Tools for Engaging Stakeholders Online

The table below documents several tools that you can use to interact virtually with key stakeholders across your state in your role as Ombudsman. The first set of tools can help you enliven presentations by adding innovation and interaction. The second set are tools that can increase your ability to use social media as a communication and networking mechanism. The third set are platforms you can use to build websites and online community environments without knowledge of coding and web development.

This list is not exhaustive. If you have a favorite tool or app, leave a comment at the bottom of this post with a description and a link.

Virtual Meeting Engagement Tools


Features and Functionality

Example Uses


PollEverywhere is an online application that allows users to create and present digital polls, quizzes, and contests within meetings. Users can embed questions and real-time results into PowerPoint presentations and initiate them from a smartphone. Participants in meetings and presentations can respond via a computer, tablet, or smartphone browser, or they can submit responses via SMS message.

Create teams from individuals attending a webinar and use the Competitions feature to pit those teams against each other in a digital scavenger hunt. Teams must find information online related to the presentation and respond via PollEverywhere before other teams to win.


Mentimeter is an online application that allows users to facilitate interactive polling and voting. It provides a variety of polling options and allows user to embed innovative, animated data displays in PowerPoint presentations. Users can vote and respond via smartphone browsers.

Set up pre-test before covering content in a webinar, present the content, and then ask users to respond to a post test. Use the animated data display to demonstrate how responses changed based on the information presented.


Prezi is a digital presentation tool, similar to PowerPoint, but designed to be more visually oriented, conversational, and interactive. With both free and paid plans, Prezi offers cloud-based and desktop applications, mobile delivery of presentations, and engagement analytics.

Use Prezi’s storytelling template to present an interactive, engaging story of a program implementation.

Add-Ons for Google Slides

Add-ons are modules that users can install to add features and functionality to Google Drive applications such as Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Add-ons for slides allow presenters to easily insert quizzes and assessments, audio/video content, interactive charts, and innovative design elements directly to a Google Slides presentation.

User Google Slides to record and present (asynchronously) content required for a certification or compliance exercise. Use an assessment add-on to build a quiz at the end of the presentation and collect performance results.


LiveWeb allows users to add live web pages into a PowerPoint slide and refresh the pages real-time during the presentation. LiveWeb eliminates the need to click between a presentation and a browser window when demonstrating a website.

Provide a how-to demonstration of an interactive web form during your presentation by embedding the page with LiveWeb and completing the form without leaving your presentation.

Social Media Tools


Features and Functionality

Example Uses

Guides to Education Twitter Chats

A Twitter chat is an online discussion on Twitter, organized around a central topic which is represented by a Hashtag. Educators and leaders can engage in professional discussions, with all Tweets connected and threaded via the Hashtag. Browser plug-ins such as TweetDeck help manage it. The following are examples of resources for anyone trying to organize a Twitter chat:

Create a bi-weekly Twitter chat using the Hashtag #NorthEastOmbuds to discuss issues and problems of practice among regional peers on Twitter.


Hootsuite allows users to manage their social media presences from a central hub. It allows users to plan and schedule posts to several different platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. The tool also provides engagement analytics and offers strategic guidance.

Create and schedule a multi-platform communication campaign about a new program, and then monitor data from different platforms and at different scheduled times to determine the optimal communication strategy.

Community and Collaboration Tools


Features and Functionality

Example Uses


Ning is an easy to use, low cost hosted solution for designing, launching, and managing online communities and groups. The platform allows users with limited technical skill to set up and customize the look, feel, and features of an online community.

Build an online community with role-alike groups to allow geographically dispersed peers to collaborate via discussion boards, wikis, and content co-creation tools.

Google Sites

Google Sites allows an individual or a group of individuals without web development capabilities to build and collaborate on the development of a custom website. Sites allows developers to create a public web site, a project collaboration hub, an online repository for resources, and many other types of web environments.

Quickly create a public website for a short-term project that needs to be on the web quickly and for a limited amount of time.

Social Media Groups

Social media platforms, most commonly Facebook and LinkedIn, allow users to form different types of group for messaging, networking coordination, and communications.  Groups can be public or private, and they operate with the same features and functionality as the platforms that house them.

Create a LinkedIn group for district Title I coordinators across your state to facilitate peer-to-peer networking and share ideas.

Tools for Engaging Stakeholders Online