Instructional Design Tools
These useful tools can help you create multimedia learning objects for your students. Have a favorite app we haven't listed here? Let us know!
Audacity (PC or Mac) — Audacity is a free, open-source application that allows you to record and edit audio. You can use it to record voice-only lectures or podcasts. To download Audacity, go to: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download. Select the latest version for your operating system and follow the prompts to download and install the program. The download page also provides a link for a program called the LAME MP3 encoder. You will need this encoder to save audio files in MP3 format, which is the recommended format for recordings posted on Moodle or other sites. So be sure to install the LAME MP3 encoder and export your files as MP3. Also note of where you installed the encoder, as you will need to find the location the first time you create an MP3 file. Short tutorials are available at:
GarageBand (Mac) — This program, which comes installed on most Macs, allows you to create music or podcasts. A video tutorial is available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3CctS72nJw. Be sure to save your recordings in MP3 format.
A screencast is a video recording of anything displayed on your computer screen. Along with the screen action, you can record your voice as you explain what is happening on your screen. For example, you can narrate your PowerPoint slides, help students navigate a website, or walk them through the steps for formatting their research paper in Word. Many screencasting applications are available. A few are described below.
Camtasia (PC or Mac) — In addition to recording your screen and voice, Camtasia lets you add titles, captions, call-outs, transitions, cursor highlights, and many other effects. You can delete sections, zoom in on specific portions of the screen, and perform other edits. There's also a plug-in that lets you record your slides and narrations directly from PowerPoint. Camtasia does not impose any time or size limits. However, we recommend limiting videos to a maximum of 10 minutes in length. Camtasia tutorials can be found at http://www.techsmith.com/tutorial.html.
Contact the HelpDesk to purchase a discounted license for Camtasia Studio for your SOU computer. Discounts are also available from sites such as Academic Superstore.com.
Explain Everything (iPad) — This is a robust screencasting app that is well worth its $2.99 price tag. Explain Everything lets you write or draw on a whiteboard and narrate as you're writing. It records both your voice and whatever you're writing. You can import multiple images as well as PowerPoint and PDF files. There are several drawing tools, including a laser pointer and text. You can resize objects and move them around. There are a number of options for sharing, such as YouTube, DropBox or email. More information is available at: http://www.explaineverything.com/.
Jing (PC or Mac) — Jing is the free version of Camtasia and Snagit. Video recordings are limited to five minutes. More information is available at: http://www.techsmith.com/jing.html
ScreenChomp (iPad) — A free, easy-to-use app that lets you write or draw on a whiteboard and narrate as you write. Screenchomp records both your voice and whatever you're writing. It's great for explaining how to solve a math equation or similar type of problem. Although it does not do screen captures, you can import any image taken with the iPad camera or saved on your iPad through other means. More information is available at: http://www.techsmith.com/labs.html.
Screenr (PC or Mac) — A fast and easy-to-use program. Screenr is web-based, so there's no need to download and install a program on your computer. You can publish your screencast using your Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, or LinkedIn account. Video recordings are limited to five minutes. More information is available at: http://www.screenr.com.
Snagit (PC or Mac) — A versatile and easy-to-use screen capture program to capture still shots or screen recordings from your computer. You can capture your entire screen, a specific window, or a custom region. You can even capture an entire scrolling window all at once. You can get Snagit bundled with Camtasia Studio or purchase it alone. Tutorials are available at: http://www.techsmith.com/tutorial.html.