Beyond PDF Converter: Our 5 Favorite Tools for the EdTech Crowd
Here at FoxyUtils we support hundreds of thousands of PDF conversions every month, with just a small team. It took us a while to find the right tools to work smarter, not harder. Now that we are done with the new site (that was quite a lift!) we’d like to share our favorite five apps to get work done. 1) Google Drive It’s free and everyone can join for free. This is probably the most ubiquitous app on the list, and yet so many teachers still email files as attachments. Share your files instead, collaborate on edits and content, and keep your files online, so you can access them from any computer. The trick here is to consistently keep your « My Drive » organized. Create folders and sub folders, just like you would do on your own hard drive, and make sure to be intentional when naming your files. The best part? Each team member can organize her files however she wants – unless they are in a shared folder. So share as much as you want and build a truly organized virtual classroom. 2) Canva It used to be necessary to load Photoshop or InDesign, and have mad design skills to do very simple graphics work. No more. If you haven’t tried Canva yet, welcome to your new favorite tool. Canva is an online design app for non designers and designers alike. Even if you are great at Adobe, you will be happy to skip the hard work once in a while and get a beautiful image ready in just a few minutes. All your designs are saved within Canva, and can be accessed and downloaded from any computer. Canva is free – you only pay $1 for pictures or graphics you decide to use – and many are free. There is also a Team option for about $10 a month. It’s aimed at more advanced users working in teams who want to upload fonts, collaboratively edit files, and create brand-specific templates. 3) Slack Beloved by tech startups all over the world, this is still not as widely used an app outside the tech industry. Let’s change that. It is so much easier than email, as it allows you to message others instantly. All « conversations » are exchanged and archived under topic-specific channels, and an organization can decide whether to have private or open channels. Teaching can be solitary work, why not create a Slack group to exchange ideas with other teachers? Try it out, you will not miss emails! And the phone app is fantastic. 4) Camtasia Camtasia lets you record your screen and edit your videos. It includes advanced features such as a multi-track timeline to edit multiple tracks for images, video, text, and audio, and the ability to add annotations in the form of arrows, shapes, and more. It is not the cheapest option out here, but it is worth the investment. The educational license costs $169. 5) FoxyUtils We use our own tools every day. And we know teachers are our biggest fans! From splitting multi-page PDFs in single pages, merging PDFs, converting documents from Word to PDF, and a host of other tools, we built each tool with our users in mind. Not only FoxyUtils PDF tools are very easy to use, they also help you go paperless. We are always amazed by the amount of work and responsibility teachers take on, think of FoxyUtils as your classroom helper: we take care of the boring stuff, so you can get back to what you love the most – teaching. What are your favorite apps and productivity tools? Share them in the comments! And if you haven’t already, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.