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LodeStar is an eLearning authoring tool that uploads to Metropolitan State University's Desire2Learn (D2L). LodeStar enables faculty to use instructional strategies that are not available in D2L but add value, such as presentations with inline questions and videos, flashcards, branching scenarios, decision making, ebooks, RSS feeds and more. Instructors choose from a wide variety of templates, fill in their content and export to their online course.
To get a free license, please install the app, launch the app, start the license registration process by selecting a template or File > Open, register with your Metropolitan State email address and wait for a permanent license to be emailed to you.
PowToon is a web-based service that allows users to create animated videos using just an internet browser. Instructors can use pre-made templates for fast-and-easy videos or build from scratch using the elements that their access level provides, and/or their own elements (uploaded images, etc). The interface also incorporates a storyboard option, giving the user a chance to map out their ideas before they get started. Once created, videos can be published or exported to YouTube and/or downloaded in mp4 format.
Timeline JS is a tool that allows user to create a timeline that is graphically-rich, interactive and embeddable. Timelines are a good way for instructors to display information sequentially, and Timeline JS enhances this process by helping to create a strong, story-driven narrative. The interactivity of Timeline JS allows students to explore individual elements in a deeper way, then draw back and think about them in a larger context.
No download or registration is needed, but the tool does rely on Google Sheets. You can use Google Sheets for free by logging into a Google account.
Insight Maker is an open source, web-based, general-purpose simulation and modeling program. Users can map out concepts, draft casual loop diagrams and create rich pictures. A drag-and-drop interface makes these maps easy to create, modify, run and share.