30 Incredibly Useful Tools & Resources for eLearning Professionals
There are thousands of free eLearning tools and resources available out there. So, to make life easier for you, we've collected a list of 30 free resources. We believe all eLearning professionals, especially those on a budget, should know of these tools and resources since they are quite common.
Take a close look at each one and consider the possible uses in your eLearning projects:
Free Stock Images:
When you need images for eLearning, you want to make sure the photos you use aren't violating copyright law. Certainly, buying one every time you need can get expensive. So, here are five places to find FREE images:
1. SXC.hu: Definitely one of the most popular free photo sites. The photographers establish the terms, so read the conditions, but most pictures can be reused immediately.
2. eLearningArt: Find royalty free stock photography for eLearning courses.The site has some nice, free, downloadable useful images.
3. Stockvault: Stock Vault offers a lot of free images. Just make sure to read license agreements.
4. MorgueFile.com: Offers stock photographs in high resolution digital. With over 55,000 images, divided into several categories
Bonus: If you don't want to see the same characters in many eLearning examples, check out eLearning Stock. This site provides the first comprehensive stock media site focused exclusively on the training industry. Images vary from $1-$5 based on size.
Also check this list curated by Connie Malamad. It includes a very complete collection of all paid stock photos and illustrations sites.
Free Color Tools:
When creating eLearning, how do you determine the overall color scheme? Take the guesswork out of design with this FREE Color Palette Generators:
5. COLOURLovers: There are loads of pre-made color palettes you can choose from.
6. Color Wizard: This easy to use color picker is quick and simple, and always seems to produce the perfect combo! You can submit a base color and it generates color schemes based on your color’s complementary color.
If you are looking for free vector art for your eLearning projects you can check out these sites:
7. Vecteezy: There are tons of wallpapers, icons, and vector graphics to use for your site.
8. Iconfinder: Browse icons of all types.
9. Vector Art: Vector Art StockImages for free under the creative commons license.
Free Image Creation and Editing:
If you don’t have the resources to hire a graphic designer or create high-quality images, don't worry, here are some free tools to help you create and edit images:
10. Skitch: From the creators of Evernote comes this simple screenshot tool. Easily grab screen shots of your screen, and boost them text, shapes, and objects.
11. Sumopaint: Its a powerful graphics editor. All the basic features of Photoshop have been adopted and made easy-to-use by this free web-based photo editing app.
12. Picozu: If you're looking for a nice tool for to create images for your eLearning courses, Picozu is worth giving a good look. Its a free online image editing tool. You can touch-up existing images or you can create new images from scratch.
13. The eLearning Guild's Handbook of e-Learning Strategy: This e-Book will help you make a broad, fundamental connection between learning, e-Learning, and your organization's mission, business objectives, and the bottom line.
14. Kineo’s first compilation of tips since 2005 through 2013: This anthology contains over 75 short articles focused on practical things you can do to design eLearning programs that make a difference. For the moment, you can just download part I.
15. 701 eLearning Tips from the Masie Center: This is a collection of 141 pages and 14 chapters, covering the main eLearning tips from all times. These tips are from senior managers and training professionals from major companies around the world. Specially take a look (and print) page 139, which has Elliot Massie’s Personal eLearning Tips.
16. The 9 Secrets of Effective eLearning Courses: is a eBook filled with the action items you can implement today to make your eLearning courses more successful. This is a must read for every eLearning professional looking to take their courses to the next level.
Blogs and sites:
17. eLearning Industry: The Leading eLearning Portal for professionals involved in the eLearning Industry. Find all the latest trends, articles and news.
18. Cammy Bean’s Learning Visions: Her blog has links to many useful instructional design resources, as well as information for those just getting started on the road to an instructional design degree.
19. Alltop: A great place to keep up with the latest stories from the top eLearning news, websites and blogs. If you love collecting interesting content as much as we do, you’ll love it too.
20. Bozarthzone: Dr. Jane Bozarth specializes in learning and development, workforce learning, and social media. This blog contains ideas for creating and outsourcing inexpensive eLearning solutions, along with general thoughts about the training and development.
21. The eLearning Coach: For tips and reviews for success with online and mobile learning check out Connie Malamed's blog.
22. Cathy Moore’s Let’s save the world from boring e-learning: Cathy Moore is a recognized elearning and training expert. he tagline on your blog is, “Let’s save the world from boring e-learning!” ... a must-read!
23. Trainingmag.com: is a 48-year-old professional development magazine that advocates training and workforce development as a business tool. The magazine delves into management issues such as leadership and succession planning, HR issues such as recruitment and retention, and training.
24. Learning Solutions Magazine: It's a publication of The eLearning Guild since 2002, and is the industry’s oldest and most trusted source for practical information on the strategies, tools, technologies, services, and best practices for the management, design, development, and implementation of enterprise-wide learning programs. Provides hands-on information about techniques, and practical advice about learning technologies.
Other Free Resources:
25. Free Kit: Creating eLearning That Makes a Difference: In this kit, Ethan Edwards covers the concept of instructional interactivity, and demonstrates how it can transform the learning experience for learners working independently through an e-learning program.
26. Kineo’s free eLearning Reports: These are designed to provide you with the practical support you need to improve performance through eLearning. These free reports bring you quickly up to date with key trends. Browse them here.
27. eLearning Survival Guide: Everything you need to succeed in the wild world of mobile learning and eLearning.
28. The Compact Instructional Design Review Checklist: At this article you will find 12 Free Instructional Design and eLearning Review Checklists!
29. TED: If you're a designer, there are other 15 recommended TED Talks that will definitely inspire you.
30. Best eLearning Presentations: This is a collection of the presentations posted at SlideShare.net. They focus on eLearning.
Now, be sure to let us know your favorites (or if we missed one) in the comments!