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Joe’s Guide to Free eLearning Tools: Jing May 26, 2009

Posted by jmullock in e-Learning Tools.
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Item: Jing, Screen Capture & Video Capture

Category: Demo, Simulation Tools

This tool is a freeware offering by TechSmith, the makers of SnagIt (screen capture) and Camtasia (screen video capture) software.  You might want to think of it as a combined “light” version of these products.  There is even a Jing Pro version which–while not adding much in the way of additional functionality-provides the advantage of removing the Jing branding/logos from your recorded product.  Jing is available in versions for both the Windows and MAC OS X operating systems.

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Joe’s Guide to Free eLearning Tools: Royalty-Free, Podsafe, and Stock Music May 19, 2009

Posted by jmullock in e-Learning Tools.
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Item: Royalty-Free, Podsafe, and Stock Music

Category: Audio Recording, Editing & Resources

If you need background music, sound effects, or other audio cues in your eLearning production there are some low-cost options available, but you will have to do your homework to stay out of licensing and copyright trouble.  Most importantly, you need to be aware that royalty-free does not mean copyright-free.  In most cases you are going to have to pay to use someone else’s audio in your eLearning production.  Note:  Resources are listed at the end of this blog post, but I encourage you to read through the terms first to get a better idea of which of them may really be useful to you!

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Joe’s Guide to Free eLearning Tools: Audacity May 12, 2009

Posted by jmullock in e-Learning Tools, Misc.
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Item: Audacity, Freeware Sound Editor

Category: Audio Recording, Editing & Resources

This tool is the de facto standard of free sound editing software.  It has been widely used by musicians for some time, and has also now been adopted by podcasters, and eLearning developers.  It is a cross-platform offering, which means that this is a great resource for both PC and Mac developers–not to mention *nix.

Basic set-up and use is pretty straight-forward.  In addition, there are a number of optional add-ons that—while requiring a little extra technical effort to install—provide several additional handy functions that are well worth the effort.

What it Does:

Audacity allows you to record, import, export, and edit audio tracks.  It is not a true “multi-track” recorder, in that you can only record one track at a time, but this is unlikely to be an issue in the realm of eLearning.  It does however, allow you to record several separate tracks and mix them in to a single soundtrack for your production.

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Joe’s Guide to Free eLearning Tools: Pixie May 4, 2009

Posted by jmullock in e-Learning Tools.
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Item:                Pixie, Freeware Color Picker

Category:        Graphic Editing Tools & Resources

Source:

This tool was recommended by Lauren Fosbenner at our recent eLearning SIG. I am not sure how  Pixie escaped my attention before, but it is a great example of a small piece of freeware designed to accomplish a very specific task quickly and easily.

What it Does:

If you have used the color picker or “eyedropper” tool in Photoshop or GIMP, you already know what Pixie does. Run the program and point your mouse cursor to a screen location and Pixie will identify the color values and XY coordinates of that specific spot.

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Free Tools & Resources for eLearning May 1, 2009

Posted by jmullock in Announcements, e-Learning Tools, e-SIG Presentations.
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ASTD eLearning Presentation Slides April 16, 2009

 

Thanks to everyone who shared their favorite free tools and resources for eLearning at our most recent SIG meeting.  My original concern—that we would not have enough material for the presentation—turned out to be completely unwarranted.  We had so many quality suggestions and software tips that we were only able to provide the briefest overview of the tools discussed, and had to leave out several others entirely.

 

To keep the pace of the meeting moving we promised to post URLs on this BLOG for your reference.  You can now find them listed on their new home on the blog, the “Free Tools and Resources” tab.

 

Finally, while lists of free software are great, I find that having some context helps me decide what is worth downloading or not.  With that in mind, I will be starting a series of weekly blog articles to provide some descriptions, personal reviews, examples, or additional resources for making use of these tools in eLearning.

 

 Look for the first in this weekly series that we will be calling “Joe’s Guide to Free eLearning Tools” on Tuesday, May 5th.

 

Cheers…….Joe Mullock