Online Tools

Online/virtual/distant/at-home learning modes of instruction will take on increased importance even after the pandemic lifts. We spoke to national board-certified teachers and online education ninjas to identify the tools they find most useful in making the transition. This list is far from exhaustive, and ISA receives no royalties for sharing these tools; we have no relation to their parent companies in any way, shape, or form. We aim only to help ISA’s educators find the resources best suited to meet the learning needs and conditions of their students.

  1. In many instances, tools shared below are free and may offer their premium features at no cost through the end of 2019-20 school year.
  2. Instructional videos abound on YouTube, built by educators for educators. There is no question entered into a search bar that someone else has not previously asked, answered, and then recorded a video showing the steps to take.
  3. Many of these tools may cross into multiple categories. We try to position each within its primary area.
  4. For those who live, work, and play within the Google and G-Suite environment, the below site may be more focused to your needs: 

Google created a “temporary hub of information and tools to help teachers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.” You will find all of Google’s educational applications, tools, partners, and tutorials in this comprehensive site.


Comprehensive Office Suites

The Microsoft Office 365 suite and G Suite for Education (Google) are the most common options purchased by states, districts, and networks for staff use. There are other suites as well. Determining the right one for you may rely on permissions set by your employer and the ease with which other tools, apps, and plug-ins work with your identified suite.

Office 365 at UWMGoogle Apps G Suite Google Sheets Online Training Courses - Learn ...Logo - Apache OpenOffice Wiki
Office365G Suite for EducationZoho WorkplaceOpenOffice

File:LibreOffice logo.svg - Wikimedia CommonsPolaris Office - Free Docs, Sheets, Slides + PDF - Apps on Google Play
LibreOfficePolaris Office


Forms, Surveys, & Quizzes

These tools allow a teacher to push questions to students on their devices and in real-time or asynchronously. Questions can take any form (e.g. open-ended, multiple choice, etc.) and often embed photo or video for students to analyze, respond, etc. The native interactive nature can take the form of a lesson, game, quiz, or exam.

Google Forms: Online Form Builder for Business | G SuiteMicrosoft Forms Makes Data Collection Simple & Efficient ...James thinks its worth a look!: Socrative - Quiz tool creatorQuizlet: App of the Week | Center for Students with Disabilities
Google FormsMicrosoft Forms SocrativeQuizlet

SurveyMonkey | Cisco Webex App HubPoll Everywhere on Twitter: "Don't just vote on our polls📊, vote ...Quizizz (@quizizz) | TwitterWhat is a Kahoot Quiz and how does it work? — Hyett Education Ltd.
Survey MonkeyPoll EverywhereQuizizzKahoot!


Online Storage

These tools are your hard drive in the sky. Most are accessible across any platform and are increasingly compatible with a wide array of tools, suites, and learning management systems.

Google Drive Icon | Google Play Iconset | Marcus RobertoOneDrive (@onedrive) | TwitterDropboxiCloud User Guide - Apple Support
Google DriveOne DriveDropBoxiCloud


Video Conferencing

These tools allow for audio, audio+video, and chat options for synchronous communication. Some allow for session recording, screen sharing, remote control, and other collaborative and archival tools.

Free Technology for Teachers: How to Host an Online Meeting With ZoomSkype Logo PNG Transparent & SVG Vector - Freebie SupplyMicrosoft Teams – LucidityGoogle Meet
ZoomSkypeMicrosoft TeamsGoogle Meet

A Guide to: WebRTC Media Servers & Open Source OptionsCisco Webex Meetings | Slack App Directory


Training & Certification

Through these links educators may access training on most every tool, app, suite, and program. In many instances, the instructions are written by educators for educators. There is rarely a question you can ask that someone else has not already asked, answered, and created a video to show how to do it.

Google for Education: Teacher CenterYoutube Logo Icon of Flat style - Available in SVG, PNG, EPS, AI ...
Google Teacher CenterYouTube


Appointment Scheduling

These tools are more than calendars; they help students, caregivers, and colleagues schedule times to meet. App Integration - Pipeliner CRMDoodle Review | PCMag
Google Calendar AppointmentsMicrosoft BookingsCalendlyDoodle


Content for Many Disciplines

Rich, engaging, and often interactive content for multiple disciplines are offered through these tools.

Newsela (@Newsela) | TwitterExpeditions on the App Sims - PhET Simulations
NewselaGoogle ExpeditionsGoogle Arts & CulturePHET Simulations


Content-Specific Tools

These tools have advanced capabilities beyond what is baked into apps of the same family and yet may be necessary for late-adolescent, secondary, post-secondary academics.

Desmos | Product Reviews | EdSurgeSign Up for Artsonia! | Cactus Ranch Elementary SchoolExtending Chrome with the Kami Extension
Math/science graphing calculatorStudent art portfoliosDigital pen and paper to annotate PDFs and moreA citizen science app for project creation and data collection

edutopia (@edutopia) |
Links to apps for students with special needsOnline writing assistant


Student Voice & Choice

These tools are designed to increase student voice and choice in their learning. They provide multiple ways for students to show what they know, whether done individually, in groups, or at the teacher’s direction.

Flipgrid | Empower Every VoicePadlet (support)Ed Tech Tools - Saskatchewan School Library AssociationSlack on the App Store

PlayPosit (@playposit) | TwitterPear Deck for Google Slides — Pear DeckBuncee (@Buncee) | TwitterSeesaw
PlayPositPear DeckBunceeseesaw


Graphic Design

These tools make the novice student or educator look skilled in designing flyers, newsletters, web banners, cover art, and more. Some also may support online collaboration.

Collaborate & Create Amazing Graphic Design for FreePiktochart | Crunchbase3061c6f84ee84483edcbf501147dad3e – Town of Ballston Community Library


Graphic Organizers

With templates for flowcharts, diagrams, and more, these tools allow the educator to design custom graphic organizers to fit the specific needs of the content, user, or lesson design. Some may support online collaboration.

Yufei (Andy) Chen | HomeDrawing file office, Picture #1030943 drawing file office
LucidchartGoogle Drawings


Teacher-Caregiver Communication

Social media algorithms may cause caregivers to miss timely posts and messages between teachers and caregivers.  These tools allow for clear and timely channels of communication. Google Groups to Communicate and Share Content With Your Class ...Remind - TriplebyteTalkingPoints - Clever application gallery | Clever
BloomzGoogle GroupsRemindTalking Points

VoiceClassTag: Class Communication en App Store
Google VoiceClassTag


Virtual Classrooms

These applications offers educators a comprehensive, but not exhaustive, suite of tools that establish a virtual classroom, complete with ways to build and post assignments, hold classroom discussions, and assess student work.  They are not full-fledged learning management systems. classroom Icon of Flat style - Available in SVG, PNG, EPS ...Nearpod (@nearpod) | Twitter
EdmodoGoogle ClassroomNearpod


Classroom Management

Though designed initially for in-class management, these tools have expanded services to support remote learning, provide positive reinforcement, and offer communication with students and families.

General Information | Sacred Heart Catholic Primary SchoolKickboard | Product Reviews | EdSurge


English Language Learners

These tools assist with communication with students and families whose native language is not English. Some may allow the users themselves to translate assignments given to them into languages of which they are more fluent and familiar.

TalkingPoints - Clever application gallery | CleverGoogle, language, text, translate, translation iconMicrosoft Translator (@mstranslator) | TwitteriTranslate Translator on the App Store
Talking PointsGoogle TranslateMicrosoft TranslatoriTranslate


Extensions & Plug-Ins for Chrome

These tools extend the capabilities of the Google Chrome Browser.

Screencastify | LinkedInInsertLearning | Product Reviews | EdSurgeDiigo: A Tool for All Classrooms review - App Ed Review
ChromeVoxScreencastifyInsert learningDiigo
Screen readerScreen recordingAdd instructional content into any websiteSave, tag, and annotate online and PDFs

Read AloudOpenDyslexicFontApplication Launcher for Drive
Screen readerFont to increase website readability for those with dyslexiaOpen Drive files directly from the browser in compatible applications


Extensions & Plug-Ins for G-Suite Apps

These tools extend the capabilities of G-Suite apps. Many are designed by educators for educators.

Pear Deck for Google Slides — Pear Resources
Pear DeckDoctopusGoobricflippity
Add interactivity in real-time to G-Suite appsTool for scaffolding, managing, organizing, and assessing student projects in Google DriveA rubric-based assessment toolConvert spreadsheets into flashcards


And Even More

If you’ve not found what you’re looking for here, then you may wish to consult these sites that also offer comprehensive lists of online tools.

Common Sense Media EdTech Reviews | Communications by DesignYale University - Narrative 4Loom: Screen Recordings & More on the App Store
Common Sense EducationYale Center for Emotional Intelligenceloom
Capture screen, voice, and face in video