How to Find Online Technology Tools for School

The successful use of educational technology tools in an online environment requires investigation, planning, and the use of effective learning strategies by instructors (Salazar, 2010). This is why knowing what tools are available as well as where to find them is important for a student's success in the classroom environment.


  1. 1
    Consider what functional categories your assignment falls under. It can fall under the following categories: group work and collaboration, communication tools, presentation tools, and task management tools. Once you know which classification it falls under, then you can search for online tools.
  2. 2
    Search for different tools and technologies that support work in an online course. The list below is for 10 sites that promote online technology.
    • Turnitin is site that checks for plagiarism, reduces grading time, improves feedback to students and helps improve student writing. It is free to use and easily accessible as most online colleges use this as a way to proofread assignments before receiving a final grade. The great thing about this tool is that it is private and for the student and instructor's eyes only. In addition, this "computer software scours billions of data to detect electronic plagiarism and students cutting and pasting their way through assignments" (Turner, 2009).
    • Prezi is virtual arena for presentations so people can see your ideas and understand them. It allows up to ten people to co-edit presentations. Many people in addition to students, use this platform from bestselling authors to business leaders and entrepreneurs around the globe. It is initially free, but continued use and further capabilities will incur additional fees.
    • Bubbl allows users to create mind mapping and brainstorming diagrams online. It is easy to use, organizes thoughts, generates ideas, and encourages group discussions and collaboration. This software is also free initially, only allowing the user to create three mindmaps. After that, it will cost the user to upgrade. Since this software allows for creativity, it can literally be used by any and everyone.
    • Khan Academy was created by Salmon Khan to provide "a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere" (About Khan Academy, 2014). Used by students and instructors at every level (grade school to college), it provides personalized practice exercises and instructional videos for students to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. Khan Academy aims at the following subjects: math, science, computer programming, history, art history, and economics that improves strengths and concentrates on weaknesses.
    • Voki is a free platform for students and instructors and will always be free. It allows for the use of personalized avatars. It can be used for education as well as personal gain. Some examples of use is in resumes to speak on the person's behalf. In addition, students and instructors can use this as a way to produce constructive criticism and feedback in the class. It takes the monotony out of written communication in discussion posts.
    • Quizlet is a free website for students to use to share, upload, and study material related to the course. It is used by all walks of life, including professional students (i.e., military students) through the use of flashcards, tests, and games.
    • Edmodo is a free service that allows teachers to create private groups for online classroom discussions. It works only through invitation in order to mirror a secure offline classroom. For example, students cannot send private messages to other students; however, they can post to the group or the teacher.
    • TED also known as TED (technology, entertainment, design) Talks are free video presentations on a variety of topics by speakers whose information uses concrete evidence to support their topics. Use of this tools allows students and instructors to compliment their assignment or lesson plans.
    • YouTube is a free site. YouTube provides another way to access information (through videos) that teach and clarify a plethora of subjects. Anyone can use it from young to old. It allows for originality with powerful information that can reach a mass audience. According to Barseghian (2011), "YouTube provides inspiration, more access to students, global connection, customized online videos, and online quizzes" (Five Reasons Why YouTube Rocks the Classroom).
    • StudySync uses web-based educational content, peer-to-peer student exercises for those who are in fourth to twelfth grade to promote critical thinking and writing skills. This is essential for students in order to prepare them for higher education. In addition, this is essential for those who will be attending online schools, especially when there is a geographical separation from the instructor. It will help provide feedback to allow for improvement. It is aligned with the Common Core Standards of the schooling system used in the United States. Use of this platform is only free for the first 60 days and then additional use will mean paying for use.
  3. 3
    Use each tool to increase the quality of teaching and learning and/or support student success. All of the tools listed above are accessible on any device and anytime during the day. Each tool allows for student and instructor success because they are interchangeable for each role. While some tools have restrictions, such as costs and limited use, they are still valuable methods to promote learning through the use of these online tools.
  4. 4
    Note that there are many other tools that are available for online support. The tools mentioned above are just "honorable mentions" that are very helpful for both the student and instructor. However, anyone can do an internet search for online technology and there are more sites that will be available.
    • While the suggested sites are effective, there are those that are just as effective. For example, SharePoint, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Wiki sites. Depending on the instructor and creativity of the student, the technology used will also depend on the assignment itself. In addition, online technology tools allow for the personal and professional development of both the student and instructor.


  • Additional suggestions for how students or instructors might use specific technology to make the learning content more engaging:
    • Use pictures and videos to appeal to the different learning abilities
    • Take constructive criticism and feedback from instructors and peers to enhance the information
    • Use the support and help links available on each site if not familiar with the content
    • If using the technology to promote learning, use methods (tests, quizzes, games, etc.) to grab their attention
    • Connect through social media for more information and access to information.

Sources and Citations

  • About Khan Academy. (2014). Retrieved January 25, 2015.
  • Barseghian, T. (2011, September 8). Five Reasons Why YouTube Rocks the Classroom. Retrieved January 25, 2015, from
  • Delaney, K. J. (2005, Jan 17). Technology (A special report); teaching tools: How do you communicate with students who have grown up with technology? schools are looking to technology for the answer. Wall Street Journal Retrieved from the ProQuest Database.
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Categories: Learning Techniques and Student Skills