Cool Free Tools
From CLEW Wiki
This article offers some free or demonstration software available on the Internet that instructors or students might find interesting.
The article below from Educause discusses the issues to consider when linking third party applications into sites. You might find it helpful to point out some issues you may not of thought of.
Educause - Policy as an Enabler of Student Engagement
EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 45, no. 5 (September/October 2010): 104–105 by Merri Beth Lavagnino
Institutions are now struggling to accommodate pedagogical advances without putting the institution at risk for lawsuits. This article discusses the complexity of instructors adding third-party tools and social media for student engagement into their course sites. Considerations about issues such as privacy, security and intellectual property or copyright implications are explored and some guidelines are suggested. Additional links to other sites discussing the issues are available in the Notes section at the bottom of the article.
Additionally, there are serious issues of what free or third-party tools are collecting with regards to student data, and further, what is happening to that data. Tools need to be investigated prior to deploying as a required part of a course. This article, entitled Popular Discussion Platform Piazza Getting Pushback for Selling Student Data by author Phil Hill, Nov. 10, 2016, discusses implications and pushback for selling student data.
This blog article for VISME by author Samantha Lile, May 31, 2017, contains a handy flowchart for deciding when you can use an image from the internet. It is using U.S. Law and Creative Commons references, but it can still be useful for the decision process. More information on Canadian Copyright considerations found on the Leddy Library Copyright site.
Cool Free Tools
Please forward information about your favorite resource(s) that you've found in your journey using the web to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share with each and build this resource. Here are a few of our favorites with their links under some categories we've started. If your resource doesn't fit into the categories we've set up, please feel free to let us know where you think it might fit. Make sure you've tested your resource first before recommending it, and if you have any cautionary notes about its use, please let us know. In the future, this page will be able to be updated by members of the University of Windsor campus directly, so stay tuned!
- Open Office http://www.openoffice.org/ OpenOffice.org is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more.
- Google Docs http://docs.google.com/ Create and edit web-based documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Store documents online and access them from any computer. Supports sharing and collaborative and concurrent editing.
- Doodle http://www.doodle.com provides an online scheduling tool that you can select out mutually agreeable times amongst a number of people and times, to help making meeting or event planning smoother. It is free of charge and doesn't require registration.
Multimedia / Screencasting / Video
- Audacity http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ Audio editor for recording, slicing, and mixing audio.
- Jing http://www.jingproject.com Take screenshots or record video of online action and share it over the web.
- Screenr http://www.screenr.com/ Instant screencasts, and ability to use a web-based application for creating and sharing screencasts. Free 15-day trial. Upgrades available.
- SoundCloud http://soundcloud.com Sounds to share and listen with friends and fans. Build your audience. Post music and audio.
- UView http://www.uwindsor.ca/uview The University of Windsor's own video uploading and distribution service.
- Symbaloo http://www.symbaloo.com/ can create bookmark collections of web links for display wherever you can display a web page within CLEW. You can share your collection with your friends, or with the world if you want. One place this may benefit you is in the Home -> Options location. You can create your Symbaloo collection, copy the link of your share-able collection and put it into the URL text box.
- Google apps http://www.google.com/apps/ Google Apps Education Edition is a free suite of hosted communication & collaboration applications designed for schools and universities. See the top 10 reasons to switch your school to Google Apps.
- Skype http://www.skype.com Talk, chat, video, file share and screen share for free.
- DropBox http://www.dropbox.com Up to 2 GB of free online file storage space. You can share files with friends and software will map a network drive to your computer which will synchronize when you save your documents.
- Flickr Photo sharing site. http://www.flickr.com/ Flickr is now embedded in Blackboard in the Mashups tool of the Content Editor (3rd row of editor). It is easy to search and embed pictures into your content, but don't forget to check out copyright implications prior to doing so!
- GIMP http://www.gimp.org The volunteer developers of The GIMP have been working hard to develop a polished, user-friendly, and freely distributed image editor.
- Visme http://www.visme.co This site offers a range of pricing from zero dollars to $60 per month USD subscription for creating infographics. The free access to the application entitles users to use the online design application for 3 projects, 100 MB Storage, Limited Templates, Download as JPG or PNG, Some Charts & Widgets, Public Projects
- Adaptech Research Network - http://www.adaptech.org hosts an updated database of free & inexpensive computer adaptive technologies.
- Wikipedia http://www.wikipedia.org Online public editable encyclopedia
- Wikimedia resources http://www.wikimedia.org Open access dictionary, wiki software, news, university, books and more
- PB wiki http://pbworks.com Online collaboration tool. Provides hosted wikis so no need to install or maintain your own.
Online Web, Presentation or Interactive Tools
- Prezi http://prezi.com Create zooming presentations live or on the web.
- CoMapping (or Cayra or bubbl.us) http://www.comapping.com/home.html Comapping is online mind mapping software to manage and share information. Use it to take notes, plan and organize. It's a way to have one set of notes. One set of files. For everyone.
- Kahoot https://getkahoot.com/ an online easy way to create interactive activities and games.
- Padlet https://padlet.com/ is an easy way to create and collaborate online.
- Poll Everywhere http://www.polleverywhere.com/ (free for up to 40 participants) and Socrative http://www.socrative.com/ (limit 50) are two free polling tools that can be used for interactivity in class where high stakes assessment is not a factor. Students can use their own devices to respond. We do not recommend these tools if you are using the interactivity for grading purposes, but they could be very helpful for increasing engagement and group work during classes. These tools are featured in a video done by DePaul University where two professors discuss using them http://youtu.be/OcfD3TOTa98.
- Voyeur http://voyeurtools.org/ A tool for analyzing and visualizing texts.
- Wordle http://www.wordle.net Wordle is a toy for generating word clouds from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes.
- Google Forms https://docs.google.com/forms/u/0/ Create a survey using Google Forms. You can also create a form from a Google spreadsheet. Useful for low-stakes quizzes, polls, etc.
Concept Mapping or Brainstorming
- Google Docs or Google Draw - it's in a familiar format, and online, and you can just as easily share and collaborate on projects in real time. Now that students have Gmail accounts, both applications are accessible when Google Drive -> Create is selected.
- MindMup - http://www.mindmup.com Zero-friction (accessible from any device) online open-source, productivity mind-mapping software. Can save to Google Drive or save as image, html table, text, email, post to Twitter or Facebook.
- SpicyNodes (http://www.spicynodes.org/)
- MindMeister http://www.mindmeister.com/
- WiseMapping http://www.wisemapping.com/
- Gliffy http://www.gliffy.com/
- XMind requires download: http://www.xmind.net/
- SpiderScribe http://www.spiderscribe.net/ - free version is limited in online storage
- Twitter.com http://www.twitter.com. Professors may wish to include a Twitter feed in their class as a "back-channel" communications tool. Instructions on how to embed a Twitter Feed into some of CLEW's tool is found in the "Add Twitter Widget" article.
- CNET Download.com http://download.cnet.com Find the software you're looking for at CNET Download.com, the most comprehensive source for free-to-try software downloads on the Web.