Free Tools & Resources
AUDIO TOOLS & RESOURCES
Free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. It is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems. Read Joe’s blog entry for additional details.
Royalty-Free Podsafe and Stock Music
Click the link above to read Joe’s blog entry for details and links.
Has free hosting and is easy to set up and use. You can choose from several predefined wordpress themes.
Requires more technical knowledge to set up and run, but gives you more customization control. You must pay for the hosting.
DEMO / SIMULATION TOOLS
Firefly Show Me Edition
An abridged version of the Firefly Simulation Developer tool that allows you to create software demonstrations. To create interactive simulations, you have to buy the full tool.
Jing is free screen recorder from TechSmith, the company that makes SnagIt and Camtasia. It allows you to record a video of your screen and share it instantly. Jing includes a complimentary Screencast.com account with 2GB of storage and 2GB of monthly bandwidth. Read Joe’s blog entry for additional details.
Allows you to record whiteboard drawings and publish them to .swf (animation). You can then insert these animated drawings into your e-learning course (e.g. Articulate, Captivate). Click here to read the Rapid eLearning Blog article that discusses LectureScribe.
A Tutorial and Presentation creation software, primarily aimed at creating tutorials on how to use software (like a tutor for MS-Word/Excel etc). Using Wink you can capture screenshots, add explanations boxes, buttons, titles etc and generate a highly effective tutorial for your users.
GRAPHIC TOOLS & RESOURCES
Flickr Creative Commons
Flickr is an image hosting website, and many Flickr users have chosen to offer their work under a Creative Commons license. Download this document (95k pdf) for more information about the Creative Commons licenses.
Several museums and archives post images released under a “no known restrictions” license. Participants include George Eastman House, Library of Congress, Brooklyn Museum, Nationaal Archief, State Library of New South Wales, and Smithsonian Institution.
A free/open source photo/image editing application.
GIMPshop is a modification of GIMP, intended to replicate the feel of Adobe Photoshop. Its primary purpose is to make users of Photoshop feel comfortable using GIMP.
Mihov Image Resizer
Batch resizes images and batch converts images from one file format to another (e.g. GIF to JPG).
Phoenix Image Editor
From basic image retouching to complex effects, Phoenix delivers the key features of a desktop image editor with the simplicity and accessibility of a web-based application.
Gives you the RGB or HTML value of any color on your screen. You can then use these values to reproduce the selected color in another program, such as PowerPoint, Captivate, or Flash. Download Lauren Fosbenner’s job aid on installing and using Pixie (150K PDF). Read Joe’s blog entry for additional details.
LEARNING MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (LMS) / COURSEWARE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (CMS)
Moodle is a course management system designed to help educators who want to create quality online courses. The software is used all over the world by universities, schools, companies and independent teachers. Moodle is open source and completely free to use.
The Sakai CLE is a free and open source Courseware Management System. It features a set of software tools designed to help instructors, researchers and students collaborate online in support of their work–whether it be course instruction, research or general project collaboration.
Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read other users’ updates known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length which are displayed on the user’s profile page and delivered to other users who have subscribed to them (known as followers). Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow anybody to access them.
A website that allows you to shorten a weblink, and even customize it. Standalone or accessory application to Twitter.
ONLINE DOCUMENT SHARING / ORGANIZATION
Create, clip, and share notes on the web and see them everywhere. Search through all your notes, even find text within images, whether online or off. It works from iPhone or desktop.
Web-based products that run in a Web browser, without requiring users to buy or install software. Google apps include tools for communications, office (like word processing, spreadsheets, and calendars), websites, social networks, blogs, customizable interfaces, and many others.
Various applications that do not require installation (portable). Can be stored on a USB flash drive and used on public computers (such as the library). Download Peter Lin’s presentation to learn more (1.4 MB pdf).
Delicious is a social bookmarking service that allows users to tag, save, manage and share web pages from a centralized source. You can bookmark any site on the Internet and get to it from anywhere, and share your bookmarks and get bookmarks in return.
Diigo (DEE-go) is a social bookmarking website that allows users to bookmark and tag webpages. It also allows users to highlight any part of a webpage and attach sticky notes to specific highlights or to a whole page. These annotations can be kept private, shared with a group within Diigo or a special link forwarded to someone else. It’s cross browser compatible, and you can import your bookmarks from Delicious.com. Download Peter Lin’s presentation to learn more about Diigo (1.75 MB pdf).
LinkedIn is an interconnected network of experienced professionals from around the world, representing 170 industries and 200 countries. You can find, be introduced to, and collaborate with qualified professionals that you need to work with to accomplish your goals.
Ning is an online platform for people to create their own social networks. The unique feature of Ning is that anyone can create their own social network for a particular topic or need, catering to specific membership bases.
Create and share polls. Built upon individual polling modules called buzzbites™, BuzzDash provides a real-time forum where people can solicit, measure and share opinions on nearly any issue.
Allows you to design free online surveys, collect responses from the visitors of your blog or website, analyze them and finally present the survey results.
Create online surveys, polls and questionnaires for any number of uses.
A good open source survey tool. You need to download and install on a server. It includes +20 different question types, and basic statistical and graphical analysis with an export facility.
Create free online surveys (e.g. market research) and polls. Excellent for polls!
A free tool that enables you easily to create your own quizzes, fun surveys & tests online.
Web surveys, Polls, Forms, Quizzes, Landing Pages. Free and commercial version.
Powerful tool for creating and running web surveys (including visual reporting). The free version provides several limitations (e.g. limited number of questions and respondents), but if you are creative you can do your stuff. Anyway, the commercial version is quite affordable (if needed), so why worry!
Is a web-based tool which enables end users to autonomously create and run online surveys, feedback or registration forms (4 question types). You need to download and Install on a server. Although, it has limited tools, question types and reporting features, it is extremely easy-to-use.
Can create and share polls.
Will read any text on your screen to you. Great for proofreading.
Jane Bozrath lists several free e-learning tools and resources on her website. Jane is also the author of E-Learning Solutions on a Shoestring. Download Susan Boyd’s presentation (73k pdf).
Center for Learning and Performance Technology
2,800+ Learning tools directory (many free)