Digital Tools

A brief heads up about the tools described below: This page is due for an overhaul and update, and some of the links are out of date. I apologise in advance for any dead links  – feel free to jump over to the ‘contact’ page and let me know, if you have a moment to spare.

This page is a really simple overview of some of the most commonly used learning tools – it’s by no means an exhaustive list – new tools are created daily!


Click on image to see larger version

Anyone can set up a blog, which is an online journal which you can share with others. One popular site for setting up a blog seems to be blogspot, but there are many others – eg wordpress. You can set up a personal blog for friends and family, a professional blog, or a class blog. eg. my old 10 Computing class blog.

A Wiki is a hosted website which you can make for free, and share with others if you want to. The Wikis in Education page on Wikipedia says that “Wikis and education go together like peanut butter and jelly”! Wikispaces is a good place to start if you want to try this one. Of course, the page you are viewing is also a kind of wiki!

Google Sites
Google Sites makes it easy for anyone to create and manage simple, secure group websites. Getting started is easy, and there are a number of helpful templates. Video tutorial here.

Google Docs
This is a cloud computing facility where you can create or upload documents, spreadsheets or presentations, and store, edit or share them online. You can also upload videos and images.

(An aside … Blogs, Wikis or Docs – which is right for your lesson?)

Social Bookmarking
When your collection of website bookmarks get so large that it is unwieldy, you can use an online bookmarking site such as Diigo. This allows you to search your bookmarks using ‘tags’ and also to share them with others.

Online Portfolios
MyPortfolio – My Portfolio provides a personal learning environment to record and showcase evidence of achievement, manage development plans, set goals, and create online learning communities. Supported by the Ministry of Education in NZ.

Cloud Computing
This means you are storing your documents online rather than on your own computer. The advantages are that the pages are available no matter what computing device you are working on, and added safety because the cloud sites usually have very rigorous backup and security procedures. The most common example of this is google docs.

Learning Management Systems – LMS’s
This category includes Knowledgenet, Moodle, Ultranet, Skoolbo and others. These are sites or tools that are designed to offer tools for teachers and learners within a suite. They require a user login, making them more secure for use in classrooms from a privacy point-of-view, and less useful for publicity or sharing student work.

Photo Editing


Video Sharing
Youtube EDU – free educational youtube videos from sources such as KhanAcademy, TED, PBS and Stanford.
Safeshare.TV – allows you to not only share your video, but remove all the links and advertising around it.

Screen recorders (great for making tutorials)

VoiceThread is a tool for drawing out students and using oral language as a way to build in to written tasks.  There is a snapshot in Software for Learning about a junior teacher using VoiceThread as part of her inquiry, is also a page on the Software for Learning website about Voicethread: Finally, here is a tutorial about VoiceThread for anyone that would like to know how to use it,

Vocaroo – This is a great tool for reculant writers. With vocaroo you can record straight on to the computer or use a microphone then upload. You then embed the recording into your class blog. The children love hearing their own stories.

Polls – fun ways to collect short answers
Padlet – real-time feedback, super easy.
Answergarden – super easy

E-Books (not strictly a web tool, but seems to fit here)
There are loads of free e-books available for download or from libraries, as well as ones you can purchase. The simplest sort are just books that can be read using elecronic devices – e-readers, phones or computers. Some books are more interactive and visual, and have links, animations and other enhancements.

Tools for online quizzes, polls, and surveys.
Quiz Revolution
Survey Monkey
Poll Daddy

Other awesome things
prezi – – create and edit slideshows online
Agreeing on a date among a group – Doodle
Comparison of common social media types
Make your own puzzles and embed them in your web space, at jigsawplanet – here is a sample
Voki – make your own talking avatar or short online video-message to students.
Summarise huge long bits of info at Tools4noobs Summarize
Popplet is a very cool collecting and presenting tool –

There are places you can go for collections of online tools.
My favourite is Interface fileshare , with tools for classrooms sorted by category.
I also have a wee collection here.
LookahTV is awesome, with easy video tutorials for EVERYTHING
Suzies Links – an awesome collection created by a New Zealand primary school teacher and ICT specialist
Cool Tools for Schools
Cool apps for schools
An aswesome collection for Susan Oxnevad
A scoopit collection of publishing and presenting ideas – a great collection
Allanah King’s collection of Google and other tools is here