Online Tools for Creativity Outside the Classroom

There are many online tools for teaching in a classroom. Here is a handy reference link to 100 of the most popular for 2014.

The majority of these online teaching tools are used for document management and control and lecturing resources. As an instructor who rarely teaches from a classroom, what becomes obvious is that the institutional teaching system, even armed with the latest technology, is reluctant to stray far from the usual curriculum format. In out text, Jose Bowen speaks of the need for institutions to adapt their product away from the “sage on the stage model”, to a unique and more hybrid model:

“Most of the growth in higher education will occur in hybrid courses…where we can increase both learning and convenience”.p 236.

Most of the tools listed in the link above are great for institutional and instructor convenience, but the idea of convenience Jose Bowen speaks of is a student centric one, not an institutional based one. The one change in student demand he speaks of repeatedly in the book is that they are expecting a portion of learning from home, not solely in a classroom, a hybrid model as part of the curriculum.

In teaching creative endeavours, there is an onus on the visual. So I am constantly using tools that offer as much access to the visual as possible. Evernote, FaceBook, Instagram, Twitter, Flickr and other social media tools offer great convenience for my students and myself. If my students are combining the visual with story writing, there are many blog options, Weebly, Blogspot, WordPress, MailChimp all offer a place where my students can put up their work for me to access. But what of creative online tools for my students to use? Here are a few that offer students a place to share and collaborate on creative endeavours.


is a great mind mapping site where you can mind map a project idea, concept or anything from the creative to the practical. It gives students that prefer a the visual to the verbal an easy way to draw out their ideas and concepts. Here is a great example of a mind map:

Another wonderful site for the creative is Moovly:


with this site you can create animations to teach any idea in a fun and engaging way. I love the gallery of videos they have. The images range from the visually simplistic to the complex, but all are engaging and entertaining ways to communicate an idea, concept or message. Here is one of my favourites made with stock images and templates.

Making use of these creativity driven tools will help those of us who teach outside a classroom to create a truly hybrid course model for our students.


Bowen, J.( 2012).Teaching Naked, How Moving Technology Out of Your College Classroom Will Improve Student Learning. San Francisco, CA. John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s