Camtasia is a video editing tool that is most often used for screencasting technology. Videos can also include quizzes. Teachers can use it for walk-through or how-to videos, say, on how to use a software or how to do research. It is available for a free trial (with a watermark on published videos), but for purchase with a $249.99 one time fee ($169.99 for an education license; $49.75 for “Camtasia Maintenance,” which includes annual upgrades).
Articulate Storyline 360
Storyline is the industry standard for course authoring software. Storyline is used more often in a corporate setting, but it could function as a way to create mini-lessons so students work through information at their own pace with interactivity features. Learning the basics isn’t too difficult; it’s similar to PowerPoint, with greater functionality. You can download a free trial for 60 days. For a personal freelancer plan, it’s $999 annually; for a personal “academic” plan, it’s $499 annually.
Captivate is a competitor to Storyline, an alternative course authoring tool. Again, most often used for a corporate setting (e.g., compliance training, soft skills training), but could possibly be used in an academic setting for short, interactive e-learning scenarios. A bit of a steep learning curve, but reviewers say that it generally pays off. Free trial lasts 30 days; you can buy a subscription price at $33.99/month; the regular full purchase price is $1200, but the student & teacher price is $399.
Google Classroom is a free basic LMS that offers full integration with Google’s suite of tools that are all quite easy to use (e.g., Docs, Sheets, Slides, Gmail, Calendar). In lieu of an expensive LMS, it offers a basic way for teachers to organize assignments, quizzes, grades, communications, etc., with students. If you know how to use Google tools, you’ll know how to use Google Classroom. You can create quizzes with Google Forms. If you create your own personal account, any files uploaded to the class will take up space in your personal Google Drive.
Microsoft Teams was created as a competitor to Slack. It offers full integration with Microsoft Office 365 and makes it easy to share Microsoft files. It appears to be more democratized than Google Classroom but not quite as social as Slack (maybe less chaotic than Slack?). Microsoft Teams would be great for a host of different uses—project teams, clubs, organizations, etc. It would work well for a class of students, especially one that was heavily project-based and collaborative. Microsoft Teams is a freemium resources; higher levels are connected to the pricing for Office 365.
Canva is a graphic design app online. It provides ready-to-go templates for a variety of social media platforms (Instagram, YouTube thumbnails, profile banners, etc.). Canva could be used for a host of different graphic design activities. For example, students could mock up a series of Instagram posts on a particular theme related to class. Or they could be tasked with creating a basic website and Canva could help them create graphics for their sites. Canva also has a freemium plan. Pro costs 9.95/month (billed annually) or 12.95/month (billed monthly).
Peergrade.io is fabulous for creating sophisticated, user-friendly rubrics to review peer essays. Reviews can be anonymous. Students can be required to do self-evaluation with the same rubric. It is very easy to use compared to many other peer review apps. They used to have a free plan and they still have a free trial for 30 days, but the basic plan is now $2 / student / year and the pro plan is $5 / student / year.
Audacity is a free and open-source digital audio editor and recording software and is great for podcast assignments. I pointed students to this for a podcast assignment where undergraduate students interviewed scholars about their project topic. They then edited it together for a smooth experience. For Macs, Garageband may or may not be a better choice—Garageband is a full audio workstation, complete with music, etc. For PCs, audacity seems to be the best free go-to digital audio editor.