I’m Susan Kistler, the American Evaluation Association’s Executive Director, aea365 Saturday poster, and aspiring tech maven. I love to try out new tools, especially new free tech tools. I find it fun. But there are an awful lot of them and definitely not enough of my time. Where do I turn to whittle down the possible to those that are most likely to be worth trying out and least likely to infect my computer with some sort of creepy crud?
Gizmo’s Freeware: This site only uses independent reviewers – there are no advertisements or promotions for software or hardware, and it also includes a nice set of how-to guides and tutorials. Best of all, it focuses only on freeware. You don’t download directly from the site, rather it directs you to the appropriate site for whatever the freeware is.
CNET Downloads Freeware: You may have heard of CNET, they are one of the oldest software-focused sites on the web. What you may not know is that you can look at just the freeware portion of their download site here. You can download directly from the CNET site, and many of the popular items have both an Editor’s Rating and a User’s Rating. The reviews are independent, but you will need to navigate around the assortment of ads.
Aea365: I learn about great tools all the time from the many people who contribute to aea365. This week, Naomi Walsh posted about a must-have free timeline maker. I was lucky enough to see her post a couple of weeks ago when it was put in the queue. What a great tool! And we’ve had other contributions about tech tools such as these from the older archives:
- Gene Shackman on Free Statistical Packages and Tarek Azzam on Free Geographic Information Systems Tools, both from January of 2011
- Luisa Guillemard on Using Diigo to Facilitate the Research Process back in December of 2010
- Susan Hibbard on Conducting Anonymous Focus Grous where she talks about her use of Rondee and Skype in September 2010
When I find a new tech tool (ideally low-cost/no-cost) myself that hasn’t yet been mentioned on aea365 but is good for evaluators, I review it in my Saturday columns. Do you have a low-cost/no-cost tool that is perfect for your evaluator colleagues and that you love that you haven’t yet seen reviewed here on aea365? Send me a note at email@example.com in hopes that we can get a review from you in the queue.
The above represent my opinion and not necessarily that of AEA. 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. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association.