10 for Teachers – More tools to try in 2010

(Last Updated On: March 5, 2014)

You liked the 10 new tools in the last issue so much, by popular demand, here are some others you could try.

If you’re looking for a way to create and store simple tests online (fill-in-the-blank and multiple choice, that sort of thing)Practicowl could be the answer. It seems fairly easy to use. You need to register – but don’t forget to mark down you’re a teacher otherwise it won’t let you create courses and tests. Set up course categories, and then create and share tests, which can be made public or private. Of course, once students are done, you can check out the results. Students also need to register to take part.

With just a few mouse clicks you can make impressive picture collages with Shape Collage. It can take dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of your photos. You can adjust the collage size, the number and size of photos, the spacing between them, the background, the border colour, and more. In just seconds, it will create a photo collage that you can post on your blog or website, email or print. The photos are arranged automatically and ‘intelligently’ (according to the makers) in the collage. The software also isn’t restricted to just boring rectangular collages – it can create them in a variety of shapes, from circles and hearts, to animals and even a shape of your own design.

Draw and design almost anything with Creately. It’s an online tool for creating and collaborating on all sorts of diagrams – flow charts, networks diagrams, sitemaps, organisational charts and others. It has a library of objects and easy-start templates. Design is a breeze. You can drag and drop objects, multi-select, resize, flip and more. As its makers also believe collaboration is a crucial part to the design process, they’ve built in commenting, sharing, publishing, and embedding functions, as well as the ability to publish directly to Twitter.

Avidemux is a free video editing and processing tool. The straightforward user interface is designed for convenience and speed with simple operations. Features include WYSIWYG cutting, appending, filters, and re-encoding into various formats. It supports many file types, including AVI, DVD-compatible MPEG files, MP4 and ASF, using a variety of codecs. Tasks can be automated using projects, job queue and scripting capabilities. It also offers in-built subtitles. The software is open source and available for Linux, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows under the GNU GPL licence. A similar program is the Windows-onlyVirtualDub (

2draw offers some seriously cool online drawing tools. The goal of the site to create an artistic community – so there are galleries and forums, etc., to facilitate this. But you can just use it to for artistic purposes. You need to register. Then simply choose your level and select from one of four different drawing tools (or applets as the site calls them). Each provides a fully-featured art program, with all the drawing tools you’d expect from any self-respecting art package – brushes, shapes, colours, layers, and so on.

EtherPad is a Web-based word processor that allows people to work together in “really real-time!”, their words not ours. All you have to do is click ‘create’ and provide the URL of your ‘pad’ to everyone you want to use it. You can then all work on the same document simultaneously. And it’s super fast. The site claims to update every copy of the document every half second, so edits will hardly ever clash with other users. Edits are also colour coded, so you know who made them. It looks like a useful collaboration tool for meeting notes, drafting sessions, team programming, and the like.

From the makers of Nota, Photo Peach is an online slideshow creator that’s very easy to use. First choose and upload your photos (from the Web or your own computer). Arrange the order the photos will appear in by dragging and dropping, and when you’re satisfied, click ‘Next’. Now, enter the title of the slideshow and add comments, soundeffect smilies, and music. Click ‘Finish’ and your slideshow is ready. Simple as that. Once done, download or embed the file into your blog or website.

With Rrripple you can not only organise information – such photos, videos, documents, messages, notes, and links – but also share with selected people or a group you’ve created. Details you want saved are recorded on a timeline, with each vertical column (aka album) representing a day. You can flick through albums and zoom in on the type of media you’d like to look at from that day. The sharing is done from the edge of the screen. Simply drag and drop the information from the column onto the icon of the relevant individual or group, possibly a colleague or a class/activity group. The site could be somewhere to upload information on an assignment, course or event, or brainstorm ideas, or simply collect information for future use.

Need an award certificate? Certificate Street (formerly MyAwardMaker) is a great site for finding a wide range of certificate templates for a variety of awards, events and activities – from school to sports to special occasions. There’s quite a selection and even a new newsletter category. There’s no registration required. Just select the template you like, download and save. You’ll need Adobe Reader 8.0 to read and fill it in – just click the ‘Name’ field to begin. Alternatively, if your handwriting’s up to the task, you can print and write in the details yourself.

Posterous has to be one of the easiest ways possible to create a website. If you can send an email, you can use it to share thoughts and information with students, friends, family and the world. The site will accept pretty much any file you choose – photos, audio files and links, documents and video (both links and files) – and post it along with the text of your message. Any attachments you send are converted into what the site believes is the most Web-friendly format. Simply It’ll post it and send the URL of your very own webpage. If this doesn’t work for you, Moomeo( is a site that does a similar thing.

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Categories: Article, Issue 21

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