UH Hilo Distance Learning

Educational Technology Tools

Need assistance with your Online Course(s)?

View the UH Hilo Distance Learning Team website or email the UH Hilo Distance Learning Team at uhhilodl@hawaii.edu.

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Are you teaching online? It's all about engagement. Simply loading your Laulima site with a ton of information won't provide an effective way for your students to interact with you. Interaction is the key. Students will engage if they feel that a real live person is responding to them, whether you or another student. Below are a few tools designed to improve student engagement and retention.

Recommended Applications (UH Hilo Campus Licensed)

  • Mac OSX - Preserves web links in converted documents
  • Conversion to PDF
  • Editing capability
  • Form creation
  • Most current version
  • Up to date accessibility tool
  • Online collaboration
  • Access anytime on any device

Screencast-O-Matic (SOM)

Screencast-O-Matic (SOM) Premier is screen capturing software.

SOM Training

  • Best for creating short videos and modules
    • Real time screen capturing
    • Video editing
    • Auto closed captioning

VoiceThread (VT)

VoiceThread (VT): 2-way multimedia engagement software

VT Training

  • Best for lectures and student presentations
    • Creates interactive (2-way), asynchronous (recorded), PowerPoint like presentations
    • No screen capturing; requires complete videos, PowerPoints, Word, Photos, etc.
    • Videos created in Screencast-O-Matic (screen captures) can be uploaded
    • Auto closed captioning


YouTube Screen capturing software

YouTube Training

  • Best for hosting videos
    • Easy to use
    • Accessible on most devices
    • Auto captioning
    • Auto resolution scaling to the end user's device (Desktop, tablet, and mobile devices)
    • Does not require specialized video codecs or software

Zoom Conferencing

Zoom is a widely used video conferencing platform.

Zoom Training

  • Best for synchronous (live) lessons
    • Works on Mac, PC, iOS, and Android

Other Applications

Augusta ADA Solutions

Automated captioning tool

Augusta ADA Solutions offers automatic closed captioning software.

  • Best for generating downloadable text captions
    • Recommended for creating transcripts for audio files
    • Not recommended for captioning videos


Video discussion platform

FlipGrid is a video discussion platform that allows students to record themselves on video, watch, and respond to classmates. Each class has its own account, which may be open or locked.

  • Great for discussions and groups
    • Responses can consist of text, images, video, Giphys, emojis, or attachments
    • Easy to use


Assessment and Quiz Tool

Kahoot! is a game-based learning platform that makes it easy to create, share, and play learning games or trivia quizzes in minutes.

  • Great for formal assessments
    • Excellent for increasing student participation
    • Exciting and Fun!


Diagramming tool

Lucidcharts is a visual workspace that combines diagramming, data visualization, collaboration, and mind mapping to accelerate understanding and drive innovation.

  • Great for explaining complex concepts
    • Process mapping
    • Brainstorming with mind maps
    • Real-time collaboration
    • Whiteboarding
    • Data visualization

Microsoft Whiteboard

Virtual Smartboard

Microsoft Whiteboard is an application designed to allow people to collaborate by drawing and refining ideas on a digital canvas (board).

  • Great for explaining formulas, equations, and diagrams
    • Virtual smartboard
    • Handwritten annotations and notes
    • Real-time collaboration
    • Recommendation: Capture lessons with Screencast-O-Matic Premier


Visual discussion platform

Padlet is an online virtual "bulletin board" where faculty and students can collaborate, reflect, share links, and pictures in a secure location.

  • Great for collaboration
    • Virtual "post-it" format
    • Student presentation alternative
    • Fun alternative to a discussion activity

Updated 11/02/22