Overview of Tools for Learning and Teaching

There are a number of tools and resources available to faculty and students to accomplish their learning and teaching goals. The follow graphic shows the major components of our technology landscape. Below is a more detailed list of software organized by it's most common use. Because of the large number of specialized tools, this page contains only the most widely used and adopted tools across the College. For information about discipline or faculty specific tools please contact your Academic Technology & Consulting Liaison.

 

Graphic displaying the technology landscape of tools that Bowdoin has to support online learning.

 

The Technology Landscape

The center of our academic tools and resources is Blackboard, our learning management system. It provides the core resources which are supplemented with other tools in a hub and spoke model.

  • Blackboard provides for material distribution tools (syllabus, modules, reading links), conversation tools (blogs, wikis, journals), assessment tools (assignments, quizzes, exams), and a number of course maintenance tools (gradebook, attendance).
  • Microsoft Teams and Zoom provide for synchronous course meeting as well as recording and closed captioning. These are supplemented with Ensemble for video distribution and asynchronous recording of lecture material with Ensemble Anthem or QuickTime. Teams and Zoom also provide a number ot tools for use while in a synchronous session (whiteboards and breakout rooms).
  • For collaborative documents, the Microsoft Office suite and Google Docs are available.
  • For specialized needs Jupyter (Python and R), The Adobe CS Suite, ESRI ArcGIS, and a number of other software titles are provided. More details on these are listed below.

Tools and Resources By Common Use

Note: Additional software products will be added.

Accessible Course Materials  

  • Blackboard Ally 
  • Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint accessibility checker  
  • Acrobat Writer

Assessment  

  • Blackboard  Assignments Tool
  • Blackboard  Quizzes and Exam Tool
  •  Blackboard  Gradebook 
  • Ensemble Quiz – can feed into Blackboard gradebook  

Annotation  

  • Blackboard  AnnotationTool -- works in-line while grading and reviewing
  • Adobe Acrobat - PDF markup and annotation

Communication  

  •  Blackboard Announcements Tool
  • Blackboard Email Tool
  • Class Email Lists  
  • Microsoft Teams 

Course Management  

  • Blackboard Learning Management System (LMS)  
  • Microsoft Bookings - for office hours  
  • Ensemble - create video playlists and video drop-boxes  
  • LinkedIn Learning  - supplemental materials

Discussion  

  • Blackboard  Discussion Boards
  • Microsoft Teams Chat  
  • Zoom Breakout Rooms  
  • Zoom Chat  
  • FlipGrid  
  • WordPress    

Document Collaboration  

  • Microsoft OneDrive  - sharing documents and files
  • Microsoft Teams  - general collaboration and communication
  • Office 365 Word, Excel, PowerPoint  - live collaboration on documents

General Software  

  • Microsoft Office Suite – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote  
  • Adobe CS Suite  –  Photoshop , Acrobat, Spark, Premiere, Audition

Mapping / GIS  

  • ESRI ArcGIS (via AWS Workspace if on macOS)  
  • ArcGIS Online  

Peer Review  

  • Blackboard  Discussion Board
  • Microsoft Word – using track changes and comments    

Podcasting  

  • Adobe Audition  
  • Audacity - recording and editing sound files  

Polling / Student Response

  • Zoom  Polling
  • Poll Anywhere (limited availability)
  • Microsoft Forms  
  • Qualtrics  

Reference Management  

  • EndNote  
  • Zotero  

Statistics & Mathematics  

  • Jupyter / JupyterHub – interactive Python and R  notebooks
  • RStudio Server - R  
  • SPSS (via AWS Workspace if on macOS)  
  • Mathematica 
  • Matlab  (via AWS Workspace if on macOS)  

Video Creation  / Production

  • Ensemble Anthem - screen capture, creating asynchronous video  
  • QuickTime - screen capture, creating asynchronous video  
  • Adobe Premiere and Premiere Rush  - video production and editing
  • iMovie   - video production and editing
  • Final Cut - video production and editing (limited off-campus availability)
  • Microsoft Streams  - video storage and distribution

Web Conferencing / Meetings  

  • Zoom  
  • Microsoft Teams    

Websites  

  • WordPress  
  • Adobe Spark  
  • Spark Page (Mobile App)  
  • ArcGIS Story Maps    

Whiteboards  / Brainstorming

  • Zoom Whiteboard  
  • Microsoft Whiteboard    

Wikis, Journals, and Blogs  

  • Blackboard  Wiki Tool
  • Blackboard  Journal Tool
  • Blackboard  Blog Tool 
  • WordPress