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Technology Integration:
Multimedia in Projects: Tools for Creating and Viewing Media

Multimedia with CD's, Microphone, Video Camera, and Film GIF

Technology Integration is a four part series on essential questions, technology integration resources, web page design, and multimedia in projects.  Sections contain relevant opening essays and resources.

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Software Tools, Plug-Ins and Viewers


Are you looking for top applications for learning?

Tools MetaphorIf you are integrating media into your instruction, consider it's not about the tools, it's using the tools to facilitate learning.

The Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies is a must see site for the Top Tools for Learning, which include many tools for collaboration and communication, multimedia development, online learning, and more.

Do  you want to develop your own apps?

MIT App Inventor logoMIT and Google have developed MIT App Inventor, a programming learning tool which allows you to create real-world apps for Android and iOS devices.  It's meant for students and comes with plenty of tutorials for beginners and up.  Best of all, it is free. Luke Edwards (2022, June) at Tech & Learning provides an overview in What is MIT App Inventor and How Does It Work? Tips and Tricks.


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Development and Authoring Tools


What is open source software?

What should you be concerned about?

Question markOpen source software is "computer software whose source code is available under a copyright license that permits users to study, change, and improve the software, and to freely distribute it to potential users" (, para. 1).

More and more, schools are turning to open source software as a way to cut down expenses associated with commercial software.  Many of the programs provide documentation and tutorials for their use.  However, support, security, integration with pre-existing systems, and track records of successful implementations in schools are issues of concern (Nagel, 2007a).

Fortunately, there are organizations looking at successful implementations of open source and keeping track of open source standards, hardware, and the better open source software.  For more information, see the following resources:


Note: If you are looking for video-editing software, Nagel (2007b) noted that this software comes in professional, semi-professional, and consumer varieties.  Free or cheap solutions might introduce students to editing concepts and get the job done for K-12 school projects, but  "the way those editors work is not the way professional systems work" (online p. 1).  So, you also need to consider the learning outcome of using the software and that some software, whether it is for audio or video editing, might not provide the skills that students would need for college level or professional work.

Office and Classroom Productivity, including presentations:

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Friendly reminder GifTeachers: When including images in your lesson plans, select images that support learning.  Marva Cappello (2017) offers tips in Considering visual text complexity: A guide for teachers, published in The Reading Teacher, 70(6).

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3D and Animation:

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General Authoring, Programming, and Coding:

Note: If you are interested in including programming at your school, Brian Eastwood (2020) lists The 10 most popular programming languages to learn in 2021, posted at Northeastern University. 

You might be interested in knowing the difference between coding and programming.

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PDF documents and file conversion software:

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Organizing, outlining information, concept mapping, mind mapping, math and other charts:

Need Ideas for Mind Maps?

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HOT!: Antonio Gutierrez of has multiple mind maps on many topics to give you ideas.  This is a great find!


Note: See How to Make a Concept Map Easily -- With Examples, provided by Shaun Killian (2019) at Evidence-Based Teaching.

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Compression Tools


Multimedia files can consume a lot of space on your hard drive.  Large files can be slow to transmit or receive over the Internet or via email.  Compressing files reduces their size by eliminating redundancy.  By compressing files, you also can save more data on your back-up disks or CDs, or other portable media.  Popular compression tools include:

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Plug-Ins and Viewers


Plug-ins are needed to view multimedia on the web or in presentations.  Pearson Education Browser Tuner provides a quick check of what browser you are using on your computer and checks if you have common plug-ins installed from those listed at their site.


Need to print a web page?

Question markPrint Friendly is an online tool that cleans and formats web pages for perfect print experience. PrintFriendly removes Ads, Navigation and web page junk, so you can save paper and ink when you print.  Just enter the URL of the page you want to print.  You can then print the page, email the printout, or save to a pdf file.  You can also add Print Friendly to your browser or add a button to your own web page.


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Online File Storage


If you do not wish to take up valuable storage space on your hard drive, consider saving some of your digital creations and other files online. Teachers might find this of value, for example, to store files that can be accessed from any computer.  Services include:

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Conferencing Tools


Are you looking for help implementing videoconferencing in your K-12 classroom?

Videoconferencing for K-12 Classrooms, Second Edition: A Program Development GuideISTE released Chapter 3: Getting Started with IVC (available on from its 2009 publication Videoconferencing for K-12 Classrooms, Second Edition: A Program Development Guide by Camille Cole, Kecia Ray, and Jan Zanetis.

This chapter "will help you establish a certain baseline familiarity with IVC technologies, including facilities, equipment, staffing, and training required to work well in an educational setting.  [The authors] outline what you need in order to send and receive content, access remote opportunities, and collaborate with colleagues across the miles" (p. 45).

Caution: If you are using videoconferencing in your classroom, be sure to check the security features of your selection and have a way to ensure privacy of students who wish it.  You need to prevent uninvited guests.  Have the selection vetted by your district's IT department.

Consider allowing students to have their cameras turned off to avoid capturing unintended content and to opt-out of interactive video calls.

Consider using passwords for participants to join your meeting, and do not post access information in publicly available places.

Participants who cannot attend will benefit from a on-demand playback feature, also helpful for learners to review.

If sharing content is a goal during your meeting, consider having only one person (i.e., the teacher) host the meeting who can control a "share screen" feature.

During a live session with students, ensure that students know the videoconference is being recorded.

Educators should know where and for how long their video will be stored, and who can gain access to it.

Tip: Use videoconferencing for interactions, and video for conveying information.  A video can be viewed prior to the video conference (or at any time) to set the tone for the conference to follow.  Be sure to provide a template with guiding statements to help students take notes and record their questions for discussion.

HOT! The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency provides the following:



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Creating Media--Tutorials and the Technical Aspects of Multimedia


Man creating media at his computer workstation GIFIf you involve students in creating multimedia elements, you need to consider levels of difficulty and time for development.  As one person, you most likely will not have time to learn every piece of software you would like to use.  You might consider assigning groups of students to learn a specific feature of the software to demonstrate to the class, and  having those knowledgeable students help others in the class to develop media.  Arranged in order (least to greatest), these difficulty levels include:

The following resources include appropriate tutorials for creating and working with multimedia.

Screencasting How-to's:

Adobe Creative Cloud Across the Curriculum: A Guide for Students and Teachers was written by Dr. Todd Taylor, Professor of English at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.  This online step-by-step guide contains nine chapters.  The first two chapters are devoted to getting started with digital tools and learning about Adobe Creative Cloud.  Then each of the remaining chapters are devoted to specific media types.  The guide will "help students create graphics, videos, reports, magazines, audio-visual projects, interactive web and mobile experiences, and more. You'll find complete learning modules, how-to videos, rubrics, and examples of student work to make it easy to integrate Creative Cloud into your curricula. Use the eTextbook in its entirety or select individual modules" (Online description, para. 2).

The Digital Camera in Education Web Site includes pros and cons of using the digital camera, applications (e.g, ESE, ESOL, science, math), how to's, sample lessons, and a series of videos to illustrate what you can do in 15-seconds.

Video Camera GifDigital Hotcakes contains a number of free video editing tutorials for Adobe Premier, Adobe Premier Pro, Final Cut Pro, QuickTime Pro, Pinnacle Studio 9, PowerPoint, and Vegas Video. contains absolutely free tutorials on color, image design and capture, HTML and web design.  A glossary of graphics terms and file formats are also provided.

HowStuffWorks provides answers to questions of interest regarding multimedia and its production:

Internet4Classrooms contains tutorials for several applications commonly used in K-12, including authoring.  Examples include PowerPoint, Hyperstudio, Word, Excel, Dreamweaver, Claris Home Page, Inspiration and Kidspiration.

Kodak Tips and Project Center is the best place to learn to work with digital images. Get tips for taking better digital photos; learn about cameras, digital basics, printing, sharing, enhancing and restoring; get ideas for projects.

Learninginhand: Podcasting by Tony Vincent has numerous resources for handhelds in education.  He presents details for learning to create podcasts: preproduction, recording, postproduction, and publishing. You can also find existing podcasts, subscribe to them, or listen to podcasts. Of relevance are his links showing how students, even at elementary school levels, are creating podcasts.

LInC Online: Graphics, Graphics, and More Graphics contains everything you wanted to know about using, converting, making, finding, and saving graphics.

PowerPoint in the Classroom has tutorials for working with PowerPoint; a teacher guide is also available.

Video Creation & Tools is a great collection of resources for the how-to's of creating videos and ideas for their use in the classroom, gathered by Shelly Terrell.

Video 101 by Prof. M. Trinklein of Idaho State University is a complete video production course.  Complete content is online regarding editing, video recording, camera operation, shot composition, the lens, sound, lighting, camera mounts, the TV camera, and TV graphics.  This site was honored by the Broadcast Education Association.

Web Site Estates has free Power Point templates for students and educators, plus tips and tutorials.

WhatIs.Com "is a reference and self-education tool about information technology. The site provides readers with definitions for over 10,000 terms and over 1,000 fast references, cheat sheets and quizzes" (About section).  Use the A-Z dictionary to search for terms, such as multimedia, graphics.


Think about using video in your instruction.

Friendly reminder GifHere are some of the many ideas suggested by Bob Sprankle at Wells Elementary School in Maine.

  1. Film students on the first day of school, asking them what their goals are for the school year.
  2. Ask a student to demonstrate how to solve a math problem and capture his exact process, rather than just the answer -- great to post online, too.
  3. Capture hands-on experiential learning.
  4. Film important lesson highlights so absent students can review what they missed.
  5. Have students create tutorials.
  6. Capture the excitement of learning from each student.
  7. Film real-world connections from outside and use them to capture students attention during a lesson.
  8. Use video to leave instructions for a substitute teacher.

Source: Sprankle, B. (2008, April). Caught on video. Technology & Learning, 28(9), 29-32.


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Media Collections


Clipart ETC: Math from Florida's Educational Technology Clearinghouse is a free collection of nearly 10,000 images for "algebra, geometry, trigonometry, probability, money, number sense, and more. This collection of illustrations for teachers and students consists of clipart for all levels of K-12 math classes. Included are coordinate and polar grids, graphs, number lines, clocks, patterns, flashcards, protractors, thermometers, fractions, geometric shapes & solids, angles & lines, bags of marbles, spinners, constructions, theorems & proofs, and dice. From the common place to the hard-to-find clipart, everything an educator needs for activities, assessments, and presentations can be found here." (Website description)

Creative Commons contains databases of audio, video, image, text, and educational materials that have terms of use already designated, which eliminates seeking permission to use copyrighted material.

Educator Clips includes a range of free clip art for use at teacher sites and in classroom projects. is a license-specific photo search engine owned and operated by Vibrant Software in Vancouver, Canada. The company indexes and searches millions of freely licensed photos, from many sources, and presents them in an integrated search (About Us section).  Its great for locating free images on the web for projects.

FreeImages is a great resource for free photos and illustrations on just about any topic.  If you use any images, remember to contact the artist using the e-mail address found on the artists page. Free stock images at this site are from photographers all over the world.

FreePhotoBank is a free stock photo site.  If you search for mathematics or topics pertaining to mathematics, for example, there are numerous images that you can download.

The Freesound Project is a collaborative database of Creative Commons licensed sounds (not songs and compositions): audio snippets, samples, recordings, bleeps, field recordings, and so on.  Some sounds can be used for scientific research.

Kathy Schrock's Online Tools include an extensive collection of resources for teaching, learning, and creating media.

Pixabay provides "copyright free images and videos. All contents are released under Creative Commons CC0, which makes them safe to use without asking for permission or giving credit to the artist - even for commercial purposes" per its description.  However, you should be aware of the policy: Public Domain Images - What is allowed and what is not.

SnapFiles contains an extensive collection of freeware and shareware in multiple categories, such as graphics and photo editing; multimedia, audio, and video; web publishing and design; productivity and office; educational tools; and much more.

Unsplash for Education contains over 1 million free images on numerous topics in categories such as art, maths and science, technology, history, geography, space, politics and current events, health.


Back to top | Part 4: Multimedia in Projects: Page 1  |  2  |  3



Nagel, D. (2007a, January 18). Open-source schools: Got data? THE Journal

Nagel, D. (2007b, May 9). Know your NLE's. THE Journal


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Binoculars GifSee other Technology Integration pages:

Part 4: Multimedia in Projects: Page 1  |  2  |  3

Part 1: Essential Questions  |  Part 2: Technology Integration Resources  |   Part 3: Web Page Design