Ready, Set, Create: Multimedia Authorship 101

"Create to Learn" by using free or low-cost digital tools for making podcasts, blogs, videos, gifs, infographics and more

The best way to learn is to make media about what you're learning. Now it's easier than ever! 


STAY TUNED! Renee's new book, Create to Learn: Introduction to Digital Literacy will be published in September, 2017!


Make a Gif. Take some pictures and make them move with this simple GIF maker.  

IMGFlip. Make a meme.      

Vine.  Make a 6-second video on your cell phone.

Periscope. Live broadcast to the world from your mobile phone for free.

Storify. Curate social media to present your own perspective on an idea using digital media resources created by yourself and others.


Opinion. Free, simple to use podcast recording tool for iPhone. 

Spreaker Studio is a podcast recording tool for Android.

Chirbit. Create podcasts simply and easily. 

Storymaker. From the Guardian, an Android based tool designed for citizen journalists.


Picmonkey. Edit photos, make a collage and more with this simple free tool.

Be Funky. Free photo editor makes your pictures look awesome! 

Kizoa. Create a musical slideshow. 

Sharalike.  Create an image slideshow on your iPhone, Android or tablet.


Pencil. Create simple drawings and animations with this free tool.

JellyCam. Create simple animations with this online tool

OSnap. Create stop-motion animation using your iPhone or iPad.

Powtoons. Make an animation using this free but powerful tool.

Moovly. VIdeo animation software - free and easy to use.    


WordPress.  Templates make your content look amazing online.

Wix. Free and simple to use website creation tool 

Weebly. The fastest way to create stunning websites with a few simple steps.

INFOGRAPHICS Make an infographic.  Create infographics with easy-to-use templates.  


QuickCast. Make a three-minute screencast on your computer. So simple! Make a video using your computer screen.

Screencastify. An extension for Chrome that makes it easy to create a simple screencast. 

Snagit in Chrome. Watch this video to learn how to install an app to your Chrome browser that enables you to create a free screencast and post to your YouTube account.


Animoto. Make a video using still and moving images and sound.

Videolicious. Make a simple movie using a free app on your smartphone.  

WeVideo. Simple cloud-based tool for collaborative video production.  

Shadow Puppet. Make a simple movie using a free app on your smartphone or your iPad. 


1. PRE-PRODUCTION. The most creative part of media production starts with communication strategy.

A. What's your purpose? Is your goal to inform, entertain or persuade?

B. Who's your target audience? What are their existing atittudes, knowledge and beliefs? What do you want to change?

C. What's your message? What do you want people to know, feel or do? 

D. How will you attract and hold attention? What will help your message get noticed?

E.  What medium will you use? What mode, form, or genre is best-suited to accomplising your goal?

2. PRODUCTION. Unleash your creativity, but don't go it alone. Media production works best as a creative group process. Remember: 

A. Creative ideas need "safe spaces" to emerge. People do their best brainstorming when there's no evaluation or criticism and people support and build upon each other's ideas.  

B. Divide and conquer - but work together. You'll need a researcher, audience analyst, creative designer and project manager to make it work. Each team member contributes special stuff while you coordinate all creative decisions as a team.

C. Set deadlines and work within creative constraints. Sometimes deadline pressure and other limitations actually inspire creative thinking.

3. POST-PRODUCTION. Get feedback and revise to ensure that you accomplish your strategic goals.

A. What'd ya think? Show a draft to some members of the target audience and get their cold, hard feedback.

B. Revise. Sometimes you may need to throw away a project and start fresh. Other times, little tweaks can make a difference.  

C. Showtime. Deliver your message and enjoy the moment.

D. Reflect and Coach. Learning to be a creative collaborator challenges all our our abilities: intellectually, socially and emotionally. Take time to reflect with your team on "what worked" and "what can be done better" next time.