• Ignite

Technologically-Enhanced Resources for Nursing Education

Updated: Apr 5

“It is times like these where our definitions of togetherness are challenged and the reality of connection can be produced in the spaces between.”

-The Ignite Letter: A Quarterly Connection, Fall 2020

This fall is challenging, it just simply is. Either we are already working with students remotely or we are planning for a sudden switch from face-to-face to online. We are facilitating countless clinical practice in-services to quickly educate on updates to care, assessing and mitigating risk prompted by novel pandemic-related hurdles, and designing ongoing staff development with new care considerations in mind. It’s a lot. We prepare as much as we can, we call on our courage, and we keep bringing our best. To that, we have put together an organized list of some technologically-enhanced resources that we enjoy for nursing education and staff development. As you likely know by now, we do not put forth recommendations tied to sponsors. Sharing through Ignite is something that we greatly enjoy doing, and that is why we humbly do it. We have used these resources and find them to be helpful.

Screencast-O-Matic: We find this program to be really user-friendly and straightforward. The screen recorder is nice when trying to show students how to navigate something or find information. Instead of sending out multiple links with various text content to explain something, screen sharing streamlines direction. The videos can be useful for blended learning and help to organize team-based projects.

TechSmith Capture (Jing): This program may be familiar to you as Jing, which is how we were introduced to it, but it is now called TechSmith Capture. This program is very quick and efficient when you want to just hop on and show what you are looking at on your screen. It can be nice to use when you are collaborating with peers during meetings, as development ideas can be tough to share from afar and explanations can be more readily grasped when following along on the screen. Screen recording may be especially useful for clinical practice in-service trainings.

Glogster: We previously shared on this program here. Some of our thoughts…

Crafting Glogster posters for educational use encourages development of student learning objectives and can be used by both students and educators. Students can engage in creating Glogster posters based on assignment of key module focus areas to develop understanding of topics. These posters can be used to boost development of knowledge, while demonstrating analysis and evaluation. Glogster posters can enhance instruction when developed by educators to guide the teaching-learning process to meet expected learning outcomes.

So consider crafting a fun poster that includes embedded videos, either created by you or found elsewhere, and accompany them with robust text, audio clips, and engaging images. This takes the simple poster board to a whole new level!


Snagit: This program takes simple screenshots and steps it up with the ability to add your thoughts, such as when providing guidance on a process. You can use this to capture audio and video to use alongside your feedback during class or staff development sessions. This resource may be especially useful in the clinical practice setting when providing process updates to nursing care or online when attempting to educate on clinical skills from afar.

PowToon: We previously shared on this program here. Some of our thoughts…

We have used Powtoon a handful of times to explain short concepts that otherwise may have seemed more complicated to understand without its support. The drag and drop features make it simple to use and highly customizable. The first time we used this resource, we spent a bit of time navigating the functions and exploring the possibilities before getting on top of making a useable presentation. We like holding the ability to transform mundane content into something humorous and amusing! While Powtoon can certainly be used by educators striving to build an animated presentation on any topic and as seriously delivered as one would like, personally we find that the playful abilities of this platform make it really fun for the educator and the learner to creatively engage in a comically entertaining lift to the education experience.

This is a very cool program. If you have a random topic to teach on that could really use a pick-me-up, try this out.

Movenote: With many students unfamiliar with the remote learning environment and the new tools that come with that, this program can be useful for providing student-centered tutorials early in the semester. PowerPoint presentations can be uploaded and synced to recorded video. If you already have PowerPoint presentations and you are looking to enhance them, this program might be right for you. This flexible, simple-to-use resource can also be great for self-directed learning and student presentations.

Animoto: We previously shared on this program here. Some of our thoughts…

If you are looking for a new way to ignite learning and create engaging material, Animoto is your new best friend! This-user friendly program hand-holds from start to finish and makes creating videos a breeze, especially for those with little to no editing experience. This drag-and-drop video maker is the perfect companion to instruction, and as of the time of this post, the resource is available to try for free. We like that Animoto can be accessed wherever you are via signing-in to your account, so education can be made at home, at the hospital, at school, or in the cafe over coffee, unlike software that is available only where downloaded. Your videos can then be played in class, in the conference room, or by nurses for staff development when able.

Consider calling on this program to provide support on step-by-step processes or to organize your review of module objectives.

Zunal (WebQuest): While you can certainly use this program to design your own WebQuest (think module) on a nursing topic, either academically or in the clinical practice setting, we find this program also holds value in assigning team-based projects, such as on select topics that involve presenting to the group. Students can work together to build up their WebQuest remotely, either during pre-scheduled times or when available to contribute (or a mix of both!). We also think that this program may be helpful to nurse managers, especially those serving units that lack formal educator involvement and pre-selected software by HR, to develop organized staff development education that is open for review across shifts. How many times have you felt like the night shift is getting gypped on their ongoing ed? Well, this program just might help you with that. Keep in mind, the open-access nature of publishing would not only provide a platform for developing education that serves your team but also the greater nursing profession.

Voki: We previously shared on this program here. Some of our thoughts…

These engaging speaking characters for education can be created to look how you would like to express yourself, while inputting text that is used to create a vocal response. This technology supports warm hellos, engaging direction, lecture on short to-the-point topics, and friendly good-byes.

This is yet another really fun tool! You and/or your students can socially connect on topics in this unique avatar-forward way. We also think that these avatars are a friendly way for students to express themselves when, perhaps, they may be feeling uncomfortable with turning on their video connection from home or whatever location they may be in.

Pause, Reflect, and Plan:

How am I currently teaching with technology? Could my lessons use a boost to jump far away from boring? What apprehensions are holding me back from exploring new tools? While you are balancing your screen time, be sure to include fresh air, dim lighting, and rest.

Do you have any other suggestions that would be helpful to readers? Share them with our community!