Journals in the Field of Instructional Technology and Distance Education

This past December I completed my doctorate in instructional technology and distance education from Nova Southeastern University. One thing I did not do while I was there was much in the way of publishing. I was, for the most part, overly focused on my dissertation.

Now that I am finished my mind has turned to the old adage of “Publish or Perish” and with that in mind I have collected a list of journals in the field.

As of today, I am up to 84 academic, trade, and popular journals.  I decided to include all three types because it can be an important way to stay rounded and share with the widest audience possible.  I’m looking to keep this list as complete as possible.  If you can think of any that I have missed please let me know.  And if you’d like a pdf with links you can sign receive that here.

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The List:

  1. The ACUTA Journal
    1. Trade
    2. Information communications technology in higher education
    4. Quarterly professional association journal covering information communications technology in higher education.
    5. Audience is primarily middle to upper management in the IT department on college campuses.
    6. 6 month lead time
    7. Pays on publication
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Topic: Methods and techniques of teaching at a distance, about learning, and about management and administration, but also encourages authors to write about policies, theories, and the values that drive distance education
  3. American Libraries
    1. Trade
    2. Each issue features articles on professional concerns and developments, along with news of the Association, library-related legislation, and libraries around the country and the world. Expression of diverse viewpoints and critical interpretation of professional issues make the magazine the premier forum for the exchange of ideas.
    3. Length = 600-1500 words
  4. Australian Educational Computing
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Australian Educational Computing is the journal of the Australian Council for Computers in Education and is formally published twice a year however individual articles are made available immediately after peer review.
  5. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Topic:
    4. Published once or twice a year, AJET is a refereed journal of research and review articles in educational technology, instructional design, and related areas.
  6. British Journal of Educational Technology (BJET)
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Topic: Education and training, concentrating on the theory, applications and development of learning technology, communications, new information and communications technologies
    4. Full, refereed articles
    5. Length: 2000-4000 words
  7. Campus Technology Magazine
    1. Trade
    3. Online monthly publication focusing on the use of technology in higher education, especially information technology issues and trends.
  8. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology
    1. Peer Reviewed
    3. Peer-reviewed journal published three times a year by the Association for Media and Technology in Education in Canada (AMTEC).
  9. Chief Learning Officer
    1. Trade
    3. Monthly online magazine focuses on solutions for enterprise productivity, including the use of e-learning and technology for workplace training and support.
  10. College & Research Libraries News
    1. Trade
    2. covers trends and practices affecting academic and research libraries and serves as the official newsmagazine and publication of record of the Association of College and Research Libraries. It was established in 1966 and is published 11 times a year. It is sometimes confused with another publication of the association, College & Research Libraries.
  11. Computers & Education
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Topic: All aspects of cognition, education, and training, from primary to tertiary and in the growing open and distance learning environment
  12. Computers in the Schools
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Interdisciplinary Journal of Practice, Theory, and Applied Research
  13. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education (CITE)
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Topic: any area of technology and teacher education
    4. Refereed, free online journal
    5. Months to Review: no more than eight weeks
    6. No length limit
    7. Peer-reviewed journal jointly sponsored by five professional associations in the field of teacher education.
  14. Converge Magazine
    1. Trade
    2. Topic: Education and Technology – How technology enhances/improves education
    4. Circulation – roughly 60,000
    5. Months to Review: 4-5 months
    6. Length – 1200 words
  15. Current Issues in Education
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Topic: Research, theory, and/or practice about education
    3. Peer-reviewed scholarly electronic journal published by the College of Education at Arizona State University
    5. Blind review process with reviewers
  16. D-Lib Magazine
    1. Trade
    2. an on-line magazine dedicated to digital library research and development. Current and past issues are available free of charge. The publication is financially supported by contributions from the D-Lib Alliance. Prior to April 2006, the magazine was sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) on behalf of the Digital Libraries Initiative and by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
    3. Length 1500-5000 words
  17. Distance Education: An International Journal
    1. Peer Reviewed
    3. Published twice a year by the Open and Distance Learning Association of Australia (ODLAA) to disseminate research and scholarship in distance education, open learning, and flexible learning systems.
  18. Distance Education Report
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Topics: Faculty Development, Course and program assessment, Open source resources and technology, Institutional relations, Legislative and regulatory issues, Persistence and retention, Leadership in distance education, Student services and Building community, Resources
    4. A bimonthly newsletter focusing on practical applications and new developments with reports on changing technologies, institutional case studies, governance, and international initiatives. Available online but requires a subscription.
  19. Distance Learning Magazine
    1. Peer Reviewed
    3. A professional magazine published six times a year for leaders, practitioners, and decision makers in the fields of distance learning, e-learning, telecommunications, and related areas. Sponsored by the U.S. Distance Learning Association (USDLA), Nova Southeastern University, and Information Age Publishing.
  20. District Administration
    1. Trade
    2. With a circulation of nearly 75,000, the magazine covers current trends and pressing issues in the American education system along with strong coverage of emerging technologies and leadership issues for district-level administrators.
  21. Education and Information Technologies
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. covers the complex relationships between information and communication technologies and education. The journal provides perspectives at all levels, from the micro of specific applications or instances of use in classrooms to macro concerns of national policies and major projects; from classes of five year olds to adults in tertiary institutions; from teachers and administrators, to researchers and designers; from institutions to open, distance and lifelong learning.
  22. Educational Research Review
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Topic: Reviews of recent books in education, covering the entire range of education scholarship and practice
    4. Length: 2,500 and 5,000 words
  23. Educational Insights
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Topic: Issues of pedagogy, curriculum, educational research
    3. A refereed journal dedicated to providing graduate students a forum for publishing their research in education
    4. Months to review: turn around is one month
    5. Length:  3000 words
  24. Educational Media International
    1. Peer Reviewed
  25. Educational Technology: The Magazine for Managers of Change in Education
    1. Topic: Education management/administration; educational technology systems; teacher education; library science/information resources; higher education; internet/World Wide Web; computer-based instruction; instructional design and development; simulations; educational media
    3. The magazine for managers of change in education
    4. Circulation: Approximately 2500, in more than one hundred countries
    5. Length: No minimum and maximum length restrictions
    6. Review process: Notified of acceptance or rejection within two weeks, and Publication will follow, as a rule, within six months (We are not technically a refereed publication)
  26. Educational Technology & Society
    1. Peer Reviewed
    3. A quarterly journal of academic articles on the issues affecting the developers of educational systems and educators who implement and manage such systems.
  27. Educational Technology Research and Development (ETR&D) AECT Publication
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Topic: A comprehensive source of current research information in instructional technology. Recent articles include, “Learner Preferences and Achievement Under Differing Amounts of Learner Practice,” and “Emergent Patterns of Teaching/Learning in Electronic Classrooms.” Development Section publishes articles concerned with the design and development of learning systems and educational technology applications. Recent articles include, “Do Superior Teachers Employ Systematic Instructional Planning Procedures?,” and “The Cognitive Approach to Training Development: A Practitioner’s Assessment.” Each issue also includes book reviews, international reviews, and research abstracts.
    4. Length: Between 10 and 30 pages
  28. Educause
    1. Topic: A practitioner’s journal for college and university managers and users of information resources–information, technology, and services
    3. Circulation:  about 8,000
    4. Peer reviewed articles
    5. Months to review: about two to three months
    6. Length: 3500-6000 words
    7. Acceptance rate: 20-25%
  29. eLearn Magazine
    1. Trade
    2. Topic: Any and all aspects of e-learning
    3. Online education and training
    5. Three main subject areas: Tutorials/E-learning Basics (2500 to 5000 words), Columns (400 to 1000 words), and Reviews (200 to 800 words)
    6. Review process: 1-2 months
    7. Published by ACM, a not-for-profit educational association serving those who work, teach, and learn in the various computing-related fields.
  30. E-Learning and Digital Media
    1. Peer Reviewed
    3. Peer-reviewed international journal published three times a year in the UK and directed towards the study and research of e-learning in its diverse aspects, from pedagogical to Available online but requires subscription.
  31. Electronic Journal for the Integration of Technology in Education
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Topic: Improving Instruction using technology (PK-20), Information security/assurance in educational settings (PK-20), Current and emerging technologies of interest to educators, Current and emerging technologies, Instructional media, Other closely related topics
    4. Length: at least 1,500 words
    5. Review process: reviewed anonymously by the peer-review board of graduate students and faculty
  32. Electronic Journal of E-Learning
    1. Peer Reviewed
    3. Refereed journal published in the UK to provide perspectives on topics relevant to the study, implementation, and management of e-learning initiatives.
  33. eSchool News Online
    1. Trade
    3. Provides news and information to help K-20 decision-makers use technology and the Internet to transform North America’s schools and colleges and achieve educational goals.
  34. European Journal of Open and Distance Learning (EURDL)
    1. Peer Reviewed
    3. Published online as a “rolling issue” of new articles every six months; older articles are archived
  35. Faculty Focus
    1. Trade
    3. E-newsletters of short articles on teaching strategies and trends for the college classroom, both face-to-face and online.
  36. Information Society
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Topic: Information technologies and changes in society and culture
    3. Refereed journal published 5 times a year
    4. Acceptance rate: 42%
    5. Review process: at least 4 months
    6. Length: 4,000-7,500 words
  37. Instructional Science: An International Journal of Learning and Cognition
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Topic: the nature, theory and practice of the instructional process and of the learning
  38. Interactive Learning Environments
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Topic: Educational technology; examines technology, the Internet and multimedia in education and training; individual learning, group activities social and organizational issues; courseware production
    4. About 100 institutional subscribers to the journal
    5. Length: 5,000 to 8,000 words
  39. Interactive Learning Environments
    1. Peer Reviewed
    3. Peer-reviewed articles published quarterly on the design and use of interactive environments that support individual and collaborative learning.
  40. International Journal of E-Learning (IJEL)
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Topic: information on the current theory, research, development, and practice of telecommunications in education and training. (Artificial intelligence and telecommunications, Collaboration, Cooperative/collaborative learning, Connectivity and implementation strategies, Designing distance, learning systems, Distance education and telelearning, Evaluation, Instructional telecommunications models, Integrated development environments, Multimedia and telecommunications, Online and networked education, Pedagogical foundations, Policy, ethics, standards, and legal issues, Social and cultural issues, Teaching/learning strategies, Teleconferencing (audio, audiographics, computer, video), User/student modeling in distance education
    4. Refereed online journal
  41. International Journal on E-Learning
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Topic: Research, development, and practice of e-learning
    4. Months to review: no more than two months (reviewed by at least two members of the Editorial Review Board)
    5. Serves as a forum to facilitate the international exchange of information on the current research, development, and practice of e-learning in education and training. Published by AACE.
  42. International Journal of Instructional Technology & Distance Learning
    1. Peer Reviewed
    3. A refereed, monthly journal focusing on research and innovation in teaching and learning; published by Duquesne University and DonEl Learning, Inc.
  43. International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies (iJIM)
    1. Peer Reviewed
    3. Quarterly journal on trends, research, and practical experiences in the use of interactive mobile technologies in learning and teaching as well as in industrial and other applications.
  44. International Journal of Online Pedagogy and Course Design
    1. Peer Reviewed
    3. Provides a platform for the latest research, analysis, and development of online education, effective online teaching methods, and course design.
  45. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning (IRRODL)
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Topic: Research, best practices and theory in Open and Distance Learning
    4. Circulation: over 3,000 (in 73 countries)
    5. Peer reviewed refereed journal
    6. Months to review: about 1.5 to two months
    7. Length: between 10 and 25 pages long
    8. Acceptance rate:  about 20 percent
    9. Published three times a year to disseminate scholarly knowledge in open and distance learning theory, research, and best practice.
  46. Journal for Research on Technology in Education (JRTE)
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Topic: Educational computing
    4. Peer-reviewed, quarterly research journal
    5. Length: 2,500 to 8,000 words
    6. Circulation: about 2500
    7. Months to review: about a year
    8. Acceptance rate: 35%.
  47. Journal of Applied Instructional Design
    1. Peer Reviewed
    3. Purpose is to bridge the gap between theory and practice by providing reflective scholar-practitioners a means for publishing articles related to the field of Instructional Design. Publication of the Association for Educational Communications & Technology (AECT).
  48. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks (JALN)
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Topic: Our mission is to provide practitioners in online education with knowledge about the very best research in online learning. Original work in asynchronous learning networks (ALN), including experimental results.
    4. Published four times a year by the Sloan Consortium to cover research and practice in asynchronous learning; abstracts available online; membership required to access full articles.
  49. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning (JCAL)
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Topic: Collaborative learning, knowledge engineering, open, distance and networked learning, developmental psychology and evaluation
    3. Quarterly, peer-reviewed, international journal
    5. Length: 3500 – 4500 words
    6. Referee journal: certainly, with a high international citation index
    7. Months to Review: one month
    8. Acceptance Rate: around 40%
  50. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication
    1. Peer Reviewed
    3. A quarterly, peer-reviewed, scholarly journal. Its focus is social science research on computer-mediated communication via the Internet, the World Wide Web, and wireless technologies.
  51. Journal of Computing in Higher Education (JCHE)
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Topic: Instructional technology and educational environments
    3. Peer-reviewed essays, reviews, reports, and research articles
    4. Length: 5,000 words maximum
    6. Acceptance Rate: 20%
    7. Months to review: 1 month
  52. Journal of Distance Education
    1. Peer Reviewed
    3. Published three times a year by the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE) to provide an international forum for the dissemination of scholarly articles, research papers, and reports.
  53. Journal of Educational Computing Research (JECR)
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Topic: Education management/administration; educational technology systems; original research papers; critical analyses; reports on research in progress; design and development studies; grant award listings
    4. Interdisciplinary, rigorously refereed Journal
  54. Journal of Educational Multimedia & Hypermedia (JEMH) AACE publication
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Topic: A forum to present and discuss research, development, and applications of multimedia and hypermedia in education (tools that allow integration of images, sound, text, and data)
    4. Length: not to exceed 30 pages
  55. Journal of Educational Technology Systems
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Topic: Techniques and approaches (i.e., software) for using technology in all types of educational systems
  56. Journal of Educators Online (JEO)
    1. Peer Reviewed
    3. Online refereed journal on the development, delivery, and management of online courses in the Arts, Business, Education, Engineering, Medicine, and Sciences.
    4. Acceptance Rate = 20-25%.
  57. Journal of Information Technology Education (JITE)
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Topic: Information Technology; journal has been split into three sub-journals links are available at the main site.
    4. Acceptance Rate: 40%
    5. Months to review: 2-3 months
    6. Length: No regulations
  58. Journal of Information Technology for Teacher Education
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Topic: Teacher education; pre-service and in-service training
    4. Fully-refereed international journal
    5. Length: 3000 and 5000 words
    6. Months to review: 3-6 months by at least two referees
  59. Journal of Interactive Media in Education (JIME)
    1. Peer Reviewed
    3. Published three times a year, with articles and peer commentary focusing on topics in distance learning and interactive technologies.
  60. Journal of Interactive Online Learning
    1. Peer Reviewed
    3. Published online three times a year by the National Center for Online Learning Research.
  61. Journal of the Learning Sciences (JLS)
    1. Topic: Research on education and learning. Emphasis is placed on important ideas that can change our understanding of learning as well as the practice of education. (artificial intelligence, cognitive science, cognitive and educational psychology, cognitive anthropology, education, and educational technology)
    3. Length:
  62. Journal of Research on Technology in Education (JRTE)
    1. Peer Reviewed
    3. Peer-reviewed articles reporting on original research and other topics related to instructional uses of educational technology from around the globe. Published by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).
  63. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Topic: Educational technology systems; teacher education
    4. Months to review: no more than two months (reviewed by at least two members of the Editorial Review Board, which takes usually)
  64. Journal of Technology Studies
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Topic: Educational management/administration; educational technology systems
  65. Language Learning & Technology
    1. Peer Reviewed
    3. A refereed journal for second and foreign language educators on issues related to technology and language education; published three times a year.
  66. Learning, Media & Technology (formerly Journal of Educational Media)
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Topic: ‘Education about Media’ and ‘Education through Media’ (Television and film history, theory, and production; media production)
    4. Length: between 4000 and 6000 words
    5. International, peer-reviewed journal published quarterly that aims to stimulate debate on the interaction of innovations in educational theory, practices, media and educational technologies.
  67. Learning Solutions Magazine
    1. Trade
    3. Monthly magazine of practical strategies, tips, and techniques; articles more than 90 days old are available to all readers; less than 90 days requires subscription; published by The eLearning Guild.
  68. Library Journal
    1. Trade
    2. Circulation 100,000+
    3. reports news about the library world, emphasizing public libraries and offers feature articles about aspects of professional practice. It also reviews library-related materials and equipment.
    4. Length 1800-2700 words
  69. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Topic: Specific focus or implications for the management of distance education programs
    4. Length: Normally between 2000 and 6000
    5. Review process: reviewed by two or three persons with expertise in the area. Authors will be notified of acceptance within one month
    6. Published quarterly for practitioners and researchers with specific interests in topics related to the management of distance education programs.
  70. Online Learning Journal
    1. Peer Reviewed
    3. Promotes the development and dissemination of new knowledge at the intersection of pedagogy, emerging technology, policy, and practice in online environments.
  71. Open Learning: the journal of Open and Distance Learning
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Topic: distance, flexible, technology-based and open education and training
    4. Length: between 3000 and 6000 words
    5. Peer-reviewed international journal of scholarly and practical articles on developments in open, distance and e-learning; published three times a year by Routledge.
  72. School Librarian
    1. Trade
    2. The School Librarian (ISSN 0036-6595) is the journal of the School Library Association, published quarterly. Free to members, it comes with our quarterly newsletter, info@sla.  Each issue contains articles, regular features, reviews of new books – fiction and non-fiction – and reviews of apps, websites and other media in a special section, ict@sla.
  73. School Library Journal
    1. Trade
    2. The School Library Journal is a monthly magazine with articles and reviews for school librarians, media specialists, and public librarians who work with young people. Articles cover a wide variety of topics, with a focus on technology and multimedia.
    3. Length less than 2500 words
  74. Teacher Plus
    1. Trade
    2. Focused on Teachers in India
    4. Teacher Plus is aimed primarily at the schoolteacher. It is a forum within which teachers can raise their concerns, discuss ideas, and share and update their knowledge. The magazine discusses alternative ways of thinking and doing within the context of the Indian classroom. Articles range from perspective pieces to practical, hands-on, classroom relevant activities. Most articles are written by school teachers, subject experts and educators but we also welcome articles by freelancers and those interested in education. We also publish unsolicited pieces.
  75. Technology, Instruction Cognition & Learning (TICL)
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Topic: TICL seeks articles that address such basic questions as what it means to know something, how best to determine what an individual knows, how humans learn, and how knowledge is influenced through interaction with the outside world. Theory, research and technological innovations leading to automation are especially encouraged. (artificial intelligence, cognitive and developmental psychology, software engineering, cognitive science, structural and task analysis, knowledge engineering, distributed cognition, instructional systems and design, intelligent tutors, structural learning, problem solving and system dynamics)
    4. Length:
  76. Tech Directions
    1. Trade
    3. 100% freelance written
    4. Covering issues, trends, and activities of interest to science, technical, and technology educators.
    5. Pays on publication
  77. Tech Trends
    1. Peer Reviewed
    2. Topic: Curriculum studies; educational management/administration; educational technology systems; higher education; library science/information resources; teacher education; tests, measurement, and evaluation
    4. Length: approximately 1000-4000 words
    5. A peer-reviewed publication of the Association for Educational Communications & Technology (AECT) with the aim of linking research and practice to improve learning. Other AECT publications include the scholarly research journal Educational Technology Research & Development.
  78. Technology and Learning
    1. Trade
    2. Topic: Review, news, and announcements of educational activities and opportunities in programming, software development, and hardware configurations
    4. Circulation: Over 80,000 elementary, junior high and senior high school teachers, technology coordinators and administrators
    5. Length: 1200 to 2500 words
    6. Online monthly magazine serving as a resource on various education technology topics, especially in K-12 schools.
  79. T.H.E. Journal
    1. Trade
    2. Topic: Curriculum studies; education management/administration; educational technology systems
    4. Circulation: 172,000+
    5. Review process: a month
    6. Acceptance rate: 50-70%
    7. News on the world of computers and related technologies, focusing on applications that improve teaching and learning for all ages.
  80. Times Educational Supplement
    1. Trade
    2. UK Based
  81. Times Higher Education
    1. Trade
  82. Training & Development
    1. Trade
    3. Our readers are highly educated talent development professionals and line managers working in all aspects of learning and development—delivering training, instructional design, talent management, coaching, performance improvement, leadership development, organizational change, informal and social learning, and more. They range from new practitioners to seasoned executives in business, government, academia, consulting, and sales.
    4. Length 1800 max for feature 250 words for sidebar
  83. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education
    1. Peer Reviewed
    3. An international e-journal of refereed articles on the issues and challenges of distance education and open learning applications.
  84. Wired
    1. Popular
    3. Monthly magazine covering technology and digital culture.  Covers the digital revolution and related advances in computers, communications, and lifestyles (pays on publication)
    4. 95% freelance written
    5. Essays, interview, opinion, no trade articles.
    6. Query First

An Introduction to Adobe Spark

Over the past few months I have really fallen in love with with Adobe Spark. Adobe Spark is a free tool from Adobe that enables rapid development of images, simple webpages, and videos.

This translates into a quick and easy way to produce portfolios and presentations.

The video is the briefest of introductions to the web based tool. A full workshop would easily be over an hour and is something I am considering putting together.

Adobe Spark is segmented into three tools. All of which work in a browser, from a chromebook, or from their iOS apps.

The first is Spark Post which reminds me of Canva. It produces well designed static images. These can be used as social media posts or as presentation slides. The images can also be incorporated in projects using the other two Adobe Spark components.

The second is Spark Page. Spark Page quickly and easily lays out single page websites which as expected from Adobe are image heavy and well designed the sites can incorporate images, text, video, and has the ability to link out with buttons or standard links.

The final component is Spark Video. This tool allows for the EASY creation of video presentations with nothing more than an idea.

All three tools allow for the importing of images from your own collection or the importing of free to use images from various sources.

Multimedia Presentation Toolkit

One of the things I always enjoy is watching students produce rather than consume media.

Below are my go to list of tools for a quick bit of audio editing, video editing, or image editing.  These are not the tools for major media production for that I have the Adobe Creative Cloud suite but for everyday quick items and working with students who just need to “Get it Done” these are the tools I use.

(CC-By-SA) IntelFreePress

Audio Tools:

1 – – Twisted Wave has both apps for mobile and a web based.  The app is only $10 and quite worth the price.  The cloud-based solution can do a five minute audio for free which is enough for many applications.

2 – – Audacity is my goto tool for quick audio edits on the laptop.  Easy to use and completely free.

3 – – Boss Jock Studio is my favorite application for helping students produce audio content on the iPhone or iPad.  The software allows you to load audio artifacts in and then record in one take a “live” session where those audio artifacts such as intro music can be used easily.

Video Tools:

There are the obvious video players such as iMovie and Windows Movie Maker.  I have had a great amount of success with the following:

1 – – Screencastify is a chrome plugin which also means the tool can be used on a Chromebook.  I have used screencastify in much the same way I had been using Jing on my laptop.  Quick videos and screen captures for specific student questions.

2 – – I almost always turn to iMovie for iOS, it is just that easy.  Recently though I found myself using weVideo on a Chromebook and was blown away with the collaboration features in the software.  While not every school will have the resources to subscribe to the full weVideo it is certainly worth a closer look.  It feels like the Google Docs of Video Editing for both its cloud storage and its built-in collaboration tools.

3 – – Adobe Spark has three components, it work on the mobile operating systems as well as on the web and on a Chromebook.  The Adobe Spark Video tool is quite easy to use and allows students to quickly put together a video presentation in just a few minutes.

4 – – It can be easy to forget that Apple’s Keynote offers the ability to record a presentation.  The interface makes is wonderfully easy for students to record a video of their presentation without needing to be on camera.  They can narrate their presentation and export it as a movie file.

Still image tools:

1 – – As with the video tool the adobe spark image tool called Adobe Spark Post is my new favorite image editing tool.  It is quick and easy to develop text overlaid images.  The tool can also be used to create excellent presentation slides and covers as well.

2 – – Not far from my heart is Canva, Canva offers a tool similar to Adobe Spark and has been around longer.  The tool is easy to use and recommended for the same types of quick projects.

3 – – Auto Draw is an interesting tool that can help rapidly illustrate concepts for a variety of purposes.  I have seen it used to make quick slides of original content as well as cover pages for reports.  The tool uses artificial intelligence to try and identify what users are drawing and then presenting a selection of images that can be substituted.

4 – – within Google Drive is the ability to create a google drawing.  Google Draw is a simple editor that allows for seamless integration and collaboration but I must confess that since starting to use Canva and Adobe Spark I haven’t used Google Draw once.

5 – – Google Slides offers much the same in the way of basic image manipulation as does google drawings.  The advantage is that if you are going to be creating a presentation as your product the tool is an excellent choice.


In most cases, the distribution of the content will happen in one of three ways.  As a link in an email/announcement, being embedded within the learning management software, or being embedded on a web page such as a google site or WordPress site.

But where can the large media file live?  There are a few choices.

1 – – One of the things that I have been liking more about Adobe Spark these days has to do with distribution.  Meaning that each of the Adobe Spark apps has built in hosting for your products.  These can be easily embedded into your final projects or downloaded.  But free hosting for project files can be helpful.

2 – – For distribution to the public at large or embedding on your sites Youtube is still one of the best sites to do so on.  Assuming YouTube isn’t blocked for your students.

3 – – Vimeo is an alternative to Youtube that can be quite helpful for schools where Youtube is blocked.

4 – – Teachertube is a video hosting alternative for schools that may find the most video hosting sites blocked.

5 – – For smaller distributions or files that you may see yourself updating more often Google Drive offers an opportunity to host and to share multimedia files in a way that is also easier to embed in other Google products such as a Google site or presentation.

Where to find free audio effects and music for classroom use!

Recently I shared a list of sites where students and teachers can find free images for using in presentations. A related question that came up for me personally was where to find free audio for presentations and video.There are some fantastic resources in my two favorite video editing tools (iMovie & WeVideo) however there are times when something beyond that is needed.

There are some fantastic resources in my two favorite video editing tools (iMovie & WeVideo) however there are times when something beyond that is needed.

Just like with the images the use of audio in presentations offers an opportunity to review copyright.

The key copyright lesson I still try and ensure students understand is that the human being who wrote or played that music holds the right to determine who can use it and how.

The item to watch for is “Creative Commons” and the subtle differences in the creative commons licensing. Not all audio is released with all uses pre-authorised. This is particularly true for audio being used commercially. While students may not need to worry about permission for commercial use for their presentations I encourage teachers to focus on Public Domain or Creative Commons with commercial permissions. Think positive, you never know when your collection of lesson plans and presentations will grow into a book or could be packaged for sale to help other teachers.

And just like with all media the easiest way to handle copyright issues is to create the media yourself and then you hold the copyright.

Below is my list of audio sources.  Enjoy.

1 –

Freesound has an excellent collection of audio artifacts. Easy to search with many recorded by volunteers who contribute to the site.

2 –

Sound Bible is another excellent source of free audio effects with a quality search function.

3 –

Audio Micro has a free sound effects section. However, make sure they don’t wander into the paid section and find the perfect sound that may come with an invoice.

4 –

Free Sound Effects is one of my favorite sound effects sites. Easy to navigate with a large collection of sound effects.

5 –

Partners in Rhyme has an excellent free audio section including background music. It also offers an opportunities to discuss with students the differences between Royalty Free and Free Royalty Free. Since royalty free music means you pay once and don’t have to pay royalties for continued use whereas “Free Royalty Free” takes it to the next level and is free to use.

6 –

The Free Music Archive is less for sound effects and more for actual music. This is a useful resource when you need background music.

7 –

Again WikiMedia is one of my favorite sources for media in general. The site offers a large collection and is useful to find free to use copies of older pieces.

8 –

The Internet Archive has a massive collection of audio artifacts and is well organized. When I know what I am looking for I will check WikiMedia and the Archive first.

9 –

Free Play Music is a massive collection of music that can be used in a variety of ways. They offer some paid services but allow for all of their music free of charge for classroom use.

Zotero PDF Metadata


In this video, I will show you how you can quickly pull down the citation information for PDF files that are in your Zotero library but un-attached. Over the past few years, I have collected a few PDFs that are in Zotero of different articles from here and there. Finding them can be a challenge and citing them by hand is, well one of the reasons I enjoy Zotero.

Most of those who spend much time with me discover my love of Zotero. Simply the best reference manager available. Today I discovered a new feature. Zotero can download the MetaData for orphan PDFs that you may have in your reference library. The software will scan and try and identify what the actual source of the PDF then populates a record with that information so you can more easily find and often, more importantly, more easily CITE your resource. My collection of orphan PDFs has just been cleaned up in about 90 seconds. And all backed up into the cloud and synced to my other computer. (Can you tell I love Zotero?)

Free Website Hosting & Building for Teachers and Students

The other day I received a quick question.

Hi Chris! Is there a free user-friendly website maker that you would recommend for kids to use?”

My answer changes depending on who is making the website and for their situation but here is a quick guide that can help point you in the right direction.  While there are a number of additional sites you can review which can be found on Wikipedia and fellow Mainer Richard Byrne’s Site below are the ones I recommend that you focus on.

Google Sites & Blogger: If your school uses Google Apps for Education then you already have a google account and may have access to Google Sites and Blogger depending on how your administration has enabled the different apps.  Google Sites offers more flexibility and Blogger, I have found that Blogger is easier to use.  This is especially true for younger students.

If you are going to be creating a blog then the choice between the two is simple, blogger.  

Teachers can set up a classroom blogger account and then add students as “authors” so they can contribute and collaborate on content.

For a more static website, the choice becomes a bit murky.  A simple static website blogger can still be used and you can add a menu to the site of the pages you add with this quick set of instructions.  

If the site you are going to create is more complex or will require more creative freedom in the layout then Google Sites is the direction you should lean.  A key benefit of Google Sites is the collaborative nature of the Google apps.  The teacher can create the site and the main page and then add students as editors.

Weebly – Weebly for education is another excellent choice.  The site is useful for teachers and offers teacher control over student content as well.  The site is also helpful for schools that may restrict access to Youtube but still want to incorporate multimedia on the site since Weebly will host the video for you.  The service also allows the integration of a blog like Blogger and do – Not to be confused with, offers a free hosted option for websites.  While WordPress the world’s leading blogging software it is also and excellent option for publishing a more static website without a blog.  With so many professional organizations using wordpress software as their backend WordPress can be an excellent option for middle and high school students who may be asked to use the tool beyond school.  The service offers a high level of configurability and teachers can set up their own sites and invite students as collaborators.

WordPress is also what I recommend hands down for teachers ready to put together their personal and professional portfolio site.  Not necessarily a blog but I firmly believe that each teacher should have a portfolio site that showcases their teaching philosophy and houses examples of their work.  Whenever possible I recommend springing the $10 a year to register even if you are using the free service.

WordPress offers the greatest flexibility for growth.  While is one option there are also options to self host your wordpress site using a paid host such as or one of many others.  Your site can easily be backed up and moved from one provider to another if the need ever arose.  And if your site were to grow into something more there are countless wordpress developers who can help you customise your site later on.

I’ve been considering putting together a workshop that covers developing a professional portfolio site as well as integrating blogging in the classroom.  Let me know if what you think would be useful to include in such a workshop? And of course, if you might be interested in knowing when the workshop goes live.

50 Copyright Friendly Image Sites for Teachers and Students

The question that always seems to come up is where to find images students can use for presentations?  Where can teachers find images to use in their presentations?

Far too often teachers and students alike turn to Google.  And while there is nothing wrong with turning to Google it is important that we both teach and model copyright compliance for our students so that we don’t send them off into the world at risk of being sued for using an image without permission.

The challenge is finding quality stock photography that is useful and applicable to the learning goals.  Regardless of the lesson content presentations offer an excellent opportunity to integrate this important part of media literacy which can quite literally save a student’s eventual business, keep them from being fired, and help them thrive in our media-filled world.  While it is unlikely that your AP History class is going to be raided by the copyright police it can serve as an opportunity to sew good habits that will protect students as they move forward.

The key copyright lesson I still try and ensure students understand is that the human being who took the photograph has the “right” to determine who can “copy” that image.  Most often they will charge, but often they will not.  The quality of free to use images has grown over the past few years.

The item to watch for is “Creative Commons” and the subtle differences in the creative commons licensing.  Not all images are released with all uses pre-authorised.  This is particularly true for images being used commercially.  While students may not need to worry about permission for commercial use for their presentations I encourage teachers to focus on Public Domain or Creative Commons with commercial permissions.  Think positive, you never know when your collection of lesson plans and presentations will grow into a book or could be packaged for sale to help other teachers.

Below is my list of free stock photography sources.  Enjoy.

1. Pixabay

A massive easily searched collection.  It will likely have what you need if you have an image in mind.  They also have graphics.  I often check here when I need something specific.

2. Wikimedia Commons

One of the largest collections of free to use media.  Wikimedia is also an excellent teaching tool since it links to the creative commons license on each image and typically has the photographer’s information listed.  Excellent search functions and has images on just about every subject I’ve ever needed.


Excellent collection with a quality search function.  General Stock photography

4. Unsplash

High resolution free to use in any way images.  Well organized with a quality search function.  Excellent for background images.

5. Unprofound

More abstract and artistic photos.  Free to use, has an interesting color-based search function.

6. Travel Coffee Book

High-resolution photos mostly of travel related and destination related themes. No search function but the limited number of photos make that less important.

7. Superfamous

A small collection of quite abstract photography, ( I might not use this one with students due to a random exposed breast).

8. Street Will

Small stock photography collection, high quality with search.

9. Stokpic

Good sized stock photography site that is well organized and has a quality search function.

10. StockMedia

Well organized.

11. Startup Stock Photos

Limited collection mostly aimed at “life in a startup”

12. SplitShire

Limited collection, looks to be a single photographer collection.  High-quality photos.

13. Snapwire Snaps

High quality but limited search capabilities.

14. Skitterphoto

Smaller collection

15. Shutteroo

Tiny single photographer collection, but I like her photography and have used it.  Particularly for background images.

16. Realistic Shots

Smaller collection, limited search

17. Re:splashed

Smaller collection

18. Rawpixel

Quality Smaller collection.  Lots of people photos

19. Raumrot

Small collection

20. Public Domain-Archive

A good collection well organized and with search

21. Picography

A small collection.

22. Picjumbo

A small but high-quality collection that is well-organized and easy to search. Looks like a single photographer site but I like their style

23. Photos Public Domain

Small but well-organized collection.

24. Photo Collections

Small collection, landscapes, nature

25. Pexels

More of an aggregator for other sites

26. Pdclipart

Simple clipart site. A bit limited and dated

27. OldDesignShop

All vintage style graphics.

28. New York Public Library – Public Domain

A large comprehensive collection – older public domain photos.

29. New Old Stock

A smaller collection of older public domain photos

30. MorgueFile

I found the site amateurish with lesser quality than can be found elsewhere.

31. MMT

Single photographer small collection but good quality

32. Magdeleine

Smaller but quality collection, well put together search

33. Life of Pix

Small but quality collection

34. LibreShot

Small but quality collection, well organized with a search

35. Kaboompics

Small but a quality collection.

36. Jay Mantri

Single photographer

37. ISO Republic

Well organized with search

38. Imagebase

Well organized with search

39. Gratisography

Single photographer site

40. Goodfreephotos

Smaller site well organized

41. Getrefe

Smaller site well organized

42. Freerange Stock

Quality site, well organized with search

43. Free Nature Stock

Generic nature photos, good for backgrouds.

44. Freepik

Vector images. General graphics and backgrounds.

45. Foodiesfeed

Single photographer, food related photography

46. Fancy Crave

Quality site, well organized with search

47. Designers Pics

Quality site well organized with search

48. Cupcake

Looks like a single photographer site but there is some good stuff there

49. Bucketlistly

Travel photography

50. Big Foto

Basic smaller site, well organized

Doing the most important tasks first.

IMG_3710My dissertation is off again.  I’m catching up at work. And most things in the world are going well for me.  Teaching online is a fantastic way to make a living.  What I love most is that I am able to give more individualized attention to each student.  Being able to do so from pleasant locations is an extra bonus.

Building my routine, organizing each day using Asana, masking distractions with Pandora and headphones have been the most effective way for me to stay productive while enjoying where I am.

Today though I’m being productive not to the sound of my favorite Pandora station, but instead to the sound of sprinkles and birdsong.

With my dissertation draft (still only in chapter three of five) sent off for revision and comments I had some extra time this morning to get some extra things done.  These mornings are great.  I do my best to organize my days with the most important tasks first.  The most important tasks have the longest terms.

The first thing I do in the morning is to go to the gym with my teenaged son.  Simply the most important longest term goal I can think of is to have a good relationship with him and to improve my health. (On days when I wake too early to get him up I write here first while I wait)

I drop him off at school and then move onto another highly important task.  Breakfast with my two younger sons for the same reason.

Most mornings I also try and deliver a breakfast in bed to my wife.

Then I get down to writing.  The moment the boys are all out the door heading to school I work on the next most important task.  The dissertation.  I have an hour blocked off for it.  30 Minutes of mandatory writing, then I have permission to cry about my lack of progress in the 2nd half hour if I hit a wall, but most times I fill the whole hour.  I do look forward to when the dissertation is done and I can use this time to start writing a few books I have begun to outline.

Then I start on my day job.  Student questions, student grading, student feedback, and student outreach.  I try to keep my mornings completely student focused.  The days that I’m lucky I can convince my wife that we should roam to a random coffee shop.  I love the mornings when I can get ahead of everything and end up with an hour or two of “free time” I tend to use that time to go down my list of students and ask the question what does this student need from me today or this week.

I break early for lunch, clean the house as I go and if I’m lucky I can convince my wife that we should treat ourselves to lunch out.

After lunch and until the boys get home from school I try to focus on whatever project of the day is here.  When I’m caught up I use that time to look for opportunities for efficiency or automation in my day.

Self Control

IMG_3686I have fallen in love with a simple app called “SelfControl” the app is free and simple.  You place a list of websites in the “blacklist” and then when you need some help with self control you open the app, choose a time, and hit start.  Not it doesn’t stop all distractions, Facebook on the phone still works fine, as do many other distractions.  Still I find it helps.  My list is short, Facebook and a few others, and for those times when I need to get work done quickly so that I can be ready to play and have fun later.  It is very helpful.  The only thing that is more helpful is moving to an outdoor location that has no wifi, which is getting more difficult to do as wifi where we are is becoming more ubiquitous.

Speaking of needing to get work done quickly so that I can be ready to play and have fun later, yesterday morning I spent with my youngest son on a school field trip to an agricultural research center at a local university.  I’m a bit behind so, time to catch up and get ahead.

Mobility vs Portability

Over the past month and a half I have come to truly appreciate the difference between Mobility and Portability.

This difference has had a significant impact on my productivity, and my volume of work.  The basic difference is mobile phone, always on and always connected in your pocket where you can work while in motion and your portable laptop which you can bring with you to any location and set yourself up to work.  It seems like a small difference but it is a significant one.

Recently my son found himself in desperate need of his own cell phone due to a new development with the iPhone 6 release date set I tossed him my iPhone 5 and gave him three rules.  1.) No Games. 2.) No Bragging. 3.) To Remember He’s on the Unlimited Plan.

We ported my number to an ancient phone I had in a drawer knowing that the iPhone 6 would be shipping in just a few weeks.  Just a few weeks.  I am now in my 5th week of my 4-6 week estimated backorder.  I still do my work on my laptop and am very portable.  Meaning I can get up and move to anywhere I need to be, but I am no longer mobile.

There are several things I have noticed through this time and several areas where the flow of my day has been altered.  I had known that I was a heavy mobile user, but I hadn’t realized just how much I had shifted onto my iPhone and how much time that was saving me in the course of the average day.

Planning & Organization:

I’ve mentioned that I use ASANA to plan and organize my days.  It is a system that works very well.  One of the things that works well with the system I have is the ability to have tasks repeat and their fantastic mobile app.  There is a significantly different feeling to planning your day on the laptop with all of the tabs and apps and distractions.  Previously I would sit out on the deck in an adirondack chair, my feet up, and a hot cup of tea.  I’d add in the tasks that were my personal priorities, adjust them and the automatically scheduled tasks in priority order, and then move my locations (Section Headings in Asana) to break the work up.  Doing the same task at my desk doesn’t have the same feel, and without the phone always with me.. I have a new apprehension that I’m going to forget to put something into ASANA.


Luckily the Exchange Server at work is configured to send text messages.  Without this I would be completely distracted and checking my email constantly.  I don’t receive a ton of email, but enough.  Faculty to faculty emails usually only require a sentence or two as a reply.  Even emails to students are rarely over a paragraph or two.  The perfect length for Siri to dictate.  One of the things that I love to be able to do is to offer quick response times.  Being mobile meant that I could go to the grocery store and if there was an issue I could deal with it immediately and let it go.  I think that is the biggest difference between being mobile and being portable is that although being mobile meant I was carrying my email with me, and could respond at a moments notice. Emotionally I was able to “let go” if there was a need my phone would buzz, I would deal with the need, and I would be finished.  Having this reassurance meant that if I was walking the dog with the boys I was walking the dog with the boys.  Now my mind wonders.  And if there is an issue that comes up.  I need to drop what I’m doing and find a place where I can be portable open the laptop and deal with it.  The delay is frustrating, and I can’t help but think that the length of the delay is simply time lost.


I’ve shared before that I’m working on my dissertation, and many who follow me on social media know that I keep up with research and articles related to Distance Education, Instructional Technology, Digital Marketing, and Media Communications.  Those are my four big areas of interest.  For my dissertation work I spend quite a bit of time on ERIC and EbscoHost.  EbscoHost has a great iOS app that I use to email myself articles all of the time.  And I have quite a few feeds in my RSS Reader, the iOS app “Reader” which sync’s with Feedly.  For articles of interest I send to Quick Read through a fun script.  Much of my reading is done in those stolen moments when waiting in line, standing at the printer while it prints, and other moments like that.  Needless to say without a mobile phone my research and reading this past month have been frustratingly less than is typical.

Social Media:

I do my best to stay connected and share via social media.  Again in those “stolen moments” where otherwise I would get frustrated that I’m standing in line, or wonder why I walked to the printer so soon.  When I’m sitting at my desk I am completely focused at the task at hand.  Not much time for social media outreach there.  As a result my social media outreach and sharing of useful articles via social media have both taken a significant hit this past month or so as my “” buffer ran out of things to share and I wasn’t filling it back up and not taking the time to interact.


The overall hit on my productivity has taken a hit on my writing schedule.  I have made less progress on my dissertation, and have had virtually no time for any blogging.  Although I didn’t do much actual writing on my mobile phone I did use it to free up time that I would use my laptop for more writing.

Overall I have discovered just how much more productive I have been with my iPhone.  Once the new one comes in I’m going to try and use this awareness to intentionally streamline my workflow in the effort of both getting more done while simultaneously adding more freedom of movement back into my day to day.  After hearing me talk about the difference in my workflow and knowing that it is the iPhone 6 plus on it’s way my son has challenged me to try and work exclusively on the iPhone for the first month I have it, to make note of any time I need to use my laptop, and to try and find an iPhone way to make those tasks happen as well.