Free Tools for Teaching & Learning

Recording Tools

Open source software for recording and editing sounds. Audacity is a multilingual audio editor.

Create screenshots or narrated screencasts of desktop actions, such as how to perform tasks on a computer. Beware to avoid lookalike download links in right column, which are ads. No download or install required. Videos can be up to 15 minutes in length.

Create screenshots or narrated screencasts of desktop actions, such as how to perform tasks on a computer. Requires download and install. Videos can be up to five minutes in length. Free account produces .swf (Flash) format not viewable on most mobile devices. 2GB of online storage is available at no cost with a free Screencast account.

Entirely web-based screen recorder to quickly capture up to five minutes of screen activity. Click once, frame an area of your screen; choose microphone, record. Post to the Screenr webpage, or get embed code and link to paste into course. Plays anywhere.


Video Storage and Sharing

2 GB of free storage for videos created with TechSmith Jing, Snagit or Camtasia. One-click transfer, four privacy options, and available embed code or URL to place in your course.

5 GB of free storage (500 MB/week). All videos are public with free accounts, but can be placed in a private group so that only those with the link can find them. Can create one group, one channel, three albums. No ads are placed before, on, or after videos – just on the Vimeo site. Follow Vimeo’s compression guidelines (best upload is mp4).

Requires a Gmail account to upload. 15-minute default, but can increase. Videos can be unlisted to keep them from appearing in search (only accessible with the URL). Please consider student confidentiality issues and adjust privacy settings if you are sharing content of a confidential nature (set to Private by entering the email addresses of up to 50 invited viewers). Follow simple YouTube uploading instructions and encoding guidelines.

YouTube for Schools
Check with your program director about creating a separate Gmail account that starts with CityU and includes your program name, then share that username and a generic password so other faculty can upload to the same account. Please consider student confidentiality issues and adjust privacy settings if you are sharing content of a confidential nature. One advantage to using YouTube for Schools is that there are no ads. Related videos are from other schools.


File Sharing

OneDrive is online storage that comes with CityU’s Office 365 account. OneDrive allows you to access your files from any location, without emailing them to yourself or carrying a flash drive. You can back up many different file types to OneDrive, including documents, spreadsheets, photos, music, and more. Because each CityU user has 1 terabyte of personal storage on OneDrive, you can back up a large amount of data.

Google Docs
Create and share a variety of document types online through asynchronous or synchronous collaboration. Use chat features to collaborate on documents in real-time, or combine the use of Google Docs with another tool such as Google Voice or SKYPE for conference calls.

2 GB free, safe storage for photos, documents, and videos to share anywhere with anyone you designate. Shares the actual file – no streaming.


Meeting Tools

Blackboard Collaborate
Web conferencing or webinar platform that can connect remote users desktop-to-desktop for synchronous instruction, presentation, or collaboration. Allows participants to share their desktops, webcam video, web tours, deliver files, play multimedia. Sessions can be recorded for playback.

Through CityU’s Office 365 account, Microsoft Lync allows you to connect with other CityU people via instant messaging (IM), video calls, and online meetings. Lync also displays photos and availability indicators, increasing the online presence of your colleagues.

Collect contacts of other Skype users and see who is online. Instant message, exchange files, voice chat with one or conference-call with up to 25 Skype users. Video call with one other on free account, up to ten with Skype Premium.

Chat with participants, transfer files, join the audio part of any meeting by Internet (VoIP). Download and install free app for desktop or mobile. The free account allows one presenter to hold an unlimited number of meetings with up to 250 participants per meeting. Pro accounts allow presenter swapping and control of another machine.

Video equipment is available at CityU’s Seattle, Everett, Renton, Tacoma, and Vancouver, WA sites. The equipment supports synchronous streaming between CityU sites and/or sites on Washington State’s K-20 network.


Survey Tools

Poll Everywhere
Create a poll to gather instant feedback from students via texting, the Web, or Twitter. This is a free and easy way to teach with a student reponse system. Multiple fee-based pricing models are also available.

Survey Monkey
Create online surveys, polls, and questionnaires.