Knowledge organization and sharing tools

Based on: Bower, M., & Torrington, J. (2020). Typology of free web-based learning technologies (2020). EDUCAUSE digital library.

(Return to Introduction to Typology of Free Web-based Technologies)
(Search by Instructional Function – opens GoogleSheet in new tab)

File sharing

File sharing sites enable users to share their documents, images, audio files and videos via the web. Whereas other types of tools enable users to view and often manipulate those files, file sharing sites typically only provide a directory or ‘folder’ system where permissions can be set to determine who can access the files. This is useful for sharing files within classes and between groups.

Dropbox ( example
MediaFire ( example
4shared ( example
OneDrive ( example
Google Drive ( integrates its online office tools (Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms and Drawings) with file storage
so that users can view and edit files through their browser

Social bookmarking

Social bookmarking sites enable users the capacity to store, organise, annotate, and share links to websites online. This is useful for creating sets of links amongst a community of practice or team.

Diigo ( users to create groups and online presentations
Icyte ( slightly different features and target audiences
Memonic ( slightly different features and target audiences
Edshelf ( designed to help share collections of resources for educational purposes
Wakelet ( to create learning and teaching networks for educators and students
Participate ( to create learning and teaching networks for educators and students


Aggregators use Really Simple Syndication (RSS) to harvest web-based information into one place. This allows users to organise, save and share content on topics that is important to them.

Flipboard ( curated For You
Feedly ( the topics and trends that matter to you
Bloglines ( in aggregation of blog content


Republishing tools extend beyond aggregation tools to enable individuals and groups of users to not only scrape content from the web but also comment upon and republish it. This can be used by students and teachers to share interpretations of the resources that they find.

ScoopIt ( for individual user republishing
Pinterest ( groups of users to collect, markup and republish content around a common topic of interest
LiveBinders ( users to collect links and organise content into virtual shareable folders about topics

Timeline creators

Timeline tools allow users to organise text and images on a single page according to when they occurred. This is useful for representing historical events.

Timetoast ( example of timeline creation
Preceden ( example of timeline creation
Toki ( users to make timelines in three dimensions so that different themes can be seen alongside one another
Office Timeline Online ( not natively allow image insertion