Free Tools for Teaching & Learning

Recording Tools

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.

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


Video Storage and Sharing

Kaltura [available within Blackboard] Kaltura is a media (video, audio, images) hosting and creation application that is integrated into Blackboard. Kaltura allows instructors and students to easily create and share media within a Blackboard course as well as providing tools to record from webcam, record audio, capture presentations, record one’s computer screen, and create video quizzes. Additionally, Kaltura has basic editing capabilities, so instructors can update video descriptions, create video clips, and more.

2 GB of free storage for videos created with 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.


File Sharing

OneDrive [available by clicking the “tiles” icon at upper-left of] 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.


Group Tools

Create dynamic presentations that all group members can edit simultaneously.

A fast and easy way organize anything – from your day-to-day work to collaborating on a group project.


Meeting Tools

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra [available within Blackboard] 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.

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

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.