Technological Tools

ToolCategoryFree or offering free version/planKey FeaturesWebsite
Adobe Express AsynchronousFree plan: Limited functionsCreating images and short videos with the support of AI
Audacity AsynchronousFree.An audio editing and recording software.
Blogger AsynchronousFreeA free blogging platform which has many styles and templates to choose from, as well as group blogging features.
Canva BothFree plan: 8,000+ free templates, 100+ design types, export designs as PDF, JPG, PNG, Built-in sharing and presentation mode, sharing view or edit access with others and built-in commenting.A web-based graphic and presentation design website. It also allows team collaboration
Classkick BothBasic plan (compared to Pro version which costs USD 7.99 per month): 20 assignments per teachers, plus, users can not export grades.A formative assessment tool, creating assignments with text, image, video and audio, feedback from teachers and help from peers.
Diigo AsynchronousFree basic user account with 500 cloud bookmarks and 100 webpages and PDF highlightsA subscription-based online knowledge management and social bookmarking website
Flipgrid AsynchronousFreeAn online video discussion platform: recorded video discussion topics, responses, and feedback.
Gamma AsynchronousFree plan: limited free tokens for generationCloud-based presentation editing tools
Google Meet SynchronousFreeVideo calling, screen sharing, scheduled meetings,
Kahoot! SynchronousFreeA game-based classroom response system for assessment.
Mahara AsynchronousFree for HKU students and staffe-Portfolio: Users can create journals or blogs, upload files, embed social media resources from the web, collaborate with others, and build résumé.
For HKU students and staff :
Mentimeter SynchronousFree plan: unlimited audience size and unlimited presentations.A tool for interactive presentation, feedback collection, and live results tracking.
Microsoft Office 365 with Co-pilot SynchronousPaidCloud-based editing tools supported by an AI assistant
Mindmeister BothFree plan: users can create and store up to 3 mind maps, real-time collaboration, email support.A mind mapping website and application. Team collaboration.
Miro SynchronousFree educational plan availableVisual workspace for collaborative learning
Moodle SynchronousFreeLearning Management System
Panopto AsynchronousFree for HKU teachers and staffAn online video platform: video capture, video share, and students’ data collection.
For HKU teachers and staff:
Playposit AsynchronousFree plan: 100 learner attempts/month (each teacher attempt gets 100 learner attempts per calendar month, total), no direct video upload, limited access to PlayPosit’s broader feature offerings, contents sharing with colleagues.A web-based for creating interactive video and assessment.
Poll Everywhere SynchronousFree plan for higher education: unlimited questions, 40 max audience sizeAn audience response system
Prezi AsynchronousBasic plan: unlimited presentations without other features (e.g., advanced image editing, export to PDF, upload storage).Online presentation tool: zooming sideways and Prezi video.
Schoology AsynchronousFreeA web-based Learning management system: posting assignments, recording grades, etc.
Slack SynchronousFree plan: unlimited private & public channels, 1:1 voice & video calls, file sharing, 10 integrations with other apps like Google Drive, Office 365 and many more.A collaboration and project management tool.
Socrative SynchronousFree plan: 50 students and 1 roomA quiz-based, formative assessment tool.
Trello AsynchronousFree plan: unlimited personal boards, cards, lists, 10MB per file attachment, 10 team boards, etc.A collaboration and project management tool.
VoiceThread AsynchronousFree basic user account: up to five VoiceThreads.A transforming media into collaborative spaces with video, voice, and text commenting.
Weebly AsynchronousBasic plan: free SSL security, 500MB storage, domain with weebly branding, search engine optimization, community forum, and chat&email supportUsers can create classroom websites, student e-portfolios, and websites for assigned projects.,
XMind AsynchronousFree plan: Xmind 8A professional mind mapping software with useful templates.
YOCLE BothFreeAn educational ePlatform on iOS, Android and web-based focuses on the development and assessment of generic competencies. With individual and group instant messenger (do not require phone number), many assessment functions, blogging functions, rubrics templates, allows allocated of peer assessment, audio and written feedback.
ZOOM SynchronousFree plan: users can host and schedule online meetings with up to 100 attendeesBreakout rooms split the participants for group collaboration and discussion.

Other literature

  • Beldarrain, Y. (2006). Distance education trends: Integrating new technologies to foster student interaction and collaboration. Distance education, 27(2), 139-153.
  • Beriswill, J. E., Bracey, P. S., Sherman-Morris, K., Huang, K., & Lee, S. J. (2016). Professional development for promoting 21st century skills and common core state standards in foreign language and social studies classrooms. TechTrends, 60(1), 77-84.
  • Castle, S. R., & McGuire, C. J. (2010). An analysis of student self-assessment of online, blended, and face-to-face learning environments: Implications for sustainable education delivery. International Education Studies, 3(3), 36-40.
  • EdTech (2020, February 2). LMS Data-Spring 2020 Updates. Retrieved from
  • Herreid, C. F., & Schiller, N. A. (2013). Case studies and the flipped classroom. Journal of College Science Teaching, 42(5), 62-66.
  • Johnson, G. M. (2006). Synchronous and asynchronous text-based CMC in educational contexts: A review of recent research. TechTrends, 50(4), 46.
  • Mullen, R., & Wedwick, L. (2008). Avoiding the digital abyss: Getting started in the classroom with YouTube, digital stories, and blogs. The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 82(2), 66-69.
  • Offir, B., Lev, Y., & Bezalel, R. (2008). Surface and deep learning processes in distance education: Synchronous versus asynchronous systems. Computers & Education, 51(3), 1172-1183.
  • Oztok, M., Zingaro, D., Brett, C., & Hewitt, J. (2013). Exploring asynchronous and synchronous tool use in online courses. Computers & Education, 60(1), 87-94.
  • Prud’homme-Généreux, A. (2017). Assembling a case study tool kit: 10 tools for teaching with cases. Journal of College Science Teaching, 47(2), 37-45.
  • Sadowski, C., Pediaditis, M., & Townsend, R. (2017). University students’ perceptions of social networking sites (SNSs) in their educational experiences at a regional Australian university. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 33(5), 77-90.
  • Schneckenberg, D. (2014). Easy, collaborative and engaging–the use of cloud computing in the design of management classrooms. Educational Research, 56(4), 412-435.
  • Yamagata-Lynch, L. C. (2014). Blending online asynchronous and synchronous learning. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 15(2), 189-212.
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