As a librarian-instructor, I’m always looking for new tools to use in my classes. My rule of three is: they must be free, they must be easy to use, they must encourage learning. Here’s three free tools that fit the bill.
Create online videos & post to YouTube or other places online.
Screencast-o-matic is similar to Camtasia and other video editing software. To use it you must download a little software package. Webcam recording is integrated into the software, which is nice. You can see an example of how the webcam and video capture work on this demo video I just made. The tool is easy to use, and fast. The demo I made took about fifteen minutes from downloading the software to processing and uploading the video. The free version limits recordings to 15 minutes, and you can export an MP4 video file. The free version does not include video editing. Overall the free version of Screencast-o-matic looks useful for quick one-off recordings that do not require much editing.
Create animated videos and presentations.
Powtoon uses storyboards to conceptualize your video or presentation, which is useful from a instructional design standpoint. The free version includes ability to export to PDF or PPT, or share the video on a number of sites including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. However to get an MP4 video file, you must upgrade to Premium. Powtoon is easy to set up and use, with several templates targeted towards instructors. Here’s a demo I made. Again, the whole thing took about 15 minutes from start to finish.
Kahoot is a free game-based learning platform. You can create ‘kahoots’ (games) on any subject, in any language, on any device, for all ages.
Kahoot is by far my favorite free resource on this list. Here’s a goofy quiz I made about the NTO. Players can join on their phone, laptop or tablet. It favors multiplayer games or teams, but you can configure Kahoot for single game play with some caveats (you will need 2 devices or browsers to play). I can imagine using a Kahoot quiz in group learning settings in both face to face and online situations. Perhaps we’ll see some Kahoots in NTO courses in 2017!