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Tools & Links

Top Tools for Online Learners

Going to school online can be a great experience, especially if you have the right resources. Here is a list of some of the best browser tools, and sites, available for online students to use in school.

Classwork Tools Organization
Collaboration Research
Mind-Mapping

Classwork Tools

  • gDoc Fusion [OLT Editor’s Pick]
    Combine scanned pages and electronic documents in seconds. Drag the documents you want into Fusion, flip through them quickly using the Flick View interface, pick the pages you want and arrange them in any order you like, add annotations, make small text edits, or redact information. Save the finished documents in either Word or PDF format.
  • PDF Creator
    Need a way to create PDF’s but don’t have the software to do so? This tool is great for creating PDF files.
  • Spellchecker
    For those times when you’re not sure how a word is spelled, this is the tool for you.
  • Spreeder
    An innovative online speed reading tool. It teaches you to silence your inner voice while reading. You can gradually increase the WPM counter to speed up your reading abilities.
  • Wordweb
    One of the better tools you can use for writing papers. It’s an online, or offline, thesaurus and dictionary. After downloading it you simply press and hold down Ctrl+Alt+W and it puts the word you’re looking to replace in context and gives you helpful suggestions. Available for download for Windows and Mac users.
  • Zotero
    An add-on that helps a student keep track of all sources while writing a research paper. It will help prepare a bibliography for Open Office or MS Word. It’s a Firefox extension.

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Collaboration

  • Notemesh
    A great tool for collaborating with classmates. You can share notes with other students around the country and world.
  • Jing
    Another way to visually show what you’re talking about online. Similar to screen sharing software, this tool allows you to show images of what you’re working on, and lets others verbally comment on that work. A more interactive IM conversation.
  • TodaysMeet
    Here you can create private or public online meeting rooms for outside class discussions, collaborations, and study groups.
  • WallWisher
    Here you can build your own wall with message boards, discussions, plan events, and share multimedia. It may seem like Facebook, but the benefit here is that it is a catch-all for your ideas.

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Mind-Mapping

  • Co-mapping
    Online mind mapping software to manage and share information. You can use it to take notes, plan and organize. It’s a way to have one set of notes, and one set of files.
  • Mindomo
    This is a robust mind mapping system. Although it is not free, you can try the free trial period to see if it’s a good fit for you.
  • Wordle
    Create aesthetically pleasing clouds of words as they relate to your individual class, program, or a specific project.

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Staying Organized

  • Dropbox
    This is a virtual file storage unit. Just like google docs, it’s free to use, but this tool is great because you can access it from anywhere; your mobile phone, smartphone, laptop, desk top, any computer away from your home. It makes your documents mobile because they’re stored in a private area on the internet.
  • Notely
    For students looking to improve their grades with better organization, this is a great tool to utilize. Perfect for arranging your schedule, calendar, note-taking (if you need it), and homework planning.
  • Password Hash
    Have problems remembering all your passwords? This is an excellent tool that stores your passwords for you, and can autopopulate them when you visit that site for login.
  • Todoist
    This is a very robust task management system. You can manage complex projects by creating nested-tasks, adding deadlines, assigning priorities, and you can use this tool offline; no internet access necessary.
  • Toodledo
    An online to-do-list for organizing tasks and improving productivity.

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Research

  • CiteuLike
    A free service great for managing and discovering scholarly references. It offers automated article recommendations, stores references you find online, and stores PDFs.
  • iCyte
    An amazing research tool. You can mark, make notes and organize your thoughts on a topic on a webpage, or a few keywords in an article online. This tool stores the information for you so when you visit the site again, it pulls up the information you keyed in.
  • Diigo
    A powerful research tool and a knowledge sharing community. You can annotate, archive, and organize. With this tool you can highlight and add sticky notes to web pages.
  • Instapaper
    Save the news for later. If you want to save a web page to read later, this is a great alternative to just bookmarking it. After signing up, you simply click on the “read later” button, and you can read the article/site/post later from your computer, paper, iPhone, iPad, or Kindle.NEW: For Chrome users there’s an even better way to use Instapaper, just add it to your browser! This new addition will add offline article syncing, extended pagination options, and saving of where you left off in an article.

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