Back in March of 2014, my Kathy’s Katch blog post highlighted some of my favorite online tools– Google Docs Story Builder, Magisto, Pixiclip, Thinglink, and Narrable. Story Builder and Narrable are gone. Thinglink has expanded into the VR arena. Magisto is now a paid service. Pixiclip has stayed the same. Apps and online tools come and go each day, so it is important to have an array of choices for the type of tool you want students to use.
There are online tool sites that include access to multiple tools. However, I suggest finding online tools that do one thing very well. And investigate multiple tools of the same type. Following is a list of my current favorite online tools. Every tool is free, although some limit the components for the no-cost version. Many of these tools have mobile apps, too, so be sure to check the tool’s site!
ONLINE VIDEO CREATORS/EDITORS
Videos are a great assessment choice for students. This research study provides some useful insight into the use of video as a formative assessment. And EdTechTeacher provides a good overview of the planning and process of having students create videos.
These tools both allow students to upload images and and add narration/audio or edit already created video.
ONLINE AUDIO CREATORS
Oftentimes, students need to record their voice to upload into another tool or use it for reflection on their work. Marissa King penned a great article for Edutopia which explains how powerful the use of audio recording can be to support learning.
These sites allow that plus the creation of background music or unique songs.
ONLINE IMAGE EDITORS
Having students create images or edit existing images can lead to some innovative projects. The Teaching Ideas site from the UK provides curriculum-related ideas for having students create images.
These online tools are full-featured and allow easy creation of new images or editing of existing ones.
ONLINE COLLAGE MAKERS
Although this article is about using the mobile app PicCollage (available for iOS, Android, Windows Mobile,and Amazon Fire), it includes many great ideas for the use of collages to support teaching and learning.
These online tools are easy-to-use collage makers.
ONLINE DRAWING TOOLS
Having students create original illustrations for book reports, lab reports, title slides for videos or presentations, or even for sketchnoting a lecture. can support learning. Misty Adoniou provides some research in this area here.
Each of these tools can be used for drawing illustrations and saving or screenshotting them to move into another document.
ONLINE ANIMATION MAKERS
Students love stop-motion animations! These three online tools allow students to create their own animations to tell a story, demonstrate a process, summarize a lesson, and more!
ONLINE COMIC CREATORS
Creating a comic can be one method to tell a story, summarize a lesson, or simply showcase a point of view.
Each of these online comic tools includes assets for student to use in creating their comic.
ONLINE WEB PAGE CREATORS
Online Web page creators can be a great tool to use for student portfolios. Matt Renwick writes about the “power of digital portfolios” in this post.
Each of these tools can be used to create an online Web site or help students house their work as a digital portfolio.
ONLINE GRAPHIC DESIGN TOOLS
Creating a thank you card, poster, Facebook header and more can now be done with these very accessible and powerful graphical design tools.
ONLINE PODCAST CREATORS
Having students create podcasts can be beneficial for teaching and learning. These online podcasting tools host the podcasts and also supply the student with the “feed” so they can have others subscribe to their podcasts through an aggregator such as Apple Podcasts.
ONLINE MEDIA CONVERTERS
There are times when a student needs to convert a file to another format for use in an editing tool or for importing into another app or tool.
These three online tools allow uploading of one file format and downloading in the preferred converted file format.
ONLINE WORD CLOUD CREATORS
Michael Gorman provides teachers with over 108 ways to use word clouds in the classroom. He includes general uses and content-specific ideas, too.
The following word cloud tools are some of my favorites.
ONLINE CLIPPING/CURATION TOOLS
There are tons of online curation tools available, but these are ones I often recommend.
ONLINE SURVEY/FEEDBACK TOOLS
Students sometimes need to collect information from their classmates, students in the school, the community, or a global audience. There are very powerful online tools for soliciting feedback from others.
Here are a few of my favorite online survey tools.
ONLINE MIND MAPPING TOOLS
One of my pages on Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything covers the aspects of mind and concept mapping. There are so many ways these tools can be used for student organization, brainstorming, or as a formative or summative assessment.
Following are some of my favorite online mind mapping tools. Some host the maps while others allow downloading of the completed map as an image.
ONLINE TIMELINE MAKERS
Timelines are customarily used in social studies to illustrate a timeline of an event or a famous person’s life. However, with the new online timeline makers, students can also create timelines to tell a story or illustrate a process across the content areas.
Each of these tools creates timelines in a different way, but all are fun to use!
ONLINE CITATION TOOLS
There is no excuse for students to forget to cite their sources. As they gather their information, they can simply use a online citation tool to create the citation and cut-and-paste it into their curation tool so they have it.
Here are my top three online citation tools.
ONLINE IMAGE/QUOTE CREATORS
Placing text on a meaningful image can result in a very powerful product. There are many online tools that allow students to do this.
Here are my favorite tools for this purpose.
ONLINE INFOGRAPHIC CREATION TOOLS
I am passionate about students creating infographics in the classroom as an assessment. The information literacy skills used in researching, the data literacy skills used in manipulating the numeric portions, and the visual literacy skills used to make the infographic meaningful for the audience are all targeted when creating an infographic. In addition, the creation of an infographic to advocate for a cause can be important for students, too!
Here are some of the online infographic creation tools I recommend.
ONLINE COLLABORATION TOOLS
Having access to a real-time online collaboration tool can make any lesson engaging and provide you with the ability to see what the students know, think they know, and want to learn!
Here are my top three in this category!
ONLINE URL SHORTENERS
I belive all Web users need to have access to a URL shortener. In addition to making the URLs shorter and sometimes being able to personalize them, most tools provide information on how many times the shortened URL was clicked on. Tracking their links is often very interesting to students!
Here are some online URL shorteners.
Do you use other online tools in these categories and want to recommend them? Please add your link(s) in the comments and provide a brief overview of the online tool! Thanks for sharing!