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 UWM Google Apps G Suite Google Sheets Online Training Courses - Learn ... Logo - Apache OpenOffice Wiki
Office365 G Suite for Education Zoho Workplace OpenOffice

File:LibreOffice logo.svg - Wikimedia Commons Polaris Office - Free Docs, Sheets, Slides + PDF - Apps on Google Play
LibreOffice Polaris 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 Suite Microsoft Forms Makes Data Collection Simple & Efficient ... James thinks its worth a look!: Socrative - Quiz tool creator Quizlet: App of the Week | Center for Students with Disabilities
Google Forms Microsoft Forms  Socrative Quizlet

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


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 Roberto OneDrive (@onedrive) | Twitter Dropbox iCloud User Guide - Apple Support
Google Drive One Drive DropBox iCloud


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 Zoom Skype Logo PNG Transparent & SVG Vector - Freebie Supply Microsoft Teams – Lucidity Google Meet
Zoom Skype Microsoft Teams Google Meet

A Guide to: WebRTC Media Servers & Open Source Options Cisco Webex Meetings | Slack App Directory
Jitsi WebEx


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 Center Youtube Logo Icon of Flat style - Available in SVG, PNG, EPS, AI ...
Google Teacher Center YouTube


Appointment Scheduling

These tools are more than calendars; they help students, caregivers, and colleagues schedule times to meet. Calendly App Integration - Pipeliner CRM Doodle Review | PCMag
Google Calendar Appointments Microsoft Bookings Calendly Doodle


Content for Many Disciplines

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

Newsela (@Newsela) | Twitter Expeditions on the App Store New Sims - PhET Simulations
Newsela Google Expeditions Google Arts & Culture PHET 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 | EdSurge Sign Up for Artsonia! | Cactus Ranch Elementary School Extending Chrome with the Kami Extension
Desmos Artsonia Kami Siftr
Math/science graphing calculator Student art portfolios Digital pen and paper to annotate PDFs and more A citizen science app for project creation and data collection

edutopia (@edutopia) | Twitter
Edutopia Grammarly
Links to apps for students with special needs Online 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 Voice Padlet (support) Ed Tech Tools - Saskatchewan School Library Association Slack on the App Store
Flipgrid Padlet Thinglink Slack

PlayPosit (@playposit) | Twitter Pear Deck for Google Slides — Pear Deck Buncee (@Buncee) | Twitter Seesaw
PlayPosit Pear Deck Buncee seesaw


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 Free Piktochart | Crunchbase 3061c6f84ee84483edcbf501147dad3e – Town of Ballston Community Library
Canva Piktochart Smore


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 | Home Drawing file office, Picture #1030943 drawing file office
Lucidchart Google 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. Use Google Groups to Communicate and Share Content With Your Class ... Remind - Triplebyte TalkingPoints - Clever application gallery | Clever
Bloomz Google Groups Remind Talking Points

Voice ClassTag: Class Communication en App Store
Google Voice ClassTag


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. Google classroom Icon of Flat style - Available in SVG, PNG, EPS ... Nearpod (@nearpod) | Twitter
Edmodo Google Classroom Nearpod


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 School Kickboard | Product Reviews | EdSurge
ClassDojo Kickboard


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 | Clever Google, language, text, translate, translation icon Microsoft Translator (@mstranslator) | Twitter iTranslate Translator on the App Store
Talking Points Google Translate Microsoft Translator iTranslate


Extensions & Plug-Ins for Chrome

These tools extend the capabilities of the Google Chrome Browser.

Screencastify | LinkedIn InsertLearning | Product Reviews | EdSurge Diigo: A Tool for All Classrooms review - App Ed Review
ChromeVox Screencastify Insert learning Diigo
Screen reader Screen recording Add instructional content into any website Save, tag, and annotate online and PDFs

Read Aloud OpenDyslexicFont Application Launcher for Drive
Screen reader Font to increase website readability for those with dyslexia Open 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 Deck Resources
Pear Deck Doctopus Goobric flippity
Add interactivity in real-time to G-Suite apps Tool for scaffolding, managing, organizing, and assessing student projects in Google Drive A rubric-based assessment tool Convert 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 Design Yale University - Narrative 4 Loom: Screen Recordings & More on the App Store
Common Sense Education Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence loom
Capture screen, voice, and face in video