Free Mindmapping tools 

There are dozens of free mindmapping tools out there, here are three to start with.


Free web-based mind mapping tool that can be added to Google Drive. For best results, log into Google Drive, click on New and then More and select Mindmup. It will ask to be installed to your Google Drive. Can download work as PNG image, PDF, Freemind file format and more.


Device-based software program that requires download and installation.


A web-based presentation tool that can be used to create a mindmap. Students can send links to their work or can download the end product and present it on a computer.  Students and educators can have free accounts where they can control privacy/access to their work.

Image editing software

For Mobile Operating Systems, check your App store for the highest rated Apps.

GIMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Program)

A downloadable software program for Windows and Mac OS that allows multi-layered image editing and the creation of animated GIFs.

MS Paint

Free image editing software that comes with MS Windows. Click the Start menu and type in the word Paint.

MS PowerPoint

Start with a blank slide, add images, graphics and text, then export the slide as an image. PowerPoint includes cropping tools and an easy drag and drop interface. You can change the slide size and orientation to anything you like – so could use it to layout posters or to create layered images.

All UniSA students have access to PowerPoint at no charge.

Multimedia creation/editing software

For Mobile Operating Systems, check your App store for the highest rated, free Apps in video and audio recording and editing.

MS Movie Maker – Windows OS

Microsoft Movie Maker is a free download from Microsoft and should be installed on all UniSA computer pools that run MS Windows. It does basic edits, allows for text overlay, music and voice-overs. It can create a video from still images imported into it as well as edit video. Tutorials are available here:

YouTube Creator Studio

Accessible by logging into YouTube.

For a video created from still images, click on Upload and select Create under PhotoSlide Show. YouTube can access photos and videos from Google image accounts or you can upload new photos.

For a video, click on Edit under Video Editor and select an existing YouTube video or upload a new one.  YouTube Creator studio features allow users to add YouTube music and create text overlays. At this writing (January 2016) voice overs/narrations are not supported.

MS PowerPoint

Yes, you read that correctly. Newer versions of PowerPoint allow you to save presentations as one of two video formats – MP4 or WMV.  (When in doubt, choose MP4). You can add voice over to slides and, if you embed video from your computer and set the video to play automatically, you can embed video and trim it. YouTube links won’t work.  See this video for a quick tutorial:

All UniSA students have access to PowerPoint at no charge.

Audacity audio editing software

This free, open source software download for desktops and laptops allows for multi-track audio production and post production. It works on Mac, Windows and Linux operating systems.

28. July 2015 · Comments Off on Moodle groups, groupings, forums · Categories: My personal learning journey
This is a brain dump post. Groupings and news forums – to create a new news forum, duplicate an existing one. If you apply a grouping, only people in the grouping will get the messages. Magic! Groupings and Q&A and single discussion forums – do not mix.
27. April 2015 · Comments Off on Movie Maker – good and free · Categories: My personal learning journey
It’s been a few years since I last touched Movie Maker. At the time, I felt it was clunky and I was still missing PhotoStory 3 as a great, easy to use product for educators.

I revisited Movie Maker a few months ago in an attempt to find a readily available, cost-effective solution for staff and students at the university for which I work to edit videos they can create in our new automated green screen rooms.

I found Movie Maker easy to use and liked its feature set. It’s not multi-layered video editing, but it is an easy cut editor and using transition animations at the start of new sections allows for softening of your cut edits. You can either bring outside video in or record video straight from your webcam. You can also add narration straight into Movie Maker and then bring in a music bed underneath.
And for those of us who remember and miss PhotoStory 3 – all those features are here too. Import still photos, set duration, choose transitions and movements, add music — and now narration too!
There are also open captioning and titling capabilities.

This is not professional software. But, it’s not trying to be. 

Here is a look at some tutorials I’ve created for staff and students on how to use Movie Maker – this should give you a sense of the user experience. Or, download it from Windows Live Essentials and have a play – it should take you about 30 minutes to get the hang of it.

09. March 2015 · Comments Off on The game of tapping into a passion for learning · Categories: e-learning design, educationaldesign

winners_on_podium_400_clr_7603Gamers are great learners, I’ve been one and I have nephews who are gamers.  When I was really into it I would spend hours researching my character, watching videos about fighting techniques, bookmarking and consulting sites about crafting and levelling up, adding in plugins to make my game play more efficient and would benchmark myself. Games stop being fun when you have no more levels and achieves to get.

Gamification of courses is, as far as I’ve seen, not doing a good job of hooking into the passion of getting more proficient.

For people who have only been alive for 10 years, getting into a good university in 8 years is so far away. Where is the immediate reward?  So techniques to make learning engaging can reward short and medium term wins have to balance  with not making kids who aren’t as quick to learn feel stupid. Wow – what a challenge.

Here’s another one: for learners who are in university and overwhelmed – a P is a degree and as long as they get that achieve, what more are they after? What good does a HD do?

So we have to get people in the habit of loving learning, of being passionate about the topics they study and seeing connection and context to their lives and ability to achieve what they want to achieve throughout their learning lives. How do we do it? Not with animations, badges and trumpet sounds is all I know. The learning goes on…

26. February 2015 · Comments Off on ISpring Pro for Course videos · Categories: ISpring, Technologies
  ISpring is software that adds a plug in to PowerPoint that allows you to create embedded, narrated presentations with the option to record webcam video and upload resources with your presentation. I use it and so do my current work colleagues because it is part of the toolkit provided. I’m not endorsing it – just posting some discoveries I’ve made.

Version 7 has a couple of nice features that include allowing for video to take the dominant spot and to import publishing settings so that you can set up once and not have to re-set every time.

Using iSpring has a few advantages to recording straight to camera software.

The main one is that you can record video one slide at a time. So if you have a broad range of topics to cover, you can record and re-record in small chunks without having to edit.

Secondly, it’s straightforward to upload the zipped file output up to a Moodle file resources and unless you particularly want to embed the video in a page, you can simply unzip it, nominate the html5 index file as the main file and set the file to open on click to provide students with a video and player.

Here is a document that gives step by step instructions – I hope you find it useful.