Next week I facilitate a workshop designed to assist Year 11 students find some useful online tools to support their learning, especially research, collaboration, organisation, study and presentation.

my original wordle

There will be a very, very brief presentation and overview of each tool and then students will be free to experiment, exploring the tools of use/interest to them.

Do you mind checking out this list and suggesting some more tools?

Also, are any of the below best avoided by Year 11?



Here’s the list


Tame the web

RSS feeds: point website updates towards your reader (watch the video here)

Google Reader: is a place to read all your RSS feed (watch the video here)

Instapaper: a read later bookmarking service

Readability: remove the clutter around the webpage you’re reading shorten your links


Sharing & Collaboration

Delicious: a social bookmarking site (watch the video here)

Diigo: another social bookmarking tool

Google Docs: collaborate on documents with peers online at home


Creative Commons for Images and Sound

Creative Commons (Australia): understand licenses

Flickr: the largest photo sharing site

Flickr ‘The Commons’: search the great public photographic collections

Soundzabound: royalty free music for schools



mindmeister: free mindmapping tool organise brainstorms

Evernote: synch files with all your devices

Dropbox: free online storage

Livebinders: collect and share resources (here’s the video)

Netvibes: dashboard everything



iGoogle: customise your homepage with a variety of widgets

Wetpaint: free site where you create websites that mix all the best features of wikis, blogs, forums and social networks



Wordle: generate word clouds

GAPMINDER: unveils the beauty of statistics while revealing trends – a mashup of headlines that shows new patterns


Research & Answers

Google Alerts: keep up to date with topics of interest

Wolfram Alpha: enter what you want to calculate

Project Gutenburg (Australia): free ebooks

bibme: a free automatic bibliography generator

Noodletools: guides you through the research process


Memory Tools

Anki: makes it easier to study and remember (iPhone app here)

BRAINFLIPS: online flashcards

10 more Mindmapping tools: + what’s best for mindmapping anyway?



Slideshare: converts your PowerPoints and other documents + saves them online to share (take the tour)

Prezi: astonishing presentations

updated wordle

UPDATE: Here is the Prezi.



  1. I also introduce students to creative commons in flickr and other places to get them in the habit of using images ethically. Also online citation tools like bibme, easybib and noodletools.

    • Ian Gay

    • 14 years ago

    I love Gapminder. I’m sure lots can be done with the data already available but your own data can be entered using Google Docs (Google bought it)

  2. Thanks Lesley and Ian. I have added your suggestions (and those from colleagues using Twitter and Yammer).

    Much appreciated!

    • Chris Cox

    • 14 years ago

    Linoit is a useful tool ( for two or three people ) for sharing ideas, pictures and files when collaborating on a project.

  3. – Inspiration online. much better than mindmeister. as an automatic backup tool – NOT just a online pen drive. Can use to automatically sync. Saved my bacon a number of times. I am a school principal and use it to sync curriculum documentation between teaching staff – geeky but very robust! is good online storage and you can hack a gMail account to use in the same way to get file storage too.
    wikispaces has a free site for teachers (educators) facility. Simple to edit wiki. is a fantastic way to publish any document as an e-book. Has to be one of the coolest ways to publish out there! as file conversion site. – good for some chart types, esp flowcharts!! – document sharing.

  4. HI Darcy,
    Excellent list, are you concerned that some are blocked by DET. Ie wordle and delicious needs a yahoo account, if joining now. Diigo is not blocked. For example, for delicious, students need to signup out of the school environment. We are undertaking a similar day with our present year 9s, however endeavouring to utilise all the cool tools that are not blocked, when using the netties., and naturally are both fabulous. I am sure you know about them and their amazing qualities. Naturally, you have introduced Edmodo to your kids. Edmodo has been the beginning of a paradigm shift for my HTs leading their classroom teachers in creating collaboration with their students.

  5. Thanks Denise, Chris and Greg, I’ll check out all these new suggestions – taa.

    Denise, yes, I also love Edmodo and know about the other tools you mention. With Delicious, you can signup with a pre-existing Tahoo account, of course but the secondary email can be the DET one. Solves the problem you mention.

    Yr 11 do not have laptops at school and poor access to computers for tools like this anyway. The idea is that they use these tools to study at home. I was intending to explain this to my workshop participants but there’s no need really, as they are already cynical about the filtering at school.

  6. I have been reviewing some PLE chapters for @downes et al. It saddens me to think that Year 11 have to navigate the pen and paper HSC, missing out on the kind of education that is both needed and relevant for our times. I guess this workshop is cold comfort but a least it be an attempt to assist them to create a PLE at home.

    • woojm

    • 14 years ago

    Got worried reading Denise’s comment so I checked, and is not blocked for yr 7-12.

    • Alysha

    • 14 years ago

    What about wiki websites? They are very effective within the classroom as it gives students the opportunity to collaborate information online. So you could look at Zoho Wiki-
    or wiki spaces-

    Podcasting could be another way for students to look at presenting information or as another way of research and collaboration.

    Then you also have citation tools to help students organise their information for essay writing or presentations. Notestar

    There are also special search engines students could use

    Hope this helps.

  7. Good list, here are some more you might find useful: – lots of free content, old texts and videos (handy for creating multimedia mashups etc), plus the WayBack Machine for reviving content from now-defunct web sites.

    iTunesU – university lectures online – sharing and conversations – published papers, patents, etc – great for keeping an eye on a topic and being alerted to new articles/blog posts containing your watch phrase – links to lots of specialised search engines – Librarians’ Internet Index

  8. Thanks for these, Darren. I am especially going to explore iTunesU properly and make some suggestions at a later date.

    I appreciate your time and thoughts Alshya and woojm; pleased to hear about wordle too 🙂

  9. […] discussion. I am going to be tabling the “lunch and learn” idea, Darcy’s great Cool Online Tools for students which I would like to teach to Year 10 at the end of 2010 but also to the teachers […]

    • kmcg2375

    • 14 years ago

    Great list Darcy – I love how it’s organised around different functions. Very useful!

  10. […] input, via comments at a previous blog post, twitter and yammer proved invaluable but also challenging, when one considers the realities for […]

  11. I love this post! I just ran into your blog, and I love it! I just started a website called “TeacherThink” which challenges educators to innovate by providing how-tos, reviews, and a general place for teacher muse. You can find it @ I am also on twitter @ TeacherThink.



  12. Hi,

    Great list! Try too! This is a great diagramming tool that I use for visual collaboration. Its a great diagramming app with fantastic support for graphic organizers, mind maps, flowcharts, wireframes, UML and just about anything visual.

    The real clincher is that Creately comes with pre-built extensive shape sets and ready-made templates that’ll help you draw any diagram in just minutes. The 1-Click styling features, and 1-Click Create and Connect with smart connectors make diagramming a pleasure on Creately.


  13. […] Darcy Moore who had given a similar presentation to his Year 11 students. You can see his blog post here and his prezi from the session […]

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