Make your own teaching materials? Check out these 6 handy tools

In knowledge transfer, online courses, coaching and training, it is nice to develop your teaching material tailored to your needs and in your own house style. Here are my favorite tools and many more software tips for creating learning content. Handy: what can you do with a free and paid account?

Of course you can make a flashy presentation in PowerPoint and filming yourself with Zoom is probably no problem since corona. But in the world of teaching and instructional design you have an infinite number of software tools that you can use for teaching materials. My current favorites:

1. Canva for everything 🙂

Anyone who has ever tried Canva knows… it’s almost addictive. From posters to Instagram posts, from slick presentations to lesson plans, timetables, certificates, worksheets, mind maps etc. In fact, you can develop all your visual teaching materials with this design tool for dummies. Did you know that you can also use Canva record a screencast with yourself as a presenter? In stock footage Can you produce in all formats?

You can do a lot with a free Canva account. But if you want to collaborate with a team, register your house style colors (and don’t have to enter them every time), make images transparent and gain access to millions of templates, stock images and graphic elements, then you pay 110 euros per year.

2. Biteable for animation and video

Filming with your mobile delivers – after some practice – videos of excellent quality. Especially if you’re handy with post-processing. Animations (motion graphics) and stock videos with text, music and voice-over are also fun and simple. Biteable is super user-friendly and has an extensive stock library, including characters, illustrations and stock video. That’s what the company that started in 2014 in Tasmania has really invested in. You can easily switch to Instagram, TikTok or YouTube formats and download or duplicate MP4s for reuse.

The example below is teaching material for beginning, practice-trained English healthcare workers. They are explained the role of carers. The voice-over was recorded in England and added to the video afterwards as an M4A file:

Each tool offers a free trial or free account, but if you really want to customize something, get the paid upgrade. For example, you don’t want a watermark of the provider in your video.

Below a few Do-It-Yourself animation tools in a row, with the rates per year for the paid option where you do not have a watermark (offers excluded).

  • Biteable costs 200 euros. It sometimes pays to explore new tools (start-ups). I got in for 100 euros.
  • From 84 euros you can Renderforest use.
  • You pay approx. 106 euros for Animaker.
  • And for Powtoon that. 204 euros.
  • For the most famous animation tool Vyond you pay approx. 573 euros.
  • For Moovly you pay approx. 264 euros.
  • And for Animatron that. 318 euros.
  • But Canva also has a super easy video editor with a library of stock videos for 110 euros.

3. Video Editing Kapwing

Sometimes mounting on your mobile is not convenient (what a fiddling with the small screen) and professional editing is a bridge too far or too expensive. Not only offers Kapwing a simple editing studio for your own videos, but the editing of a YouTube video is also nice, which you can find simply with ‘paste the URL’.

The function to add (foreign) subtitles is super handy. An example. At the request of a Japanese conference organizer, some lecturers filmed themselves and their presentation via Zoom. I edited their MP4s together, cut out the mistakes and automatically generated subtitles in one click. It SRT-bestand (subtitles with precise time codes) can be downloaded, corrected where necessary, and uploaded again. You can then convert that SRT file to a foreign language at the push of a button. In this case Japanese.

You can choose from more than 70 languages. The Japanese SRT file was checked by the organizer and returned to me after some corrections. Moments later, the video was broadcast at a Japanese healthcare conference.

Subtitles via Kapwing

Subtitles via Kapwing

Kapwing also allows you to create funny memes and GIFs, change speed and size of the video, and add images and text to video. Free and without watermark for videos under 5 minutes. Please note: your material will be locked after 2 days. So if you want to work a little longer on a project and get started with longer films, you pay 170 euros per year for Kapwing.

4. for interactive graphics

Want to make your own beautiful digital game? Of you can add text, videos, question/answer on (moving) images. And share it as a link or, for example, integrate it into your site*. Adding interactivity ensures engagement and visual learning without clicking away and getting lost. With you can make games, calendars, infographics, (video) presentations and much more.

Interactive graphics with Genially

Interactive graphics and games with Genially.

* In many cases you can integrate the interactive image on (your own) sites (the types of embeds are limited on the Frankwatching website). Click for some examples:

This originally Spanish start-up offers a cool tool for visual interaction with your participants, students, colleagues, etc. With the paid upgrade, you have to be careful whether you want to use in education or in business. From approx. 60 euros per year.

5. Lordicon for moving icons

Love free illustrations and icons? The most famous place is Iconfinder with more than 200,000 free icons and the handy ‘Pay as you go’ rate, from 1.75 euros per element. Iconfinder also has an editor, where you can apply your own corporate colors.

Do you get a little lost in that large amount or are you looking for something dynamic? Then try the animated icons of Lordicon. With 349 moving and more than 2000 static icons, which you can customize to your own house style colors. Handy with Lordicon, you can also make the lines of each drawing thicker or thinner, adjust the animation and use an embed code to really integrate them into your site or web store. A paid subscription is 85 euros per year and gives access to another approximately 1700 moving icons.

More illustrations? look at more than 17 places to find free clip art.

6. Wakelet for Learning Lists

Would you like to offer your participants or students teaching materials in a visually appealing way before and/or afterwards? Create a learning or reading list of your favorite blog articles, PDFs, images and videos and share this list with them as a link. Wakelet is a free tool for the structured creation, management and sharing of content items.

The great thing is that you can provide each content item with an explanation or interpretation. You can share your learning lists in private mode or make them public. Sniff here what other trainers and teachers have built. You can display in list view, but also, for example, as a mood board à la Pinterest.

Impression of Wakelet tool

Impression of Wakelet tool

3 bonus tips for learning geeks

Love learning technology? Then I have a few more tips for you.

  • As mentioned, it pays to try out a new EdTech (Education Technology) tool and thus to follow start-ups. HolonIQ monitors EdTech players worldwide and conducts research into the learning landscape. They are videos of approximately one hour in which hundreds of start-ups pass by from all continents in the world; here is their playlist of Global EdTech videos.
  • Is watching hours of videos too much for you? For example, subscribe to the weekly dose of tools, apps and useful items at the intersection of learning, design and technology, by American learning consultant Mike Taylor.
  • Or view the list of TodaysTeachingTools for teaching by Irene van der Spoel.

What is your favorite learning tool? I am curious for your reaction.

Source: Frankwatching by

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