In TLT, we are continually conducting research, starting trials, and experimenting with a variety of technology applications to find the best and most useful tools for our faculty. It makes sense that faculty and staff often ask me about apps and other tools I use in my courses, training sessions, and typical day-to-day activities. During iPad training, instructional technologists are nearly always asked some variation of “What’s the most popular app?” or “What’s your favorite app?” After technology sessions or presentations, I usually get questions from faculty expressing curiosity as to whether there are other faculty members using the tool or technology.

Through the new ranking feature in Poll Everywhere, your instructional technologists ranked nearly 30 of the most popular tools. I asked my colleagues to rank these technologies based on frequency of personal use and overall impression of the tool, while also considering the usefulness of the tool for faculty at College of Charleston. Listed below are the top 10 tools ranked by your instructional technologists in TLT. Please contact us with any questions.

 

  1. Google Drive: We use this for everything – meeting minutes, tutorials, brainstorming, group work, etc. It’s great for real-time collaboration.
  2. Poll Everywhere: This is one of the most popular tech tools on campus. We love it so much, it’s how we came up with this list.
  3. SMORE: You might be familiar with this tool if you have paid close attention to the flyers in our emails. We use it because it’s very easy to put together a great looking flyer in just a few minutes, and it tracks our views. Faculty could use it to brighten up weekly announcement emails or for introductions at the beginning of the semester.
  4. Screencasting: We use Screencast-o-matic to make quick how to videos rather than writing out tedious step-by-step instructions in emails. This program allows you to record your voice and your screen for up to 15 minutes with a free account. I use this technology frequently in my online courses.
  5. Skitch: All I have to say is Mac users, get this now! Take a screenshot, crop it, add arrows or text, and then drag the file into an email or presentation. The best part is that you can set it up to sync between all your devices.
  6. Kahoot!: We’re addicted. We love this fast and interactive quizzing game. I use it as an alternative to Jeopardy for in class review sessions.
  7. Canva: This is the best free graphics tool we have tested that offers professional-quality design options. It’s a lot of fun to experiment in Canva.
  8. EdPuzzle: Make an existing YouTube video more instructional or relevant to your class by adding in audio comments and quiz questions. You can track student views too.
  9. Haiku Deck: Make beautiful presentations in a jiffy on your iPad or computer. The image finder is fantastic and the formats are striking.
  10. Twitter: Stay up-to-date with news and interact with students and colleagues.