Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Free Tools to Kickstart a Multimedia Use Classroom

This month the PNLC is partnering with Hubert Project, a repository that provides public affairs instructors, practitioners and students with a diverse range of free, multimedia teaching tools. Take a look at their resources HERE

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 Easel.ly platform enables users to create custom infographics. Users are able to choose from thousands of design templates or create their own infographics from scratch.

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 withScreencast, 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.

By: Becca Beets
Rebecca Beets, Research Assistant – Becca is currently pursuing an M.S. in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy at the Humphrey School. Prior to moving to Minnesota, she spent four years working in the science-policy nexus at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Her interests are in the intersections of science, policy, law, ethics and communication – with an emphasis on issues related to emerging technologies. Becca joined the Hubert Project in May 2015. She previously worked in the Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center helping to plan the 2015 Public Management Research Association conference, and with the Center for Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy.

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