I recently had the opportunity to attend the DevLearn 2014 Conference.


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The conference was about discovering tomorrow’s learning technologies, strategies and practices today and joining the community of industry pioneers that are exploring the new learning universe and are defining the future of training and development.

I jam packed my days with amazing learning sessions that I thought we as a team would get the most out of. One of which I thought would benefit all of us back at the office was Forty-five Free (or Cheap) Online Learning Tools in 45 Minutes: What many instructional designers may not know is that for every $1,500 tool, there’s a free or low-cost alternative that can do the job just as well. This session covered a selection of tools that are available today and have many of the capabilities of expensive applications that can decimate a budget.

Some of the free tools I found may come in handy include:

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Adobe Photoshop Express is a tool to touch up your photos on the go with one-touch adjustments, filters, and more.

To download the free version visit windows marketplace



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OneNote is your digital notebook for keeping track of what’s important in your life.

To download the free version visit Microsoft Marketplace

Inkscape is professional quality vector graphics software which runs on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. It is used by design professionals and hobbyists worldwide, for creating a wide variety of graphics such as illustrations, icons, logos, diagrams, maps and web graphics. Inkscape uses the W3C open standard SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) as its native format, and is free and open-source software.adobe illustrator, use for prep work.

To download the free version visit www.inkscape.com

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Audacity – great tool to record and edit sound. To download the free version visit http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/

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HandBrake is a tool for converting video from nearly any format to a selection of modern, widely supported codecs.

To download the free version visit https://handbrake.fr/



Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 7.43.47 PMFotosizer is a free batch photo/image resizer tool. It lets you resize hundreds of photos in a matter of minutes in a quick and easy way.

To download the free version visit www.fotosizer.com






is a free service designed with care to be the best place to save what you love on the web. We keep your stuff safe so it’s there when you need it – always. Delicious remembers so you don’t have to. Delicious is a free and easy tool to save, organize and discover interesting links on the web. To download the free version visit https://delicious.com/

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Photoscape  is a fun and easy photo editing software that enables you to fix and enhance photos. To download the free version visit http://photoscape.org/ps/main/index.php

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and the list goes on…

IRfanview – image editor, convert to any file format, edit – simple to use. Visit http://www.irfanview.com/

Windows Movie Maker used to make movies with images, videos and sound – Visit http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/get-movie-maker-download

TotalRecorder – capture any sound played by a computer (including streaming audio, Internet telephony, and PC games), and use the included time shift-feature for off-hours recording. Visit www.totalrecorder.com/

VLC is a free and open source cross-platform multimedia player and framework that plays most multimedia files as well as DVDs, Audio CDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. Visit http://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.html

Freesound is a collaborative database of Creative Commons Licensed sounds. Browse, download and share sounds. www.freesound.org royalty free music to use

Playlater is the first DVR for online video. Visit http://www.playon.tv/playlater

Sketchup  easiest way to draw 3D drawings. Visit www.sketchup.com

Onedrive storage, keep your files and photos in onedrive.Visit www.onedrive.com

Join Me – screen sharing. Visit JoinMe

StoryboardThat online storyboard creater, powerful and easy to use. www.storyboardthat.com

7-zip is a file archiver with a high compression ratio. Visit www.7zip.org/

Neobook create your own windows app (wysiwig) Visit Neosoftware.com

Open Source Windows – utility for manipulating archives. Formats 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2 and TAR are supported fully, other formats can be unpacked. Visit http://opensourcewindows.org/

ProjectLibre – open source (similar to microsoft project) gantt charts Visit www.projectlibre.org

Gspilt  split 10 dvds into smaller ones to share, exe on the disc. Visit www.gdgsoft.com/gsplit/

Malwarebytes protects you from new online threats that antivirus can’t detect. Visit malwarebytes.org

Coursera is an education platform that partners with top universities and organizations worldwide, to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free. Visit www.coursera.org

Any Video Converter takes videos from your computer or downloaded from the Internet and converts them into just about any format you’d like. Visit http://www.any-video-converter.com/products/for_video_free/

Awesome Screenshot Capture the whole page or any portion, annotate it with rectangles, circles, arrows, lines and text, one-click upload to share. Visit http://awesomescreenshot.com/

Snagit Use images and videos to show people exactly what you’re seeing. Snagit gives you an easy way to quickly provide better feedback, create clear documentation, and change the way you work together. AVG Antivirus updates on a regular basis Visit http://www.techsmith.com/download/snagit/

Jump Desktop free remote access tool, anywhere you are (works through google) Visit https://jumpdesktop.com/

PowToon is the brand new Do-It-Yourself animated presentation tool that supercharges your presentations and videos! Save massive amounts of time and money by creating Presentoons that bring the WOW!-factor to your educational presentations, and much more. Visit www.powtoon.com

Doro PDF Writer installs a virtual printer on your system with which you can create PDF documents for free from any Windows app. Visit http://doro-pdf-writer.en.softonic.com/

FLVTO free conversion tool pull files from youtube. Visit http://www.flvto.com/

Red Kawa is a video converter. Visit http://www.redkawa.com

PDFtoword is a pdf convert it into work excel ppt etc Visit https://www.pdftoword.com/

Infogr.am is a tool to make infographics the easy way, create charts that are quick and easy to use and easy on the eyes. Visit https://infogr.am/

Otixo ties all your cloud drives together in one app. Visit www.otixo.com

Bitstrips is a tool used to turn yourself and your friends into cartoon characters, and create and share your own awesome comic strips. Visit www.bitstrips.com

Lunapic if you would like to create an image with a transparent background, upload an image to change to transparent (no download) Visit www.lunapic.com

Google Web Designer a tool to create engaging, interactive HTML5-based designs and motion graphics that can run on any device. Visit www.google.com/webdesigner/

Along with this useful session on Forty-five Free (or Cheap) Online Learning Tools, I went to sessions on the  The Top 10 Authoring Tools of 2014 – and the Forecast for 2015, The xAPI—Liberating Learning Design, Building Interactive Slides in Storyline, Transform Users into Contributors: Kaplan’s Path to User-generated Content, xAPI Hyperdrive Showcase, The xAPI for the Non-developer, Demo Fest featuring eLearning Modules, and How to Make Community Part of Your Training.

If any of these topics interests you or you are thinking of exploring any of these tools, please contact Lynel Jackson 613-533-6000 x74919 E-mail: lynel.jackson@queensu.ca