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Tuesday, December 16, 2008


DIA, is an excellent digram drawing tool. It can be used to draw many different kinds of diagrams. It currently has special objects to help draw entity relationship diagrams, UML diagrams, flowcharts, network diagrams, and many other diagrams.

It can export diagrams to a number of formats, including EPS, SVG, XFIG, WMF and PNG, and can print diagrams (including ones that span multiple pages).

Dia is quite a comprehensive tool and offers a range of objects and options to aid diagram drawing.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Here's another useful tool but an online one. Dabbleboard, is a whiteboard tool and offers many useful options, some real good ones as well. It takes the concept of a board further by introducing options like intuitive shape guessing, inserting images, pdf documents, etc. It offers a good number of toolbar options to help the user do things like freehand drawing, colouring, and much more.

The tool works on the philosophy of "share-chat-collaborate" and leaves it to the discretion of the user whether to share the drawings or not.

With a number of created drawings available, the user can definitely judge what this tool can do. So, don't forget to view the 'Drawings' section.


For all the Pivot Stickfigure lovers, sharing about an excellent online Pivot Stickfigure group by Peter Bone. The group is available at
The group has a host of activities, ranging from tutorials, contests, samples, awards, collaboration and more.

A good place to connect your children so that they can start sharing their creations. But please follow the guidelines properly before joining the group. Go ahead and let the world see your creativity. Here's an opportunity for you to show your gratitude and appreciation for the creator of this tool.

Indeed an excellent site to find out what all is achievable through this excellent tool

A word of caution - the msn group is active only till February 2009, so better keep a track on the happenings


Sharing about an excellent software ( forgot to share it before though i have been using it for quite some time). The software is IRFANVIEW, . It is an excellent software which does so much, so can't really put it under any single category. It serves the purpose of a viewer, converter, slideshow maker, image editor, media player and so on. Though it does not boast of a very impressive interface, which is because of a dearth of toolbar options but the capabilities are quite impressive. The user needs some time to get comfortable with the menu but once done, user can work wonders with it. Everytime i have used this tool, i have discovered some new capability. It is quite a comprehensive software and can solve many requirements of a teacher. Some of the features that i have explored/ experimented are
  • editing images
  • creating executable slideshows
  • compressing images
  • creating panoramic images
I can go on and on and still there are options that i haven't yet explored.

With a range of plug-ins available, one couldn't ask for a better tool

A very good tool and thanks to Irfan Skiljan for being pretty regular in coming out with updates/ revisions.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Keeping the promise that i would only share fully working, useful and appropriate tools as i do not want teachers/ readers to be wasting their time on demo/ trial versions. This blog is meant to share tools which are free and open for anybody to use. The idea is not to populate this blog by posting about every other tool that i test or find out. I try my best to post about only those tools/ softwares which would be free to download/ use and which would bring in some value to readers (especially teachers)
Here's another useful tool - image to avi conversion tool. This tool can aid in creating a movie out of static images. The interface is simple and with some good options provided, the tool can be very handy. The tool provides support for .bmp, .jpeg and .gif formats. Some of the useful options provided are pixel format, frame speed, audio addition. The output AVI file has a size limit of 2 GB.

When you visit the download link provided, please ensure that you click on the basic version only as there are paid versions available for the same tool. The tool can be downloaded from

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Sharing with you a highly needful software, Camstudio, At times, there is a need to record the screen events for teaching, etc. and that is when Camstudio would be very helpful. Camstudio can help create software tutorials, etc. Some examples are when you need to show how to work on a software, what steps to take to complete an action/ activity, etc. The software has a very simple interface and is very easy to use. The software is an open source alternative to Camtasia. The range of features help achieve the desired output. Some of the important features are :
  • Option to save the output file in AVI or SWF format
  • Ability to provide annotations - both video and screen
  • Ability to record sound while capturing screen
  • Ability to select desired range for screen capturing
  • Ability to convert existing AVI into SWF format
A highly recommended tool


Sqirlz Morph is an interesting tool for Morphing. The tool looks different from the rest because of the range of features and capabilities offered. The tool has taken the morphing to a different level. The tool boasts of features to enable one to go through the examples to get an idea about what all could be done with the tool. There is a Help option available to guide the user to work on the tool. The tool has a very simple user interface and just about anybody could get started working on it instantly.

Compared to other Morphing tools available, Sqirlz Morph is much ahead of them. There are few user samples available on the website, so don't forget to check them.

The tool is available at
and the chief highlights of the tool are
  • ability to morph videos also
  • ability to work with multiple images
  • ability to save the output in various formats - swf, avi, gif
Alos, check the other interesting softwares at

Good tool to bring forth your creativity !!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I mention about two somewhat similar websites/ projects offering free lesson plans though the scope differs for both.

Quickies, is an online resource for accessing and using available free lesson plans. Though not too many categories on offer but some resources are worth a look and use. The categories are few - Mathematics, Language Arts, Health, Physical Education, Science and Professional Development. I explored few topics and discovered some good ones like Shiatsu, Yodagami, etc. Some of the links lead to promotional products and so not much of a use if looking for a free stuff. Good to try and use some of the free resources.

Other resource explored was WikiHow,
WikiHow is a Wikipedia product and open to participation. The resource site is to cater to 'How To' requirements, to find out how a particular thing, object, phenomenon, etc. is done/ executed/ etc. The site offers lots of categories ranging from Education to Hobbies, Computers, etc. The site is quite comprehensive and an active one. Lots of articles on offfer, read a few from Science and they were quite interesting like 'How to Create a Battery from a Lemon'. The site also provides the option to embed the article in a blog or website. One can use the available articles or may start their own as well.

Good resource to try and if convinced and satisfied use it with students ( instructions provided on the site about using wikihow with students).


Instructional Architect, is a good online tool for course creation. The tool created and provided by NSDL is a simple to use tool which helps to do the following :
  • Create course using online resources
  • Access and use from similar courses in NSDL directory
  • Make use of NSDL resources to build the course
  • Provide separate student id for accessing the courses
To know about how to create a course, visit the 'Take The Tour' option. Also, 'How to Use the IA' is another option which can help to get started with IA.

Overall, a nice tool to use !!

Monday, August 11, 2008


Quintura for Kids, is an excellent search site for kids. Apart from the safety issue, this website provides an interesting interface. The interface is quite inviting, especially for the kids and provides them with a 'click to select' option for search. One may start the search by clicking on any of the basic categories displayed and then (clicking) on any of the displayed sub categories. One may click on the displayed icons like for music, tv, etc. and begin the search. The kids would surely enjoy working on the site. The site also offers the option to embed the search in the website, blog, etc. by copy-pasting the generated code through the 'Embed' option.

A safe site for kids browsing !!


Sharing a couple of online PDF utilities that might be useful. Two utilities are Booklet Creator and PDFMeNot.
Booklet Creator, is a free pdf utility which allows to create an e-book out of the PDF file. The e-book created could be handy in case one wants to print out the pdf in a booklet form. Simply select the pdf file and click on 'Create Booklet' to have the pdf file in a printable booklet form.

PDFMENOT, is an online utility to help convert the pdf document into a slide show form. This utility could be handy if one has a pdf file and wants to display it in a slide show form. One may also embed it in other web platforms with the help of the code generated after the upload.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Color in Motion, , is a beautiful site that teaches so much about colors and that too in so many beautiful ways. I must admit that i have not seen anything so creative and innovative for so many years now. Hats off to Claudia for this wonderful site that teaches so much about color. Right from the conception of the site to the delivery, the website stands apart. Exploring the site is real fun and education as well. Infact, one sees colors actually talking to you.

The Menu offers three main sections to choose from - Movie, Stars and Lab and each of these section has lot to offer and teach. The Movie teaches you what each color symbolises, what each color represents and much more. The Stars section is where one can find out the compatibility, main traits about each color. The Lab section is where one can play around with colors, express onself, work on a project and more.

I, personally, discovered a lot by exploring this site and hope its true for you as well.

A wonderful colorful site, just too good a site to resist !


Jigsaw Puzzle Promo Creator is an excellent, yet a very simple tool for creating jigsaws in executable file formats. The software can be downloaded from The wizard guides the user to the process of creating jigsaw and also provides options like 'Specify a Backgound Image', 'Specify a Banner', change the text colour, etc. The output file is an executable file ( .exe extension) and looks nice with scattered jigsaw pieces.

A good tool !

Monday, August 4, 2008


KnowPlay, is a useful search site which allows search across multiple search sites/ engines like Google, AltaVista, Ask, About, etc.

Another good feature of the site is that it allows for various types of search, be it Web Search, be it Reference Search, be it Media Search, be it People Search, etc. To add to it, under each different search, different parameters or options could be specfied to get the desired specific result. One such example of Reference Search is shown in the image below.

A very handy site for use.


Sharing about a highly useful and nice free educational/ academic content available on the web. HippoCampus, is a site which offers some real good content for use. The content has been divided into various subject categories and within that on the basis of topic/ subtopic.

The topics are detailed out really well and contains lot of relevant animations as well. The Subjects covered include Algebra, Calculus, Physics, Chemistry, Psychology, etc.

Another feature of the site is that one can customise it for the students by creating an acoount on the site, putting relevant and appropriate announcements and selecting relevant courses for delivery.

A good educational resource site

Thursday, July 31, 2008


Mnemosyne, A very nice flash card creation tool to help you build effective activity based on an algorithm. The tool is developed keeping in mind the spaced repetition and memory research. The tool does offer basic configuration setting to enable the user to enter appropriate questions i.e. questions that require frequent review. The user can specify priority for different questions so that the ones that require regular reviews appear frequently. The 'Getting Started' guide is quite helpful for a new user wanting to have a quick look at the tool.
Once created, the activity could be exported in an xml format.

Quite an easy-to-use utility tool !

Sunday, July 27, 2008


PDF documents have become an integral part of our work routine. Be it online or offline, pdf documents make our task easier. pdf documents are quite handy. Found out about this handy website with some real useful pdf utilities to offer and that too for free. The site is and offers 5 highly useful pdf utility tools. I tried the following three

  • pdf to word converter which converts the selected pdf document into a word format
  • pdf to html converter which converts the selected pdf document into html pages
  • pdf to image which extracts the images from the selected pdf document
The two other utility tools offered takes care of text to pdf conversion and pdf to text(rich text) conversion

The interface is very simple and easy to use.

A very handy set of tools to have

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Most of the video download sites have videos available in Flash video format ( .flv format). To run .flv files, one requires a FLV player. Applian FLV player, is one such FLV player one can download and use.

So, install the FLV player and start downloading the flv files.

Friday, July 25, 2008


1888 Quick Flow Chart Creator, is a simple, basic Flow chart creation tool. The advantage is it has lots of shapes available for use and one can do basic manipulation on the flow chart like adding colour, etc.

Not a very comprehensive tool but useful utility for drawing flowchart and you can save it in an image form.


Found out this little tool called Swiftebook. The tool is available at Found it interestingly simple and useful to carry out basic document creation and editing. To start creating an ebook ( they call it that though the saving formats are the usual ones like HTML, rtf, pdf, etc.). Inspite of that, i liked working on the tool, maybe because of the fetaures it provides in a simple way. No doubt the tool is quite attractive.

Once you start with ebook creation, click on New and start typing. While typing click on the Document and Style options and you get a glimpse of the features available. The user may simply click on the feature to apply it to the document.
The Document option allows to add more about the doucument - title, creator, Category, Niche, etc.
which would be quite helpful during ebook search.

The Style option provides with the various common formatting option

Hold on, that not all in this tool. There's this useful Reminder option which can help one organise

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Sketch Studio is quite an interesting and simple software,
A wonderful hand sketching tool with some real nice, unique features.The interface is very user friendly and immediately one can get started with creating an image using the Sketch pen of varying sizes.

Some of the unique features of the tool are

  • Smudging
  • Play Sketch Option
  • Trace Image Option
  • Help Topics
  • Tutorials to get started
Trace Image Option can be used to trace an outline from any existing image

Play Sketch Option can be used to play the sketch as was drawn. A very handy option indeed where one can view the skecth in steps

The tutorials are very helpful and additionally the Help Topics are also available.

Once may also save the sketch as a JPEG image.

An image sample of the Lessons/ Tutorial section is shown below. The Lessons are really nice and one may practice skecthing as well.

A nice tool !!

Friday, July 18, 2008

FREE SOUND FILES is quite useful when looking for some sound (files). A good range of parameters helps refine the search further. Though it supports few popular formats but still a useful site. Depending on one's requirement, specific size files could be searched.
A good alternative when trying to create sound with a bad throat !!


Timeline 2.0, is a highly useful timeline creation tool. The quest for finding a timeline creation tool which could export the file in .swf format ended with this tool. Th e tool is quite handy when you want to create timelines depicting history, life span, evolution, important events, etc. for something. It could be history of how computers evolved, famous personalities, and many more.

Once extracted, the Timeline 2.0 folder contains 6 files. This tool could be easily integrated in eXe authoring sytem as the tool generates an .xml file, a .swf file.

Certain precautions to be taken when working on Timeline tool
  • Please fill up the Interface Configuration options and then the Events
  • Be thoughtful while specifying Sub Bands. A good way would be to specify some key items in the Sub Bands
  • Be careful to specify the end dates wherever essential
  • When wanting to create multiple timelines, please save them in different folders
  • Follow the proper sequence for creating the timlines i.e., first use the Creator.jar file and then the rest
  • When trying to integrate the timeline into any othe tool like eXe, attach the .swf and then copy the .xml into the course folder separately ( after exporting it)
  • Go through the Documentation properly as it would guide you how to proceed.

A very handy tool, indeed !!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Offline Browser - PageNest

PageNest, is s useful utility tool for Offline Browsing. A need based useful tool that can help save entire website on the hard disk for later viewing. A simple interface where one can specify the website address, specify the levels and just get started with downloading the wesbite. A handy tool when one is hard pressed for time and not able to view the entire website.

The website offers two versions, Free and Pro. The best part about the offering is that the Free version is as good as the Pro ( commercial version) . Free version is free for personal use, for non-profit, for school whereas the Pro version is for the corporates.

A good tool to have when you cannot afford to be online all the time !

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Safe Browsing for Kids - Skool

Skool, is a good site on safer browsing for kids. The site allows safer browsing on 8 different search platforms. A one-stop solution for safe browsing for kids.
Also, the site offers access to teaher tube educational videos. The kids can view the randomly generated videos.
Though the options offered are limited on the site but still a useful site. The kids could be directed to search internet via this site and maybe watch some educational videos as well.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Rich Chart Live, is an excellent tool to create charts online. Indeed a captivating tool because of the range of features provided by the tool. The free version lets you use all the features and would place a small logo in the corner. All the other features are the same as provided in the commercial version.The features include a good collection of templates, Series style charts, multiple layouts, animation features. The Rich chart gallery provides examples charts that could be created using the tool and the list includes charts with hyperlinking features, etc.

Now, coming to the main expectation from any tool i.e. the output format. Quite impressively, the rich chart live offers the option to publish the chart in 4 formats. Two very useful publish formats are 'Publish to Flash' which will enable one to save it in a .swf file format and 'Embed Chart in Blog' which can work wonders for Bloggers wanting to display chart in their posts.

A wonderful tool, indeed !!


3D BOX SHOT MAKER A cute little freeware tool to help make box shot images. The images could be saved in 4 different formats. First set the image, the side bar and the front. Once image is set, one may change the other parameters. Available at

Monday, July 7, 2008

Free Chart Software - TeeChart Office

Teechart Office
is a useful charting and plotting freeware application. Though it has a limited range of chart typer but still quite a comprehensive tool with many features and options.

One can do any amount of editing/ customisation on the chart to suits one'e requirements. The available features range from the most basic like modifying the colour to annotating, drawing lines, colouring each point, etc.

Another advantage is the option to save the chart as different formats like JPEG, GIF, BMP, PDF, etc.

A very handy tool.