Domain of One’s Own

Advantages Disadvantages
Can be used for a variety of purposes Can require some trial and error
Have your own domain name (e.g. Cannot change your domain name after signing up
Have full control over the plugins you want
Have full control over the theme or look of your website
Can have as many subdomains you want

UMW Blogs

Advantages Disadvantages
Can be used for a variety of purposes Have an addition to your domain (
Can have as many sites as you want Cannot choose your own plugins
Cannot choose your own themes


Advantages Disadvantages
Does not require knowing code To make a completely unique designs in you need to know CSS
Support is readily available Too many plugins may slow the website down
Plugins can add desired functionality You will be responsible for keeping WordPress, installed plugins, and themes up to date
Themes are easy to use to achieve the desired look of website
Easily organizable
Incorporating different media (images, videos, maps) is fairly straightforward
Can increase SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Very portable (can change hosts easily)
Has an intuitive user interface
Supports mobile devices


Advantages Disadvantages
Works well for displaying items (like museum pieces) in a organized way Requires access to the File Manager on CPanel to install plugins and other features
Allows one to add metadata to ensure easy navigation Limited theme or look options
Very user-friendly as it does not require knowing HTML


Advantages Disadvantages
After uploading the HTML and CSS onto the File Manager, you do not need to install any updates or regularly backup it up. In essence after uploading, you can forget about the website Requires having knowledge of HTML and CSS
Can create an entirely unique website with HTML and CSS Requires access to the File Manager to upload HTML and CSS
Allows for total control over your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) If additional features like a survey, poll, or a gallery a very involved coding process is necessary
Fast loading time



AMPS (Advanced Media Production Studio)

Advantages Disadvantages
Ability to create high quality (1080p) videos Requires a hour training and some trial and error
Can use green screen and different colored backgrounds (gray, white, black) A hard drive is a necessity to store the large video files
Three cameras and adjustable tripods Systems occasionally do not work and may require contacting a DKC tutor trained in AMPS or Cartland Berge
Advanced sound system that allows for high quality audio An advanced video editing system is required to handle the large video files and edit the videos
Even, dependable lighting is readily available
Quiet and private area to film

Advantages Disadvantages
Ability to fix shaky video and reduce background noise Importing formats are limited
Can fix audio and exposure of a clip Only available for Mac and iOS
Can add chroma-keying or green screen effects It doesn’t have the full capabilities of a full video editor
You can add background music and some visual effects.
One can add text easily and make credits.
Available on all the HCC computers
Easy to use
Final Cut Pro

Advantages Disadvantages
Ideally suited to create HD videos of the highest quality More complex than iMovie
Allows you to work with multiple channels of audio and mix those channels in any fashion you choose. May lag when trying to load large files
Offers the ability to layer videos and choose blending modes for these layers A more complex timeline than iMovie
The ability to easily adjust and correct problems with color and lighting Files may corrupt if proper file management is not maintained
Offers a wide variety of commercial level transitions
Variety of export options
Large community available to help resolve issues
Abundance of plugins to elevate the functionality of Final Cut Pro
More freedom in terms of design than iMovie

Adobe Premiere Pro

Advantages Disadvantages
Multiple sequence support Extremely expensive
Available on all of the HCC computers Title sequences are more difficult to create and look appealing
High bit-depth rendering Requires a more powerful computer to run properly
Multi-camera editing Complex interface
Time remapping
Color correction tools
Advanced audio mixer interface

Image Editing


Advantages Disadvantages
Ability to perform any simple or complicated editing of photos Difficult to initially use because of a complicated user interface
Available on all of the HCC computers Expensive software
Can quickly edit a photograph using keystrokes
Content Aware features allow for seamless editing
Can edit more than just photographs with PS (e.g. gifs)
Support is easily available


Advantages Disadvantages
Free and open source Doesn’t have Photoshop’s powerful transformation tools
Is powerful and versatile Steep learning curve
Has advanced features you need like layers and paths Requires plugins to get full power of the tool
Can open Photoshop files in Gimp
Is compatible with most operating systems. There are versions available for Linux, Windows, Mac OS
Support is easily available


Advantages Disadvantages
Can be used in browser, no download necessary (a downloadable version is available) Learning curve for beginners
Overall photo editing process is extremely quick and clear when used for creating There are ads on the main page of the site, making for a less than stellar fit on screen
Free application similar to Photoshop and GIMP Requires Flash
Available for mobile devices Lacks drag and drop support
Community of support that helps in learning the tools
Works with Google Drive
Has most Photoshop filters


Audio Editing


Advantages Disadvantages
Free of charge The program is limited in its mixing capabilities
Available on the HCC computers Some aspects are more complex and not as user-friendly
Compatible with Mac, Windows, Linux and other operating systems Plugins are sometimes required to get desired effect
Lightweight and a relatively small program size
Can do the majority of effects that are desired
Has a variety of export options
Can perform basic tasks (e.g. recording new audio via a microphone, removing background noise, adjusting the volume)

Logic Pro X

Advantages Disadvantages
Available on the HCC computers Can only be installed on Apple computers
User friendly layout Relatively expensive
Includes a large amount of instruments and effects Few downloadable plugins
Capable of very high quality recordings Difficult to learn without prior knowledge of other high level recording interfaces
Allows for multi-track recording separately and simultaneously Takes up quite a bit of computer memory
Allows for MIDI control of synthesized instruments

Mapping Tools

Google MyMaps

Advantages Disadvantages
Has a lot of information (e.g. like the layout of roads, the locations of cities and towns, state boundaries, geographical features, restaurant reviews and satellite images) Customization is limited because of the Google interface
Easily shareable (for collaboration or other) and embeddable Hard to storytell using this software
Gives you directions for trips by car, bike, foot or public transportation Limited amount of layers
Easy interface that mimics Google Maps You can import only one data file per layer; each file can have up to 2,000 points/rows
Elements (background, pin, etc.) can be adjusted to customize the map Information or geographic data provided by the Google Maps website may be inaccurate, out of date, or not as detailed as other mapping tools
You can add lines, shapes, or placemarks You cannot use HTML within the Google MyMap
Layers can make the map easy to understand
You can import a CSV file, XLSX file, classic My Map, TSV, KML file, or sheet from Google Drive with geographically-specific data including addresses, place names, or lat/longs.

StoryMap JS (Knightlab)

Advantages Disadvantages
Free Customization is limited in the program
No software or hardware required
Easy interface
Some customization
Simple way to add locations and information
Media incorporation is straightforward

ESRI Storymaps

Advantages Disadvantages
Free Limited resources and analysis tools for non subscribed users
Easy to use No mechanism to duplicate an existing story map
No need to acquire software and hardware for the server Some templates are difficult to work with
Abundant map resources May require extensive trial and error
Many analysis tools In the free edition of this software you have to use images hosted elsewhere, such as in Google Photos (in essence you cannot upload photos directly)
Easily integrates maps, narratives, and


Templates allow quick and easy startup

Timeline Tools

Timeline JS

Advantages Disadvantages
Free May require some trial and error
Only requires a Google Account
Easily shareable and embeddable
Support for over forty languages, with the ability for users to add translation files for additional languages




Timelines are professional and easy to create Only allowed one timeline, more timelines require premium
Group edit function Can’t upload your own media
Students can share with others by sending their timeline’s unique URL, printing, or saving as a PDF Can’t embed without premium
Students can customize their timeline view with different colors while maintaining a visually appealing timeline Without premium a user can only enter 200 stories
Can also make a 2D or a 3D timeline view Free accounts can only create 5 spans (a way to distinctly mark a section of the timeline in a color scheme)
Minor mistakes can be easily revised and saved

Word Processing

Google Docs



No software installation Does not have all the features Microsoft Word has (e.g. footnotes)
Easily shareable for collaborative work Limited formatting ability
Automatically saves work May not export properly/poor format transition (e.g. Google Doc → Microsoft Word)
Work is saved on Google’s servers so you won’t use space on your computer Files cannot be accessed offline
Easy-to-use navigation pane

Microsoft Word

Advantages Disadvantages
Downloadable through Outlook (UMW school email) Does not allow for instant collaboration
Superior grammar and editing checks Lack of Backward Compatibility (older documents may not be able to open in the most recent Microsoft Word)
Easy-to-use navigation pane Files may corrupt
Templates can be customized to give file a more pleasing look Requires a software download

Presentation Tools

Google Slides

Advantages Disadvantages
Completely Web-Based Does not have as many template or effect options (Try for themes)
Free Need a Google Account to access and edit
Allows instant collaboration Files cannot be accessed offline
Program is simple, intuitive, and easy to learn
Automatically saves work
Has various export formats
Work is saved on Google’s servers so you won’t use space on your computer
Easy-to-use navigation pane


Advantages Disadvantages
Available through Outlook (UMW email) Does not allow for instant collaboration
Has a variety of templates and special effects   Mac version of PowerPoint lacks some features offered for PC
Simple, navigable interface
Support is abundant
PowerPoint can import and export to many different file types


Advantages Disadvantages
Available on the HCC computers Only available to Mac users
Uses iCloud which can allow users to use on different Apple devices   The support available for Keynote is less extensive than the resources you’d find for PowerPoint
Enables easy collaboration with other users through the cloud
Simple, user-friendly interface
Exports easily to other file types, including PowerPoint, QuickTime, .pdf, and HTML
Has sophisticated, well-designed templates, themes, animations, and other effects


Advantages Disadvantages
Free Can cause motion sickness
Allows you to present in unique ways More of a learning curve
No software to download (it is web-based) Files cannot be accessed offline
Movement actually become part of the presentation Lacks the autocorrect feature for spelling and grammar
Simple interface makes using the software easy
Can customize to have the desired look or aesthetic


Google Sheets

Advantages Disadvantages
Free Easy to use Limited data visualization options
Built for collaboration Limited formulas and functions
Tight integration with Google Built-in revision history Limited customization options
Real-time chat window
Better visibility Access to your sheets from any computer Add-ons

Microsoft Excel

Advantages Disadvantages
Available through Outlook (UMW’s email) No clean revision history
Advanced Functionality Hard to use- some even take classes
Unlimited storage Different versions make collaboration difficult
More options for data visualization Cannot access sheets from computers other than your own
More customizable
More formulas and functions
No need for internet

3D Printing


Advantages Disadvantages
Free May require a lot of time to work in the features of the software
Can create any 3D object you want Software can struggle to create advanced, multi-sided object
Has simple shapes (square, oval, etc.) that you can drag onto the platform Viewing the object while editing is hard (getting close up and getting the right angle is difficult)
Allows you to import files and remix them to the desired outcome Resizing, revolving, and aligning must be down manually
No software download required (web based)
Can export to various file types
Simple interface
Allows you to create for Minecraft as well


Advantages Disadvantages
Can access a wide variety of pre-made files Cannot edit the file through this software
Simple interface



Advantages Disadvantages
Free Rudimentary data incorporation (charts and graphs)
Templates for a variety of uses (print and social media) Quality can decrease when exported
Easy to use interface There are no capabilities for videos embeds, animated features, or live-data integrations, which means you’re pretty much limited to creating static graphics on this platform
Pre-made layouts, illustrations, and backgrounds
Allows user to change almost every feature of an element to their liking (color, weight, font, etc.)
Various export options (e.g. JPG, PNG, or PDF)
Can share easily with collaborators
Gives users the option to organize your graphics into folders
More free storage than Piktochart
Photo editor (crop down an image or change filters in the app)
Transparent background (no white background behind your logos)


Advantages Disadvantages
Free Does not have folders like Canva (meaning you have to remember the name of the graphic or manually search few all the graphics you’ve ever made)
Templates for a variety of uses (print and social media) Not as much free storage as Canva
Allows more data incorporation (data survey results from SurveyMonkey, Google Sheets, Microsoft Excel, and more) Does not have an included photo editor like Canva
Easy to use interface Does not support transparent backgrounds like Canva
Pre-made layouts, illustrations, and backgrounds
Allows user to change almost every feature of an element to their liking (color, weight, font, etc.)
Various export options (e.g. JPG, PNG, or PDF)
Can share easily with collaborators
Piktochart has video embed capabilities, making it a great choice for visually engaging and interactive designs (premium feature)

Augmented Reality

HP Reveal

Advantages Disadvantages
Gives students an opportunity to play with augmented reality (the future of technology) Auras done on phone (via app) will not appear on computer. Thus, the accounts are not linked
The advantage of using Aurasma is that it is simple, free, freely available and designed for users to create their own content Auras will appear differently on iPhone and Samsung
Allows for more interesting advertising or presentation Sometimes parts of the Aura will not work (e.g. fades or other elements appearing)
Has the potential to create a game or more in-depth tour of a place Must follow someone before viewing their Aura
Horrible support for app on phone (glitchy and shuts down without notice)
Requires knowing multiple
Aurasma video size limit is 100MB


(Aurasma recommends using .MP4 with a H2.64 codec. .MOV files will upload, but you should optimize them first. For transparency, use .FLV with an alpha channel)

The amount of data you can use is limited and, as with many creative processes, the outcome rather depends on the abilities of the users