Inspired by a post on educational alternatives to a popular social media tool, this page will present my all-time personal favourite online tools for teaching and learning. The list is numbered for easy reference, but in no particular order. …Hope you find something useful.

1. Padlet

A sensational way to create a pinboard. Post images, text, links or Word documents. Collaborate in real time. Place items wherever you wish. Drag to rearrange. Backgrounds are fun and plentiful AND you can embed finished boards. Pinterest, eat your heart out! No account required for students. Teachers can create a board then provide the link to student collaborators.

A Padlet example

A Padlet example

2. Blendspace (formerly EdCanvas)

Blendspace makes it easy to provide engaging digital content. Create “lessons” and post links, images, embed videos with a simple drag and drop tools. Even search for content from within the app. Add your own text on the flip side of each content tile – questions, instructions, things to think about, extension ideas etc. Change the order of tiles by dragging and dropping. Lessons can be embedded or shared via links. You do need to register with an email address to create an account for this one and it’s really designed for teachers to deliver content, however I can see that students would love to create their own “lessons” to present information or demonstrate knowledge on a topic of interest.

An EdCanvas example

An example of a blendspace “lesson”

3. ThingLink

Enhance an image by pinning additional content to particular points on that image – the usual links, text, embedded videos or other images.

A ThingLink about the Wright Brothers.

A ThingLink about the Wright Brothers.

4. Haiku Deck

I got hooked on Haiku Deck on the iPad. It’s a free app and allows students to make very quick and simple slide shows with built in formats and an image browser (linked to Getty images). Text automatically resizes as you add it so no fiddling with font sizes. Simplicity is key and the result is a very effective visual presentation. The limit on text forces students to be economical with words and avoid the usual text overload on slide shows. But it gets better… NOW you can actually create decks on the website as well! Thank you thank you Haiku Deck people!!

Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 9.44.06 PM

5. Socrative

Socrative is simply amazing – free and simple crowdsourcing, polls and checkup assessments on the fly, all wireless and immediate. Download the Teacher app and name your ‘room’ where you can set up quizzes and multi-choice surveys and have your students install the Student app to respond. Both apps are free; accounts are free. If your students don’t have their own mobile devices, they can use the website. With Socrative, you don’t need to set up anything beforehand. Just ask a question or give some options as you go. Your students don’t need an account to respond. We’ve even used this at parent nights for crowdsourcing – they responded from smartphones. You can have all results emailed to you if you wish. …What more could you want for FREE??

Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 9.10.12 PM

Create a free account at http://www.socrative.com

6. Glogster EDU

Create a poster with clickable links to added text and any online content: video, images and websites. The clip art, templates and other fun elements that appeal to young users.

An example of a Glog at GlogsterEDU

An example of a Glog at GlogsterEDU


Featured Image: “lifeline-tool-box-zoom” [CC BY_SA 2.0] by elyob on Flickr


One thought on “Top Tools for Teaching

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