7 Free Web Apps for Distance Learners

April 27th, 2010 by editor25 Leave a reply »

When partaking in distance learning, it can sometimes feel very secluded. It takes a fair amount of perseverance and determination to learn from home and whilst some thrive working alone, others may find it a little tougher. Whoever you are and whatever your problems may be, there is a free web app available for you to use at your leisure to help you with whatever you may be struggling with.

If you have access to the internet there is a wealth of different web apps and even iPhone apps available to distance learners and eLearners, giving everyone a fair opportunity to learn important knowledge and skills that is essential for achieving their dreams. Whether you’re looking for something to increase productivity, capture or record important notes, manage your course, or simply a good registry cleaner to make room for all your work; there’s something available to every kind of learner.

Sometimes, when you’re learning from a distance, particularly online, you could potentially run into a few problems which could delay your progress through your course. One of the main issues faced when it comes to eLearning and distance learning is PDFs. Even some of the more technological of us can struggle with PDFs, and it is likely that during your course, you will be asked to create a PDF presentation, or will be required to read one. Therefore, application number 1 is CourseLab. This includes complete PDF manuals for beginners, and allows you to create a wide variety of different documents such as assessments and quizzes or even certification exams; and of course, CourseLab comes with instructions on how to do each to a professional standard.

Application number 2 has is the iDictionary. This app may be for the iPhone, but there are also similar versions on the internet that are also free to use. It’s perfect if you’re out and about on the go, and could be that free app you’ve been searching for when it comes to writing those tricky essays that require some professional content. The iDictionary is also perfect for looking up word meanings, and providing alternative solutions- an invaluable app that every distance learner can benefit from.

Next up is CamStudio Screen Capture, an online app perfect for those in desperate need of a free screen recording tool. CamStudio Screen Capture is able to record all of the data on your screen as well as the audio activity in order to create industry-standard AVI video files. As well as this, by using its built-in SWF Producer it can also turn your AVIs into small, bandwidth friendly flash videos capable of streaming. It allows you to create demonstration videos and even put together an effective presentation for revision purposes, covering all of your most frequently asked questions.

Have you ever wished you could just stick post-its onto your web pages as well as your notebook? Well now you can. Diigo is a specially adapted web app which can be downloaded straight to your browser, allowing you to add sticky notes to any webpage you need, noting all the important parts. As well as this, it also allows you to highlight, bookmark and even annotate important pages to make sure you never loose any of your most valued research notes!

Every student, at some point during their education, will have looked at their course and thought to themselves ‘I need to get organized’. If this sounds like you, then one free web app you can benefit from is Ecto. Ecto is an online based app that is an open networked Personal Learning Environment. The system itself is based on the principles and architecture of social software, allowing students and even instructors to add their content and organize themselves properly throughout their academic year.

It is incredibly important to back up all of your files when you are distance learning, so to do this, the free web app Back2zip is exactly what you need. Back2zip is an incredibly simple and easy to use app that backs up all of your important documents in the background as you work; ensuring that sudden shut downs or unexpected computer errors don’t result in the loss of your work.

Finally, another web app, made especially for the iPhone in particular is Evernote. Evernote is a free app that you can use on your iPhone, perfect for when you’re out at lectures, or need to store your notes quickly and efficiently. Evernote can turn your iPhone into an extension of your brain; you can take important photos of white boards, important business cards you need to remember, or any other object significant for your course. Alternatively, you can simply use it to store notes and recordings, allowing you to then synchronize all this information with your Mac or Windows desktop. It’s incredibly easy to use, and it’s a perfect tool for every type of student.

If you’re distance learning, it’s important that you stay on track and on top of all your notes and documents in order to succeed. Technology is changing every day, and now there is an app available for every kind of student. So, if you’re struggling this year, try using these free web apps in order to get yourself and your work organized properly.


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