Free Tools to Kickstart Your Multimedia Use in the Classroom

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So you’ve decided to incorporate multimedia and e-learning tools into your classroom, but where do you start? Often the first step is to figure out what information you would like to convey and what purpose the multimedia serves. Whether it’s visually representing complex information or processes, creating a short methods tutorial for your students, or simply giving your students more resources for their group work, there are a variety of resources to suit your needs.

There are so many tools available online that it can be challenging to figure out which to use. Each of the tools listed below is available online at no cost and serves a different purpose: collaboration and organization, creation of infographics, video and image capturing, and stock images.


1. Collaboration Tools — Collaboration and organization tools can help students to brainstorm and organize their work. Padlet works like a giant canvas to post images and videos, upload links and files, and add commentary. This visual organization tool puts all of your resources into one simple platform. It is ideal for groups that need to upload and share content, but can also be used by individual students and teachers to organize projects or as an alternative presentation tool.


2. Infographics — Infographics are a great way to visually represent complex concepts. They allow the creator to meaningfully illustrate data as statistics, timelines, processes, and more. The platform enables users to create custom infographics. Users are able to choose from thousands of design templates or create their own infographics from scratch.

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3. Video and Image Capturing — Recording your computer screen can be an easy way to create tutorials and short videos for students to watch outside of class or incorporate into other e-learning formats such as e-cases.  Jing by TechSmith is a tool that allows users to capture videos and images directly from their screen. When paired with Screencast, products and can be uploaded and shared on the web.


 4. Stock Images — Finding engaging images is an important component of developing multimedia materials. However, searching for images online and navigating licensing requirements can be arduous. Three sites have simplified this process; Pixabay, Pexels, and Unsplash all offer free high quality stock images and videos available under the Creative Commons CC0 license.

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