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Toolbox

We’ve tested many educational technology tools that teachers and students might not know are available to them. These are the tools we use routinely.

As much as possible, we use free/open source (F/OS) software. F/OS software is updated less frequently and generally does not have disruptive file format changes, making it easier to design routine workflows. F/OS software also makes it easier to bring in students to work on projects. Open-source tools also tend to have fewer add-ons gimmicks than commercial software. Even so, there are some commercial packages we think have features which make them worth their cost.

The lists group tools by types.

  • Most tools are cross-platform; those only available for Windows (W) or Mac OSX (M) are tagged as such.
  • Items marked with an asterisk ( * ) require a web server or hosting environment.
  • Overviews” and “Applications” link to blog entries or essays describing tools in more depth.

Programming, Coding Tools

Type or CategoryUsesApplications
Integrated Development Environments (IDE)Learning a program language; managing text & project files; software devel.Eclipse
(Java, Javascript)
Aptana
Brackets
(HTML, CSS)
Plain text editors
(Overview)
Editing data sets, code files, source code for web pages.
ATOM
Bluefish
Notepad++ (W)

Commercial:
BBEdit (M)
Content management systems *Interface to deliver content, resources to end users. Tiki CMS
Wordpress
Omeka
Canvas CE

Commercial:
Bitnami
Schematic drawing programsDraw structured diagrams, logic models, wireframes of projects, organization charts Pencil Project

Commercial:
Omni Graffle (M)
Project mapping
(Overview)
Organize, link concepts, assets for projects
Freeplane
VUE
Cmap Tools

Content Editing Tools

Type or CategoryUsesApplications with Links
Audio editorsEditing audio tracks for videos; record audio feedback.Audacity
Video editorsStudent videos for flipped classes; instructor training videos; analyze class observations.OpenShot

Commercial:
Camtasia 3
Raster image editorsColor correction, cropping, manipulation of photos.ImageJ
GIMP

Commercial:
Adobe Photoshop
Vector image editorsCreate illustrations, artwork that can be resized without losing resolution.Inkscape
SVG-Edit

Commercial:
Adobe Illustrator

Data Extraction, Collection, Management

Type or CategoryUsesApplications
Survey platformsConducting polls, surveys of research participants; pre/post knowledge testingLimeSurvey*

Commercial:
Survey Monkey
Qualtrics (enterprise)
Qualitative coding toolsMarking audio, video, text with codes from standard codebook for qualitative researchTAMS Analyzer (M)
QDA Miner Lite (W)

Commercial:
MaxQDA
Text analysis toolsExtracting, evaluating patterns from coded texts GATE*
Python
R (via R Studio; see Statistics)
DatabasesData storage and organization Open Office Base
MySQL*

Statistics, Data Analysis, Visualization

Type or CategoryUsesApplications with Links
Basic statisticsRapid "point and click" analysis of smaller datasetsSofaStats
H’book of Statistics (MacDonald)

Commercial:
GraphPad Prism
Advanced statisticsAnalytics, text analysis, multiple regressions, congruence analysesSAS University Edition
R Project
R Studio
ProgrammingWorkflow scriptingPython
Wing (Python IDE)

Final Presentation, Publishing

Type or CategoryApplications
Word processing
(Overview)
Open Office Writer

Commercial:
MS Word
Adobe InDesign
Graphs and tablesOpen Office Suite (Calc, Impress, Draw, Math)

Commercial:
MS Excel, Powerpoint