Each month, Instructional Technologies is shining a spotlight on effective, engaging, or promising learning technologies. Each Spring and Fall semester, an iTech Spotlight video will highlight an application of innovative technology at PLU.

2019-20 Spotlights


Featured Video: Podcasting

In addition to being a growing medium in pop-culture, podcasting can also be used as an effective pedagogical tool. Podcasting in PLU classrooms has gained popularity over the past few years, with faculty across campus integrating podcast assignments into their curiculuum.  Hundreds of students each year are now producing podcasts as part of their coursework. Watch the video below to learn more about how podcasting is being used in classes, and how these assignments have evolved at PLU.



Zoom is a popular web-conferencing platform that has video, voice, and text chat, as well as a variety of other web-conferecing and group collaboration features. Meetings with Zoom can be recorded as video, which can be saved and watch later for reference. It’s a good choice for webinars, trainings, and hosting online team/class meetings. The Basic version of Zoom is free and available to everyone. PLU has a limited number of Pro licenses, which you can request by contacting itech@plu.edu.



VoiceThread is a highly interactive, online discussion space. Instructors and students upload pictures, videos, presentations, or documents into an online collection. Then, they can respond and comment to each other in a variety of ways, such as with an audio recording, video, text comment, or PDF response.


ACCESSIBILITY APPS provide support to people with disabilities. Here are three examples of apps that can be used to make a positive impact on people’s lives:

  • Be My Eyes – App that connects blind and low-vision people with sighted volunteers for visual assistance (video).
  • P3 Mobile – Helping deaf and hard of hearing people make and receive phone calls by connecting to digital tools and live sign language interpreters (video).
  • Color Blind Pal – App allowing people with color blindness to see colors around them and simulates color blindness for content creators.



InsertLearning is a plugin for Chrome that faculty can use to turn any website into an interactive learning experience. It can be used to insert questions, discussions, and insight directly into any website. When students go to that website, they can respond to, and interact with, the added content, as well as take their own notes.


KEEP YOUR BRAIN IN GEAR! Classes are over, the sun is shining, and meals are being eaten outdoors. Although you don’t have to wake up to attend an 8am class, keep your brain running with the help of these tools:

Duolingo – Learn a new language (helpful for study abroad)
TED – Inspirational, informative, and entertaining speeches
Khan Academy – Videos, can supplement existing classes
edX – Stream free online courses and certificate programs
Coursera – Enroll in online courses

2018-19 Spotlights


Featured Video: The Lightboard

Introducing a new tool from iTech: The Lightboard. The Lightboard can be used to create written and drawn visuals for instructional videos, which can be especially useful to demonstrate complicated material, such as mathematic equations. iTech built their own Lightboard for campus-wide use – watch the video below to check it out! Visit our Lightboard page for more info.

Monthly Spotlights


FINISH STRONG! Final tests and projects are upon us. Be sure to drink plenty of water and take study breaks. Here are a few tools that may help you round out the semester:

  • Citation Machine – Create citations in multiple formats and scan papers for mistakes
  • Photomath – solves and explains math problems
  • GradeProof – improve writing, check for originality
  • Bitpaper.io – a collaborative whiteboard


GET ORGANIZED! It’s time for a little spring cleaning! There are only a few weeks left in the semester. Check out these apps to help manage your time, collaborate with groups, and hit the deadlines:

  • Evernote – Organizer of notes, lists, checklists, attachments, audio recordings, and other elements
  • Trello – Group organization and task management
  • CamScanner – Easily scan and share, turns pics into PDFs
  • Due – Due date tracker
  • MyStudyLife – Alternative to Due


Got an idea for a future iTech spotlight? Use this form to submit suggestions. Consider suggestions such as new mobile apps or learning hardware/software tools. Also tell us about any peers or faculty that are using tech in innovative ways.