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Technology to Help You Learn

Below is a selection of some of our favourite free and low cost programs and apps to help with reading, writing, dictation, mindmapping, notetaking and time management

If you would like to learn more, book an appointment with a Learning Technology Liaison. 

If you want to share a program or app you are using that you think we should include, please email us.

Reading Support


For reading, writing, studying, & research

Download links:

Read&Write logo

The full version of Read&Write is available for all current Conestoga students and employees to download using the links above. 


  • Provides personalized support tools to help with reading, writing, and researching
  • Features include text-to-speech, speech-to-text, highlighters, and summary tools

Compatibility: Windows and Mac computers

Cost: Free

Voice Dream Reader

Mobile text-to-speech app

Voice Dream Reader logo


  • Mobile text-to-speech app. Reads webpages, documents, PDFs, and eBooks. 
  • Tools include bookmarking, text highlighting and annotation, full text search, and dictionary 

Compatibility: iOS, Android app

Cost: $20.99 (iOS); $13.99 (Android)

Natural Reader

Reader with natural-sounding voices



  • Text-to-speech to read webpages, documents, eBooks, and emails aloud

Compatibility: Windows, Mac desktop software, iOS and Android app

Cost: Free and paid versions available

Dolphin Easy Reader

Accessible reading app

Dolphin Easy Reader logo


  • Accessible reading app for people with print disabilities including dyslexia, low vision and blindness
  • Instant and direct access to 15 international accessible book and newspaper libraries, including CELA library and Bookshare 

Compatibility: iOS and Android app

Cost: Free

Mercury Reader

Remove ads & distractions online 

Mercury Reader logo


  • Simplify the web reading experience by removing ads and distractions to focus on the text

Compatibility: Chrome extension

Cost: Free

Microsoft Office Lens

Digitize handouts & whiteboard notes

Microsoft Office Lens logo


  • Digitize printed handouts and whiteboard notes into editable documents and save to OneDrive or OneNote

Compatibility: iOS and Android app

Cost: Free

Claro ScanPen

Scanner & reader app

Claro ScanPen logo


  • Take a photo of your printed document, select text with your finger and have it read back to you

Compatibility: iOS, Android app

Cost: $13.99

Writing Support


Check your writing for errors

Grammarly logo


  • Easy-to-use tool that checks writing for several types of errors (grammar, punctuation, word choice and style).

Compatibility: Chrome extension, desktop version for Windows and Mac, Grammarly keyboard for iPad

Cost: Free and premium paid versions

Voice Dream Writer

Proofread & organize your writing

Voice Dream Writer logo


  • Writing tool with features such as text-to-speech for editing, phonetic spelling and word finder, as well as tools to support written organization.

Compatibility: iOS app

Cost: $13.99


Microsoft Dictate

Dictate your documents in Office 365

Microsoft Dictate logo


  • Hands free typing in Word, Powerpoint and Outlook.

Compatibility: Office 365 

Cost: Free 

Google Voice Typing 

Dictate in Google Docs

Google Voice Typing logo


  • Type with your voice by speaking in Google Docs and Google Slides speaker notes.

Compatibility: Chrome Browser 

Cost: Free


Online speech-to-text notepad

Speechnotes logo


  • Powerful speech-enabled online notepad.

Compatibility: Chrome Browser, Android app

Cost: Free


Speech-to-text extension

VoiceNote logo


  • Online speech-to-text for Google Chrome Browser.

Compatibility: Chrome Browser extension

Cost: Free

Mind Mapping & Brainstorming Support


Mind mapping & brainstorming tool

Mindomo logo


  • Mind map software for your Desktop with online synchronization and collaboration  

Compatibility: Online, desktop software for Mac and Windows, Android and iOS mobile devices 

Cost: Free. Conestoga students have access to Mindomo while attending school. If you are interested in trying this software, please Book an Appointment with the Teach Me Tech Lab.


Online mind mapping tool

MindMeister logo


  • Online mind mapping/ brainstorming tool for use on personal devices and the web. 

Compatibility: Online resource; iOS and Android app 

Cost: Free; Premium: $6/month


Online mind mapping tool

MindMup logo


  • Online mind mapping tool. Great for individual note-taking, collaborative planning, teamwork and classrooms. Brainstorm, create presentations and document outlines. 

Compatibility: Online browser based

Cost: Free ​

Inspiration Maps

Mind mapping app (iOS)

Inspiration Maps logo


  • Brainstorm and create mind maps using this app that is similar to the full Inspiration program. 

Compatibility: iOS (iPad and iPhone) 

Cost: $13.99

Notetaking Support

Microsoft OneNote

Notebook & audio recorder

Microsoft OneNote logo


  • Take all your notes in OneNote by typing, writing with a touch screen, importing pictures, videos, web links and other resources.
  • Use One Note to record audio that is synced with your typed notes. 

Compatibility: Windows, Mac OS, iOS (iPad, iPhone), Android and Windows phone 

Cost: Free. Office 365 comes with 5 free installations of Office 2016 for you to add to your personal devices 


Notetaking app (Mac/iOS)

Notability logo


  • An all-in-one notetaking app to write, type, or annotate your notes as well as record audio that is linked to your notes. 

Compatibility: Mac, iOS

Cost: $13.99


Notebook & audio recorder

AudioNote logo


  • Type notes with synchronized recorded audio. Import lecture slides as the background to your notes.

Compatibility: iOS, Mac, Windows 

Cost: Free; Lite: $4.99 

Organization & Time Management

Microsoft To Do 

Digital to do lists & tasks

Microsoft To Do logo


  • Create digital to-do lists
  • Ability to break tasks down into simple steps, add due dates, and set reminders to keep you on track
  • Integrated with Outlook tasks, making it easier to manage all your tasks in one place 
  • Syncs across iPhone, Android, Windows 10 and the web

Compatibility: Online, Windows, Android, iOS

Cost: Free


To do list & task manager tool

Todoist logo


  • Capture and organize tasks the moment they pop into your head.
  • Remember deadlines with reminders and due dates.
  • Build lasting habits with recurring due dates like "every Monday".
  • Add websites as tasks: Add a blog post to your reading list. Save an item to your wishlist.
  • Prioritize your tasks with priority levels.

Compatibility: iOS, Android, Chrome

Cost: Free for basic, premium paid version

To do list, calendar, planner & reminder app logo


  • Easily share lists & tasks to get more done.
  • Drag & drop tasks to plan your agenda.
  • Attach notes, files or add sub-tasks.
  • Search lists, tasks, notes & sub-tasks.
  • Add one time or recurring reminders.

Compatibility: iOS, Android, Chrome 

Cost: Free for basic, premium paid version 

Google Keep

Notes & lists app

Google Keep logo


  • An all-in-one app for notes and lists. The ability to color code your notes, add reminders, and add photos and pictures to your notes. ​


Cost: Online resource, iOS and Android app


Productivity app

StayFocusd logo


  • Productivity extension that helps you stay focused on work by restricting the amount of time you can spend on time-wasting websites. Once your allotted time has been used up, the sites you have blocked will be inaccessible for the rest of the day. 
  • Or create time restrictions for certain sites during certain days and times (e.g. Monday 1-3 pm)

Compatibility: Chrome Extension

Cost: Free

Mindful Browsing

Productivity extension

Mindful Browsing logo


  • Productivity extension that interrupts mindless browsing by asking if you'd really like to visit the webpage and reminds you after 10 minutes to get back to work. 

Compatibility: Chrome Browser:

Cost: Free