Tools and apps come and go, and there seems to be so much wasted time investigating tools that don’t necessarily work for your unique purposes. I get a lot of questions about the tools and apps that I use, and while many of them are included in the Resources section, I thought it might be helpful to update you on the ones that I’m using most often.
Articulate Storyline 2 – I don’t think I have to drone on too much about my love affair with Articulate Storyline, so I won’t. What I will say is that if you have yet to dip your toes in the Articulate pool, please just jump in…with all of your clothes on…because it’s pretty darn awesome!
Parallels – If it wasn’t for Storyline, I would never have discovered Parallels. I would just have been suffering through using Boot Camp to run my Windows-based programs. I know some folks out there love Boot Camp, but I’ve tried it, and I’m not one of those people. Parallels makes it very easy to run Mac and Windows-based programs, simultaneously. And for anyone wondering – No. I do not experience lag when working in Storyline.
SnagIt and Camtasia – Techsmith has my heart when it comes to SnagIt and Camtasia, which I use for all of my screen capturing and video development needs!
Dropbox Pro – Dropbox has saved my butt on more than one occasion and should be considered essential for any business person, especially those working in virtual teams. It proves critical in backing up all of your necessary projects so you can have them in more than one place (dropbox, your computer, an external hard drive – if you’re not backing up in three locations, do that now).
Actively Learn – In higher education, I’ve been recommending faculty members use Actively Learn because it’s very easy to create a more active learning experience than traditional lectures.
Nearpod – Coming in at a close second for enhancing the learning experience is Nearpod. You can create presentations and incorporate assessment throughout the presentation. Each student uses an access code (on their own device) to access the presentation as the instructor is giving it, and assessment is completed in real-time. You can share the stats (e.g. graphs) of responses, but only the instructor will see the student name associated with the response.
Canva – In the past, I had dabbled in Canva, but it really proved its worth to me when I was developing graphics for a sample course. It’s a site that easily allows you to create professional looking graphics without having to install and navigate the complexities of a graphics program (e.g. Adobe Photoshop). I’ve been recommending this to faculty members as an easy way to create quick and professional looking module introduction graphics.
Soundcloud – It’s not often that I have to regal people with my voice (and thank goodness!), but when I do, I upload and share my audio using Soundcloud. It’s free and easy to use!
Vimeo – All of the videos I create in Camtasia are uploaded and shared using Vimeo. It’s easy to use, you can easily share, and you can add metadata if you want to enhance search-ability. For personal use, I use the free account, and at the university, we use the Pro account. The free account makes you wait in a queue for the video to upload and process, but it never seems like much of a wait (especially when you upload super early in the morning).
Fetch – Fetch is the best FTP client for Mac that I’ve found. I know that’s a subjective statement, but I really enjoy using it. It’s user-friendly, and while you wait for your files to upload, your cursor turns into a running dog – how fun is that?!
Hopefully you’ve found at least one tool in this list that you can make use of, and if not, I’ll be drafting these posts regularly, so stay tuned!