I use a variety of software when creating my e-learning modules. I’m big on open-source software. So here’s a list of open-source and free to download applications you can try:

e-Learning Development Tools

Articulate – talk about cool looking, interactive presentations.  I’m not a fan of PowerPoint, but boy can this baby make your PowerPoint presentations look impressive.  It has the ability to convert your PowerPoint presentation into a flash module which can also have an index attached and also has a quiz maker feature. Every teacher’s dream.

Storyline this is another, very cool tool, with it’s own PowerPoint-like canvas, tons of features and very easy to use once you get the hang of it.  It’s PowerPoint meets Flash in one package at one price. It is an Articulate product and they have tons of great info on their site.

Adobe Captivate – Has all the same features offered by Articulate but has some additional features that are great time savers, such as the ability to create documentation based on your screen captures and more.  The price is a bit higher but well worth it.

Adobe Presenter – this is a PowerPoint plug-in – not as feature-rich as Articulate. It’s an adobe product but there aren’t a lot of tutorials out there.  The quiz creator is a bit wonky – not my favorite tool.

Screen Capture / Photo Editing

Jing – I absolutely love Jing.  It is made by the creators of Snag-it.  They offer a Free and paid version. Jing let’s you grab a screen capture or a section of your screen without having to deal with <CTRL><PrtSc> and it allows you to make annotations and highlight and all that other fun stuff.

Snag-It – made by the same company who brought us Camtasia.  Has the ability to capture screen prints in a single bound and short videos without much fuss.

ArtRage– A very cool multi-layer painting application. It gives you the option to use oil paints, sketch pencils, glitter and more.  So easy to use, my 8 year old picked it up in less than an hour.

Inkscape – This is a scalable vector graphic editor. It is similar to Adobe Illustrator and Corel Draw.

Photostory – Allows you to create digital video and animations using photos.

Document Editors

Zoho – Very cool online Office Suite application. Forget about purchasing high price Office applications. Create on the fly and access from anywhere with Internet access. (5 star rating)

Google Doc – Another great creation by Google. With Google docs not only can you open Word documents, you can also create documents and save them to MS Word format.

OpenOffice – If you use Microsoft Office Suite, you can use OpenOffice. The difference between the both? Price! I’ve used OpenOffice for years and absoultely love it.

Freemind – A great application for brainstorming and creating outlines.

Scratch – An awesome application which allows you to create interactive stories, animations and more.

Alice – An educational program which teaches how to program in 3D environment.

PDF Creator – Allows you to convert your documents to PDF format.  Installs a print driver on your system

Moodle – An excellent alternative to Blackboard and WebCT, plus it’s free. Host your own Learning Management System (LMS). Requires PHP & MySQL

Scribus – This is a desktop publishing application which is FREE and fairly easy to use.

Video Editing/Creator Tools

Camtasia – I can’t see myself making a tutorial video without it.

Sony Vegas – Love this video editing software.  It’s not very intuitive but if you need help learning how to use this software you can try Lynda.com.

AVS Video Converter – Allows you to convert .MOV files to other file formats – not FREE but low cost.

Skype – I absolutely love Skype. This is a web-based phone/chat/video application. Allows you to make domestic and International calls. Purchase a phone number for just $12

VideoScribe – this is a cool tool that allows you to created animate videos using still images.

Wondershare – video converter

Web-Based Photo Editing:

Picnik – Let’s you do some basic editing nice interface takes a minute to get use to

FotoFlexer – Similar to Picnik but a bit more versatile has more features

Slashup – for Photoshop junkies. This is a completely web-based application that offers tool layouts similar to Photoshop.

Gimp – If you’ve used Inkscape or Photoshop you’ll like Gimp.  It’s a free photo editor that offers features similar to Photoshop.

SnipShot – this is another free photo editor that offers more tools than Microsoft Paint but is not as versatile as Photoshop.

Pixlr – Another photo editor for Photoshop junkies and newbies. Completely web-based and FREE.

Audio Editing:

Audacity – This is a sound recording/editing tool, which is really easy to use and great for creating offline podcast or adding audio to your video creations.

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