The educational technology community offers instructors in higher education a tremendous amount of resources to enhance classroom learning experiences. Our Tools and Technologies pages offer you some examples of these resources, carefully selected and curated by our instructional designers and educational technologists at Academic Technology Services. It can be overwhelming to find appropriate tools and technologies, so we seek to help you make the best choices for your classroom.

Tools and technologies are organized by class activity to help you decide how certain technologies can be used for particular activities. Each activity type (e.g., blogs, discussions, quizzes) includes an overview and a short review of three recommended tools to highlight the differences between the tools and to suggest how an instructor might use each one.

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To discuss your educational technology goals and needs, please contact our instructional designers at ATS by emailing Mark Wilson at mwil@ucdavis.edu.

Collaborative Whiteboards

Real-time collaborative whiteboard tools are one of the most amazing educational technologies on the web today. While they are similar to online mind mapping tools, they are typically much less structured, allowing for a lot more free-form thinking, brainstorming,...

Discussion Tools

When peers can discuss new materials with each other to help create meaning, they can process and understand course concepts fully. In fact, many courses at UC Davis feature “Discussion Sections” in order to help students think more deeply about key cou...

Document Annotation

Document annotation has come a long way in just a few short years. Microsoft Word, with its track changes and commenting features, used to be the only viable tool for this, and it had to be done offline and then shared via e-mail to be of any real use. Now,...

Map Creation Tools

Mapping applications have always been some of the most exciting tools available on the web. They can provide us with directions to places we’ve never been, help us find hotels and restaurants near places we’re traveling, and provide terrain maps for out...

Mind Mapping Tools

Concept maps and mind maps have been used for decades in education for many different purposes: brainstorming, visualizing difficult concepts or processes, storyboarding, creating decision trees, research collection, project planning, and numerous others....

Online Flashcards

Flashcards are one of the most tried and true memory aids. The tools featured below bring this technique into the digital age, improving on the concept in many different ways. Not only are digital flashcards much easier to create (not to mention eco-friendly),...

Polling Tools

Polls allow an instructor to instantly quiz students in class for simple formative assessment purposes. In fact, most instructors use polls to see if students are understanding the material being presented. Historically, polls have only been easily administered...

Social Storytelling

Digital storytelling involves creating some sort of narrative, personal or otherwise, by using digital and multimedia (audio, video, images, text). These can take the form of multimodal essays, video documentaries, audio podcasts, or a combination of...

Timeline Tools

Timeline graphics have always been a great way to illustrate historical events or explain linear processes in educational settings. Now, in the 21st century, web tools exist to create even more sophisticated timelines that include engaging and interactive...

Whiteboard Video Creation Tools

Even in the 21st century, where educational technology has advanced significantly since the turn of the 19th century (when chalkboards were first thought to be introduced in the US educational system), sometimes nothing beats a good “chalk talk” to pre...