Wednesday, April 2

A Free Learning Tool for Every Learning Problem?


CLICK HERE for the latest version, including the 3 BIG QUESTIONS.


Let's explore the idea that there is at least one excellent free learning tool (or site) for every learning problem, need or issue!
I want a FREE:
  1. Easy-to-use and secure Internet browser? Firefox or Chrome
  2. e-Mail system? Gmail
  3. RSS reader? Google Reader
  4. Social bookmarking tool?
  5. Social bookmarking tool with collaborative learning features (groups, forums, etc.)? Diigo
  6. Social bookmarking tool that allows members to "pin" images, videos and links (URLs) to my pinboard(s)? Pinterest
  7. Social curation tool that also suggests content?
  8. Tool that helps me tell stories by curating social media? Storify
  9. Tool that summarizes my social news feeds (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Google Reader)? Summify
  10. Tool that enables me to capture, visualize, organize and share my bookmarks? SimplyBox
  11. Tool to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform? Evernote
  12. Tool to save pages for later? ReadItLater
  13. Tool to translate text or a webpage? Google Language Tools
  14. Online Calendar? Google Calendar
  15. Tool to aggregate all my resources, mail, RSS feeds, etc, in one place? Netvibes, iGoogle or Pageflakes
  16. Platform to incorporate all my favorite tools within one environment? Elgg
  17. fully featured electronic portfolio tool? Mahara
  18. Learning Management System (LMS)? Moodle
  19. Hosted LMS? Click Here!
  20. LMS that looks and feels like Facebook? Edmodo
  21. Tool to assist me in evaluating and selecting a LMS? EduTools
  22. Learning Activity Management System? LAMS
  23. Communication and collaboration tool for my University/College/School? Google Apps
  24. Social Networking tool? Facebook or Google+
  25. Professional social network? LinkedIn
  26. Microblogging tool? Twitter
  27. Twitter client? Tweetdeck
  28. Micro-blogging platform for my company? Yammer
  29. Social media dashboard? HootSuite
  30. Turn Twitter, Facebook and RSS feeds into online newspapers?
  31. Tool to organize, share my online life and discover that of others? Symbaloo
  32. Tool to create study groups and manage group projects? GroupTable
  33. Tool to keep track of my schoolwork (assignments)? Soshiku
  34. 3D online virtual world where I can socialize, connect and learn? Second Life
  35. Tool to create my own website? Google Sites
  36. Content Management System (CMS)? Joomla
  37. Tool to conduct webinars (Web Conferencing)? WiZiQ or BigBlueButton
  38. Tool to broadcast myself to the world? USTREAM
  39. Tool to make calls from my computer? Skype
  40. Videoconferencing chat service? Vawkr
  41. Content authoring tool? How about two? eXe & CourseLab
  42. Alternative to Microsoft Office? OpenOffice
  43. Online suite of office tools? Google Docs or Zoho
  44. Collaborative course authoring tool? Udutu
  45. Tool to create and share great video lessons with my iPad? Educreations or ShowMe
  46. Tool that accurately converts my PowerPoint to Flash (including animations)? iSpring Free
  47. Tool to share my slides? SlideShare, SlideBoom or authorSTREAM
  48. Presentation tool to create zooming (and awesome) presentations? Prezi
  49. Web authoring tool alternative to FrontPage and Dreamweaver? NvU or KompoZer
  50. Personal online notebook? Google Notebook
  51. Blogging tool? Blogger or WordPress
  52. WordPress-powered social network tool? BuddyPress
  53. Blogging tool for educators? Edublogs
  54. Directory of edubloggers from around the world? International Edubloggers Directory
  55. Wiki tool? Wikispaces, Wetpaint or Google Sites
  56. Encyclopedia, which I can add to or edit? Wikipedia
  57. Community dedicated to collaborative development of free content? WikiEducator
  58. Tool to transform media into collaborative spaces with video, voice and text commenting? VoiceThread
  59. Tool for storytelling? Here are 50!
  60. Tool for Collaborative Storytelling? Storybird
  61. Screencasting (recording) tool? Wink
  62. Hosted screencasting tool (more options)? Screenr, Jing or Screencast-0-matic
  63. Mindmapping tool? FreeMind
  64. Tool to brainstorm and create mindmaps online? or MindMeister
  65. Easy-to-learn 3D authoring software tool? Google SketchUp
  66. Alternative to 3D Studio Max? Blender
  67. tool to make 3D models? Sculptris
  68. Tool to create comics and cartoons? ToonDoo
  69. Tool to create animations? GoAnimate
  70. Revolutionary real-time movie making software? xtranormal
  71. Audio recording tool? Audacity
  72. Tool to broadcast from any phone to the Internet live? ipadio
  73. Tool to create my own 'Internet Talk Radio Show'? Blog Talk Radio
  74. Tool using my real voice to discuss my interests and passions with anyone? Voxopop
  75. Tool to record and host my audio recordings online? Odeo Studio
  76. Tool to convert text to speech? vozMe or iSpeech
  77. Tool for real-time spelling and translation? eType
  78. Tool to create personalized speaking avatars? Voki
  79. Photo/image editing tool? GIMP or Picasa
  80. Tool that turns my photos/video clips into professional video slideshows in minutes? Animoto
  81. Exciting word cloud generator? Wordle
  82. Tool to make an interactive poster? Glogster
  83. Online photo/image editing tool? Splashup
  84. Tool to create cool personalized images? Custom Sign Generator Widgets
  85. Image Resizer? Dosize
  86. Watermarking tool? uMark
  87. Screen Color Picker? ColorSchemer
  88. Tool to highlight text in a webpage? The Awesome Highlighter
  89. Tool to create flowcharts, diagrams, technical drawings? Gliffy
  90. Tool to make screenshots from different browsers with one click? Browsershots
  91. Tool to create PDFs from any Windows program? PDFCreator
  92. Tool to convert PDF to Word? PDF2Word Online
  93. Online file conversion tool (e.g. Word >PDF>PowerPoint)? Zamzar
  94. Online OCR (Optical Character Recognition) tool? Free OCR
  95. QR Code, Semacode and Data Matrix Barcode Generator? QR Code Generator
  96. Tool to share my videos? YouTube, TeacherTube or Vimeo
  97. Tool to share any type of file with unlimited storage capacity? Internet Archive
  98. Online noticeboard? Padlet
  99. Online science research sharing portal? SciVee
  100. Online community to share and discuss instructional teacher videos? TeacherTube
  101. Online community to share, discuss and learn about the uses of educational technology? EdTechTalk
  102. Online community to test my big ideas? Big Think
  103. Service for engaging in conversation about news, thoughts and ideas people share? Amplify
  104. Tool to download videos from any video sharing site (YouTube, Metacafe, etc.)? ClipNabber
  105. Self-publishing tool (books, papers, articles, etc)? Scribd or Issuu
  106. Tool to share my pictures? Are you joking! Flickr
  107. Space to upload and share my files? eSnips
  108. File hosting solution to share huge files up? FileCrunch
  109. Tool to sync files online and across computers? Dropbox
  110. Tool for real-time file sharing and collaboration?
  111. Tool to save pages from my computer or phone for later readings? ReadItLater
  112. 3-ring binder for the Web? Livebinders
  113. URL shortener and tracker?
  114. Online quiz tool? ClassMarker
  115. Tool to create interactive quizzes and puzzles? Hot Potatoes
  116. Tool to create quizzes with videos? ESL Video
  117. Tool to create web and print-based crossword puzzles? EclipseCrossword
  118. Inquiry-oriented lesson tool? WebQuest
  119. Multimedia flashcard tool? Quizlet or MemoryLifter
  120. Online survey tool? Click here to choose!
  121. Online polling tool with a bit of fizzle? Polldaddy
  122. Student Response System (SRS) that uses smartphones, laptops, and tablets and the web? Poll Everywhere or Socrative
  123. Tool to test which sites loads faster in my browser? Which Loads Faster?
  124. Tool to create Flash games (templates)?
  125. Investment Simulation Game? Virtual Trader
  126. Interactive 3D business simulator? INNOV8
  127. Game to understand cancer better? Re-Mission
  128. Game to understand the scientific method and 21st Century Skills? River City
  129. Game to understand variable manipulations for urban management? SimCity
  130. Game to understand social studies better? Quest Atlantis
  131. Game to understand world hunger and efforts to alleviate it? WFP Foodforce
  132. Game to learn more vocabulary and help hungry people? Seriously! FreeRice
  133. List of at least 100 free juicy learning games to spice up my course(s)? Click Here!
  134. Range of interactive tools to help me understand maths concepts? Shodor Interactivate
  135. Collection of video tutorials (and assessment) to learn maths? Khan Academy 
  136. Step-by-step math problem solver? Mathway
  137. Tool to publish my data online and create comparison tables? Tablefy
  138. Tool to create my own search engine tailored to my needs? Google Custom Search Engine
  139. Personalized search world? Historius
  140. Human-powered search engine? Mahalo
  141. Metasearch engine with visual display interfaces? What! Here is KartOO!
  142. Search tool presenting results from a large number of websites in different visual ways? Spezify
  143. Search engine that groups the results by topic via automated clustering technology? Vivisimo
  144. Science-specific search engine? Scirus
  145. All-in-one research search tool? Schoolr
  146. Tool to search query and then select a credible resource? SearchCredible
  147. Tool to help me collect, manage, and cite my research sources? Zotero
  148. Tool that generates detailed statistics about the visitors to my website? Google Analytics
  149. Tool to search, discover, rank and compare different sites around the world? Alexa
  150. Tool to search the full text of books? Google Book Search
  151. Tool to search for scholarly literature? Google Scholar
  152. Tool to search for patents? Google Patent Search
  153. Tool that sends me email updates of the latest relevant Google results (e.g. e-Learning)? Google Alerts
  154. Sticky and canvas service (post it)? Lino
  155. Energy saving search engine? Blackle
  156. Online visual dictionary and thesaurus? Visuwords
  157. World digital library? World Digital Library
  158. Tool to build and distribute my own digital library? Greenstone
  159. Site to find and search across all OpenCourseWare (OCW) courses? OpenCourseWare Consortium
  160. Repository and learning network of Open Educational Resources (OER)? OER Commons
  161. Site to get the latest updates on OER and OCW? OER Blogs
  162. Site to get access to thousands of free lectures? Academic Earth, iTunes U or YouTube EDU
  163. Portal to non-formal OER and training resources? Open Training Platform
  164. Encyclopedia of video tutorials to help me learn any software? Edumax or Wikivid
  165. Site to practice speaking English while I watch great videos? EnglishCentral
  166. e-Book to learn more about e-learning 2.0? Learning 2.0 eBook
  167. Site to learn more about rapid e-learning? The Rapid e-Learning Blog
  168. Site to learn more about Online Course Development? Hitchhiker’s Guide to Course Development
  169. Crash course in learning theory? Click here!
  170. Database of Learning Theories? Click here & here!
  171. Tool to help me understand and use learning styles effectively? Learning Styles
  172. Repository of creative and critical thinking tools? Mycoted to the rescue!
  173. Route to learn more about the 21st century skills? Route 21
  174. Repository of how everything works? HowStuffWorks
  175. Repository of lectures from the world's top scientists? Videolectures.NET
  176. Repository of resources and simulation tools to learn more about nanotechnology? The nanoHUB
  177. Directory of academic open access repositories? OpenDOAR
  178. Site covering today's top social, political, and tech issues?
  179. Site to improve my learning skills? Study Guides & Strategies
  180. Gaming tool to help me learn ICT?
  181. Tool to improve my typing skills? Peter's Online Typing Course
  182. Tool to improve my reading skills? ZAP Reader
  183. Interactive courseware to improve my workplace skills? ALISON
  184. Multimedia site that enhance our understanding of war and its history? Maps-of-War
  185. 3D human anatomy visualization tool? Visible Body
  186. Site to learn languages? Free Language
  187. Tool to explore the World? Google Earth
  188. Tool to search and zoom maps of any country? Google Maps
  189. Tool to explore the Universe? WorldWide Telescope
  190. Tool to visualize human development? Gapminder
  191. Tool to answer all my questions? Wolfram|Alpha, Google Squared or
  192. Site with talks by the world's greatest thinkers and doers? TED is a good starting point!
  193. Article to reveal the secrets of the super-learners? Click here!
  194. Link to the most innovative web 2.0 (and 3.0) lab in the world? Google Labs
  195. Tool to stumble upon and discover great websites, videos, photos, etc. ? StumbleUpon
  196. Daily newsletter that keeps me updated with the latest news on online learning? Stephen's OLDaily
  197. Site where I can learn more about social media and social learning? Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies
  198. Site dedicated to tracking the changes occurring in education today? Open Education
  199. Site to update me on the latest free instructional resources for Higher Education? Educational Technology
  200. Tool to track plagiarism? Plagium, Viper and more...
  201. Site to discover delicious free tools, resources, and sites? ZaidLearn's Discoveries
  202. Bla, Bla...
In short, for every learning problem (or issue) we have today, there is probably a free tool or site out there that enables us to solve it. If not, I am pretty sure some genius out there is constructing it right now. If no one is doing it, perhaps we can do it.
Another challenge is to integrate all our learning tools efficiently and effectively into our learning spaces. On the positive note, more and more tools are creating integration modules to widely used systems like Moodle and Facebook, so it might not be so difficult after all. Also, with OpenID we can increasingly login to all our favorite websites without much hassle. Single-login to all our learning tools! Now that is something we all can appreciate! Remember one password! Tough one!

If you want to experience my learning adventure as I discover, perhaps you should subscribe to my Learning Adventure! Otherwise, you could always wait a week or two for the updates in this blog. Have fun 'Socratic Tooling' to solve your learning problems and issues :)


John Dehlin said...

What about OpenCourseWare!?!?!?!?


(He says self-servingly)

ZaidLearn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ZaidLearn said...

Dear John,

Thanks for your great feedback!

If you look closely, you can see question 72 (might change later) which says: I want a free Repository and learning network of Open Educational Resources (OER)? OER Commons (

Which enable you to have access to most of the OpenCourseWare indirectly :)

But since you made a very important point, I have actually added another question specifically mentioning OpenCourseWare, which links you to OpenCourseWare Consortium (

Thanks for the great question :)

Warm Regards,


Nice Guy said...

Great list! Find many more Web 2.0 apps on

Teemu Leinonen said...


Thank you. Well done. We will include most of the tools you listed to the LeMill's tools section.

LeMill is a user managed "repository" of free and open learning content, learning methods and learning tools and we hope that you or other people will write descriptions of the tools in there and translate them to other languages.

- Teemu

jtdenny said...

Under #23 Web authoring tool alternative to FrontPage and Dreamweaver? NvU

I have long used Nvu, great software, yet they have not upgraded for ages, please do try Kompozer

ZaidLearn said...

Dear Teemu,

Thanks for your great feedback :)

I have added KompoZer (with NvU) to the list. Anyway, KompoZer is Nvu's unofficial bug-fix release, so I suppose they have a lot in common :)

All the best!


PDonaghy said...

Hi Zaid
This comment is really for you but came in on my post :-)
PS: Thanks for adding IE Directory!!

ZaidLearn said...

Dear Patricia,

Thanks for notifying me.

Yes, I can live with that comment :)

It is good to see that people are benefiting and enjoying the learning tool/resource list.

Warm Regards,


Norma said...

As for the free software everyone should have, I think you guys are forgetting iSpring Free. I use it for a while now and I am very positive about it.

ZaidLearn said...

Dear Norma,

Thanks for the suggestion :)

I have also added it to the list (Currently, item 28).

The only real disaster (from my brief experiment!) with the free version is the compression output. The Flash version weighs ironically more than the actual PowerPoint (Did a test!).

Since they have a commercial upgrade, I suppose they have left out some of the important and useful juice. Otherwise, how are they going to sell the product!

If you want to compare the free and commercial versions more, go here:

Anyway, until I find a better alternative, I will include it :)

Thanks again :)


Unknown said...

This a a really great post! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

A very good list. I personally also advocate the use of free and legal software especially for countries of the Third World where acquisition of hardware is already difficult not to mention the software licensing. I am typing and posting from a laptop installed with Ubuntu.

ZaidLearn said...

Dear Amran,

Thanks for your feedback and thanks for sharing your site or blog ( I am enjoying it, and have added it to my EduBloggers list:

I wish you the best of success with your work and new blog (since July). Hopefully, one day we can hook up for a learning discussion :)

Warm Regards,


Sabrina Fu said...

Thanks for your sharing!

ISUC said...

You might want to check out this free math assignment authoring tool - Brain Power Math

Anonymous said...

You are giving the knowledge about Basel II to others.
It’s really very good
Keep it up........basel certification

Unknown said...

This provides a comprehensive collection of ICT applications for e- learning, networking and knowledge sharing. It explore the idea that there is at least one excellent free learning tool for every learning problem.



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Unknown said...

Hi Zaid

Just had a look at Mango (tool 138) and it isn't free. includes the pricing structure, so I don't think this should be on your list.

Cheers for compiling the list though!

ZaidLearn said...

Dear Nigel,

Thanks for the 'Mango' feedback.I have updated that item, which is now:

Site to learn languages? Free Language (

If you (or anyone else) have any better suggestions, please shoot me an e-mail.

In general, the list is getting old, and I suppose I will update it soon (properly) :)

Thanks again!

Warm Regards,


Clive said...

If you're interested in innovative Web 2.0 learning tools, I invite you to check out Pixton - an award-winning website where you create comics without having to draw.

Pixton is a new kind of comic where you can design every aspect of your character, rotate all of the body parts and even turn it 360 degrees! The ability to create a 3-panel strip or a 12-row epic makes it a fun digital storytelling tool for all.

Language filters, privacy settings, and flagging mechanisms help preserve a safe online environment. We welcome you to try it and tell us what you think.

Creator of Pixton - Interactive Web Comics

Unknown said...

You have done an amazing job. Thank You. Best collection I have seen in a while.


Unknown said...

btw add its a real nice grading system

Marten said...

Those are very good tools, however, in many cases those platforms are used just to allow the team to review the same document together in real-time and "be on the same page".
The recently launched free site does exactly that, easy document sharing and web meeting friends and colleagues.
It allows co-browsing on any document, user uploads a document and invites friends to view it with him live
All the participants in the session see each others' drawing, highlights, etc.


reen said...

that is a very long list thanks. My Blog : earn money chao!

Jamie said...

Great post!!

AlexPup said...

Like a breath of fresh air. Thanks

Unknown said...

I suppose they have left out some of the important and useful juice. Otherwise, how are they going to sell the product!
Dissertation Writing | Thesis Writing | report writing

Unknown said...

The ability to create a 3-panel strip or a 12-row epic makes it a fun digital storytelling tool for all.
Research Paper Writing | Assignment Writing

Unknown said...

Excellent blog for learning! I know of a great website which promotes classroom management. This site gives tips to teachers on the amazingly simple methods of gaining class control, building relationships with difficult pupils and de-escalation strategies.

Unknown said...

elearning tools should be the things that you look up first

Jo-Yee said...

Hi Zaid! I'm a student from IMU. Was amazed by your effort and knowledge of e-learning! By the way, is e-learning portal created and managed by your team? I found that the e-learning portal is very useful and it stimulates my interest in study. I enjoy doing the quiz. However, it will be more meaningful if all the lecturers utilize this portal. =)

ZaidLearn said...

Dear Jo-Yee,

Thanks for your positive feedback :)

Yes, our small team is managing the e-learning portal (which is based on Moodle).

The top management is emphasizing more on e-learning now, and I believe within the next 12 months you will see most lectures adopting and using e-learning as a tool to facilitate learning beyond the classroom. Just be a bit patient, and things will happen :)


Jo-Yee said...

Zaid, great to hear that! I am looking forward to it! =D

mathemat said...

Another good, free math tool is Softmath's Algebra Solver where you can type in (almost) any math problem and have it solved.

What sets it apart from similar solvers is the fact that as you type the problem in, it appears in a "two-dimensional" book notation (so you are much less likely to make errors when entering an expression). Check it out!

Full disclosure: I am the developer of this math widget, and would really like to see it being used by students in need ;-)

Vikram Pai said... is an amazing site which provides educational videos mapped to school curriculum's. Tough focused on Indian school curriculum's for now, it would soon be offering video tutorials mapped to major U.S based school curriculum's.

Derrick said...

This is an Amazing list of useful tools. I saw quite a few that I could use on my daily work. I did not check everything just yet but will do soon. When it comes to free all is welcome even learning a language is better when is free. I appreciate you hard work.

Dans Dersi said...

cool style...

Enas Abulibdeh said...

excellent list love to c my students utilizing it