E-Learning and Instructional Support (ELIS)
E-Learning and Instructional Support (ELIS) Address

Freeware/Social Networking

These programs are useful for teaching and learning. Download the free or shareware programs to your computer or access them via a web interface. Although we can't offer support for these packages because there are too many of them, they are fairly small and simple programs. A list of the Top 100 Tools has been put out by the Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies. Happy exploring!

Bibliographic Management

  • Zotero Zotero is a wonderful open source plugin for Firefox, that can automatically sense reference material on the Internet, capture the data, and churn out bibliographies from it in multiple styles.


  • Wordpress.com "WordPress.com is an easy and powerful way to start blogging."


  • Adium (Macintosh) Adium is a free instant messaging application for Mac OS X that can connect to AIM, MSN, Jabber, Yahoo, and more.
  • Trillian (PC) "Trillian is a fully featured, stand-alone, skinnable chat client that supports AIM, ICQ, MSN, Yahoo Messenger, and IRC."


  • VoiceThread "A VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to navigate pages and leave comments in 5 ways - using voice (with a mic or telephone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam)."

Document Creation

  • Google Docs "Google Docs & Spreadsheets is a free web-based word processing and spreadsheet program that keeps documents current and lets the people you choose update files from their own computers."
  • Open Office "OpenOffice.org is a multiplatform and multilingual office suite and an open-source project. Compatible with all other major office suites, the product is free to download, use, and distribute"


  • Sketchup (3-D) Developed for the conceptual stages of design, Google SketchUp is a powerful yet easy-to-learn 3D software. It combines a simple, yet robust tool-set with an intelligent drawing system that streamlines and simplifies 3D design.
  • Gimp (Photo editing) "GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages."
  • Prezi (graphical presentation on web) "Prezi is zooming sketches on a digital napkin."Prezi is a non-linear, non-slide-show prsentation tool.

Email--A second non-Oakland email account

  • GMail "Gmail is Google's free webmail service. It comes with built-in Google search technology and over 2,600 megabytes of storage (and growing every day)."

Online Educational Resources (OER)--Digital content for courses

  • Creative Commons "Creative Commons provides free tools that let authors, scientists, artists, and educators easily mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry." This is also a portal for multimedia files that can be remixed and mashed by students and faculty.
  • Khan Academy Educational video library with 2100 videos and 100 self-paced exercises.
  • iTunes University Audio and video educational files accessible through iTunes software.
  • Merlot Digital Learning Objects for higher education. 28,000 multimedia resources.
  • MIT OpenCourseWare 2000 course descriptions, syllabi, notes and lectures.
  • Open Education Resource Commans Primary through Higher Education online resources.
  • Ted Talks A non-profit organization with 1000 videos from speakers about technology, entertainment, and design conferences.
  • Textbook Revolution Offers free textbooks.
  • Wikibooks Open editable textbooks.

Secure FTP

  • WinSCP "WinSCP is an open source SFTP client and FTP client for Windows. Its main function is the secure file transfer between a local and a remote computer."

Plagiarism Detection

Social Networking

  • Facebook Link to friends, work colleagues, and family. Share status updates (thoughts), applications, photos and games.
  • Twitter Blog with 140 characters or less.


  • Audacity "Audacity is free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. It is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems."
  • ITunes U ITunes U offers free podcasts--university lectures on multiple subjects.


  • VLC Player "VLC media player is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, mp3, ogg, ...) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols."

Virtual World

  •  Second Life Second Life is a virtual three-dimensional world where people meet by means of an avatar. Educators and their students have an increasing presence in Second Life, holding virtual classes and participating in interactive events, such as simulations, role-playing, and 3-D webquests.

Voice over IP (multi-channeled)

  • Skype "Skype is a little piece of software that lets you make free calls to anyone else on Skype, anywhere in the world. And even though the calls are free, they are really excellent quality. If you and [your students] are using webcams, you can also make free video calls."
  • Ventrilo "Ventrilo 2.3.0 is the next evolutionary step of Voice over IP (VoIP) group communications software."
  • YouTube Post 10 min. videos here that are converted to Flash files for easy access. Share with students or subscribe to others' videos.