materials can be shared with students, classmates, parents, and teachers.

    Actively Learn

    Actively Learn is a digital reading platform that allows teachers and students to interact within readings and digital texts. This online tool allows students to read a document as a class/group, making comments and answering questions throughout the reading. The teacher can evaluate such notes and quiz answers.

    Teachers and students have the ability to check assignment basic data (included in the free version of the application). Students also can make personal notes and choose to share them with the class. Moreover, students can look up words, definitions, and translations. They can choose to listen to selected parts of the readings or even translate them. Lastly, teachers can direct their students to specific parts of the text in order to create discussions and add media to support/complement any part of the reading. This is a great tool for collaborative learning!

    If you are looking for a way to enhance your students’ learning with reading assignments, and you want to add more action to the reading process, Actively Learn is a good option to try out!


    Basecamp is a project management and communication tool. On Basecamp, you can set up a virtual space to organize group projects. Each space features a number of tools such as to-do lists, schedules, file sharing, and group chats (campfires) to support team work. Basecamp is an excellent tool for promoting and supporting collaborative group work. It can also increase accountability, time management skills, communication, and productivity among group members. 

    Biblionasium is a community- and knowledge-centered tool that allows users to read, review, and share books with fellow readers. This tool’s targeted age range is 6-13 years old, but it can still be utilized for children younger or older, with parent approval. Parents and or guardians of children 12 years or younger must sign their child up, as to ensure children’s safety and privacy. This tool is a fun way for kids to engage in reading and create their own bookshelf, which keeps track of the books they have read and want to read. Within Biblionasium, reading challenges, fun games and the mascot, Chip Manzee, motivate users to read through positive reinforcements and awards. This tool encourages a connection between the classroom, the library, and home by allowing parents to view their child’s progress with reading. Biblionasium is a community-centered tool, as it encourages classmates to share books and reading lists with one another and parents and teachers to stay in communication with their children. Users can create and share reading lists of books that interest them, or that they need to read for school, and share them with their friends.  Students’ reading levels are tracked using Lexile® measures and reports of level are available for the student, classes, grade levels, and parents to view. If you are struggling to get students to engage in reading, Biblionasium is a great way to excite students and encourage them to read. 

    Diigo is a social bookmarking and annotation tool that allows individuals and groups of people to highlight content and add comments to websites. Diigo is like a bookshelf of your favorite books, each one marked up with highlighted sections, comments in the margin, and sticky notes to remind you of and guide you towards the most important bits.  It is a social bookmarking and annotation tool that teachers and students can use together to collect online resources, annotate websites, attach notes to the contents, and organize ideas from multiple sources.  

    Diigo is an acronym that stands for “Digest for Internet Information, Groups, and Other stuff” and this broad mission has made it a long-time favorite of educators at all levels.  Diigo is terrific for working on synchronous or asynchronous collaboration; it’s easy to imagine groups using the outlining function for group research and writing, and using the commenting feature to critique their resources.

    Flip (formerly Flipgrid)

    Flipgrid elevates text-based discussion forums with teacher and student constructed videos. Teachers and students can create a grid about a specific topic and encourage peers and even people from around the world to record a short video about the topic! Flipgrid allows learners of all ages to find their voices, share their voices, and respect the diverse voices of others.

    Flipgrid students build and strengthen social learning communities as they discuss their ideas and experiences with their peers. Flipgrid amplifies student voice and supports student development of global empathy as they immerse themselves in each other’s learning processes and perspectives.

    NOTE: Flipgrid was renamed to "Flip" in 2022, however, since this chapter was made before 2022, the text still uses the original name "Flipgrid."
    Google Classroom

    Google Classroom is a learning management system (LMS) that aims to simplify creating, distributing, and grading assignments and engaging students in learning online or remotely. Google Classroom is a free application designed to help students and teachers communicate, collaborate, organize and manage assignments, go paperless, and much more! It was introduced as a feature of Google Apps for Education following its public release on August 12, 2014. 

    Check out this amazing overview of Google Classroom by Amy Flynn and Brandon Lutz.

    Google Drawings
    Google Drawings is a virtual board that allows users to create content by drawing, pasting images, linking videos and websites, and inserting text, shapes, tables, and other content onto a page in Google Drive. Users can create flow charts, diagrams, concept maps, visual storyboards, original art, and more.  This app is available free of charge to anyone with a Google account. Users can collaboratively work on the same Drawing at the same time. This means students can collaborate on the same drawing from different computers at different locations. Drawings can be shared via a link or embedded into a webpage (by selecting “Publish to the web” in the file menu). Collaborators can edit and leave comments on the document.  If you are looking for a tool to help engage students and foster collaboration and creativity, this is a great tool for students to visually construct and demonstrate their knowledge.
    Google Meet
    Google Meet is a video messaging tool that allows users to communicate and collaborate at a distance. It overcomes geographical barriers and provides more opportunities for face-to-face interaction in a virtual setting. Google Meet offers real-time closed captioning to create a more inclusive and accessible video messaging experience.
    Google Keep

    Google Keep is a multimodal note-taking, organization, and list-making tool that exists as part of the G Suite for Education alongside applications such as Google Drive, Google Classroom, Google Forms, and Google Meet. With Google Keep, users can create, share, and organize written, audio-recorded, or image-associated notes. With this tool, educators can encourage their students to demonstrate their creative skills through note-taking and help students organize group projects and track their learning progress through collaborative to-do lists. By using the Google Chrome extension for Google Keep, students and teachers can bookmark and take notes about web pages for later use. Google Keep also has the same high level of accessibility and ease of use found in many other Google tools. 


    Hypothes.is is an online social annotation tool. It allows users to annotate openly on websites, blogs, online journals, and news articles. Hypothes.is allows users to create groups to share online text, resources, links, and annotations. It can be used as a private note-taking and critiquing tool or a collaborative annotation tool. Using the Chrome Extension or bookmarklet (bookmark with JavaScript), users can annotate directly on a webpage or online text.


    IdeaBoardz is a community-based tool that allows users to add sticky notes, known as ideaz, to an IdeaBoard. Users can make an unlimited number of IdeaBoards based on different topics. Within an IdeaBoard, users can add different columns to create subtopics. For example, on a board about pizza, there could be a column that is “Why you should like pizza” and “Why you shouldn’t like pizza.” Students can add as many Ideaz as they want to share and express their ideas. To date, more than 1.4 million Boardz have been designed, featuring over 15 million Ideaz (IdeaBoardz homepage). IdeaBoardz is a great tool for teams as it allows users to virtually collaborate from any place around the globe. Ideaboardz can support communication, collaboration, social knowledge construction, and brainstorming both within and beyond the classroom walls. 


    Instagram is a free online tool and app that allows users to capture and share photos and videos with friends and family. Since Instagram is one of the most popular social media channels for teens today and there are more than 1 billion monthly active users on Instagram, some of your students are likely among these users. We know that students use social platforms, like Instagram, even during classes. Rather than worry about whether students are being distracted by Instagram in class, you can tap into this powerful resource and meet students where they are. Instagram is not just for personal use, it can also be used as an educational tool in your classroom. For instance, you can ask your students to capture photos or videos of their class work, homework, assignments, school activities, post those in their own account, or a class account, and have discussions about the posts.


    Jamboard is a Google tool that allows users to creatively organize, format, and present information through text, images, shapes, and drawings. As of 2020, there are 1.8 billion global active Google accounts, all of which have access to Jamboard (Petrov, 2021). Jamboard falls under the category of virtual whiteboards – allowing users to write, draw, and erase like a traditional whiteboard, but also it features added digital functions (e.g., importing from Google Search, Google Drive, or Google Photos). Users can collaborate on the same Jamboard slide from separate devices, making this a community-centered tool. Up to 50 separate Google accounts can be added as collaborators on a single jam. A link to the jam can also be made public, which allows anyone with Internet access to view or edit it. Jamboard can enhance classroom participation by allowing students to visually portray their learning and thinking. This also helps teachers gain knowledge on what their students are comprehending in real-time. It is a great tool for collaboration in in-person, online, synchronous, and asynchronous settings. 


    Lino is a web-based “sticky note” service that offers bulletin boards, called “canvases,” on which people can post stickies. You can customize your canvas, choosing colors and backgrounds; pick and choose your sticky notes colors; even upload files and pictures on your canvas. You can create as many canvases as you want, and have your students interact within the canvases, even start discussions using the stickies.

    Microsoft Teams

    Microsoft Teams is a communication platform developed by Microsoft that offers video chat, text chat, file sharing, and more. Teams is available for download on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. It is a useful tool for “face-to-face” communication without requiring in-person meetings, and boasts a number of integrations through Microsoft AppSource, allowing for the use of other applications in remote lesson planning. This community-centered tool makes it much easier for an instructor to manage their classroom, while also allowing for deeper learning through in-depth digital cooperation. Though designed for remote use, Teams’ collaborative features are usable within in-person or mixed settings as well, allowing students to have consistent access to the same work and resources no matter where they might be. Teachers can use Microsoft Teams to set up a classroom "team" where they can engage in online meetings with their students, teach lessons, facilitate class activities, post assignments, create quizzes, grade students’ work, and provide feedback. Students can use the video conferencing tool to collaboratively work with peers to complete all the class activities, assignments, and quizzes.

    Netboard.me is a customizable, digital curation tool that allows you to collect and organize information in a virtual space, similar to Padlet. Netboard.me can be used to “create web pages with texts, links, documents, videos, photos, presentations, RSS feeds and other content” (Netboard.me, 2020, para. 1). In the settings, users can change the design, colors, text sizes, permissions, and other features on a virtual “netboard.” Netboard.me can also be used like a blog to create posts with user created text and images. Users can interact with likes and comments on netboards.

    Padlet is a community-centered virtual bulletin board in which collaborators can simultaneously create and organize posts of any content type, whether it be text, documents, images, videos, audio, or links.

    Padlet is a great tool to use for collaborative group projects, as it eliminates the need to schedule time in advance for the group members to meet face-to-face. Students are able to work freely on their group assignments at their own convenience while still observing every change or contribution made by group members as soon as they are made without scheduling conflicts and the constraints produced from limiting project work to specified times.

    Remind is a real-time “text” messaging tool that allows users to communicate with groups (e.g., entire classes or student organizations) or individual people. Remind has more than 20 million users and is employed in more than 70% of public schools (Remind, 2018). Users can write text messages up to 140 characters. For teachers, this means being able to send out messages that students and parents can’t miss. For students and parents, this makes it easier to stay on top of assignments, deadlines, updates, and events going on in school. If you are looking to enhance communication in your school or community Remind could be a beneficial tool to try out.


    Schoology is an online learning management system (LMS) that allows educators to organize curriculum, create lesson plans, and provide student assessment. The LMS platform allows for peer collaboration and engagement through public or private discussion forums and cross-application


    Skype is a free web-based communication tool which allows people to video conference, make calls, and instant message. Skype has more than 300 million active users all around the world (see 24 Amazing Facts about Skype).  

    Skype provides a variety of educational opportunities for classrooms. Students can connect with other students, increase their knowledge, and interact with other cultures. They can use Skype to share projects, polish their language skills, exchange information about particular books with students who read the same books or present their dissertation to their committee.  Skype also provides students and teachers with the opportunity to participate in virtual tours of historical places, communicate with authors and researchers, and engage in conversations with classrooms around the world. Skype provides a simple platform for student development and growth.


    Slack is a communication and task management tool. Users can create specialized messaging groups, or “channels,” according to different projects, teams, and organizations. What makes it different from other communication tools is that it is specifically created for work and collaboration. Files that are up to 1GB can be sent and searched within a channel, which makes file management easy. Slack also allows users to integrate over 1,500 apps and services into the chat, so that they can work without having to switch tabs and accounts. Functions like video chatting and screen sharing make it ideal for teamwork. Bringing Slack into the classroom can increase communication and collaboration, facilitate project management, and allow students to learn how to use a tool that is popular in many workplaces today.


    TalkingPoints  is a messenger tool that allows teachers to connect and communicate with parents and families across any language. Teachers can communicate with parents via text messaging (via a phone or internet-connected device) in their native language (About us, 2021). TalkingPoints is used by more than 50,000 schools across the U.S. and translates into more than 100 different languages. By using this digital platform, teachers can communicate with any parent, family member, or guardian of a student with ease. For example, a teacher can send a message in English saying “Hi how are you” to a parent whose native language is Spanish. The parent will then receive that message translated into Spanish “¿Hola! Cómo estás?” and can also reply in Spanish. They may say something like “Estoy bien. ¿Cómo estás?. Lastly, the teacher will receive the response translated into English "I am fine. how are you?” This can help eliminate barriers including time and language to encourage family engagement in supporting student success (Edwards, 2021). This is especially important because “family engagement is two times as effective in predicting a student's success than the family’s socioeconomic status” (Taking Points, 2021, para. 5). If you are struggling to inform families about student progress or to get families to engage in conversation due to language barriers, you may consider using TalkingPoints.


    Trello is a visual collaboration platform that gives teams perspective on projects. Trello can be used to organize, collaborate, communicate and coordinate on projects and assignments. Trello is great for a variety of work, educational, and personal uses, from school bulletin boards, lesson planning, collaborative student research projects and task management to planning and organizing your next vacation with your family.  The best part is Trello’s collaboration-ability – boards can be viewed, edited, and managed by multiple members so classrooms, teams, or families can keep track of everything and everyone in a really intuitive and visually appealing way!


    Twiddla is an online platform that bills itself as one of the easiest online collaborative tools in existence.  And, by many measures, Twiddla does meet its goal of maintaining a simple user interface.  Twiddla was launched in 2007.  A blog is maintained on the website, with updates to the tool.  

    Some of the noteworthy features of Twiddla include:

    • Users can collaborate and make changes to images, text, drawings, and even math equations.
    • No special software or plug in installation required.
    • Works on both PC and MAC computers.
    • The EtherPad function gives all users complete access to the whiteboard, with no limitations.
    • Text-based chat and voice functions are enabled for additional forms of communication.
    • To save work as a PDF or media file, click on the Save button on the top right corner of the screen (this last function is only available to registered users).

    Twitter is a social networking tool that allows users to connect with people and explore topics of interest (#hashtags). There are more than 229 million daily active users on Twitter (source). Twitter users can read and write short messages (up to 280 characters) that are organized by hashtags (e.g., #education). While you might think that Twitter is just for celebrities and people who want to share photos of their lunch, it is actually one of the most popular professional learning tools for K-12 teachers. If you are struggling to get students to engage in conversations or to get full class participation, you might consider giving Twitter a try. It is a great tool for backchanneling, synchronous or asynchronous communication, and even conducting research.


    YoTeach! is a community-based tool that supports backchanneling, synchronous and asynchronous learning, collaboration, and real-time multimodal discussions within a virtual setting. With YoTeach!, teachers are able to create a free administrative account which allows them to create private and searchable chat rooms for students. Creating an administrative account gives educators the ability to monitor discussions, mute students, control room access, delete posts, and use all the interactive features the tool offers. A password is required for teachers to use these monitoring attributes. Students who use YoTeach do not need an account to participate in discussions, they just obtain the link to the chat room. YoTeach also includes an interactive whiteboard feature where students and administrators can engage in multimodal learning. YoTeach! is a great tool for backchanneling, synchronous and asynchronous learning, and collaboration!


    Zoom is a community-centered video conferencing tool that allows users to connect with other users in any location around the world. This tool became very popular and widely used during the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic when teachers transitioned to emergency remote teaching. Zoom makes it very simple to connect with others virtually. Teachers can send Zoom meeting link invitations to any of their students. In addition, teachers can take advantage of the many features that Zoom provides, such as screen sharing, breakout rooms, private and whole class chat messages, virtual whiteboards, polls, and much more. All of these features allow students to interact, communicate, and collaborate seamlessly with one another, making virtual classrooms more attainable. Another positive aspect of Zoom is that due to its versatility, teachers can invite scientists, authors, explorers, and other professionals directly into Zoom to have conversations with students, widening their perspectives. Zoom is a great platform for teachers and students to connect and collaborate virtually.


    ABCYa! is a website that has an array of educational games and activities for pre-k to 5th grade students. It was created for teachers by Alan Tortolani, a teacher who was trying to find quality educational online games for his students. ABCYa! has hundreds of games (organized by grade and subject) to choose from. ABCYa! also offers game templates so if you want to students to solve a word search puzzle with your own vocabulary or high frequency words you may do so! Games can be played with a keyboard or mouse. Students can draw, spell, or write depending on the game they play. ABCYa! is great for beginning readers. ABCYa! only has an English version but it does provide a couple of games in Spanish. Students and teachers can use this website for free but in order to keep it free of cost there are ads on the pages.  


    AllSides is a knowledge-centered tool that aims to expose media bias in news articles on trending topics (e.g., in 2022, trending topics included COVID-192022 Elections, Economy and Jobs, and Russia-Ukraine Conflict). AllSides rates media bias from a left, center, and right point of view. It encourages individuals to critically examine media and make it easier to see how left-, center-, and right-leaning media outlets use text and images in different ways to inform and persuade the public. It is a great tool for promoting constructivism in and outside of the classroom for students (and the general public). AllSides provides a media bias chart that can be useful for a variety of media literacy activities and critical analysis in classrooms. AllSides is a great tool for promoting critical thinking, better judgment, knowledge, and educative dialogues.


    Code.org is a computer science-driven educational tool, centered around teaching students of all ages how to code. Through a multitude of online lesson videos with people like Bill Gates and Steph Curry along with multiple plug-and-play coding spaces, students can get real hands-on experience with what they are learning, Code.org represents a true learner-centered experience as its videos and activities keep students more engaged in their learning by creating a more personalized experience. As of April 2022, according to Code.org “over 50 million students” have used the site in some way, and out of this population, 50% are students from underrepresented ethnic and racial groups and 45% are female. Code.org has been giving millions of children and educators the tools they need to become more successful in the world of computer science.


    Coggle is an online mind mapping tool that can be utilized in any grade level or subject. Users have the creative freedom to work individually, or with others, to make visually appealing and well-organized mind maps. This can be done with the variety of different shapes, colors, sizes, and formats offered, as well as with the unlimited image upload feature. The many functions made available through Coggle make it a community-, knowledge-, and learner-centered tool. Users can work with multiple people on one diagram, allowing them to learn with, and from one another; users apply their current knowledge to effectively create and organize cohesive mind maps; and lastly, users can construct their diagrams in a way that will best fit their needs, and therefore empower their learning.

    Coggle can be a beneficial tool for teachers to promote critical thinking about the course material. Coggle allows its users to be creative with the diagrams they assemble and personalize them to best suit the user's needs and preferred method of organization. This can encourage students to be more engaged in learning new material, and the process of creating a mind map requires in-depth thinking and planning of concepts, which would naturally inspire critical thinking and a greater understanding of the material.


    Coursera is recognized as one of the largest providers of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).  It has established partnerships with 140 universities in offering more than 1,500 courses across a range of subjects: engineering, medicine, computer science, social sciences, foreign languages, and the humanities. All courses are offered for free. Students can enroll in courses and choose to either deeply engage or selectively delve into course content, without repercussions in terms of grades or other forms of evaluation. Students can take courses – either for credit (or no credit) – in an attempt to bolster their understanding on a multitude of subjects. In this manner, Coursera serves as a supplemental knowledge-building tool for students. There is an option to pay for a certificate of completion, ranging from $29-$99. 

    Data Basic.io

    DataBasic.io is a suite of easy-to-use web tools for beginners to explore different sets of data. It is a project from the Engagement Lab at Emerson College and the MIT Center for Civic Media. 

    DataBasic features multiple tools to help you understand textual and tabular (tables) data, including WordCounter, samediff, WTFcsv, and ConnectTheDots. The tools were tested in classrooms and workshops to make sure they worked well and were easily understandable. Users can visualize the resulted information in a variety of useful formats that facilitate better understanding of the concepts (e.g., color-differentiated tables with graphic cues that can increase retention).

    • Data Basic Word Counter: Word Counter tells you the most used words and phrases in a document. It helps you quantitatively summarize your text so you can investigate how words are used. It creates a basic word cloud, but also does word counts, in several new interesting ways by breaking its analysis into a few different pieces — A word cloud, Top Words, Bigrams, and Trigrams.
    • WTF CSV: WTF CSV gives you a quick overview of a CSV file you upload. It’s designed for the data newbie who has no idea what to do with a spreadsheet. It helps a user peek behind all those columns and rows through some simple analysis by giving you the frequencies of each attribute (column) in a table, presenting it as a histogram or bar chart or word cloud depending which visualisation is most appropriate. It also provides a “What do I do next?” set of questions that can help prod the beginner.
    • Same Diff: SameDiff lets you compare two documents to see how they are similar and different. It helps you see differences and similarities in the words used in each file so you can learn about quantitative analysis of text. SameDiff compares one corpus (a collection of written text) of text to another corpus of text to show you similarities and differences. It uses a cosine similarity algorithm (based on the number of times words are used in each) to rate whether the documents are really similar or totally different.
    • Connect the Dots: Connect the Dots shows you how your data is connected by analyzing it as a network.

    DocsTeach is an educational website created by the National Archives education division to promote learning with and about the Archive's collection of documents (including text, videos, and photographs). It is a knowledge-centered website that allows users to explore all the available primary sources from the National Archives and share activities with students and peers. Educators can use pre-created activities or create their own activities. There are 253 activities (1,872 if you are a member) and 12,529 primary sources available for teachers and students. 

    Students can also perform their own research on documents and then select and download which ones are most relevant for their research. This research tool can promote critical thinking by allowing students to analyze primary sources and act like historians. 

    The website also provides free professional development webinars for elementary and secondary educators. All the features on this website are free of charge.


    Duolingo is a knowledge-centered tool that will help teachers, their students, or just about anybody, learn another language. This tool offers an effective, easy, and free way to practice another language. Duolingo is catered to learners of all abilities. Not only can you learn a language as a total beginner, but assessments are available to test if you have any prior knowledge, and depending on your score, you will be given questions catered to your ability. Duolingo is used in your own time, whether you have three hours or fifteen minutes, you can use this tool with ease and comfort. You can take assessments, answer your daily questions, take advantage of the books and dictionary, and totally discover a new language. Teachers and educators are sure to appreciate this website, whether they are language teachers, learners, or have bilingual students. In language classrooms, Duolingo is a fun way to increase student participation and motivation. They will be able to engage in a more intense level of content learning and have a safe environment in their classroom among their peers in regards to learning. 

    ELLLO English Listening Lesson Library Online

    ELLLO is an online collection of free listening, reading, and vocabulary practices for English language learning. You do not need an account to access the resources.


    GoNoodle is a website where educators can use videos and other activities to get kids moving. It is a knowledge-centered tool that allows kids to set routines, explore holiday events, and engage in different activities. It also has many different topics for kids to engage in such as food and cookingmindfulness and meditation and outdoors and the environment. GoNoodle also offers worksheets and blog articles. There is education-specific content available, such as curriculum-based contentgrade specific content, and sensory motor skills. GoNoodle helps educators give movement breaks while supporting student learning and well-being.

    Google Arts and Culture

    Google Arts and Culture is a curated vault of great artworks from more than 2,000 museums and archives. It has 360-degree panoramas of historic landmarks, 3D models, augmented reality tools that let you virtually try on historical headgear or walk through museums, and tools that sort art by color, theme, and any other parameter you can imagine. Users can create their own galleries and walkthroughs and take guided, zoomed-in tours of works such as Dürer’s Melancholia or Frida Kahlo’s Still Life with Parrot and Flag.

    Image depicts a painting of various citrus fruits with a green parrot and a small Mexican flag sticking out from the fruit. Painting is shown through Google Arts and Culture

    While on the surface, Google Arts and Culture seems to be a colorful, fun tool that can help teachers overcome common classroom challenges such as participation, motivation, and deeper learning connections, there are some serious problems to bear in mind when you’re deciding whether or not to use this tool. These problems include privacy, accessibility, equity, fair use, and questionable content. Because it’s a Google product, users will be giving up some privacy, especially to use some of the features, like fine art selfies. In order to use it with maximum privacy, you will have to give up both student autonomy and many of its features in favor of a curated experience on a shared account (that is, a common login from a browser in anonymous, private, or incognito mode). Also, the difference between copy-protected and copyright-free works is not always obvious, which complicates fair use. Finally, Google Arts and Culture is not always designed with an eye towards access; its visual nature means that students with visual disabilities (including colorblindness) will not get the full benefit.

    Image depicts a variety of paintings with people and settings. Above paintings are a selective color spectrum ranging from white to black.
    Google Arts & Culture Color Explorer

    There are equity issues as well: Because it relies on curatorial taste, the selections are not only undeniably Eurocentric, but tend to represent those artists that privileged curators and collectors have deemed “worthy.” Picasso yes; Henry Darger, not so much. Speaking of Darger and his sometimes-disturbing work, K–12 teachers should note that Google Arts and Culture has some explicit content. However, while there are nudes, there is nothing that most people would consider “pornographic.”

    In brief, Google Arts and Culture applies Big Data to art… with all the power, and all the shortcomings, that implies.

    Google Trends

    Google Trends is an online data exploration tool that features real time search data from Google. Users can explore people’s search interests and find additional data like the most relevant articles, interest over time, interest by region, trending queries, and related topics. After you search a term, you will see a map which shows the regions where the term is most popular in the world. Users can also go back past and compare different terms from the year 2004 to the last 36 hours to understand relation between them.


    iCivics is a free educational website that provides educators with lesson plans, resources, and interactive games centered around the topics of the structure and functions of the U.S. government and the rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizens. iCivics was created by former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and is now used in classrooms in all 50 states, by more than 7 million students (iCivics — Who We Are, n.d., paras. 4-5). The lesson plans and resources provide useful guides that can help teachers discuss civics in the classroom, and the interactive games offer a means for students to develop a deeper understanding of the U.S. government and their rights as citizens.

    Khan Academy

    Khan Academy is an educational organization that creates short educational videos for a variety of topics. Khan Academy also has educational materials, including practice problems and exercises, that enhance learning with these videos. Khan Academy allows for the personalization of education, offering students an opportunity to go through lessons that are scaled to their current level of understanding at their own pace, moving forward only once they have mastered a topic within a lesson. Khan Academy was founded in genuine and humble roots in 2004 by Salman Khan, who used the initial videos to help tutor one of his cousins. The best part is that Khan Academy is completely free for anyone and everyone, and the organization is committed to keeping it that way forever.

    It is a great tool for flipped classrooms, personalized learning, and blended learning, ensuring that you are meeting the learning needs of ALL of your students and not just teaching at the pace of your “average” student.
    Knight Lab Online Storytelling Tools

    The Northwestern University Knight Lab features a collection of projects that “help make information meaningful and promote quality journalism, storytelling and content on the internet” (Knight Lab, 2020, para. 1). Currently (in 2020), the list of working projects includes six storytelling tools: Juxtapose, SceneVR, SoundCite, Storyline, StoryMap, and Timeline. There are also two projects in beta testing (Learn and Sensor Grid) and a number of prototypes, experimental, and past projects. The current storytelling tools can be used to incite curiosity and engage students in critical thinking and exploration of information.

    Storytelling Tools

    • Juxtapose helps storytellers compare two pieces of similar media (e.g., a historical and present-day photo) and is helpful for exploring changes over time, like the development of a building or a city skyline or the destruction of rainforest.
    • SoundCite lets you add inline soundbites into your story to create multimodal text.
    • Timeline can be used to create interactive timelines with a Google spreadsheet.
    • StoryMap allows you to create interactive, multimodal stories with maps.
    • Storyline allows anyone to build an interactive line chart. This includes charts, axis labels, and cards.
    • SceneVR turns panoramic and VR-ready photos into a visual story line.

    LabXchange is an online science classroom where students and educators can communicate about a variety of topics through discussion forums as well as the direct messaging feature. Primarily designed for higher education students (users must be 13 years or older), LabXchange users can create and explore complex material revolving around the world of science through virtual manipulatives, simulations, videos, and various interactives. LabXchange is notable for creating individualized learning pathways based on the abilities and knowledge of students. LabXchange stays true to its motto of science made possible: “We envision a world with equal opportunity for success in science for anyone, anywhere” (Robert Lue, PH.D., Faculty Director and Principal Investigator, 2020, para. 1).

    The Library of Congress Labs

    The Library of Congress Labs is a website by the United States Library of Congress, which has the purpose of taking the contents of the Library of Congress and making them available and easy to navigate on the Internet. Its “experiments” section contains a number of different tools used to interact with the library’s contents. The Library of Congress (LOC) provides a plethora of primary sources, giving students a taste of culture from older times that textbooks alone might not provide. There are a total of 12 tools that have some interactive component, all of which allow the user to either be shown information from the library in a novel way or use the information to create something new. In this way, it is a knowledge-centered product, used to help students interface with the contents of the library and construct new knowledge.


    MANGAHIGH.com is a game-based learning site in which students play math games as a fun way to learn new concepts and apply knowledge. Games cover certain learning topics and are sorted by ability and grade level. They are designed to adapt in difficulty to the ability of the student, keeping the student in their zone of proximal development. Mangahigh’s educational content is based on the Common Core. Mangahigh was founded by Toby Rowland and a group of experienced mathematicians and game specialists who were looking to create a balance between game playing and learning.

    Mangahigh.com provides an exciting supplement to traditional math pedagogy through the use of “games that provide powerful contexts that often bring out the ‘real-world’ application of the topic at hand, thereby increasing the students’ interest in the content and encouraging them to explore further” (blog.mangahigh.com). Teachers can assign “challenges” or the students can participate in Fai-To. “Challenges” are specific exercises that can be assigned to individual students or classes. Teachers can set “Prodigi” lessons or games as challenges. Fai-To is a school-to-school competition which allows two schools enter math combat against one another.

    Microsoft Immersive Reader

    Microsoft Immersive Reader is an interactive reading comprehension and learning tool. This tool makes text more accessible to learners of all ages and abilities. Using Microsoft Immersive Reader, you can have text read aloud at different speeds and by different voices, change text size, font, and spacing, highlight specific parts of speech (e.g., nouns, verbs), break apart words by syllables, translate text to more than 80 languages, hear audio recordings of the words spoken in different languages, and see words represented as pictures.

    Microsoft Immersive Reader can be accessed through Microsoft Tools (e.g., Word, OneNote, Edge) and you can try it out for free on the Learning Tools page of the Microsoft website. Immersive Reader can also be accessed through Flipgrid, Minecraft, and other tools. This tool can be beneficial for students who are learning English as well as students with disabilities.


    MindMeister is an online collaborative, knowledge-based mind mapping tool that students can use to understand and make connections between concepts, ideas, and information. Mind maps help users collect ideas and facts based on a given topic. Mindmeister has many applications beyond mind mapping, including creating to-do lists, project planning, designing timelines, and brainstorming.


    MindMup is an online mind mapping service that integrates with Google Drive. It redefines mind mapping by allowing users to create mind maps online, “store them in the cloud and access from anywhere, collaborate and share mindmaps with colleagues and friends” (MindMup, 2018, para. 1). It also allows attachments of various formats, such as text and pictures, and lends itself to a wide range of educational purposes such as note taking, concept mapping, writing, planning, and knowledge centered cooperative learning.

    Minecraft Education Edition

    Minecraft Education Edition is a version of the popular world-building block-placing video game: Minecraft. The Education Edition offers a variety of academically-focused learning plans, ranging from fractions to fairytales, to inspire student-centered, interactive exploration and building. For example, you can teach math with the Oregon Trail Experience, a ready-made lesson that takes students through the Oregon Trail where they are challenged to calculate the weight of items to bring on the trip. Or, have your students reflect on the biodiversity crisis by completing Extinction! Safari. There are learning plans in all sorts of subjects including science, coding, math, technology, history and culture, art, music and design, digital citizenship, as well as equity and inclusion. 

    Available in over 20 languages, and used in classrooms in more than 115 countries, Minecraft Education opens the door to creativity and new possibilities for students and educators to build 3D designs and interactive worlds. For instance, students designed a roller-coaster tour of the Melbourne Botanic Gardens for the Minecraft Innovation Project by the Department of Education in Australia. 

    Minecraft Education includes built-in accessibility features such as the integration of Microsoft Immersive Reader, which allows text to be read aloud, translated, and converted into a picture dictionary. The game can be played in single-player mode and multiplayer mode, inviting social learning. There is also an add-on Classroom Mode, designed to aid teachers in virtual classroom management. 

    Minecraft Education initially requires time to master, but rewards this investment by giving students more voice and choice in a flexible environment that supports inclusion and builds collaborative competencies and problem-solving skills. Everyone wins in this game. 

    June 2021 UPDATE: Microsoft launched a Minecraft Education Edition Teacher Academy, which consists of eleven courses about how to use Minecraft Education Edition for teaching and learning. Upon completing the courses, teachers can become a Microsoft Certified Teacher and receive a digital badge.


    Newsela is an instructional content tool that allows teachers to find articles with appropriate reading levels for their students. Newsela articles also feature questions and writing prompts that align with common core standards. If you want to bring real life events into your classroom with engaging content and analytics to see how your students are doing, try Newsela.

    PhET Simulations

    PhET simulations are interactive simulations of science and math concepts created by the University of Colorado Boulder.  Students are able to run these simulations, manipulating different aspects of a construct to understand science and mathematics concepts.  Depending on the simulation, students may also be able to collect, graph, and analyze data to draw conclusions of their own.


    Prodigy is an assessment- and knowledge-centered tool that provides an enjoyable way for students to learn and practice math. Prodigy is beneficial for teachers because it allows them to see their students' areas of strength and struggles in one organized place. The ability to see this information allows teachers to quickly identify concepts that the whole class or individual students are struggling with. Teachers can select curriculum goals and Prodigy will show specific games and activities targeting those goals. Due to these aspects, Prodigy is a knowledge-centered tool because it allows teachers to introduce and provide practice for specific concepts to students over a set period of time while simultaneously viewing student progress. To make creating a classroom easier, teachers can sync their Clever or Google classroom accounts to their Prodigy class. Prodigy requires students to complete a “placement test” (which is a mission involving getting math questions correct to defeat the monsters) so the tool can provide activities within the student's zone of proximal development. Prodigy also allows teachers to invite parents to follow along with their child’s progress on Prodigy. Therefore, it is a useful tool to connect parents to the concepts the students are learning in school and allow them to be involved with incorporating the concepts at home. Prodigy can help teachers motivate students to practice specific math concepts through fun activities, games, and challenges.    


    StudyStack is an online tool to help you and your students memorize information through playful activities such as flashcards and games. You can use pre-existing games or create your own “stack” of activities where you can design flashcards and other pedagogical activities to share with your students. You can print the flashcards you have created. StudyStack can be used on iOS and Android devices. It is available on the App and Google Stores.

    The Smithsonian Learning Lab

    The Smithsonian Learning Lab is a collaborative web-based learning platform that features videos, audio files, texts, and historical artifacts from the Smithsonian’s 19 museums, 9 research centers, and zoo. Created by the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, the Smithsonian Learning Lab is meant to be a resource that inspires educators, youth, and the public to explore the Smithsonian’s digitally archived content. Users can create “collections” of materials on specific topics, share their collections, and add to other users’ collections as well. There are millions of texts, recordings, artifacts, and videos accessible through the Smithsonian Learning Lab, and accessing these digital materials is made simple through a search using keywords or phrases relevant to a topic of interest. The Smithsonian Learning Lab allows students to think and explore like a historian, organize collections like a museum curator, and even draw connections between history and any subject they are studying.


    Tiki-Toki is web-based software for creating interactive timelines that can be shared on the Internet. Tiki-Toki can be used in any browser and the basic account is free to sign up, which allows you to create one fully-functional timeline. Tiki-Toki provides integration with images and videos (from Youtube and Vimeo). Each timeline you create with Tiki-Toki has its own unique URL that you can share with your friends or colleagues. The upgraded version allows you to embed the timeline directly on your website or blog. This tool enables students to create interactive timelines in order to construct and present content knowledge. It also helps students easily understand events and dates in a visualized way as well as allowing them to actively participate in the learning process.


    Timeline is an digital tool from readwritethink that allows users to create their own timeline with relative ease. It allows students to demonstrate what they have learned by designing a multimodal timeline.

    TinkerCAD Learning Center

    TinkerCAD is a web-based 3D modeling program that is intuitive enough for elementary school students and advanced enough for college students. TinkerCAD can be used to create 3D models to send to 3D printers or to showcase in a virtual gallery.  In addition to their free 3D modeling tool, TinkerCAD offers a learning center that caters to a variety of learning strategies.

    Wakelet is a digital curation tool that allows users to collect and organize multimodal content, including websites, articles, videos, Twitter threads, text, and images. Wakelet is a great tool for students to collaboratively organize research projects and construct their own knowledge. It can also be used as a multimodal way to present a timeline or story. 
    What’s Up With Culture

    What’s Up With Culture is a free online tutorial primarily for study abroad students.  It is meant to orient learners to key concepts of intercultural communication and adjustment.

    Wolfram Alpha

    Wolfram|Alpha is an online tool that strives to make all knowledge computable and accessible (About Wolfram, 2020). This tool can provide the answer to numerous questions, such as “how many calories are in a potato?” and “how many planes are flying overhead?” and “how much money do you need to retire? (see 20 Ways Everyday Life is Easier with Wolfram Alpha). Wolfram|Alpha can also compute and present extensive data on everything from shoe sizes, to lottery odds, to dinosaur comparisons (explore 10 More Fun Questions Kids Can Answer with Wolfram|Alpha and 23 Cool Non-Math Things You Can Do With Wolfram Alpha). It allows anyone with access to the Internet to have the answers to their questions at their fingertips at a moment’s notice. 

    YouTube Playlist

    YouTube Playlist is a free tool that allows you to collect and organize videos around specific topics or interests. You can create playlists with any videos on Youtube, including your own. This is a great way to organize your own videos (e.g., if you have 25 videos in your YouTube library, 15 of them are related to educational technology, and 10 of them are related to penguins, you can create to separate playlists for your viewers).

    Anchor (now Spotify for Podcasters)

    Anchor is an online podcast creation tool owned by Spotify. Podcasts are like radio shows that are hosted on the Internet – they are audio-only programs with one or more hosts presenting topical discussions, open speculative conversation, comedy, or stories. Podcasts deliver educational content informally through storytelling or conversations or formally through evidence-based presentations of information. You can find podcasts in digital repositories, such as Spotify and Apple Podcasts, podcast hosting sites, like Anchor and Synth, or on personal websites.

    Anchor lets anyone create, edit, and host a podcast for free using a mobile app or through their website. Anchor provides creators with unlimited free hosting service and includes an option to move their podcasting service from other service providers (e.g., Podbean, SoundCloud) for free. Anchor makes it easy to set up a podcast station for listeners to subscribe to for notifications about new episodes. As an educator, you could create a class podcast station or have your students collaboratively design a podcast series.

    (Anchor.fm) “Completely demystifies the podcasting process.
    Common Sense for Education

    A special feature of Anchor is the “leave a message” feature, which allows podcast listeners to post messages for the podcast host by tapping on the “leave a message” button on any podcast episode. Students could use this feature to listen to a preview of your class lecture and communicate their questions to you before class. Anchor also allows podcast creators to invite up to 5 users to collaboratively record a podcast. This functions as a group call with the host as the moderator.


    Audacity is an audio recording and editing software application that is open-source so that anyone can download it for free with no restrictions of use. This software can: record live audio, cut, copy, splice or mix sounds together, and edit various audio files (Ogg Vorbis, MP3, WAV, or AIFF to name a few). This application can be integrated across disciplines and is relatively easy to use. Audacity can foster active student participation and deeper learning through content creation (e.g., podcasts) and allow students to showcase their understanding through multimedia rather than tests or papers.


    BigHugeLabs is a learner-centered online tool that allows students to create their own content through images and text. BigHugeLabs offers a variety of simple, easy-to-use image design tools, including trading cards, badge makers, map maker, mosaic maker, and jigsaws.

    Book Creator

    Book Creator is a digital tool that enables students to create and read multimodal digital books. It is an ideal tool for enhancing student engagement through story creation and multimedia design. When creating their own books, students can either generate their own content (by typing, drawing, or uploading self-made videos, audio files, and images) or they can curate online multimedia resources from the Internet. Book Creator can also be used in project-based learning activities because it allows real-time collaboration for multiple students to create one book. While students will get the most educational benefit out of designing their own books, they can also read multimodal books designed by others to enrich their knowledge.

    Book Creator also offers a library of pre-designed eBooks and resources for teachers .
    Brush Ninja

    Brush Ninja is a digital art tool that allows you to create hand-drawn, animated gifs. With this tool, students can use the digital brushes, colors, and other features to design their own gifs with relative ease. The ability to add multiple frames allows drawings to come to life. The site includes a few other features too, such as photo collageemoji art, and a comic creator which also allow for creative expression. Moreover, the site's relatively simplistic interface makes it easy for students to get the hang of this tool with just a bit of trial and error. 


    Buncee is an award-winning educational tool where students and teachers create and collaborate on projects. Interestingly, it was first conceived as an e-card and e-greeting resource. However, it quickly became popular among educators. Buncee then launched platforms for education such as “eduBuncee” and “Buncee for Schools and Districts.”

    Through a virtual “Buncee,” or canvas constituted of a single or multiple slides, you can integrate animation, audio, pictures, and “stickers.” Buncee has a wide library from which you can choose elements to customize your projects. You can create slides and print them. You can also generate QR codes enabling the reading of your slides on smartphones.


    Canva is an online design tool that offers users the opportunity to create professional-looking posters, slideshows, images, event flyers, resumes, cards, certificates, infographics, and other media. The tool allows students to design visuals to showcase their knowledge in unique ways. With 75 million users and over 3.5 billion designs created, Canva is a very popular digital tool for Internet users. The tool was created by Melania Perkins, Cameron Adams, and Cliff Obrecht in an effort to teach the basics to the students who struggled to learn graphic design. Canva is accessible in eight different languages.

    This collaborative tool allows students to share their work and request feedback from their classmates. Students can use Canva to construct and show knowledge. They can also capture photos or videos of their class work, homework, assignments, and school activities, post those in their own account, or a class account, and have discussions about the posts. Teachers can use Canva to design visually appealing infographics, posters, and images to complement text-heavy learning experiences.


    CoSpaces is a mixed reality web-based application that allows users to create and engage with interactive media content. CoSpaces affords the student the ability to demonstrate their knowledge in new ways by building virtual interactive worlds, simple or complex, that is approachable to the uninitiated.  

    Users can create:

    • Virtual Reality (VR, 3D, and 360-degree photo/video)
    • Augmented Reality (AR)
    • Interactive 3D content using a visual programming language
    • Simulations

    Easel.ly (pronounced “easily”) is an infographic design tool. Infographics use pictures, graphs, and a bit of text to quickly and attractively share data and information.

    Easel.ly lives up to its name since this is a tool that builds sharp-looking infographics simply by modifying existing templates. The trick is making sure the templates available suit the information you want to convey. An infographic can add visual interest and emphasis to content through maps, graphs, charts, diagrams, flowcharts, and timelines and can also replace traditional text by grouping discrete pieces of information and showing the relationships between them. Because it provides a visual depiction of ideas, which in turn may provide students with a cognitive frame, Easel.ly can be used to create teaching aids.  Because an infographic helps students visualize relationships between concepts, Easel.ly can also be introduced to students as a tool to synthesize and document learning.  Easel.ly is a learner-centered tool because it readily provides a means for students to visually construct knowledge, demonstrate connections they are making between concepts, and personalize and differentiate their work.


    Educreations is an interactive whiteboard drawing and recording tool that allows educators and students alike to design more enhanced and engaging presentations. On the Educreations site or iOS app, users can record, share, and view interactive lesson plans. Users can import images into their whiteboard with the free version and mark them up in real-time on a screen. 


    Genial.ly is an online tool that can be used to create still, animated, or interactive visuals, such as posters, infographics, quizzes, and presentations. To create visuals, you can use pre-made templates or start from scratch. If you are a premium member, you can import your PowerPoint slides and have them be transformed into “Genially creations.” Genial.ly can increase engagement in learning and allow students to express their knowledge and develop their communication skills.

    Google Sites

    Google Sites is a Google web application that allows users to create wikis and websites, with ease of use and collaborative design. Google Sites is free to use (with a paid option that offers more storage capability) and is included in the Google Workspace suite. If you’re looking for a simple drag-and-drop web design tool for developing class websites, student project sites, or encouraging students to show their knowledge in different ways, check out Google Sites.


    iPiccy is a web-based photo editing and sharing application that offers a simple yet powerful set of features to alter and transform pictures. From traditional editing tools, like sharpness and contrast, to RGB level shifting, iPiccy offers a robust palette of photographic adjustments. Additionally, iPiccy includes the ability to create several layers of pictures for a blending of images, similar to Adobe Photoshop.


    Loom is a free screencasting tool that allows users to capture their computer's screen and record themselves with their camera. Loom can be used on both Mac and Windows computers. Once you are finished creating your screen recording video, you can edit it and share it on Twitter, Facebook, and Gmail, as a URL, or embed it on a website.

    Marq (Formerly Lucidpress)

    Marq (formerly LucidPress*) is a web-based desktop application that can be used to create brochures, flyers, newsletters, business cards, posters, magazines, and presentations. Created in October 2013 by Lucid Software, it is an alternative to complex design applications like Adobe InDesign and Microsoft Publisher and can be used to produce all sorts of designs, from single-page to multi-page documents. To some, this tool may only sound like a useful one for businesses, but it can be a very engaging learning tool for K-12 teachers, as well. If you are struggling to get students motivated to create a presentation or a brochure with other common applications, like PowerPoint and Piktochart, this tool could heighten their interest and motivate them to engage in creating informative designs. It is also a useful tool for students that are interested in design. They learn how it’s done through cloud-based practice, templates, publishing, and collaborating in groups.

    *Since LucidPress was extremely popular, the references to this tool will be kept as "LucidPress."

    Lumen5 is an AI-powered tool that creates videos to accompany written content. Users can input a link to an article or blog post, or write some text, and Lumen5 will turn the text into a video (see the Lumen5 features page). Users can then tinker with the video by adding music, inserting new photos, and tweaking the format. Lumen5 can be used in education to inspire student interest in a topic, support student learning with multimedia, and facilitate knowledge construction through the design of videos.

    Pencil Code

    Pencil Code, which is built on top of MIT’s Scratch, is a programming site for drawing art, playing music, and creating games. It is also a place to experiment with mathematical functions, geometry, graphing, webpages, simulations, and algorithms (learn more here). Programs are open for all to see and copy. If you are trying to teach your students how to code in a creative engaging manner, then you should consider this tool.


    Photopea is a creative learner-centered digital tool that serves as an advanced photo and graphics editor. This free alternative to Adobe Photoshop utilizes vector- and raster-based graphics (think Illustrator drawings and Photoshop digital photos) to help you create photos, posters, graphics, images, and other visuals in several different formats, including .psd, .tiff, and .jpeg. If you are familiar with Photoshop, the transition to Photopea is practically seamless because the user interface is similar. Unique to Photopea, though, is that it does not need to be downloaded – it is an entirely online photo and graphics editor. One beneficial aspect of Photopea is that it does not save any data, including your information or your files (unless you sign into a paid account or save your file as a template, then Photopea collects some data).

    One advantage of using Photopea over Photoshop is that it is free and can be used with any computer with Internet access, which is especially important in remote and online learning settings and in in-person settings where schools and districts cannot afford or do not provide subscriptions to Photoshop. Photopea is similar to Pixlr, another digital photo and graphics editor, but it is more user friendly with an interface that mimics Photoshop.

    Photopea is a niche program which is extremely useful for those teaching art, graphic design, and other creative design fields. It is an extremely powerful tool that gives students and teachers access to a whole field of possibilities. If you want your students to become content creators, this is your program! 


    Piktochart is a cloud-based application that allows users to easily create infographics. Users can embed interactive maps, charts, videos, and hyperlinks in a Piktochart infographic. To create an infographic, you start by choosing a blank or pre-designed template or theme and then add information and media. Piktochart provides a library of icons, images, fonts, and other design tools. Icons and images are organized by subject, including education, entertainment, people, and shapes. Once completed, each infographic can be saved for future editing, and the finished product can be exported as a PNG, JPEG, or PDF file.


    Pixlr is a photo editing and graphic design tool that permits users to customize designs and modify pictures. From animations, presentations, and collages, to Instagram stories, you can create a wide range of creative projects with Pixlr. The application has won numerous awards and is considered a great alternative to the widely-known Photoshop. If you are looking for a way for students to showcase their knowledge creatively rather than via a standardized test, you might consider having them make a project on Pixlr to demonstrate their knowledge instead. It is a great tool for designing visual presentations, editing photography projects, or even making a professional business card.

    Pixton Comics
    Pixton allows teachers and students to construct their own comic strips. There are a variety of comic strip layouts, numerous character and background choices, and a ton of creative options. This is a great learner-centered tool that allows students to construct their own knowledge and display it in a way that is meaningful to them by allowing them to create comics representing their concepts and ideas.

    Powtoon is an online platform for creating short video presentations. Powtoon gives anyone the ability to create professional videos and presentations. You can select from royalty-free libraries of animation, live-action video, images, designed backgrounds, soundtracks, and moving graphics, or you can use your own visual content and voiceover.


    Scratch is a free visual coding tool that was designed by the MIT Lifelong Kindergarten Group. Students can use Scratch to “code their own interactive stories, animations, and games. In the process, they learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for everyone in today’s society” (Scratch for Educators, 2020, para. 1).


    Showme is a digital whiteboard app available on the iPad that allows users to draw and add voiceover narration. More than 65,000 schools are using Showme because it is a beneficial educational tool for all ages that allows students to demonstrate their knowledge in any subject, including math, science, social studies, English language arts, and art. The app is easy to use and has tutorials to guide users through the process. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, it has increased in popularity because of its teacher- and student-friendly nature and ability to be used in remote and online learning settings. Students can show and explain their work in an easy and fun way. They can also view video lessons that other teachers and users on ShowMe have created and posted. This app is a knowledge-centered tool because students can construct, mind map, and organize information that makes sense to them. It is also a learner-centered tool because it can foster personalized learning experiences and empower students’ thinking and learning. Because this app is user-friendly, not age restrictive, and can be used in a synchronous or asynchronous setting, teachers in elementary, middle, high school, and even higher education should consider using this app as a way of engaging and tracking student progress.


    Soundtrap is a community-based creative sound production tool that allows users to collaborate with classmates, teachers, and other users worldwide. Sountrap can be accessed directly by the user's browser. As a cloud-based tool, users can access Soundtrap on a variety of devices, such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets. Students can use the tool to design music for presentations and projects, collaborate with classmates to create a song, and record podcasts to share knowledge on various subjects and topics. Soundtrap has an integrated LMS (learning management system), which allows classroom features such as lesson plans and assignments to be uploaded by instructors for the students to access. The platform offers over 20,000 high-quality beats and presets (e.g. basslines), making songs even easier to create for students! If you are struggling with getting students to develop their creative thinking and communication skills, you might consider giving Soundtrap for education a try. 

    Storybird is a digital tool for designing visual stories. Students can design picture books on their own or work in teams (e.g., author and artist) to create visually appealing representations of their knowledge. Teachers and parents can pay to have students’ books printed through the online shop. Storybird allows students to showcase their creative thoughts through storytelling and art online. Storybird also offers more than 700 lessons, quizzes, and writing prompts to support the development of writing skills. If you are looking for a tool to excite students about writing, this might be the one!

    Storyjumper is a popular tool for creating storybooks. It is easy to use for students of all ages and it can help them create their very own storybooks. Students can use their imagination and create new storybooks from scratch or customize pre-designed templates. Students can also have their digital storybooks converted into hard-cover books so that they become authors of printed books! 

    Teachers can use Storyjumper to create a digital classroom, encourage student collaboration, and provide instant review and feedback on student work. If a teacher wants to add joy and creativity to the classroom and make learning more engaging, this tool is worth giving a try. 


    Sutori is a collaborative instructional and presentation tool for the classroom. It can be used as an alternative to traditional presentations such as PowerPoint or Prezi. The stories can be viewed one panel at a time, like a slideshow, or scrolled through, like a timeline. Sutori is made for student-centered classrooms since it requires students to be engaged in putting many resources together. Also, teachers can use Sutori to create linear presentations that students will view in class or at their own pace.


    Sway is a web-based Microsoft Office tool that allows users to convey information as a newsletter, presentation, or document. Users can customize their Sway with headings, text, video, and images. Sways can be created from scratch, from a template, or from an existing file such as an outline created in Word. Content is then organized into sections called cards which can be easily dragged and dropped to reorder the information. Sway allows presenters, teachers, and students to visually organize the information they want to share and each Sway has its own link so that Sways can be shared easily on the web and through email or social media.


    ThingLink is a tool for creating interactive images and videos by adding tags. Tags can link to websites, social media pages, videos, maps, images, and audio. Interactive Thinglink images can be shared on social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. There is an option to embed the Thinglink image on other websites as well.

    Another feature that Thinglink offers is 360 degrees tours with tags. Users can upload 360 degrees pictures and add audio and video tags for a 3D virtual reality experience. This feature is only available with a Professional or Premium subscription.

    Timelinely is a free video annotation tool. Users simply paste a video’s URL into the search box on Timelinely’s home page and from there they can add written, audio, image, and video annotations to the video. Educators can use Timelinely to encourage higher-order thinking by asking students to make connections between the video and content practiced and taught in class. If you are a teacher who loves assigning videos for students to watch for homework, you can use Timelinely to ensure that students are fully engaging with the content of that video and doing so in a way that allows them to creatively present their thoughts in a multimodal fashion. If you’re struggling with getting students to critically evaluate course videos or share their thoughts in the classroom, you may find Timelinely to be a true game-changer. This tool is especially great for flipping the classroom and remote or online learning, and it is also aligned with the Universal Design for Learning principles by supporting Multiple Means of Action and Engagement. A knowledge tool like no other, Timelinely allows students’ to voice their opinions and ask questions in the moment, when the thought arises.

    Twine is an “open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories” (Twine, 2020, para. 1). With Twine, users can create and choose their own adventure stories, games, and hyperlinked texts (example Twine “Arcadia” by Jonas Kyratzes). Twine was created in 2009. As an open-source tool, several individuals have expanded and modified Twine. Twine is available on Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux. Designing with Twine can increase students’ interest, enhance engagement, and deepen their learning.


    Vocaroo is an online tool that allows users to record, send, and download voice messages. Teachers and learners can use Vocaroo in different activities, such as podcasting, digital storytelling, broadcasting, and giving feedback. Recordings can be downloaded, sent, or even scanned with a QR code reader.


    Weebly is a web-design tool that offers professional-looking, high-quality templates for creating websites. Originally, the website was intended to host e-portfolios and personal webpages but currently, it is widely used by artists, educators, and anyone who wants to create a website by dragging and dropping elements on a template. Weebly was created by David Rusensko, Chris Fanini and Dan Veltri in 2007. The company has worked collaboratively with Paypal, Google Ads, and Apple, making it compatible with these and other technologies.


    Wixie is a publishing and creativity platform that allows students to “share their ideas, imagination, and understanding through their writing, art, voice, and video” (Wixie.com, 2022, para. 1). With Wixie, students can add text and voice recordings with their own artwork. Their work is stored online and connected to teacher accounts. It’s accessible to all grade levels, particularly the younger ones.


    Wix is a web development platform that enables anyone to create a website using simple cloud-based creation and management tools without any coding skills. Wix offers customers more than 510 professional templates that are updated to match today’s design trends and available in multiple languages other than English. For students and teachers who are new to web-design, having pre-designed templates makes it easy to develop professional-looking websites. Advanced web designers can start with blank template and develop their own unique styles.