banner: Linking Dots

Teaching Tools

activities assessment communication images editing multimedia browsers server software


picture of assorted tools


Blogger is a Google site where free blog sites can be set up.
WordPress is a free blogging site run by the makers of WordPress blogging software
Another site where free blogs can be set up. In addition to blogs or journals, LiveJournal is a community with some social networking features. It is owned by Six Apart.


Survey Monkey
Basic subscribers can use SurveyMonkey free for up to 10 questions and 100 responses.


Set up a free wiki or pay extra for premium services.
Scratchpad Wiki Labs
A place where anyone can create a free mini wiki
Free wiki with ads or pay extra for ad-free
Free or premium level wikis available.


Tests & Quizzes

Hot Potatoes
Hot Potatoes is a tool to create interactive multiple-choice, short-answer, jumbled-sentence, crossword, matching/ordering and gap-fill exercises for the World Wide Web. Hot Potatoes is free for use by public nonprofit educational institutions, whose pages are available on the web.


Voice over Internet

Free VoIP software enables voice communication anywhere in the world. Both parties must have Skype software installed.


The following are virtual whiteboards that allow Web based collaboration without the need for server installation.

Editing Software


GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)
This is a sophisticated photo and image manipulation program with many capabilities similar to Adobe Photoshop.®
Seashore (Mac)
Image editor based on GIMP technology built in Mac Cocoa to eliminate the need to run the program in X11. Also available as a universal binary for Intel Macs.
Sumo Paint
The free version of this uses a Flash application. Results can be stored on the Sumo server or downloaded to your computer.

Alternative Office Suite

The office suite below is a no-cost alternatives to commercial products.

OpenOffice is a multiplatform and multilingual office suite and an open-source project. Compatible with other major office suites, the product is free to download, use, and distribute. The suite includes word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and drawing components.

Multimedia Software

Photo Albums

Free web-based photo sharing site. Can create more than one album in an account and add commentary.
Free web-based photo sharing site.
Software from Google. Enables organization of photos on PC or Mac plus ability to easily share them on the Web.

PDF Documents

Adobe Acrobat Professional
Acrobat Pro now allows creation of documents that can be reviewed and marked up using the free Acrobat Reader software. It also enables much easier creation of forms that others can complete and save using Acrobat Reader. Acrobat Pro supports such things as insertion of multimedia and slide transitions. It is expensive, but the educational discount is substantial.
This is a free application that can be used to convert documents to PDF format. Although Pdf995 is offered by a commercial organization, it is a no-cost product, worthwhile for those who cannot afford Adobe Acrobat Professional—or do not need all its capabilities. It is available only for Windows operating systems.

Virtual Reality

OpenSim Grids
After following the link above, scroll down for a list of and links to the websites of public Open Simulator grids.
Second Life
Second Life (SL) is a 3-D virtual world built and owned by its residents. Basic account is free. Land ownership requires Premium membership. A number of education-focus organizations have a presence in SL.

Web Browsers

Internet Explorer (IE)

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) Web browser continues to occupy the majority market share of the browser market, It is now a Windows-only browser steadily losing users to alternative browsers. IE has also come into disfavor with website designers because of the extra coding required to compensate for its noncompliance with international Web standards set by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

Alternate Web Browsers

The primary reason most Web designers prefer alternatives to IE is that most browsers are better than IE at rendering stylesheets. The primary remaining disadvantage of using alternate browsers is that some websites are still specifically designed for IE and do not work properly on anything else. However, as IE market share continues to fall, such websites are becoming rare.

Camino (Mac)
Camino is an Open Source browser based on Mozilla. It is only a browser with no email or messaging components.
Google Chrome
Google browser is still now available for both Windows and Mac.
The most popular alternative to IE. Firefox is Open Source, based on Mozilla. It is only a browser with no email or messaging components.
iCab (Mac)
This is an independently created German browser. It has a built-in checker for W3C-compliant code.
This is an independently created Norwegian browser with unique layout and features.
Apple’s Safari is available for both Mac and Windows platforms.
This is the current version of Mozilla’s multiuse browser. In Windows, SeaMonkey can be kept active in the background for quick activation.

Server Software

Network administrators who want to compare php/mysql based free and open source software systems can “test run” any of them that are loaded on the server.

Blogging Software

Course Management Systems

Forum & Discussion Systems