This post was inspired by Christopher Pappas’s list of 11 free e-learning authoring tools on Slideshare (see link below). I thought it was a great list to share with our readers, but once I got into checking the list, I discovered many other free tools that were worthy of mention, including free tools from Microsoft, Brainshark, and other recognized names in the field. Here’s a short synopsis of each along with links to the software, and there’s a list of resources you can check for more tools below. My apologies to any entity that I may have missed. Feel free to add to this list, but note that a “free trial” offer is a disqualifier.
- *authorPOINT by authorGEN Technologies – Allows users to capture presentations and add pre-recorded audio/video, all inside of Microsoft PowerPoint. authorPOINT Lite converts PowerPoint presentations to Flash.
- Book Builder by CAST – Allows users to create and publish free digital books. The site helps teachers/instructors interested in making original textbooks and other classroom reading materials.
- ClickClass by ClickClass – Hosted e-learning software that allows users to author, deliver and manage online learning content. You pay for ClickClass™ once you have more than 2 active users utilizing their software.
- *CourseLab by CourseLab – CourseLab is an ADL SCORM 2004 e-learning authoring tool that offers programming-free WYSIWYG environment for creating high-quality interactive e-learning content which can be published on the Internet, in an LMS, on CD-ROMS and other devices. A fully functional version is offered for free (Former Best of Elearning! Award Winner).
- Dipity by Dipity – An online timeline creator. Users can create their own content and share with other users. Users can also integrate social media into their timeline, utilizing real-time updates.
- Document Suite 2008 by JetDraft Software – Document Suite 2008 is an authoring tool that helps transform documents into online help modules.
- e-Learning Authoring Tool by e-Learning Consulting LLC – The e-Learning Authoring Tool creates SCORM compatible online courses. Its design allows the development of courses containing text plus images, Flash animations, audio and video.
- Edmodo by Edmodo – Edmodo is a free and private social platform for classrooms. Platform applications include a messaging service, a class calendar, a place to store and share content and educational applications, assignment and grading capabilities, mobile access, class discussions and notifications and many other features for collaboration.
- Edublogs by Edublogs.org – Created for education and corporate training use, this blogging platform provides a space for teachers and students to practice their blogging skills online. The free version of Edublogs allows users to create private posts and pages with text, audio, and images.
- *Elgg by Elgg.org – Elgg is an award-winning open source social networking engine for building a wide variety of social environments, from a campus-wide social network, to an internal collaborative platform for an organization, to a brand-building communications tool for a company and its clients.
- iSpring Free 6.1 by iSpringSolutions – Although PPT allows you to save presentations as a Windows Media File, this tool converts your PowerPoint to a Flash file.
- Izzui by QuickLessons LLC – Izzui is a hybrid social learning application that can be linked with QuickLessons. Izzui uses Facebook as an LMS to track and deliver courses. Has e-Commerce capability.
- *LCDS by Microsoft – Ranked #7 on a list of best free apps available from Microsoft, LCDS is a tool that enables users to create high-quality, interactive, online courses and Microsoft Silverlight Learning Snacks. The LCDS users to publish e-learning courses and Learning Snacks by completing simple LCDS forms to generate highly customized content, interactive activities, quizzes, games, assessments, animations, demos, and other multimedia.
- LessonWriter by Lesson Writer – LessonWriter is a tool that allows teachers to create lessons from any passage.
- MOS Solo by MindOnSite – MOS Solo allows users to create content on the go without having to rely on a constant Internet connection.
- *myBrainshark by Brainshark – A free version of Brainshark’s Best of Elearning! award-winning tool. Use it to create voice-over presentations, talking photo albums, upload a video or screencast, narrate documents, produce podcasts, share content, promote other courses. Has e-Commerce capability.
- myUdutu Course Authoring Tool by Udutu Online Learning Solutions – An authoring tool with a suite of WSIWYG tools, allowing users to create courses in an approachable environment. Claims to export SCORM 1.2/2004 conformant courses to be used in a 3rd party LMS or integrate into social media sites, such as Facebook.
- QuickLessons Authoring Tool by QuickLessons LLC – QuickLessons is a SaaS based content authoring tool, requiring the user to only have access to a web-browser. QuickLessons comes equipped with quizzes, games, characters, out-of-the-box animations and other customizable content. There is a free version for publishing content only to Facebook, or users can buy an individual, corporate or academic account.
- RubiStar by RubiStar4Teachers – RubiStar is designed to help teachers and instructors create rubrics for classroom learning activities. Rubrics templates are available for art, reading, writing, math, music, science, and oral projects.
- Scratch by MIT Media Lab – Scratch is a creative tool that helps users create interactive stories, animation, music, and art, and then share via the web.
- SmartBuilder by Suddenly Smart – SmartBuilder is a authoring tool that enables users to create rich Flash e-learning with an easy-to-use interface.
- The Multimedia Learning Object Authoring Tool by Tim Wang, John Bratlien, Liang Shao – The Multimedia Learning Object Authoring Tool enables content experts to easily combine video, audio, images and texts into one synchronized learning object. All assets are configured to be played back in a pre-configured order. Users do not need to perform any programming tasks, but instead go through a graphical user interface to generate the learning object.
- Timeline Tool 2.0 by Tim Wang, Liang Shao – The Timeline Tool 2.0 is built in Flash, PHP and XML and allows an instructor to construct an interactive timeline with audio and visual effects. This version has a WYSIWYG” interface and the finished timeline can be re-used and shared over the web.
- *Vyew created by Simulāt, Inc., a Berkeley, California start-up – Vyew is used to create an instant collaborative workspace online, with no downloads required. Registered users can give live presentations, meet with multiple people in real-time, upload course content, or collaborate on documents.
- xtimeline by Famento Inc. – Allows users to create timeline based content and share their timelines with other users, creating a community.
Christopher Pappas’s work: http://www.slideshare.net/elearningindustry/free-authoring-tools-for-elearning
A GeekyMomma’s Blog: http://www.leekolbert.com/2010/08/15-free-tech-tools-for-teachers.html.
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