Websites & Web Apps
Website platforms and web apps are ever-changing, so we’ve compiled a list of our favorites for student media programs. We hope you have fun experimenting with these tools and expanding your digital repertoire!
An Introduction to Code
Having an understanding of computer programming code is a valuable journalistic skill. Publications depend on people to use code to create and format smart phone applications, websites and other multimedia. Poynter put together a list of the most important types of code and organized them to make them easy to learn and teach. The article also includes a link to an interactive coding tutorial. Here is a guide to using Google to teach yourself how to code.
Aurasma is an app and a program that allows uses to create videos, animations and slideshows based on a single “trigger” image. Some companies are using Aurasma to market their products, but the Aurasma program can also allow journalists to create compelling multimedia presentations of news stories.
Blendspace allows teachers and schools to create a free account to set up their own multimedia lessons that are accessible anywhere with internet and a computer. Blendspace engages students through technology and tracks their progress on lessons at the same time.
Captricity is a low-cost, data-crunching tool that can be used to cheaply process paper forms into digital data.
ChangeDetection.com provides page change monitoring and notification services to internet users worldwide. Enter in the website URL and ChangeDetection will send you an email alert when the website is updated.
Creative Commons is a database of images that, for the most part, have been made available for public use. If you would like to use an image as part of a story that you didn’t take, it’s best to find it on Creative Commons instead of a Google search.
DocumentCloud is a resource a lot journalists use to turn documents into usable data. It makes analyzes, annotating and publishing documents online easy. Poynter’s News U held a seminar to show journalists how to use Document Cloud, which is available online.
DropBox allows users to save content in their cloud-based account and then access them from any computer connected to the internet. DropBox also has a smartphone app. Teachers often use DropBox to store PowerPoints and other presentations, and students can use it as a way to back up their work.
freeDive is an open-source site created by the UC Berkeley School of Journalism that conglomerates user-searchable databases into one space that can then be shared through social networks.
Google Advanced Search enables users to narrow their search results through a variety of criteria like language, region and file type.
HootSuite is a social network management tool that allows you to control all of your social media accounts from the same place. It includes popular sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and FourSquare. It’s particularly helpful for organizations or publications, like a high school newspaper, that have several of social media accounts with similar content.
JuxtaposeJS helps storytellers compare two pieces of similar media, including photos, and gifs. It’s ideal for highlighting then/now stories that explain slow changes over time (grown of a city skyline, regrowth of a forest, etc.) or before/after stories that show the impact of single dramatic events (natural disasters, protests, wars, etc.). It is free, easy to use, and works on all devices. All you need to get started are links to the images you’d like to compare.
Liveblog Pro bridges the gap between reporting and publishing by delivering real-time updates on a story. Liveblog Pro provides user-friendly software that is available for free initially.
Meme is an online app used by Vox Media to create images to share through social media.
Parse.ly partners with digital publishers to provide clear audience insights through an intuitive analytics platform.
PixCone is a web application for building infographics, whether you’re an expert or just getting started. There’s an editor where you drag and drop charts, images, texts, and shapes to compose an infographic. Infographics can be downloaded locally, ready to be used everywhere: blogs, webzine or press. It works on the browser: zero installation or configuration issues on your machine! PixCone aims to be a great tool for journalism, open data, teaching and education. Be sure to check out the multimedia section of this site for more infographics tips!
Pixlr is a browser-based photo editor.
Podio is an online work platform where users can create workspaces to “collaborate with specific groups of people, use an Employee Network for company-wide communication across departments and locations, and get their work done using Podio Apps. Anyone can build their own Podio Apps without any technical skills.”
Poetica is a free service that allows users to edit documents on Gmail, WordPress and Evernote.
Prezi is a presentation and storytelling tool. You create an account and the website guides you through the steps on making your unique presentation of a topic. It’s interactive and it zooms from point to point in the presentation. Prezi is an excellent teaching tool, but you can also make a public Prezi. Since anyone on the web can view a public Prezi, they are a great way to explore the benefits of interactive graphics in a journalistic capacity.
RebelMouse is a social web publishing tool that lets you organize your online presence into a social site. You can use it to curate and aggregate breaking news stories, topics, live events and user-generated content. Plus you can embed RebelMouse onto your personal sites or blogs. News organizations can use RebelMouse to cover stories in real time. Poynter’s News U hosted a webinar on using RebelMouse.
Remind 101 is an online application that allows teachers to text students and parents reminders. All teachers need to do is set up a class through the website and give parents and students the information to subscribe. Once everyone is signed up, teachers can send messages that are automatically texted to everyone in the group.
ScribbleLive is a content engagement system that helps “plan, create, distribute, measure, and optimize” news content. The online platform uses photos, videos, social media and SMS to engage and foster relationships with audiences.
SoundCite is a simple-to-use tool that lets you add inline audio to your story. The audio is not isolated; it plays right under the text you choose.
Storify users can collect content from social media like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and synthesize it into one coherent story. Users can then share that information on the web.
StoryMap JS from the Knight Lab makes it easy to tell stories that happened in multiple locations by allowing readers to click across the journey to view embedded text, videos and social media.
Submittable is a paid service that facilitates accepting submissions for contests and applications by allowing users to store the files and accept payment. Submittable accepts a variety of file types.
SwayWhat helps you create and share charts. You can select from several chart types, enter in the data and it does the rest for you. Embed the charts or print them to add a helpful graphic for a story that is heavy on numbers.
Tableau is online software that helps people analyze, visualize and share information.
Tabula pulls data from PDF files and converts it into a spread sheet.
Tagboard allows visitors to the site to search social media sites by hashtag to see what users are saying about the topic. You can also create tagboards to keep better track of all of the hashtags you follow.
ThingLink is platform for building interactive images, letting the user annotate pictures with pop-out boxes for text, links and video.
Timeline JS is a service from Knight Lab that allows you to create timelines and embed multimedia.
Topsy searches links, tweets, photos, videos or ‘influencers’ for keywords, but with the added bonus of showing whether a topic or keyword is trending.
TweetDeck allows Twitter users to create searches to track topics, events and hashtags. Users can also tweet, monitor and follow new accounts from all or just one of their accounts.