Engagement tools are ones that help you add "spice" to online activities (without requiring advanced technologies, bandwidth or knowledge)

Please follow the example on the "How to contribute tools" page. Add as many tools as you like!

Remember: Contribute tools you have tried. You're welcome to suggest apps but be clear about what platform or whether there is a web-based option for users. Provide examples or tips and cautions. Consider privacy issues wherever possible.

Bitmoji-logo.pngBitmoji - https://www.bitmoji.com/

a free app for iPhone, Android or through Google Chrome extension
  • free version available but only for smartphone users or Google Chrome
  • requires access to your gmail account, various other permissions on Android, i0S
  • can add different emojis to course pages, forums, emails
used by BonnieN in Sept2016 FLO

Note: Bitstrips (free comic strip maker) taken offline 2016 - https://company.bitstrips.com/bitstrips-update.html
Replaced with Bitmoji

canva_logo.pngCanva - https://about.canva.com/

a free web / iPad app - create graphics, presentations, documents
  • has extenstive list of photo effects - blur, filters,
  • Terms of use - you own your stuff - 4.1 BUT 5.0 - you grant them the rights to use it however they want, with your name, and shared to sublicensees https://about.canva.com/terms-of-use/
  • use your own images; they have icons, fonts, etc.
  • provides tutorials on how to use and sample lesson plans to use it in the classroom
  • free for educational use - students can use to share as view only or collaborate
Used by PatriciaMc in May2016 FDO - Intro


Coggle - https://coggle.it/

a free brower-based collaborative mind-mapping tool (also listed under Engagement, Mapping)
BethCB and SylviaR used to summarize last week of FLO Apr2016
  • free accounts - can share (or embed)
  • NOTE: tracking of user information may concern some users. Check terms.
  • collaborate by sending link
  • download diagrams as image or pdf (export as .mm or text)
  • 3 private diagrams (unlimited public diagrams)
  • unlimited image uploads
  • can arrange the mindmap branches
  • easiest mind-mapping program to use (IMHO - sr)
  • attractive, visually appealing, did I mention easy to use? (>1600 icons)
  • you can search the parts of your mind map - very useful
  • the blog is called "bloggle" - a little cutesy but whatever
  • only $5/month for basic membership Types of accounts

createdebatelogo.pngCreateDebate - http://www.createdebate.com/===

a free web service to setup and conduct debates - public or private
  • create 2-sided debates or popularity contests
  • add as many arguments as you like but each person gets 1 vote
  • can add videos or URLs
  • can use educator account to create private debates
Note: interesting feature of terms of use - all information provided by a user unless the source is quoted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Public Domain License.
Used by Seanna & Ronald, Week 5, Mini-session: Assessment, Nov2014

de-logo.pngDiscovery Education - Puzzlemaker - http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com/

a free puzzlemaker tool - creates puzzles that you can share through html or text
  • a puzzlemaker tool for parents, students, teachers from Discovery Education
  • create criss-cross, cryptograms, double puzzles, fallen phrases, hidden messages, letter tiles, mazes, math puzzles, number blocks and
    word search
  • used by SusanneG in RRU FLO May2016

Instagram - http://instagram.com


Reply to others. Great way to stay in touchpost a picture, video or a comment.
  • Instagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking service that enables its users to take pictures and videos, and share them on a variety of social networking platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr
  • Suggested by Sue N

Marginalia Annotation (used in the FLO/FDO Moodle platform) http://webmarginalia.net/

Marginalia is an open source Javascript web annotation system that allows users of Moodle or other web applications to highlight text and write margin notes.
Note: It's been experiencing some challenging problems during Sept and Nov FLO workshop. Check with SylviaC before using.

Meograph_logo.jpgSylviaR: Sadly Meograph morphed into Trio (sometime in 2015) - an Apple app that is annoying and not as useful (IMHO) Plus they "lost" my creations. Too bad

mindmeister.pngMindmeister - https://www.mindmeister.com

web-based, collaborative mind mapping tool
  • web-based - no download of software required
  • free, education and business account options - free account limited to 3 mind mapswith real-time collaboration
    (don't see a limit - needs to be tested)
  • features include the ability to vote or comment (need to test if available in free account)
  • Check terms and conditions - Mindmeister has total freedom to use your maps for whatever purpose - Check section 13. Right to contents - https://www.mindmeister.com/legal
  • used by VioletP in May RRU FLO

My Simple Show - https://www.mysimpleshow.com/

free, web-based storytelling tool (make "explainer" videos)
  • free to use but must accept their branding
  • they retain worldwide rights to anything you create - see terms and conditions -https://www.mysimpleshow.com/terms-conditions/
  • there doesn't seem to be a limit on how many "stories" you can create
  • your video projects can be edited, you can add a voice-over, and add illustrations
  • projects download as mp4 files
  • you have to use their storyline formats, type a script first, their "Explainer" mixes up the illustrations
  • used by PatriciaM in FLO-Design Pilot 2017

260_piktochart.pngPiktochart (now Magic Piktochart) - https://magic.piktochart.com/

"Magic Piktochart" allows users to create infographics from templates; allows the inclusion of multiple interactive elements—embedded video, and multiple clickable items. Used by AndreaK in Sept2015 FLO-Section B (example shared on FLO-FDO Multimedia Artifacts page
  • a Malaysian start-up company
  • infographic can be embedded or published to a web site
  • free option available with some limitations - can only publish your infographic publicly with their watermark
  • non-commercial use only
  • you retain your copyright of any materials uploaded to be used in an infographic

pinterest.jpgPinterest - https://www.pinterest.com/

a popular social media bulletin board service - users create collections of artifacts, videos, pages they find on the Internet and categorize them - tool used in Wk3 mini-session - ISWo Sept 2014
used by BethCG for Intro in Apr FLO and May RRU FLO
  • free account - create public or private boards - collect ideas from mobile device or desktop
  • collect interesting images or ideas or products - be careful of copyright issues - Pinterest is not liable for any copyright infringement and will bill you for legal troubles if they ensue - http://www.edudemic.com/pinterest-delete/
  • very popular - primarily female users - used by some educators (http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2014/nov/05/remix-traditional-classroom-activities-teaching-tips)
  • for non-members, a public board is partially blocked by an annoying moving wall - Beth ended up recording a video to explain what people were missing so they wouldn't have to sign up for Pinterest to see her Intro; didn't seem to be an issue for FLO RRU - people enjoyed signing up and experimenting with Pinterest.


Powtoon - http://www.powtoon.com/

animated presentations, with music and text (cartoony)-first suggested by TracyKR
  • Free, not time limited, 5 min vide o limit
  • Powtoon watermark / "outro" (video message "created using Powtoon")
  • No download
  • 10 tunes, 10 styles
  • Pay for additional features, quality
  • Example embedded in ISWo - Mini-sessions: How to Rock it
SueN example - ISWo Nov2014 - 05 Facts about adult learning http://www.powtoon.com/show/gszFuOhmneK/05-facts-about-adult-learning/#/

Puzzle-Maker - http://www.puzzle-maker.com/

create free, online word search or crossword puzzles (by Variety Games, Inc)
  • Free for any use, even commercial - just provide attribution - "Puzzle made at puzzle-maker.com"
  • They use your words and clues to build a database for use by other teachers; they may use your example if they think it's particularly well done.
  • If you want to be anonymous, you can create a puzzle and print it (or save it as a pdf). You can also sign up and you'll be asked to provide an email address.
Used by SylviaR in a final FLO Collaborate session - to create a word search to engage participants in reviewing ideas they included in their final reflective activities.


Slidely - http://slide.ly/

a visual storytelling tool, creates videos, image slides
used by RossM in FLO-Design 2017 for Intro
  • free to use, social sharing platform
  • Slidely retains rights to anything you post
  • create a slideshow, a gallery, a collage
  • mobile friendly

Storify - https://storify.com/
a storytelling tool - harvest social media to capture the story around your topic or theme - gleans from social media posts
  • free to sign up for individual - only wants email address and password - can sign up with Facebook or Twitter accounts
  • harvests popular social media sights - also allows you to add what you find with a bookmarklet
  • drag and drop page design - `your story is always editable`- no coding knowledge required
  • an easy way to become a web curator
Samples from ISWo Sept 2014
Adobe Max Conference - by MichelleJ - https://storify.com/MichelleJohnson/adobe-ipad-apps
Trends in Online Learning - https://storify.com/frankfucile/latest-trends-in-online-learning
Adult Online Learning - by JocelynH - https://storify.com/jhallman/adult-learning-online

StoryboardThat_logo.pngStoryboardThat - https://www.storyboardthat.com/

online storyboard creator that helps visually communicate ideas and concepts to quickly tell a story.
  • free account for educators
    • limits you to 2 storyboards per week, only 3 and 6 cells
    • publishes with watermark
    • exports to PowerPoint or saves high res images
SylviaC used to create brief intro for FDO - used by various participants in May2016 FDO

Sway.jpgSway (Office Sway) - https://sway.com

a Microsoft Office digital storytelling app to create and share interactive reports, presentations, personal stories and more.
  • web-based - free - just need an free Microsoft account
  • shareable through social media - lots of features
SylviaC used for an intro artifact - see FLO-FDO samples
SylviaR used for LBLF activity in Apr2016 FLO

Tagxedo.jpgTagxedo - http://www.tagxedo.com/

a free word cloud service with styles
  • customize font, theme, color, orientation, and shape
  • save as images for printing and sharing
  • constrain the word cloud to selected shapes (heart, star, animals, etc)
  • use images as custom shapes
  • requires installation of Microsoft Silverlight - apparently Chrome browser is an issue?
Used in Apr2016 FLO (StephanieB used it as a summary tool 4 Week 3 Responsive Facilitation activity)

Text2mindmap - https://www.text2mindmap.com/text2mindmap.png

a Web2.0 service (since 2008) that allows you to create mindmaps to visually depict a topic or organize ideas.
  • web-based (no app or desktop version available as of Dec 2015)
  • supports different colours / fonts and keyboard commands
  • free account - to save and store set up account starting at $5/month for up to 12 mind maps
  • no collaboration function
BethCB used to illustrate a summary of week 1 FLO Sept2015

tricider-logo.jpgTricider - http://www.tricider.com/home

a social voting tool for teams, blogs, education, crowdsourcing
  • a German start-up that seems to have many features for free
  • you can use it without signing up; if you provide email you can subscribe to your board
  • detailed list of features "free of cost and without registration"and "with registration (still free)"
  • Very user-friendly - allows you to post an idea, defend the idea (list pros and cons) and then allows voting to see which ideas "rise to the top"
suggested by CheriM and used by Week 4 Team in FLO Sept2016


Voki - http://www.voki.com/

a Web2.0 service that allows you to create speaking avatars to use as "learning tools"
Suggested by SylviaR

  • free accounts - can store Vokis once account is created
  • embeddable in course pages or web pages
  • different scenes and characters available with free acct (can buy more)
  • up to 60 second audio recording

Note: only some mature adults seem to respond to avatars; mixed response from younger learners (18-24) Use to communicate brief messages in an unusual way - catch student interest

Voicethread - https://voicethread.com/

a Web2.0 service that allows you to upload and share various kinds of media AND enables viewers to view and comment using text, audio and a drawing tool
  • web-based tool - only requirement is up-to-date version of Flash
  • Free account is constrained - you can post up to 5 Voicethread presentations BUT you can't delete them to replace them with new ones. You can only sign up for a paid account at $99/year
  • And they make it hard to find - "Keep in mind that you will not be able to share VoiceThreads securely or delete VoiceThreads to make room for new ones with the Free account"


Wordle - http://www.wordle.net/create

contributed by various participants in ISWos
  • a Java applet toy created by Jonathan Feinberg
  • paste in a collection of words or enter the RSS (or Atom) feed of a web page and the site creates word clouds
  • the more times a word appears in the collection, the larger it will be in the word cloud
  • site provides options to vary colour scheme or font
  • can't be saved (Java applet) by can use screen capture or print
SueN created a Wordle to summarize Week 2 mini-session - her example is in the Summary page on the Week 2 wiki (can't be linked here as it is behind a password on the ISWo Nov 2014 course site.
MaryW used Wordle to summarize/analyze Week 1 journal entries (in Week 3 Choose Your Tools mini-session) Nov 2015 FLO.

VideoScribe - http://www.videoscribe.co/

Contributed by May2017 FDO participants, demonstrated by Lauren Godfrey-Smith
Create whiteboard-style animation videos with no design or technical know-how.
  • Easy and intuitive to use
  • Make a lively presentation to music!
  • Free trial available
  • With paid subscription you can cancel then resume later and your work won't be lost