Development Tools

What are development tools?  Development tools are anything that will enable you to create a learning object – something that you use to “develop” learning materials.  This can go from something entirely ordinary like PPT, to something far more complex, like Moovly.

In this Learning Module, check out the following development tools.  You can use any of them moving forward!  However, it is NOT expected that you use one of them for your Instructional Design and Development project.  You may use these tools, or you can use any others you found.  In fact, several of these tools I was introduced to through other students in past years of this class!  So let’s start with Moovly.


Moovly is a free, animation development tool.  It’s actually “freemium” like a lot of these development tools are.  Sometimes as an educator, you can get a higher “level” of usage from these tools for free, so be sure to check if there is better access for educators before signing up with a non-“edu” account.

Video Icon Watch the below video on Moovly.


Piktochart bills itself as infographic creation tool (and indeed it is!)  However, you can also create great presentations using it.

Video Icon View the below video on how to create a Piktochart.

You can find their website here to sign up for an account (if you like,):

Eye icon indicating a direction to review the resource, but no need to read it in detail.Interested in seeing one in action?  Check out this presentation I created as part of a consulting contract that I had with Forsyth Technical Community College.  If you click on “Present” in the upper right-hand corner, you can see how it paginates through.  (It’s very cool.)  That presentation is just an example here, so you don’t need to take notes on the presentation as content, just as an example of a development tool.


Prezi is a classic presentation tool that was developed a few years ago, and has gained popularity.  Something to consider about it, though, is that if you use it in a course, it takes QUITE a bit of effort to make it accessible.

Prezi is best used to demonstrate relationships – part to whole, timelines or progressions, and other concepts.  Many people use Prezis as though they are an alternative for PowerPoints, but that’s not always a great idea.  The development tool you select should be aligned to what you’re trying to communicate.  Check out the video below about Prezis, and find the Prezi website here:

Video Icon View the below video on Prezi.


Powtoons are an alternative presentation software that is also freemium, and a lot of fun.  Like many of these tools, you can get reallllycomplicated, or you can keep it simple.  Since you can’t become an expert at everything, select one or two to really get up to speed on, and use those as your “go to” tools.

Also, check out the Powtoons website here:

Video Icon  Watch the below video created using Powtoons about Powtoons.

Websites and Other Apps

You can also always use just plain old-fashioned websites to host content.  An example of this would be the previous curation about Open Educational Resources on my site.

There are other ways to host information and collaborate through open tools, like Google Sites.  I’ve used Google Sites for everything from work collaboration sites to ways to host and create content for professional workshops I have given.

Eye icon indicating a direction to review the resource, but no need to read it in detail.Check out this website here, that Luke Downden and I created for our pre-conference workshop at WCET:  Review the website and see how it was used for text, to host collaborative Google Docs notes, and other presentation tools (like Padlet.)


Padlet is a very cool curation and creation/dev tool.  The advantage of Padlet over other tools that might be construed as similar like “Pintrest” etc., is that you can upload docs directly to Padlet to display, add text and images, and embed in other sites.  You can go to Padlet here:  It is a simple and WYSIWYG tool – you can get started with it relatively easily!

Eye icon indicating a direction to review the resource, but no need to read it in detail.Below you can find an example of a Padlet that I created for another presentation I gave to the California University System’s Learning Platforms and Services Taskforce (they’ve done some very cool work.) View this Padlet to see how it operates.


There are a wide diversity of free or fremium development tools.  Find a couple that you really like and become expert in them.  Having options other than simple PPT will enable you to communicate your message effectively, be it for a learning experience online, or in front of a live of remote synchronous audience.  (That’s not to knock PPT – you can do incredible things with PPT with animation and audio, etc.)

As a note, sometimes you can use curation tools AS development tools, but curation by definition does not necessarily make a presentation or a learning object.  It’s all in how you craft it and how you use it.

Stop IconThis is the end of our Instructional Design and Development II level.  Return to your course site for coursework.