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Digital Tools for Teaching and Learning

Google Drive

Google Drive integrates seamlessly with Docs, Sheets, Slides, and all other cloud-native apps that enable your team to collaborate effectively in real-time. Create and share content with your team on Day 1, with no need to migrate from existing tools.

Google Drive is an open source tool and free for anyone to use.

Google Drive is best for

  • Uploading files, editing them online, and sharing them with individuals or groups
  • Good place to keep backup copies of documents without taking up valuable computer space


  • No password protection for shared files
    • Privacy concerns
  • Uploading and downloading speed can often be slow


For screen reader users, select the "new" Google Drive instead of the classic view. For the best results with a screen reader, or if you are experiencing difficulty with the browser interface, you can download Google Drive onto your desktop. 

Source: Google - Accessibility of Google Drive, Office of Information Technology, University of Colorado Boulder



Padlet is a collaborative web platform where users can upload, organze and share content on a bulletin board called a padlet. Choose between different styles of bulletin boards, including map, timeline, grid or shelf. 

Create a free account to access 3 padlets. Students can join and participate on a padlet without needing to create an account. 

Padlet is best for

  • Group branstorms, virtual projects and in-class participation. 
  • Visual galleries and sharing different resources 
  • Organize aond compile research sources
  • Flexibile for in-class or virtual, synchronous or asynchronous collaborative work
  • Share different file types, including pictures, videos, and embed content from anywhere on the web, including YouTube and Twitter. 


  • Free accounts can only have up to 3 padlets at a time; however, you can delete old padlets to make room for new ones.  
  • Free plans only permit upload of small file sizes (20MB)


Padlet admits that the tool needs some improvements in order to be WCAG 2.1 level AA compliant. 

  • Padlet claims they are compatible with screen readers, particularly Apple VoiceOver; however, they are working on improving the experience for screen reader users. 
  • It has limited keyboard access functionality, however, they recently unpdate their hompage to be keyboard accessible. 
  • Creators need to be aware of color contrast requirements to ensure their padlet had sufficient contrast for users. 

Source: Accessibility and Padlet


Lino is an online stickies service that offers stickies and canvases to organize notes and brainstorming. Post personal notes, pictures, videos and memos. 

Lino is an open source tool and free for anyone to use.

Lino is best for

  • Online discussion posts: 
    • Many students can collaborate on the same canvas board
    • Brainstorming and mind-mapping activities


  • Heavily supported by advertisements that cannot be removed without a fee
  • Limited space if you are looking to incorporate a lot of notes
  • Cannot alter text size


Because of the visual nature of this tool, it is not accessible. It does not provide features that would produce an accessible object in the end either. 

  • There are no headings
  • No option for alt tags



Flipgrid is a social learning platform that allows educators to ask a question, then the students respond in a video. Students are then able to respond to one another, creating a “web” of video discussion.

Flipgrid is free for all educators and learners.

Flipgrid is best for

  • Homework, virtual lessons, and classes
  • Collecting a range of responses on one topic, and considering alternative viewpoints
  • Employee and student feedback


  • Profile information is not shared, but users can interact with untrusted users (including strangers)


There appears to be a concerted effort to make Flipgrid accessible by providing a number of features. However, a number of them have to be turned on. 

  • Closed Captions: all new grids have closed captions; however, they are turned off and educators need to turn this function on. All new videos will have Closed Captions that the teachers can edit within their educator account. 
  • Immersive Reader: Microsoft's Immersive Reader is built into Flipgrid. It provides features like reading text out loud, breaking text into syllables and increasing spacing between lines and letters. 
  • Student Generated Transcripts: Students can attach their own transcripts as a link.  
  • Accessibility best practices - It is navigable by keyboard, works with voice-over and screen reader technology, and font sizes can be increased. 

Source: Flipgrid and Accessibility 



Jamboard is an interactive, browser based whiteboard developed by Google. The interface is pretty simple, and people can participate in the Jamboard without an account. Students can contribute anonymously, adding sticky notes, images and text, or using the draw tool like a real whiteboard and then erase and start again. Creators can add multiple pages and share via email or direct link. 

Jamboard is best for

  • Interactive branstoriming in virtual or in-person sessions or meetings
  • Organzing ideas and projects into groups, including research sources 
  • Real time collaboration and editing by multiple users on a single slide


  • A maximum of 20 slides per Jamboard
  • A maximum of 50 collaborators can edit at a time, but sometimes only 6-10 can edit silmultaneously
  • Content on a Jamboard is not locked, which means any user can change or delte parts of the Jamboard slides. 


  • Jamboard works with TalkBack, which is a screen reader that is only compatible with specific Google platforms, and only available on Android devices. 
  • Jamboard is not keyboard accessible, but can be used with touchpads or computer mouse.
  • Users can change the text sixe and color.

Source: Online Tools for Teaching & Learning, University of Massachusetts Amherst

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