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*Note this list is not exhaustive and is intended to be a resource for other facilitators from Dialogue + Design Associates. Feel free to add to it.
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BASIC COLLABORATIVE BRAINSTORMING AND WHITEBOARD TOOLS
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Name of Tool or PlatformDescription of FunctionalityCostWeb linkProsConsIntegration with other platformsAdditional Notes
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Google DocumentsGoogle Documents is a web-based collaborative word processing tool that can be used like a flipchart in an in-person meeting.Free with Google account.
https://www.google.com/docs/about/
Widespread adoption and familiarity. Up to 100 users can edit at the same time.Participants can "trip" over each other; document jumps as text is edited, etc. Also, input is typically anonymous which can be a pro or con, depending on the topic.
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Google SheetsSpreadsheets, similar to Micosoft Excel. Real-time commenting and revision tracking are highly useful for the collaborative work and integration with Google Drive cloud storage allows you to easily find content in your sessions in your Drive.Free with Google account.
https://www.google.com/sheets/about/
Relatively widespread adoption and familiarity.Participants can "trip" over each other.
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Google SlidesSlides, similar to PowerPoint. Can also collaborate on a slide similar to a white board.Free with Google account.
https://www.google.com/slides/about/
Possible to zoom out and use the negative space around the slide in ways the mimic Mural (using text boxes, etc.) but may be more comfortable to participants who are used to working in Google Slides.
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Zoom whiteboard featureZoom whiteboard feature will allow you to share a whiteboard that you and other participants (if allowed) can annotate onPart of Zoom platform (see description of online meeting platform below).
https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/205677665-Sharing-a-whiteboard
Easy to use if already using Zoom platform to host a meeting.Allowing participants access to whiteboard/annotate tools can lead to ZoombombingOnly Available within Zoom.
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GoToMeeting Drawing ToolsGoToMeeting drawing tools with whiteboard functionality.Part of GoToMeeting platform.
https://www.gotomeeting.com/features/meeting-drawing-tools#:~:text=With%20GoToMeeting%20Drawing%20Tools%2C%20you,an%20in%2Dperson%20whiteboard%20presentation.&text=Click%20Allow%20Drawing.,appear%20next%20to%20Allow%20Drawing.
Can give access to drawing tools to specific presenters.Only the current presenter has full access to managing the Drawing Tools; Drawing tools are not currently available on the Web App; Drawing Tools do not run optimally on non-Aero computers, and are not automatically enabled.
Only available within GoToMeeting.
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Microsoft OneNoteDeveloped for notetaking but real-time possibilities for collaboration.Free, but will need to pay for OneDrive storage.
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/onenote/digital-note-taking-app?rtc=1
Some syncing issues have been reported by users.Can be combined with Microsoft Teams
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DropBox PaperSimilar to Google Docs where you can take notes in real time. Paper provides its users with a platform that lets you create, organize, and review content in a collaborative manner. Moreover, it supports multiple file formats, including Microsoft Word and Excel files and files generated by Google Docs and Google Sheets.Free with DropBox account.https://www.dropbox.com/paperPaper provides an intuitive and easy-to-use environment for managing your files and data collaborativelyDropbox Paper as of now is still in its early stages and thus lacks other essential security features such as device approval, full network control, and enterprise mobility management.
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MiroCollaborative whiteboard platform that allows you to ideate, organize insights, design flows, and collect feedback in real time. Besides the regular online whiteboard features of uploading images, creating notes and drawing in different colors and sizes in freehand mode the app offers a great template library to conveniently find the right structure you need for your whiteboard. The free version offers up to 3 boards for your team.Pricing starts at $10/month/user.https://miro.com/signup/Good for intact teams and working groups; Pre-loaded templates can be converted into a presentation or saved as a PDF.Not great for first time users: heavy log in; The interface can be confusing, it’s easy to confuse leaving a post-it instead of a comment; Sometimes, there are hiccups when navigating around the canvasIntegrations with Microsoft Ecosystem, Atlassian Ecosystem, Slack, Box, DropBox, Sketch, and more.Formerly Realtimeboard.
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MuralDigital workspace and versatile online whiteboard tool for visual remote collaboration. Create digital sticky notes that you can organize in lists, flowcharts, diagrams, frameworks, methods and drawings.Pricing starts at $12 per monthhttps://www.mural.co/It is particulalry strong as a team tool, allowing you to create different rooms for your board with differentiated access rights. Besides, it offers a wide range of workshop and meeting templates, including planning, design, issue analysis and idea generation board templates. No free version; Even though the interface is very similar to PowerPoint and generally user-friendly, there are a few quirks, such as moving a lot of pieces without moving the mura and on mobile, there is no landscape view.
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GroupMapEasy but powerful group faciliation brainstorming and prioritisation tool with customisable options and facilitator features including Timer, move everyone to step, different brainstorming styles and templates. Has inbuilt polling and surveys.Pricing starts at $20 per monthhttps://www.groupmap.comEasily customsable templates with a range of brainstorming and prioritsation techniques. Easy for participants to use and no account needed for them. You can create workspaces with several activities and helps reduce overload.14 Day free trial on professional plan. Does not support free hand drawing.Easy invite link for any Video conferencing tool. Exports to Excel, PDF, CSV.
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StormboardOnline brainstorming platform that focuses on idea generation, organisation and prioritization.Free personal version with max. 5 collaborators; $10 per user/per month for Business plan or $8.33 if billed annuallyhttps://stormboard.com/You can add different type of notes, combine them together, comment in threads and vote on ideas using colored dots. It has a strong reporting functionality that allows to instantly turn your online sticky notes into structured meeting reports. The free version offers 5 boards with maximum 5 collaborators for each.The free version only offers 5 boards with maximum 5 collaborators for each.With its MS Office integration, the reports can be collaboratively edited and then shared immediately with meeting participants or key stakeholders.
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InVision FreehandLike Whiteboard. No summon feature, limitless whitespace, no navigationFreemium
https://www.invisionapp.com/feature/freehand
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PadletA whiteboard tool like Mural. AnonymousFree version. Free 30 day trial. 12$/mo for businesses or $99/yr (security, user mgmt, branding, org-wide monitoring)https://padlet.com/Pre-fab layouts. can share and upload links, files, photos, google searches, videos
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GoWallCloud-based sortable collaborative sticky noteshttps://www.gowall.com/
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ExcelwayVisual collaboration platform to facilitate online workshops, manage tasks and store documents. Facilitation features included such as brainstorming with digital sticky notes, dot-voting, and breakout rooms based on canvases and templates. Currently free until July 2021, then 8$/user with an account. Unlimited guest users. https://www.excelway.co/No learning curve for participants and all elements ont the visual boards are controlled by the facilitator. Great for inclusive community conversations, conferences involving a lot of participants and break out/working groups. Facilitation features allowing to move sticky notes in bulk from one breakout room to the other.No free-hand whiteboarding feature for drawing or designing. Although there are a lot of templates we can customize, it's not possible to create a template from scratch. No integration but works well in parrallel of a Zoom session. Available in English, French and Arabic.
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ONLINE MEETING PLATFORMS
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Name of Tool or PlatformDescription of FunctionalityCostWeb linkProsConsIntegration with other platformsAdditional Notes
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ZoomOnline meeting platform that includes video conferencing, polling, breakout group, and recording capabilities. Provides exceptionally reliable quality, minimizing audio or video latency issues that you usually encounter with most video conferencing applications. Free version has a limit of 40 minutes for a meeting; Pro Plan is $14.99/month/per host; Business and Enterprise Plans are $19.99/month/per host- for up to 300 participants, cloud recording transcripts, etc.https://zoom.us/Has a wide variety of features including the scheduling of calls, HD video and audio, recording and transcription of sessions, screen sharing and co-annotation, chat, and share files. Supports up to 1000 participants. Can upload images as background.40-minute call limit for group calls on the free version; there have been a couple of bugs that compromised security, but Zoom has actively made updates to address these issuesHost can increase security of Zoom meetings by using unqiue meeting ID, creating a password, using the waiting room, employing the lock meeting function or limiting screen sharing capabilities.
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GoToMeetingOnline meeting platform that includes video conferencinghttps://www.gotomeeting.com/
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GoToTraining
https://www.gotomeeting.com/training
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GoToWebinar
https://www.gotomeeting.com/webinar
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Cisco WebExThe lowest-tiered paid account is limited to 50 participants, does include recording and transcription, and is $15/month per host.https://cart.webex.com/sign-upHD video and audio calls, instant messaging, share screen, and integration with G-Suite tools; End-to-end encryption There is no grid-view to see participants unless you download a 3rd party plug-in; You can record your meetings, but it’s relatively complex via private Hangouts On Air with YouTube Live (There is an enterprise G-Suite version, where recording is included.); The sound quality and network can be unreliable.July 2020: currently they're offering a free account that would allow for up to 100 meeting participants, but the free version doesn't offer recording or transcription options
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Google HangoutsGoogle's online meeting platform that includes video conferencing. Offers an easy-to-use video conferencing tool that works really well even if you need to talk with people different domains.https://hangouts.google.com/high video quality and for offering better quality calls when bandwidth is lowset-up more for personal accounts and limited to 25 participants in a video callHangouts come with an ‘On Air’ feature that can be shared with the world and can be recorded and stored on YouTube.Hangouts offers many business-savvy features: such as creating webinars.
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Google Meet $6 per person per month for GSuite accounthttps://meet.google.com/requires a GSuite accountNote: Not the same as Google Hangout
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Microsoft TeamsA video conferencing and collaboration tool which is part of Microsoft Office 365.
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/microsoft-teams/group-chat-software
Full unified communication and collaboration platform made up of video conferencing, instant messaging, file storage, and application integration; Seamlessly integrates with email, allowing access to contacts, emails, and shared calendars.The file structure is confusing. Files uploaded to conversations are saved in the channel root folder. If someone tries to organize the files and move them into different folders, then the file links in the conversations break; The building blocks of Teams aren’t’ very flexible (you can’t move channels between teams). This sometimes leads to time wasted doing manual replications.Guests can access it with a free account, but it sounds like some people encounter an issue when their organization has an Office365 account that they might not be aware of, and thus the system might prevent them from signing up for a free account even if the account through their office doesn't include the license for Teams.
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QiqoChatA "wrap-around" tool that works with most other platforms (e.g. Zoom, Teams, etc.) and provides an easy way for participants to navigate between multiple breakout sessions.https://qiqochat.com/aboutSupports up to 100 breakout spaces
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StormzA digital application aimed for professional facilitators, enables you to design and facilitate collective intelligence sessions to generate innovative ideas, choose the most promising ones, turn them into tangible solutions and make informed decisions. You can use Stormz to ask your participants to give their input on questions you generate in the app, generate ideas and make collective decisions directly from their laptop, tablet or mobile phone. The free version allows 3 participants per workshop. Can accommodate up to 200 participants. $15/month for up to 15 usershttps://stormz.me/enExtra charge per person after 15. Stormz also offers a unique on-site solution to manage large group workshops involving hundreds of participants by using their portable Stormz Box device which provides secure and reliable local network infrastructure for collaborate workshops at any venue.
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WherebyOnline meeting platform that includes video conferencing. Comes in to help when all other tools fail: you just open a video conferencing room, send the link to your guests and they can join without having to install any application or create an account. (Only a browser extension is needed to be added). It is a lightweight video chat tool with fewer features than Zoom but offers unprecedented ease of use. The free plan offers group video conferencing and screen sharing, although it is recommended that you use the paid version when having more than 4-6 participants in order to ensure stable call quality.https://whereby.com/formerly Appear.in
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Remoan immersive experience that feels like everyone's in the same room with built-in engagement tools that allow you to connect with your guests in meaningful ways.https://remo.co/pricinghttps://remo.co/Visually intuitive relative to a physical conference setup. Presentation mode is like a keynote address - talk to everyone at once, Tables have their own conversations. Group by topics or sponsors. Offers whiteboard/sticknotes/links/more collaboration space. Business card entries - for networking and knowing who's who.Tables are limited in number.
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Spatial ChatOnline platform that provides flexibility for participants to move around and join/leave discussions at will. Very suitable for informal gatherings and networking. Supports screensharing and video for presentations and documentation. Free for up to 25 participants; from $50 per month for 50 participants per meeting room (up to 5 rooms)https://spatial.chat/Limit of 50 people per room. You can have larger groups, spread across 3 or 5 rooms, but they cannot all see the same presentation at the same time
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WonderOnline platform that provides flexibility for participants to move around and join/leave discussions at will. Very suitable for informal gatherings and networking. Supports screensharing and video for presentations and documentation. Currently Freehttps://www.wonder.me/Can accommodate much higher number of participants than Spatial Chat, and all can watch a presentation at the same time. You can demarcate Areas in which groups can gatherCan be a confusing experience to navigate around the space when there are a large number of participants present.
No whiteboard nor polling
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Adobe Connect Meeting
https://www.adobe.com/products/adobeconnect.html
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LoomioPlatform for ideation, discussion, and collaborateive decision making. $300/year billed annually up to 10 users. $3/additional user. A non-profit, non-government, educational institution or cooperative qualifies for a 33% discount. Volunteer organizations with no full-time paid staff qualify for special rates.https://www.loomio.org/Easily understood.
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Eventmobi"End-to-End Event Management Platform has everything you need to create engaging event experiences, online or in-person"https://www.eventmobi.com/
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COMPLEX FACILITATION TOOLS
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Name of Tool or PlatformDescription of FunctionalityCostWeb linkProsConsIntegration with other platformsAdditional Notes
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PowernoodlePowernoodle’s software helps organisations make better decisions by creating a platform that leverages what they refer to as Stakeholder Intelligence™. The platform aims to drive problem solving by creating an environment where everyone can participate by sharing ideas.$325 monthly for the basic Facilitator plan; $575 monthly for FacilitatorProwww.Powernoodle.comBased on SmartAnonymity - all contributions are completely anonymous. Powerful suite of tools to move from Ideation to Voting/Rating/Prioritizing and Action Planning. Templates available for various decision processes. Participants can join via Guest Access, so no accounts needed.
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GroupMapOnline brainstorming, group discussion and deliberation, team decision making - for facilitators, consultants and educators$60 for Professional plan per monthwww.groupmap.comChoose between annonymous and non annonymous settings. Wide range of customisable templates and prioritsation techniques (independent voting, rating, position) Customisable templates and great facilitation features.Free trial limited to 10 people
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Deskle
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Open Space
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Konveio interactive document content development and engagement
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Axis
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Meetingspherebrainstorming$1000 annuallyexpensive
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JamboardCollaborate whiteboard space with G Suite app integrationFree, but if you want the physical Jamboard itself cost is 5k+. 6/mo or 12/mo or 25/mo Part of the google suiteEasier than mural and miro and will more simplified user interface (less bells and whistles)Less bells and whistles - need to know how to use google docs
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MentimeterWeb-based audience engagement and polling tool for workshops, conferences & events.Get real-time input with live polls, quizzes, word clouds, Q&As and more; It can make presentations more interactive and fun.The free version is limited to two questions; There is no import option, which means you’ll have to start from scratch.
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Sli.doLive QA and polling for meetings and eventsIntegrates both QA and polls; Ease of setting up different questions, and having the results either live or hidden until the reveal.No way to 'close the loop' automatically for unanswered questions.
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IdeaboardzInteractive "post it note" website. Create a board with 1+ sections. Once you share the link, participants can write own notes, upvote others, view all. No login needed for participantsFree https://ideaboardz.com/Limited functions, basic graphics
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Poll EverywhereFree for up to 25 responses per poll; Tiered pricing allows higher number of responses, starting at $120 per yearwww.PollEverywhere.com
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ONLINE DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT TOOLS
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Name of Tool or PlatformDescription of FunctionalityCostWeb linkProsConsIntegration with other platformsAdditional Notes
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My Sidewalk
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Bang the Table or Engagement H2
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MetroPlus
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MetroQuestthe “Cadillac” of interactive survey tools
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Public Input.com
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Google FormsSurvey tool that allows you to create unlimited surveys with 6 types of questions and skip logic that can guide your participants through your survey depending on their answers. The service has seamless integration with Google’s other apps including Gmail and spreadsheets. It has a great advantage: unlike most of the competition that has usage limits in their free versions, Google Forms is absolutely free.Good, accessible option for basic survey functionality; Easy to create and edit questions; Decent in-built analytics of responsesRelatively basic survey option; Limited customization of visuals and formatting
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Qualtrics
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MindMixer
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Covisionlarge & small group discussions, polls, Q&A$$$$high-touch tech support & consultingExpensive
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TypeformAn intuitive and easy survey tool to collect data. Typeform offers unlimited surveys with a maximum of 10 questions and 100 responses in the free version while the paid version adds extra features, such as advanced question types and conditional logic.The forms look fresh and modern, promising that users are more likely to enjoy the survey experience and complete it all the way through; There is a wide variety of templates to help get you started.Relatively new; Limited functionality with only 10 questions per form and 100 responses per month on the basic free tier.
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Engage EnterpriseStakeholder Management Softwarehttps://www.stakeholderLink.com
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Engage PublicPublic Engagement Softwarehttps://www.stakeholderLink.com
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Survey MonkeyA survey tool to ask, collect, and analyze data. One of the longest running online survey services in the world. SurveyMonkey does the basics and does them well, providing a reliable alternative. In the free survey version, however, you will be limited to 10 questions, 100 respondents per survey and no possibility to export your data.A trusted platform that collects over 16 million answers every day; Always free guarantee on their basic planWith the free plan, you are limited to 10 questions per survey and 100 responses
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Zeetings
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Wheel of NamesThis is an online tool to select groups to report back, or speakers, or to randomise something you need to select. It adds some drama and fun. freehttps://wheelofnames.com/Reports backs are boring and it seems arbitrary who gets to speak. I use this to select (e.g.) 3 groups out of a larger number and the selection is random
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Kahootcreate online quizzesfree limited version. Paid versionhttps://kahoot.com/
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MentimeterAwesome polling software$www.mentimeter.coma way to collect student questions, make presentation, and more
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Screencastifyvideo record lessons Use code CAST_COVID for a temporary full accesshttps://www.screencastify.com/
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Pear Deckslides on Google SlidesFree versionhttps://www.peardeck.com/googleslidesPear Deck also allows students to respond live
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Prezislides that can present on Zoom and stay on screen with visuals superimposed.Starts at $5 per monthhttps://prezi.com/ time consuming to create a slide deck
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GooseChaseyou can upload challenges for student to respond with them practicing skillshttps://www.goosechase.com/
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FlipGridcreate videosFree for educatorshttps://info.flipgrid.com/
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Snagitcreate videosfree trial
https://www.techsmith.com/screen-capture.html
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PROJECT MANAGMENT TOOLS
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Name of Tool or PlatformDescriptionCostWeb linkProsConsIntegration with other platformsAdditional Notes
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TrelloA collaboration tool that organizes your projects into cards and boards and offers a flexible and visual way to organize anything with anyone. You can add lists to the board and cards to the lists. Each card can have individual checklists, uploaded documents or pictures and discussion in the form of comments. You can easily invite your co-workers to sign up for their own free Trello account.Personal account free; Business class= $10 per user per month; Unlimited users allowed for just $25https://trello.com/Responsive and Intuitive Design can be accessed the same way from mobile or desktop with real time updates and notifications; It’s a highly horizontal tool that has not been specifically built for project management and has limited functionality, for example, there is no Gantt view; There is no: offline mode, ability to edit comments, version control, file uploads over 10MB
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MondayTask management software that promotes collaboration through visualization tools.User-friendly interface that additionally manages ad campaigns, fixes bugs, solves issues, promotes customer relationship management, and creates videos; Color coding of alerts according to priority levels.Basic plan missing features like search view, messaging, and integrations with third-party vendors; There is no: Gantt view, version control, time and expense tracking.Power-Ups (Trello’s form of integrations) let you connect with other tools to create a more robust project management solution.
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Todoist
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AsanaVersatile task management softwareEfficient project coordination, project projections, milestone projections, and convenient set up of personalized profiles for assigning projects; Customizable Dashboards help track only the desired elements to be tracked.UI is a bit complicated and there are a lot of features to go through and learn; No time tracking and file export into PDF and Excel format not supported
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SlackA real-time messaging platform that brings all your communication together in one place.free or paid versionshttps://slack.com/Simple interface, great for 1-2-1 or small group chats, eases the email inbox overload and speeds up discussionsThe free plan only allows video conferencing for up to 2 people and has a limit of 10 integrations; the paid plan is one of the most expensive ones out there; It’s easy to get distracted and lose or miss messages in a barrage of discussions and channelsOver 800 integrations are available from Twitter, Dropbox, Google Docs, Asana, Trello, GitHub, and dozens of other services; however, the free plan has a limit of 10 integrations
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MeisterTask
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TeamRetroSpecialised tool for Agile retrospectives and team health checks$15-25 per team depending on number of teams.www.teamretro.comStraight forward retrospective process and also includes radars for team health checks. Enterprise level dashboards. GDPR compliant. Fast and response and very easy for team members to use.Specialised tool for agile retrospectives and team health checks.
JIRA, Trello, Asana, Github, Confluence, MS Teams etc.
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WrikeWork management platformhttps://www.wrike.com/main/
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