In this episode, I give you a list of the 10 instructional design technologies that are most used, as well as some more cost-effective alternatives!
Connect with Kristi on LinkedIn
Hello, everyone. Welcome to leaving the classroom. I'm Kristi Oliva. Thank you so much for being here. Today, I'm talking about the technology you need to know to leave the classroom and pursue a career in instructional design. I've mentioned before that I mainly worked for low income schools during my teaching career. So technology never really became my forte. That's not to say I didn't know about some technology. I even worked in an online school for the last three years in my teaching career.
So let's get started. The first one I'm going to talk about is called Audacity. Audacity is a free, easy to use, multitrack, audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac, Linux and other operating systems. It's actually what I'm using right now to record this podcast episode. And it is really easy to use. You probably will use this mainly when you are recording voiceover possibly, or something for a course.
The next one is called Camtasia. Camtasia is a recording software that allows you to record and clip whatever is happening on your screen. And it's perfect for filming webinars or video tutorials. So, like I said, Audacity is free. But for each of the following software's that we're going to talk about today, I'll tell you how much they cost, what kind of free trials they have, and so on. So Camtasia offers a 30 day free trial. But if you do choose to purchase, it's a $299 one time fee. And then you will have to pay to get upgrades but that $299 will get you the download of it and then you will have that software to use. Alright, that's Camtasia. I mainly use that for video editing and any kind of screen grabbing, recording, maybe to show how to use a certain software. I most recently used it at my job to show how to upload assessments to the LMS. And so that means that the person watching the video can follow along as you click through. And you can pause, edit, slow down, speed up certain portions, cut out portions, and highlight what you want them clicking on.
Alright, the next one, number three. I'm grouping some together on this one, this one is Vyond, PowToons, and Toonly so I'm grouping these together because they are all animated video content, producing, and editing. So Vyond is probably my favorite and is the most used in our business of instructional design. And you can create animated video content, L&D training courses, explainer videos, sale pitch videos, marketing assets, and Vyond offers a free 14 day trial. And then there are two different types of subscriptions, a $25 a month subscription, but you will still have the Vyond logo on the videos, or $52 a month to drop that logo and also have some other options. Now I included PowToons and Toonly here simply because you will start to get them advertised to you once you enter into the instructional design world. And I actually, I wouldn't say fell for that but kind of. I bought Toonly, it's a one time fee. But I have not used it since, I have to be honest. Now that's not to say that they're not useful platforms to produce animated videos, but it's just not what's used across the board in instructional design. So I have not used them since, but they are an option for you.
Alright, number four is 7taps. Now 7taps is a free web based tool to create, deliver and track micro learning experiences. I've never used 7taps myself but I have seen what my mentees in IDOL courses Academy have produced using 7taps. And it does seem to be really easy and quick to get you started. There is a free version of 7taps with limited features. And then after that it is $99 a month to get the added features like custom graphics, logos, and fonts. Definitely a really great micro learning tool. And I've seen it out there quite a bit.
All right, number five, we're gonna move on to some project management tools. And so I will talk about two of them here, Asana, and Trello. So Asana is actually what I've used at several of my corporate gigs so far. And with Asana, you can get a free version, and then it'll cost $10.99 if you're doing annual billing, and $13.99 for monthly billing. I really love Asana. Trello is another option. And there is a free version for that as well. And then there is $5 or $10 a month, depending on the features that you like. Alright, so check those out. They definitely really will help you organize what you're doing with your projects, and be able to share certain aspects or whole projects with other people.
Alright, number six is called Figma. Figma is a powerful web based design tool that helps you create anything; websites, applications, logos, and much more. It is for user interface design and user experience design. And it is a collaborative interface design tool. Now the way that my work uses it right now is it is a way for the designers of certain platforms within Amazon to share out what the user interface looks like. So that the instructional designers can use those images in their courses, and have them look exactly the way that they will look, even though maybe it hasn't been fully developed yet. For Figma, there is a free version with limitations, and then you can be billed $12 a month billed annually or $15 a month billed monthly. So the big part of Figma is the fact that it's collaborative. So multiple people can be working on the same design at once without having to share back and forth, and save.
All right, next, number seven is the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite. Now, there are so many apps within this. Most of the time that I have worked as an instructional designer, I have used three of them; Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. Now, all of the apps together will cost you $84.99 a month. Or you can just shop one at a time, and shop for them at $35.99 a month per app. These are really important tools to learn. So I would definitely check those out. But that's up to you whether or not it's up for the investment for you to do that per month. The cheaper version for this is our number eight, which is Canva. Which is still a really great design tool. Has templates, and a lot of things that you can use to design graphics, facilitator guides, Instagram posts, so many things. And there is a free version. But you can also pay $119.99 annually, which will give you access to more templates, more graphics to use in your designs. I personally use this for my personal design space outside of my work. So I do love Canva.
Number nine are AR authoring tools, and so I will talk about several of them. Here, the first one is Articulate 360 or Rise for Articulate 360. There is a 30 day free trial and then it is $1,399 a year. Adobe Captivate is another option where there is a seven day free trial and then $33.99 a month. Lectora is another option where there is a 30 day free trial, and then $117 a month if it's billed annually. And Evolve offers a 21 day free trial and then $400 annual. Now, the one that I've used the most in my jobs as an instructional designer is the Articulate Suite. So I highly recommend that you learn and use that one. All of these have a fairly quick trial. And so it is a quick turnaround of how quickly you do need to learn these tools before you either need to purchase them, or that's it for you. So what you do with these, if you're not familiar with these authoring tools is this is where you will build actual courses. eLearning courses that you can publish with a link to either share publicly, or you can publish to an LMS to track learners.
Okay. A much cheaper alternative to this is our number ten, which is called Genially. Genially is a media creation platform focused on designing and sharing media creations, and presentations of all kinds. From the dashboard, students can start from blank or pre designed templates organized into 12 types including videos, infographics, interactive images, quizzes and more. There is a free version that has some limitations and a watermark. And then there are a couple of options after that, you could pay $7.49 a month. Still has a watermark, but you will have a private link and can download your creations. Next level up is $20.82 a month. For added features like eliminating the watermark and the ability to add your own logo, fonts and colors. Now I do love Genially. It's where I built my very first eLearning course. It is super intuitive and easy to use, so it's definitely a great place to start. Especially since it has that unlimited free version, no trial needed, you can use that free version to get you started. So with any of these tools, I encourage you to download the free trials and play with the software as much as possible.
When you sign up to be a member of IDOL courses Academy you are coached, and mentored while you are learning many of the technologies I talked about today. We help you build a portfolio to show employers that you are ready to join their team. You receive expert feedback on your creations, as well as workshops to help you hone your skills even further. It's a game changer. And if you are ready to leave the classroom, I invite you to check out IDOL courses Academy. Sign up using my code CLASSROOM100 and get $100 off enrollment today. It's time to take control and make the career change that will change your life. It changed mine. See you next time.