Melissa’s post in response to a LinkedIn eLearning Guild Group discussion “What are the top tools for freelance elearning design and development?” has prompted me to round up my list of top tools. So here is a quick peak into my toolbox…
- Content Creation:
PowerPoint – This is my primary tools for authoring courses and obviously presentations. I love the familiarity and with the capabilities of recent versions I find myself needing other tools such as image editors, less and less. | http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/powerpoint/
- Course Publishing:
Articulate – I love the integration with PowerPoint and they have *THE* best support for anything I have ever used bar none. | http://www.articulate.com/
FastStone is for ordinary, quick & dirty type stuff and SnagIt comes out when I’m getting serious and want something full-powered. | http://www.faststone.org/FSCaptureDetail.htm | http://www.techsmith.com/snagit/
Jing is for my quick & dirty stuff and most of my recordings which I will then edit/enhance and produce in Camtasia. | http://www.techsmith.com/jing/ | http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia/
- Narration/Audio Editing:
Audacity is free, easy to use and it just works. Levelator is a handy utility to help get the sound levels of your audio files to match. | http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
(Building one of those portable recording boxes is on my to do list.)
- Video Editing:
Windows Movie Maker certainly isn’t anything fancy but it does the job. Especially for converting Articulate content into a DVD format for those without computer access. | Windows XP: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/moviemaker/default.mspx | Win 7: http://explore.live.com/windows-live-movie-make
- Image Editing:
I rarely need to do much heavy-duty photo editing so you won’t find Photoshop on my PC. Any basic tool you’re comfortable with will probably suffice. For quick & easy there are even online editors like Aviary’s suite of tools, Picnik.com & FotoFlexer (I love their tool to cut out the back ground…no Photoshop needed.) As I mentioned above PowerPoint has more and more of this stuff built right in.
Notepad (html, css, editing for those times when you need to roll up your sleeves and work on the ‘plumbing’ aka code. )
Word- I use the find & replace function to handle data manipulation and cleanup more than anything else.
Google-need I say more?
Color Cop-I use this to grab the exact color of items for exact matches. | http://colorcop.net/
Picasa Photo manager-Fab-U-lous for handling your photos. | http://picasa.google.com/
I’m always on the look out for better ways to do things so if you have any suggestions fire away! What’s in your toolbox?
PS – Icon search for finding great icons