This post is one in a series for a MOOC. You can find similar posts searching under the Category MOOC or searching for hashtag #eteacherTOOL for more about this particular MOOC.
Learning Objects can be a variety of things. Text is the number one used Learning Object. Text must be short and to the point to be effective. All learning environments will contain text, but may can offer other facets of a virtual learning experience. These other components maybe interactives, widgets, video, audio. All are beneficial if they can be reused and/or shared. All can be beneficial if they are easily editable and easily sharable.
Below find three free learning environments in which to share Learning Objects and two paid tools to share Learning Objects as well.
1. Courselab is available in a free, older, version which is downloadable. It is a WYSIWYG editor which outputs HTML for a web browser (with some unknown restrictions) and can be viewed without Java or any other special player. Sign up is required. The free version is not mobile compliant and connect import PowerPoint files.
2. Coursesites by Blackboard appears to be a similar product to Edmodo, but additionally has some of the basic functionalities of a full-on LMS, Blackboard. It looks to accept some imported course structures.
3. Canvas by Instructure offers a free and paid version of their product. This is one which you could take a course through as an adult to get the feel of the content flow – Canvas Network. This offers modern apps and a growing community. I plan to take BlendKit2014-Becoming a Blended Learning Designer through them after I finish my current MOOC:
4. SoftChalk offers a teacher a user interface very similar to Microsoft Word – the below video illustrates how easy the transition is from MS Word to SoftChalk for content. The rest of the learning is limited to “Activities” which can be mastered at a sufficient level within two hours.
My district uses the cloud version, latest, software. My district has also purchased a private cloud to contain our work products and make searching easier for our teachers.
The real pay off for this product is the ability to present complex interactions, branching activities, etc. in a simplistic manner to the end user.