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Summer Evaluation Institute Attendees on Low-cost No-cost Tools for Evaluators Part I

At the AEA/CDC Summer Evaluation Institute, over 150 attendees went to a session on Low-cost/No-cost Tools for Evaluators. Here are some of the great ideas recommended from the audience:

Prezi: Prezi is presentation software that zooms around your presentation content (yes – truly zooms, you sort of have to see it to get it, go to their site and look at examples). The free version allows for online creation and presentation. A Pro upgrade (starting at $59) allows you to create and store presentations offline without sharing them. http://prezi.com/index/ Recommended by: Aurolyn Luykx from the University of Texas, El Paso.

iChat: Part of the Mac Operating System, iChat allows for free instant messaging and video chatting – great for small meetings and with that nice design-conscious apple interface. http://www.apple.com/macosx/apps/all.html#ichat Recommended by: Alicia Moag-Stahlberg from Ceres Connections

FreeConferenceCall.com: The name says it all! Pay only your standard long-distance rate, no extra conference calling fees. Suggested to work great for small groups, but may have challenges in call quality as group size grows. http://www.freeconferencecall.com/ Recommended by: Al Forbes from Forbes Consulting

Google Sketchup: Promises “3D Modeling for Everyone” and at the affordable cost of $0. A Pro version for $495 adds additional functionality. http://sketchup.google.com/intl/en/ Recommended by: Misty Guard from the US Office of the Inspector General

Doodle: Free scheduling software for finding the impossible – that meeting time that everyone can actually attend. One person enters the range of possible times and emails the meeting invitation. Attendees indicate their availability online. A pro version allows for branding and removes the small ads that appear in the free option. http://doodle.com/ Recommended by: Karen Debrot from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Google Calendar: Keep one or multiple online calendars available from anywhere with annotations, reminders, and more! https://www.google.com/calendar/ Recommended by Jolene Byrne from Georgia Southern University

Stay tuned all this week for more from the Summer Evaluation Institute!

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

2 thoughts on “Summer Evaluation Institute Attendees on Low-cost No-cost Tools for Evaluators Part I”

  1. I would recommend Tungle in place of Doodle. It is a bit more powerful and easier to use in my opinion.

    I would also recommend Dropbox, probably one of the most useful free tools. Even though it only comes with 2GB of space to start with, it is very easy to use and can be utilized by numerous apps on your smartphone (go to http://db.tt/vi8829i to try). If you want to start with more space, you can try SugarSync, though it is a bit more difficult to use (go to https://www.sugarsync.com/referral?rf=ee7chnc9vyv3).


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