Center for Teaching Excellence and Learning (C-TEL)

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Instructor using a computer


There are numerous technological tools that faculty can use to enhance student learning both inside and outside the classroom.  When integrated effectively classroom technologies can strengthen learning activities, engage students, and provide students with an opportunity to communicate, collaborate, and create knowledge.  This page provides an introduction to some of the most common technologies used in classrooms today.

Digital Copyright & Fair Use

The Educator's Guide to Copyright, Fair Use, and Creative Commons

Lately, we’ve been hearing more and more about digital copyrights and fair use in the news and online – particularly with the whole SOPA/PIPA uproar that recently swept the web. Also, we on the Edublogs support team have been getting more and more complaints and official requests to remove copyrighted content that users have placed on blogs. The legal jargon with respect to digital copyrights can be confusing – especially since different countries have their own laws and regulations. With this post, we hope to dispel a few myths and pull together a complete list of resources for teachers and students to use when blogging and working with content online.

Fair Use in Education and Research - Columbia University

Fair use is very important for educators. But do you know how much is too much? This website helps clarify what fair use is and how you can avoid infringing on copyright.

What You Don't Know About Copyright, but Should

If Nancy Sims had to pick one word to describe how researchers, students, and librarians feel about copyright, it would probably be "confused." A lawyer and a librarian, Ms. Sims is copyright-program librarian at the University of Minnesota Libraries. She's there to help people on campus and beyond—both users and owners of protected material—understand their rights.

Other Resources

Accessibility & Technology


CAST: Center for Applied Special Technology

CAST is an educational research & development organization that works to expand learning opportunities for all individuals through Universal Design for Learning.

Introduction to Web Accessibility

Most people today can hardly conceive of life without the internet. Some have argued that no other single invention has been more revolutionary since Gutenberg's printing press in the 1400s. Now, at the click of a mouse, the world can be "at your fingertips"—that is, if you can use a mouse... and see the screen... and hear the audio—in other words, if you don't have a disability of any kind.


Screencasting to Engage Learning (M. Ruffini, 2012, Educause Review)
This brief discussion of screencasting provides an explanation of what screencasts are and describes the benefits of using screencasts.  Using, GoogleDocs, instructors can assess student learning within screencasts by embedding questions into the presentation.  Ruffini also provides a list of software commonly used to produce screencasts and associated tools.

Screencasting 101: The Definitive Guide! (C. Bohn, 2009, ProfHacker)

This blog post from 2009 provides a broad overview and describes the step-by-step process of creating a screencast.  A bit dated, but still pertinent, this post will be of most use to Mac users. 

Getting Started with Screencasting

There are several different screencast platforms available on the web, here are just a few:

Blogging in the Classroom

The Use of Weblogs in Higher Education: Benefits and Barriers

Weblogs are personal web pages written in chronological order and maintained through a specific software that helps their administration. From an educational point of view, weblogs are the development of traditional learning logs for students and teachers, whether as a complement to traditional lectures or as a e-learning tool. The importance of these applications has increased due to the changes in the classroom dynamics...

Getting Started with a Blog

There are several different blogging platforms available on the web, here are just a few:



There's Something in the Air: Podcasting in Education

It’s midweek at Anywhere State University. Jenny rolls out of bed at about nine a.m., as usual, and thinks about breakfast and her first class. As she’s dressing and getting ready to go out, she fires up iTunes on her laptop and checks her podcast subscriptions. There’s a new show from Adam Curry at Daily Source Code, another one from Cody at Vinyl Podcast (“fair use of forgotten music”), and three audio feeds from her classes...
Teacher's Guide on the Use of Podcasting in Education
Get the low-down on what podcasting is, educational uses, how to create them, and what tools might help you on your journey.

Getting Started with Podcasting

There are several different podcast platforms available on the web, here are just a few:

Student Response Systems (Clickers)

Clickers in the Classroom: An Active Learning Approach

Current research describes the benefits of active learning approaches. Clickers, or student response systems, are a technology used to promote active learning. Most research on the benefits of using clickers in the classroom has shown that students become engaged and enjoy using them. However, research on learning outcomes has only compared the use of clickers to traditional lecture methods. Although learning outcomes are higher when using clickers, the question is whether the clickers or the active learning pedagogies are the cause.

The Effect of Clickers on Student Learning

The use of “clickers” or student handheld response devices in college classrooms is on the rise. The study reported here examined student attitudes toward the use of these devices as well as student learning among students (N = 942). Data reveal that students like these devices and those students in the experimental condition (those using clickers) outperformed students in the control condition (those not using clickers) on exams by six percentage points.

Getting Started with Clickers

Video Conferencing

Video conferencing is the connection of two or more groups of people through computer software providing both video and audio communication. While typically thought of as something you would do during a business meeting, video conferencing is finding its way into education as a way to connect to students who would otherwise not be able to physically be in a classroom.

From Board to Classroom

Students at Yale University enrolled in elementary Bengali meet four days a week in a campus classroom, just like they would for any other course, but there is one big difference: their instructor is almost 300 miles away, in Ithaca, N.Y.

Role of Video Conferencing in Education

If you have taken an elearning course, chances are that at some point there was a video component. For quite some time now, elearning developers have been utilizing video delivery as a method to present information. If the videos are delivered properly, the use of video to supplement content is an effective tool.

Washburn Suggested Platforms


Getting Started with Zoom


Adobe Connect

Getting Started with Adobe Connect

What Technologies are Available at Washburn?


See a full list of the equipment available for check out from the Technology Support Center (Bennet Computer Center room 104)

Types of equipment available from the Technology Support Center include:

  • Video Cameras
  • Web Cams
  • Digital Cameras
  • Student Response Systems (Clickers)

Online Apps and Tools

After each app name it will be indicated as "Free" or "Paid". Free means there are free options available. Paid means there are no free options available.

Facilitating Interaction

VoiceThread (Paid)

  • Description: Group conversations (using voice, text, audio file, or video) are collected and shared in one place from anywhere in the world.
  • Educational Use: Encourages active exploration of course concepts in a manner that promotes multimodal encoding; promotes active engagement with course concepts.
  • Effort: Low

Edmodo (Free)

  • Description: A private social platform for teachers and students to share ideas, files, events and assignments.
  • Educational Use: Limited social networking tool that allows the easy sharing and exchange of ideas without interference from marketing banners or promotional media.
  • Effort: Low

Scribd (Free)

  • Description:  It is the largest social publishing company in the world, the Website. On Scribd, you can quickly and easily turn nearly any file—including PDF, Word, PowerPoint and Excel— into a Web document and share it with the world.
  • Educational Use: Information-sharing website that is limited to educational content; allows for the conversion of documents into HTML for ease of sharing across applications and platforms.
  • Effort: Low
Edublogs (Free)
  • Description: Edublogs lets you easily create & manage student & teacher blogs, quickly customize designs and include videos, photos & podcasts - it's safe, easy and secure
  • Educational Use: Application to create dynamic multimedia blogs to share specific course concepts or generalized information about the field.
  • Effort: Low

Multimedia Creation

Office Mix (Free)

  • Description: Narrate, annotate, and add video to your PowerPoint presentations then upload to the Mix server. Share publicly or privately.
  • Educational Use: Easy method for making PowerPoint presentations more interactive and sharing them with students.
  • Effort: Low

Stupeflix (Paid)

  • Description: Mix images, videos and soundtracks. Add titles, transitions, oohs, and ahhs. Preview your video creations instantly with Stupeflix uniquely fast rendering technology.
  • Educational Use: Tool for creating, modifying and editing multimedia pieces; good tool for students to use to create dynamic presentations or for instructors to create multimedia teaching modules.
  • Effort: Low

SlideShare (Free)

  • Description: Upload and share your PowerPoint presentations, Word documents and Adobe PDF Portfolios. Share publicly or privately. Add audio to make a webinar.
  • Educational Use: Easy method for narrating PowerPoint presentations and sharing them with students.
  • Effort: Low

Empressr (Free)

  • Description: Tell your story anyway you like. Add photos, music, video, and audio, and share it publicly or privately in an instant.
  • Educational Use: Tools for creating engaging and entertaining multimedia presentation of course material.
  • Effort: Low

Prezi (Free)

  • Description: Create zooming presentations that make you more engaging and memorable
  • Educational Use: An alternative to PowerPoint that provides a more interactive, engaging presentation of instructional material.
  • Effort: Low

Alternative Teaching Tools

Creately (Paid)

  • Description: An easy to use online diagramming application that's built for collaboration. Powerful features and an intuitive interface make it ideal for teams working together on diagrams & designs.
  • Educational Use: Provides a visual means of tracking the flow of information or concepts; an effective tool for setting up logic of literature review or experiment.
  • Effort: Low

Jing (Free)

  • Description: Quick and easy to use screen capture utility (both images and video). Requires download and install. Free accounts allow 2 GB of online storage.
  • Educational Use: Good tool for providing detailed directions of programs or applications; allows instructors to highlight the steps required to utilize programs using visual directions.
  • Effort: Low

Flashcard Machine (Free)

  • Description: A free web application that enables users to create interactive web-based study flash cards and share them with others.
  • Educational Use: A hands-on study tool to facilitate the mastery of terminology or definition-based course material.
  • Effort: Low

Diigo (Free)

  • Description: Tag and bookmark pages or archive them to make them searchable forever. Highlight and add sticky notes to pages and share all your annotations with your followers. Follow others to see what they are reading.
  • Educational Use: Allows instructors to “teach” from other websites; instructional information can be annotated and attached to highlight the most valuable and relevant aspects of a webpage.
  • Effort: Low

Screenpresso (Free)

  • Description: Quick and easy to use screen capture utility. Requires download but install is optional and does not require administrator privileges.
  • Educational Use: Good tool for providing detailed directions of programs or applications; allows instructors to highlight the steps required to utilize programs using visual directions.
  • Effort: Low

Collaboration and Information Sharing

OneDrive (Free)

  • Description: Create or upload documents, spreadsheets and presentations and store them online. Share items with others and collaborate in real-time.
  • Educational Use: Tool to promote online collaboration and efficient sharing of information.
  • Effort: Medium

Weebly (Free)

  • Description: Easily create a classroom website & blog, manage your students' accounts, and accept homework assignments online
  • Educational Use: Application to create educational websites, blogs or assignment submission areas; great for having students create informational websites about a specific course concept.
  • Effort: Low

SlateBox (Free)

  • Description: Markup ideas on embeddable "slates" and collaborate in real-time. You can build a slate in less than 1 minute and embed it on your own blog or website in a snap.
  • Educational Use: Encourages active exploration of course concepts in a manner that promotes multimodal encoding; promotes active engagement with course concepts.
  • Effort: Low

WebNotes (Free)

  • Description: Highlight and add sticky notes to web pages. Organize pages using tags and folders. Share your notes and bookmarks with others.
  • Educational Use: Allows instructors to “teach” from other websites; instructional information can be annotated and attached to highlight the most valuable and relevant aspects of a webpage.
  • Effort: Low

Redbooth (Free)

  • Description: A place for your team in Twitter-like project collaboration tool. Share tasks, messages, files. Get notified by email. Real group collaboration for your projects!
  • Educational Use: Tool to promote online collaboration for group projects or other synchronous activity; effective for establishing personalized presence in online classroom.
  • Effort: Medium