Welcome to the CELT toolbox. Here you can find suggested tools for you to use as the instructor or for you to suggest to your students.
With courses being taught in multiple modalities to a variety of audiences, it's important to use the right tools to simplify your workflow and engage your students. For more information about the tools or for help choosing the right tool, contact your instructional designer.
To see how some of these tools work, visit CELT's Tech Tools playlist.
- Google Calendar Appointment Slots - You can use your Google calendar to create appointment slots that your students can use to make appointments during your office hours.
- Workflowy - a free web tool that lets you build and organize an ongoing to-do list. It's very satisfying to click complete and have a line appear through the items as you complete them.
- Cloud Convert - If you need to convert a file to another file type, this website can convert most documents, videos, images, presentations into a different file type to suit your needs.
Video Conferencing Tools
- Blackboard Collaborate (We won't have Collaborate much longer, so you should be looking at alternatives if you use Collaborate frequently.)
- Fully-integrated into Blackboard
- Whiteboard and annotation tools
- Breakout rooms, polls, file sharing
- Works with groups already created in Blackboard
- Machine-generated captions
- Annotate on the whiteboard or shared screens
- Breakout rooms, polls, file sharing in chat
- Can integrate with Blackboard
Video Creation Tools
- Zoom - Not only can you record a meeting in Zoom, you can start a meeting with yourself as the only attendee and record it. You can record your webcam, audio, your screen or all of the above. You can also use the annotation tools as part of your presentation. Zoom will also auto-generate captions that you can correct and use to caption your videos.
- Collaborate Ultra - Similarly to Zoom, you can start a meeting in Collaborate Ultra and record a presentation with annotation tools.
- VoiceThread - VoiceThread is not a way of making traditional videos, but it still belongs on this list. It creates a series of videos or audio recordings that function as "slides". Each slide can be deleted or re-recorded as needed which means you can update materials without redoing the entire project. The biggest bonus is that VoiceThread projects are interactive.
- Screencast-o-Matic - This is a versatile tool that allows you to record audio, webcam, and any part of your screen you wish to record. The unpaid version limits you to 15 minutes per video and has a watermark at the bottom of the screen, but it's still an excellent tool.
- Apowersoft online screen recorder - This a very simple tools without many bells and whistles that's good for a quick screen grab or for quickly creating a GIF. It's not fancy, but it's easy to use.
Video Editing Tools
- Screencast-o-Matic free video editor - This is a separate program from the screen recorder by the same name but belongs to the same company. It is an online service with many free features. You can upload any video no matter what software you used to create it. This tool is a standout because of its annotation tools and its ability to record narration over your video. If you pay for Screencast-o-Matic, you already have these tools available as part of your subscription.
- Microsoft Video Editor - Most computers with Windows 10 also have an installed app called "Video Editor". This app is extremely user-friendly and can do just about any basic editing you might want to do.
- iMovie - This app can be used on your Mac (depending on how current your IOS is) or your iPhone/iPad. It's a good alternative to Microsoft Video Editor if you use a Mac instead of Windows. It can do any basic editing that you need done. You can even use it with a green screen.
Social Annotation Tools
- Hypothes.is – annotate web pages and online PDFs or EPUBs. Install a chrome extension to use.
- Perusall – annotate any PDF or EPUB that is original to you or to which you have the rights through your textbook or an open resource. Perusall also integrates with Blackboard. When you grade in Perusall, it uploads to grade center in Blackboard once you link your course to Perusall. You can have students buy their textbooks through Perusall (if available) and then they can annotate their textbook. Use through the website platform.
Student Collaboration Tools
- Google Tools
- Docs, Slides, Sheets, Sites, Jamboard
- free website where students can create portfolios, collect research, curate media collections, brainstorm, organize, create a visual project, etc. Work collaboratively or alone
- a free product that integrates well with Google drive and functions similarly to Google products. Students can use it collaboratively or alone to create graphic represenations of ideas. May not work for students who use assistive technology so use this as an option for collaboration rather than a required tool.
- Blackboard Tools
- Blackboard Tests
- ePortfolio or Google Sites for portfolio building
- VoiceThread or Screencast-o-Matic for video presentations and demonstrations
- Visme or Canva for infographics
- Google Forms
- Polling Tools
- Slido - works with Google slides or with PowerPoint. Very convenient for students to join by QR code. The free version allows 3 questions per slideshow.
- Poll Everywhere – free unlimited questions and a large variety of very cool question types. Not as convenient for students to join.
- Tricider – (free) this is a polling tool but the questions are open-ended. Answers can be upvoted (optional).
- Peer studio for peer editing
- Gimp - free, open resource; a good replacement for Adobe photoshop
- Pixlr - free online photo editor; premium version available for serious editors
- Canva - the free verion has templates for posters, images, flyers, newsletters. The PDF exports are not accessible, so don't use in your course for informational purposes
- Greenshot - a free, open source software for taking screen shots. This tool is so good I can't believe it's free. If you use screenshots, you need this tool.
- Photos and graphics for presentations - a list of links to image repositories
- Giphy – a quick way to create and edit video clips and make them into GIFs
- Apowersoft screen recorder – record short video clips and save them in GIF format. No editing functions.
- Cloud Convert – Convert video into GIF format. Limited editing functions.
- CELT video on making GIFs
- Clips – this is an iPhone app that can be used to film and edit short videos.
- Animoto – Make short videos from photos and clips. There is a free plan with unlimited videos but the videos have a large watermark in the corner.
- Anchor.fm – a recording platform with editing and publication capabilities.
A little bit of everything
- Adobe Creative Cloud Express – this used to be Adobe Spark. It doesn’t have as many options and it isn’t quite as user friendly as the options above. But, you can make a lot of types of projects. The free plan gives you 2 GB of storage. The free version used to come with a watermark but no longer does!