Our top 12 list of tools and apps for classroom use

Some time ago, BCcampus as part our Friday Diversion blog post series shared our 9 free and best platform alternatives to YouTube. Our alternatives to YouTube blog post continues to be one of our most viewed and highly rated online articles.


Today, we’re bringing you our top 12 list of cool tools and apps for classroom use. We’re curious to know which ones you use or would recommend to others. Let us know in the comment section.

Here are 12 tools and apps that caught our eye:

  1. DiigoA great bookmarking and information workflow tool. You can create a private or public group for your institution, class or workshop.  If you have any need for team-based research Diigo groups are ideal. A Diigo group can be public, private or semi-private.
  2. – is an easy way to add video or audio to your document or presentation.  Take your document, it can be a PowerPoint file, a PDF, a Google Docs file or a Prezi and upload them into Click ‘Record’ and off you go. You have the option of embedding your presentation and making it password protected.
  3. – Livebinders replaces your physical three-ring binders. It also opens up new opportunities for collaborating, organizing, and sharing. Livebinders allow you to integrate your web 2.0 content – everything from surveys, Google forms, spreadsheets to presentations into one contextual package.
  4. Tiki-Toki – This app lets you create a fully functional and interactive timeline that you can share with your students and colleagues.
  5. – This messaging app has been billed as a safe way for teachers to text message students and stay in touch with parents. We see it as way to improve communication between instructors, colleagues, students and the broader community. Its application goes beyond the K-12 cohort.
  6. Padlet – We like the simplicity of Padlet. Our very own Tori Klassen has started using a wall (collaboration and information sharing) for the BC Higher Education Privacy and Security Group.
  7. – We love the simplicity of this iPad app. The app, as its name suggests, is all about brevity and allows you to make clean, concise slide shows – or decks – with a heavily streamlined feature set. Using it is simple: You enter a few keywords of text onto a slide, and the app searches a database of over 35 million Creative Commons images that suit your subject.
  8.– This online tool allow you to create beautiful infographics without any photo editing skills. Infogram has a smart web interface that includes different options for displaying information. Did we mention there’s a free option?
  9. Tagxedo  – Turn your words, news articles, social media and speeches into a visually stunning word cloud, words individually sized appropriately to highlight the frequencies of occurrence within the body of text. If you’d like more ideas on how to incorporate word clouds into your teaching, the website includes a comprehensive Google Doc called: 101 Ways to Use Tagxedo that’s been viewed more than 940,000 times.
  10. Tripline – Make your Google Maps come to life with music and images. Tripline is currently in beta. And there are tons of API’s available including Instagram and Flickr.
  11. Poll everywhere – We’ve had great success using Poll Everywhere during our presentations, workshops, and lunch and learns. It’s easy to set up and use. And, it’s social media friendly.
  12. Mozilla Backpack and Open Badges – At BCcampus, we’re exploring how to use open badges for our collaborative projects.  According to Mozilla “Learning today happens everywhere. Open Badges makes is possible to recognize and showcase your skills and literacies across the Web.”

The video below provides a great high-level explanation of badges. Dr. Bernard Bull, on Mozilla’s open badges blog, writes about the educational credentialing landscape and makes 5 predictions about the future of education and learning in 2024.

photo credit: life serial via photopin; cc;