Technology Resources for Language Teaching & Learning

This is a list of web resources that can be used by both students and instructors to enhance the language learning experience.

Language Teaching with Technology


Wikis are a flexible tool for collaborative learning environments.

  • Columbia Wikispaces is a protected and safe wiki environment that provides a wiki for any course offered at Columbia University (instructors, click the "activate" button at right). Wikispaces make it easy to share your syllabus and assignments, while also creating a collaborative space for your students.
  • Columbia Wikischolars can be used by Columbia faculty, staff and graduate students as well, but can also be made available to non-Columbia affiliates. Researchers, scholars, and instructors may use Wikischolars if their audience includes non-Columbia members.
  • PB Works free wikis for education. (Free, web-based)


Blogs are a great tool for the development of student writing. 

  • Columbia EdBlogs provides a blog for any course offered at Columbia University upon the course instructor's request. EdBlogs make it easy to share course content and create an online community using a blogging format.
  • Weebly free blogs for education. (Free, web-based)
  • Wordpress
  • Edublogs
  • Posterous


  • Piazza Piazza is a free online gathering place where students can ask, answer, and explore 24/7, under the guidance of their instructors. (Free, web-based)
  • Voicethread VoiceThread is a totally web-based application that allows you to place collections of media like images, videos, documents, and presentations at the center of an asynchronous conversation.

Foreign Language Computing

European Languages

  • Keyboard shortcuts for accents and symbols (French, German, Spanish, etc). Windows and Mac.

Virtual Keyboards

When input settings in your own operating system (Windows/Mac) prove difficult to use, you may want to try using a virtual keyboard in your browser, and then copy/paste from the virtual keyboard into your text editor. See Gate2Home's list of virtual keyboards.

Videoconferencing Platforms

  • Google Hangouts Free group videoconferencing and screensharing web-based platform. Hangouts on Air allow chats to be recorded and played back later. (Free, web-based)
  • Adobe Connect A robust conferencing platform that allows a large number of users to screenshare and capture presentations. (Licensed software and web portal)
  • Skype Allows for one-to-one videoconferencing. Screensharing and group chatting are premium features. (Limited free software)
  • Facetime One-to-one screensharing and video chat for Mac OS and iOS only. (Free software)

Free Video Hosting

When choosing a free video hosting platform, consider issues of privacy and copyright. The services below all each have options for making the videos private, password-protected, or unsearchable.

  • Vimeo Allows for password-protected video permissions. (Limited free, web-based)
  • Youtube Allows for restricted and private videos. (Free, web-based)
  • Google Drive (Free, web-based)


Screencapture Software

  • Jing Free screencapture software (Windows and Mac)
  • Quicktime Free screencapture and video capture software, built into Mac OS.
  • Screenflow Licensed software with great annotation and editing features.

Digital Storytelling

  • iMovie A standard software for video projects. (free, Mac OS)
  • Toondoo Text-based comic strip and cartoon maker. (free, web-based)
  • Voki Make your own avatar, with voice recording. (free, web-based)
  • Cartoon Story Maker Create your own comics with templates or your own images, add speech bubbles and/or voiceover, and export them to HTML. (free, Windows)
  • PowToon Create flash-based animations with voiceover, and export them to Youtube. (web-based, free with optional upgrades.)


  • Rubistar - Rubric designer. (free, web-based)

Presentation Tools

These tools are great alternatives to Powerpoint.

  • Prezi Prezi is a cloud based presentation software that opens up a new world between whiteboards and slides. The zoomable canvas makes it fun to explore ideas. (Free, web-based)
  • Google Slides (formerly “Google Presentations”) is a cloud-based Powerpoint alternative. (Free, web-based)
  • Slideshare - Allows you to share pdfs, word documents, and powerpoint slides on the web. (Limited free features, web-based)

File Sharing

Concept-Mapping & Mind-Mapping

A mind map is a diagram used to visually outline information. A mind map is often created around a single word or text, placed in the center, to which associated ideas, words and concepts are added. Major categories radiate from a central node, and lesser categories are sub-branches of larger branches. Categories can represent words, ideas,tasks, or other items related to a central key word or idea.

  • Inspiration and Webspiration (Licensed software and web app)
  • Coggle Mind-mapping web app. (Free, web-based)
  • LucidChart Collaborative mind-mapping web-app, easy for multiple users to edit simultaenously. (Free, web-based)

Mapping Software (Geotagging & GIS)

Plagiarism Detection

  • Turnitin (Licensed service for institutions)

Research Tools (Reference Management)

  • Mendeley (Free software and web portal)
  • Endnote (Licensed software and web portal)
  • Zotero (Free browser plugin and web portal)

Website Development

Tag Clouds


  • Google Forms Create surveys and embed them easily by using a Google Form. The results are tabulated in a Google Spreadsheet. (Free, web-based)
  • Socrative  Socrative is great for use during class. The instructor can poll the class, and students can easily log in and respond within moments from any web browser - on a smart phone, iPad, or computer. (Free, web-based)
  • Survey Monkey Create surveys and track the responses all from within Survey Monkey. (Limited free, web-based)

Becoming a life-long learner with technology

Readings on Technology in Education

Tutorials and Resources


Suggestions for this list?  Let us know!