Starting a new semester is easier than ever with this list of free academic tools available online to students. Excel both inside and outside the classroom with these innovative resources that will help you learn, study, and work with other students this semester.


1) Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark is a free design platform that allows you to easily make social media graphics, create web stories, and animate videos online. Use this resource for designing marketing material for clubs and student organizations or presenting a project in class.


2) Issuu

Always have the latest material at your fingertips with a free Issuu account. This massive digital publisher uploads 20,000 new publications every day, making it a monumental virtual magazine stand with over 3 million documents. Sign up and browse topics like travel, science, technology, and sports.


3) Office Sway

Microsoft Office challenges the creative domain of Adobe with their powerful new presentation product, Office Sway. Sign up with a free account and explore how to make interactive content, including reports, presentations, newsletters, and personal stories.


4) MindMup 2

Digitally plan your next paper or project with MindMup 2. Free and enhanced, this mind mapping tool is perfect for students to brainstorm, storyboard, and collaborate online. MindMup enables users to easily convert maps to other formats (including PDF, PowerPoint, and outlines), as well as share maps on social media and store on Google Drive.


5) Lynda

Learn new skills (free with a Virginia Tech student subscription) online at Lynda. Pick from over 4,000 courses taught by experts in video format to brush up on old subjects or pick up new knowledge. Acquired by LinkedIn in 2015, Lynda has something for everyone in its video library with subjects ranging from design to business.


6) Sutori

Sutori allows users to tell their story in an engaging and simple timeline format. Students can utilize this website to collaborate in real time on group projects. Emerging in 2012, 376,454 teachers and students have used Sutori to bring topics to life in a clean and customizable platform. Try it out on your next presentation or proposal.


7) Piktochart

Piktochart is an easy and practical resource to create informational graphics. Customize templates for infographics, presentations, posters, or reports and showcase your data in a new and meaningful way.



8) Instapaper

Save anything and read anywhere with Instapaper. This website helps users to browse the internet and store interesting content all in place. With one click, Instapaper saves articles, videos, and other digital resources. Read at later at your leisure as Instapaper syncs across multiple devices and can be accessed without the internet.


9) Frontiers

Frontiers is an open-access academic publisher which will enhance your next research project. Starting in 2007, Frontiers provides free access to topics such as, Science, Health, Technology, Engineering as well as Humanities and Social Sciences, and “is one of the largest and fastest-growing open-access publishers worldwide.”


10) Emaze

With over 5 million users, Emaze is the #1 growing presentation software. Emaze offers powerful features, including importing PowerPoint, customizable presentation templates, video backgrounds and 3D zoom.




Bonus:  Scholastic Social Media Channels

A great way to stay motivated during the semester is to follow scholarly peers on social media. Seeing academic aesthetics on your news feed will encourage you to step up your study game. Check out these channels:

Image Source: @marianavieirayt

Header Image Source: USAbilla

References: Times Higher Education and the American Association of School Librarians