More Great Tools

That Don't Seem to Fit into Other Categories

Page Cleaners

Wish you weren't distracted from the main feature of a webpage? Tired of viewing ads, extraneous videos, and flashing banners? You need a "page cleaner!" And Tasha Bergson-Michelson lists some great ones in her blog. To borrow an idea from her to demonstrate what page cleaning can do, which would you rather read?

Without page cleaner

With "Readbility" page cleaner

She lists general page cleaners as well as cleaners for videos, blogs, etc. I use Readability daily! Less distractions, larger print, easier on old (or young) eyes!

URL Tools

URL Shorteners

Did you ever have a really loooooong URL that you copied to send to someone and it broke apart in the message so the other person would have trouble figuring it out? Or a URL that would give people a hint of where they were going (like a birthday greeting or some other surprise?) Or maybe soon you'll have a URL to share with a class and you wont want to write this on the board:

With a URL shortener, you could just write this:
That will take you to the very same place! And will track how many times your link has been clicked!

Next time you have a long URL, shorten it with one of these:

Read more about URL Shorteners and see a long long list of them here. I use the most because I can track how many times it has been used and it has several other features that are useful to me.

URL Expanders

On the other hand, someone might send you a link that has been shortened and before you click on it, you want to know where it goes. (Think spam, porn, phishing, viruses....) You can use one of these link expanders:

URL Bundlers

Let's say you have 5 different URLS you want your students to explore. Instead of sending them 5 different links, bundle them. When they open a bundled link, all 5 links will open for them!

Other URL Tools

  • CiteBite Paste a chunk of text and the URL of the page containing the text and in return get a link that opens directly to your selection and highlights it. Here's one that highlights this line on the page.
  • Paste a url address of any webpage into the site. After you click “next,” you will see the page “within” You can then highlight one section of the text on the page and write a note about it. You’re then given a url address (or can directly email it) of the page “within” with your note “floating” in front. (Via @larryferlazzo)
  • UnTiny lets you see the original URL of any that have been shortened. One of the disadvantages of NOT seeing an original URL is that you can't tell the domain name or learn anything else about the site you are about to visit. UnTiny to the rescue!
  • claims to make the world's shortest URLs from your long ones. It has several nice features worth checking out.
  • If you're presenting to a class or group and want them to be able to see and copy a URL, try SplashURL. This tool will create a short version of the given URL and display it really big, so people can easily copy it from the screen.
  • I don't know why you'd want to do it, but you can make any URL into en even longer url with HugeURL
  • BackUpURL makes a copy of any website if you enter the URL. It emails you a link that you can share and view any time knowing it will last forever. Good for sites that change frequently, but you want to keep the info you are currently viewing.
  • Vyu.meis a new kind of URL shortener. It allows your users to preview and discuss your links. Plus, when people leave you comments, they will notify you if you'd like . All URLs have neat stats associated with them.
  • Someone named FactoryJoe actually collected images of dozens of URL shorteners...some common, some weird. I guess everyone needs a hobby! Check them out!


  • Bubble Joy is a way of sending short (60 seconds) fun video messages to people.
  • GroupCards lets you send an electronic greeting personalized by each member of a group...a class to a teacher, a class to a fellow-student, your staff to a volunteer, your library committee to the administrator, teachers to a retiring teacher or administrator, etc.


Screenshot & Thumbnail Generators

Web-Capture will let you capture a full webpage by submitting the URL and it converts it to a JPG, PDF or other choice completely online for free.

Thumbalizr does the same thing--full page or screen; choose your resolution. CaptureFullPage lets you choose full page or top of page, size, and type of image (.png or .jpg).

FireShot is an extension for Firefox and Internet Explorer that captures, edits, annotates, organizes, exports and prints screenshots of web pages. Fireshot provides a set of editing and annotation tools, which let users quickly modify captures and insert text and graphical annotations. Screenshots can be saved to disk (PNG, GIF, JPEG, BMP), printed (NEW), copied to clipboard, e-mailed and sent to external editor for further processing.

Shrink the Web offers screenshots and thumbnails in your choice of six different sizes.

WebSnapr just enter the url of the webpage you want to make thumbnail size. You can have small or micro-sized!

Image Generators

  • PagePlugIns provides a number of tools and toys to generate interesting things for your website, wiki or blog. Notes, calendars, text, animations and more.
  • FunFacer Upload a photo, add fun features and enjoy!


ALA READ Mini-Poster Generator

  • MakeSweet offers some animated gif generators from your photo or logo like this waving flag:
TypeGenerator Poster from the word READ

Generated with "Spell with Zombies"

Generated with "AutoMotivator"
  • Bob Dylan Message Generator
  • Text2Pix Links to hundreds of image generators like the Dummies Book Cover Generator. From the site: "Upload a photo so you can add special effects to touch-up or add some creativity to the image. Here you can mash-up your digital photographs to make fake magazine covers, motivational posters, sports cards, photocards, funny scenes, newspaper headlines, novelty styles and much more (almost 1,000 template layouts). Put your face on the body of a famous celebrity or make silly mashups. Add 3D borders, frames, comic speech/thought bubbles and even custom text messages! Create large sized nifty touchups to your photos, give them a touch of personality or fantasy. Try out the Image Processor (darken, lighten, sharpen, blur, contrast, warp/twist, etc) to manipulate the image beyond reality. Mashup your photos to photocards, funny templates, calendars, posters, magazine covers, sports cards, etc."

  • Says-It "You can create your own church sign, make an official seal, have your own fire or police badge, and more. Once you've picked your options and generated your graphic, you can use it for whatever you like - save it on your computer, upload it to ImageShack image hosting for use in blog or forum posting,"
  • Chalkboard Message Generator
    • See other generators from GlassGiant like this Hollywood Sign:

  • The Talking Flower (you can also choose talking tomatoes, talking owls, talking squirrels or talking cats)



Add text to any photo or image with PicFont. You can also create text on backgrounds or on shapes.

ReSubj is a discussion space accessible with browser or email. No registration required.
  1. Create an inbox with message and add recipients.
  2. You and all recipients receive an email with your message and a link to the inbox.
  3. Participants may reply to any message in the inbox using browser or email

See a screencast of how it works. This would be great for short term discussions on any topic with colleagues and has possibilities for use with students, too.

Sloganizer. Enter your "product" (or library name) and it generates slogans for you. Don't like it? Sloganize again! Fun!

or "Next Stop: WebTools4U2Use" or "WebTools4U2Use Has Got It All!" or "See You at WebTools4U2Use" or "WebTools4U2Use. Think Different."

Tufts University offers SAM Animation, an animation tool for young people. SAM Animation is a (downloadable) software platform that allows the user to make stop-action movies using a USB or fire-wire real-time (i.e. web camera or webcam) and whatever props the user desires. The software is both Mac and PC compatible and free to all users willing to register. See their gallery of animations.

SmashMash is a hard to describe tool, but definitely worth a look. It could be listed under photos, videos, drawing and animation, presentations, audio....all or any of those! The demo will give you an idea--and ideas! You can also remix what others have "mashed." I didn't find much tagged education, library, reading, books, school....make some and share here!? is a combination slide show, video sharing site, photo sharing site, timeline, blogging, scraobook and map mashup.

OpenZine Create your own magazine. Add images, video, articles...let others add content if you'd like. Select your own layout, etc.

SocialBrowse Comment on anyweb page! Share comments with others. Read comments from others.

From GeekyMomma's Blog:
CiteBite allows you to send someone a link to a webpage where you have highlighted a portion of that page for them. Very easy, very quick! No registration, no signing in!
  1. You just go to the webpage to which you want to refer.
  2. Highlight the text.
  3. Go to CiteBite, paste the text into the first field.
  4. Then paste the URL into the second field.
CiteBite then generates another URL for you to forward.

BookGoo is a writing and annotation tool. Bookgoo allows you to highlight and annotate your documents in the same way you would mark up a piece of paper with a highlighter and pen! Upload your document, highlight and annotate it, and then share with others. See the demo.

Whizle is a great place to share plans and guides with the world. Have you discovered the best way to configure software, learn a subject, start a business, publish a book or assemble a device? Start a Whizle to share your experience in sequential steps. Your Whizles can grow into wonderful guides and become more thorough since others can add steps and resources to them and make them more useful over time.

iLeonardo calls itself "a social research tool." It lets you create a notebook of links on a topic and then share that notebook. You can allow others to add to it - or not. You can browse through the public notebooks and subscribe to any topics if you'd like notification of changes.
Here's a notebook of links to comments and press clippings about iLeonardo, for example, and another on Presidents. Looks very useful for students and teachers (and library media specialists) for sure!

Here's a great tool! It's called Apture and it lets you add content to any of your webpages. I added photos to the About WebTools4U2Use page and the blogs page just to see how it works. It worked so well, I added a video to the WebTools4U2Use welcome page. And here's an Apture video on Apture. I an see all sorts of possibilities for student authoring of reports and projects.

New Trier High School is incorporating Apture into it's reading blog, Tell It Like It Is. Here'a an example with Apture links to photos, Google maps, and Wikipedia articles.

Need input on a document? Suggestions for your presentation? Critique of your photos? Try BackBoard.

BBC’s Blast Poetry Tool “lets you put together your visual interpretation on a poem using images, video and sound effects that have been provided by the BBC and other Blast users.” Great to practice audio editing skills, too!

The Creativity Games Random Word Generator will generate random lists of words for you. Just tell it how many you want and they'll appear! From the website:

You can use them for many purposes including :
  • Brainstorming (use the words as stimulus for ideas)
  • Playing creativity games similar to those you'll find on this site
  • An awesome cure for writer's block
  • Anything else you can think of
The games are based on the work done by Edward de Bono in the book "How to Have Creative Ideas".

Create your own interactive games with PlayCrafter . Or let students create their own games. Great for reading and following directions! Learning Impulse offers a free tool that will let you create your own interactive games and quizzes. It will keep track of your students' scores for you, too.

Quiz from Learning Impulse

You can use to create free educational games, activities and diagrams and host them on your own webpage, wiki or blog. Choose from a variety of templates to begin.

LessonWriter helps create lesson plans and student guides. Vocabulary, pronunciation, comprehension questions and more. Free. From the website.

SmileBox lets you upload photos, videos, and music and combine them to create scrapbook pages, greeting cards, postcards, slideshows and photo albums. Lots of templates to help you with design and layout. Free. (Windows only right now. Mac version coming according to website.)

My Great World lets you find photos by location on a world map....and you can upload photos, too. You choose a place on a world map and access images from that location. The key feature of the site, though, is that you can then (without registering) choose an image, write a fairly lengthy message, and mail them both as an E-Card. The url address of the card can then be posted on an online journal or blog.

Dipity is a webtool that makes it simple for your students to create and share interactive timelines about any subject or topic. It allows students to embed You Tube videos, Twitter, RSS feeds, Blogger, flickr, Picasa, Last FM, and more right into their timelines.

iCue is a social network from NBC News built around current and historyic video clips. Share discussions, debate with and learn from one another. Participate in interactive games and more.

Mento is for sharing links with friends and colleagues via a button for your browser and a place for saving your shared links.Send links to any email address, Facebook friends and Twitter contacts, and use groups and tags for exchanging links with more people.

WebLessons is an online learning system that makes it easy for students in grades K-12 to learn from the best sites on the World Wide Web. WebLessons combines a structured online learning experience with teacher-approved resources and three types of assessment that emphasize higher order thinking. More than 700 standards-based lessons are now available in Social Studies and Science, together with comprehensive Instructor's Guides that contain differentiated learning activities, grading rubrics, professional development, and more.. (subscription/license based)

Just for fun (and to show how interactive the web has become) check out the Librarian Dress Up! page. Click and drag clothes to make your librarian a superhero or...

WizIQ Free online virtual classroom. Two way video and audio, whiteboard, file sharing, drawing tools

CatalogChoice Eliminate unwanted catalogs. Save trees!

Tikatok Kids can write, illustrate and publish their own books here, read what others have written, collaborate as writers and/or illustrator, comment on what others have written. Printed copies can be ordered.

Kids can create their own animated cartoon shows with Select a puppet, record narration in your own voice, and share the show and share! How about a puppet-narrated book report? Or a puppet giving a report? Installation of a small program is required on the computer, and there are ads on the site...but it is great fun!

Reading is SO important. Why not let kids have fun and practice reading with Karaoke? Karaoke Party lets you choose a song and level of difficulty, shows the words and plays the music, and then awards points for hitting the right note!

Scratch is a downloadable program from MIT that lets you or your students create "your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art -- and share your creations on the web. Scratch is designed to help young people (ages 8 and up) develop 21st century learning skills. As they create Scratch projects, young people learn important mathematical and computational ideas, while also gaining a deeper understanding of the process of design."

Kerpoof allows you to draw, create stories and games, make an animated movie and more and share them on the web. You can rate those others have created.

is a community-moderated video website designed to be enjoyed by those between the ages of 6 months and 6 years.


From Larry Ferlazzo's blog: Websites of the Day where he talks about great tools for English Language Learners (ELL) although these tools are useful for many students, teacher and library media specialists. From his post called "The Best Ways to Create Online Content:"

Phreetings lets you search for an image (it appears to use Flickr, but I can’t be sure), drag and drop it on a virtual card, and then write something below it (it looks like you can write a lot there). You’re then given the url to copy and paste. During our study of natural disasters, for example, I can see my students finding an image labeled “Katrina” and writing a short report on what they’ve learned so far about the hurricane.

Flash Earth lets you quickly find a satellite image of a location and then gives you the url address of that image. ...Students can then post the address on a blog or online journal and describe it.

Gabsight is an application that does require a microphone. It’s actually a tool designed to send a video email, but you can use it for audio-only, too. Just record, then copy and paste the link for posting in the body of an email or on a online journal or blog.
Anyone can Sing with Juanes. Upload your photo, and choose one on the site, play the song, and sing along via telephone or computer microphone. Email your performance to a friend and post the url on a website or blog.
Nokia has a Picture Poetry tool that lets you write a short wish and then the application will find appropriate images that go with the words. You can then email your creation to a friend or teacher for posting on a website or blog.
You can upload your own photo or choose from a variety on PhotoFace. Then, you can “age” it, make the person heavier or lighter, and make a number of other edits. You can then post the link.
You can use the Propaganda Film Maker to combine images and audio to try convincing the public to support World War II.
Choose among thousands of U.S. History images from Picture History, write about it, and then send it as an E-Card to a teacher or to yourself. The link can then be posted on a blog or online journal.
Wildlife Filmmaker at National Geographic lest you make an online video. As the site says: “Make a custom nature film with animal clips, sounds, and more. Then share your masterpiece with your friends.”
Pictaps lets you draw a person and then turns your drawing to a bunch of dancing people having a good time. I’ve had students use it and then describe in writing what their person looks like and what’s going on in the animation.
Dress-up a Dark Ages Character from the Middle Ages (Viking, nun, knight, peasant, etc.) with all the accessories.