Digital Tools

Hypothes.is – This is an online annotation tool. Once the free plug-in is installed on your browser, you can use this tool to annotate any document on the web.

Arcade Font Writer – This simple tool lets you write a phrase, quote, etc. in arcade-game-style font. What kind of message can you generate?

Dissection Font – This tool can be used to create a “dissected” message wherein a chosen phrase, quote, etc. is hidden within the geometry of the typeface. Essentially, you can create a puzzle with a message in it! There are many different permutations to experiment with and a variety of ways to use this simple tool!

ROT13 – This tool can be used to generate coded messages using the rot13 cipher system or any other kind of cipher that involves shifting letters in the alphabet a certain number of spaces in place of other letters. Have some fun experimenting with coding messages inside of messages! (Maybe tweet out your messages into the #writreat tag or, if you’re feeling adventurous, #netnarr tag…)

Tweetdeck – This tool can be used to organize multiple Twitter accounts. Once you create an account and connect your *main* Twitter account (which will be the admin account for Tweetdeck), you can your other accounts, schedule tweets to post, follow specific hashtags or accounts, etc.

Meme Generator – This program can be used to create memes that can be easily shared online. You can choose from a meme template or upload your own image and make a custom meme! (For more information about memes and meme format, you can check out Know Your Meme or the Meme Documentation blog~)

Giphy – This program can be used to create gifs that can be easily shared on the web. You can upload a snippet of video, a series of/singular image, or a gif file and manipulate it using a variety of features and effects. (If you want to deconstruct a gif into individual frames for any reason, you can also do that using EZ Gif~)

Stereogranimator – This tool can be used to create and share 3D images from the stereograph collection of the New York Public Library. The images appear almost like they are “wiggling”.

Clash – This very simple audio tool allows users to create unique messages from music and audio samples. Input a string of text and the program will generate an audio message of the text crafted from many different samples. So, type in a phrase, quote, etc. and hear your unique creation come to life!

Visual Leed – Create your own QR code using images or gifs! You can create up to 3 free codes using this program! You can encode a small message in an easy-to-make design for people to find using their smartphones!

Lunapic – A free photo-editing program that allows users to upload files (jpegs, pdfs, etc.) and manipulate them using various filters, effects, and animated features.

PicMonkey – Similarly to Lunapic, this tool can be used to edit photos and images like in Photoshop. This tool does not offer as many free options as other photo-editing tools but it does still have a bank of interesting effects and features that can be used to create some very visually pleasing/complex works.

Canva – A *mostly* free program that can be used to create flyers, posters, blog banners, social media posts, business cards, resumes, book covers, etc. Basically, this program can be used to make any kind of promotional or personal display image needed. A wide array of templates and other elements are provided. You can upload your own images as well. *Most of the resources are free though there are some premium options which do cost money.

Prezi – This tool is a Powerpoint-like tool that can be used to create presentations. Unlike Powerpoint though, this tool offers more animation effects and formatting options that can make for a very dynamic and interactive work. (Be sure to choose the Basic option when getting started. That’s the free option.)

BeeFree – This program can be used to create email flyers/email blasts to send out. Many different templates and design options are available for free so you can design custom promotional materials for online delivery.

embed.ly – This simple tool allows you to create an embed link for a wide variety of different digital materials that may not have their own embed links (like an email flyer, etc.).

Scrivener & Scrapple – These programs can be used to assist in organizing a novel or multi-chapter work. Each chapter can be its own document and you can draw lines between chapters to visualize connections and see where further connections may be necessary. Scrivener is more useful for novels while Scrapple is more useful for concept maps, note-taking, and rough drafts. Neither program is free but both do offer student discounts and can be used with either IOS or PC software. You can get more of a breakdown and comparison on costs and features here. (For info on more writing apps/writing assistant apps, we recommend checking out this article which breaks many of the more popular apps down for consumers.)

Padlet – This tool can be used like a digital bulletin board to create an interactive and collaborative display of information. Links to videos, tweets, gifs, memes, social media, audio, etc. can be embedded in your padlet. There are lots of opportunities to be creative with this program and create an interactive experience of information for viewers!

Thinglink – This program can be used to create interactive flyers. You can upload an image or choose from a gallery of free images. Then, you can add links to these images that go out to other materials you have made (Docs, websites, gifs, memes, etc.) or out to open sources (Wikipedia, Social Media, etc.). You can add descriptions to these buttons and additional images as well.

Powtoon – This program can be used to make short (3 minute max for free) animated videos. The program offers a wide variety of stock animations to populate videos. Audio can be added to these videos and the videos can be exported to other platforms. This is a great resource that can be used to create how-to videos for work, or educational videos for the classroom, or personal videos! Premium options are available at personal cost and allow users to create longer videos with more animation options.

How To Make A Twitter Bot – Using the directions in this post, you can create a simple Twitter bot using a pre-made and freely downloadable Google spreadsheet. In order to do this, you will have to create a simple app using your Twitter account. To create an app, you will have to write some short descriptions about the purpose of the bot. It is recommended you select that this app will be for personal use and that you specify in the descriptions that the app’s creation is for academic or inquiry-based reasons. After creating the app, the instructions listed in this post will tell you how to plug the info from the app into your spreadsheet. Essentially, since the spreadsheet has already been created for you, you will just have to fill in the blanks.

Cheap Bots, Done Quick! – This is another open source platform that can be used to create a Twitter bot. Unlike Zach Whalen’s guide, this is more independent. You can use the platform by signing in with a Twitter account. The program will then walk you through how to code a basic bot using Tracery. There’s definitely a learning curve to this program but it can be used to create more independent bots that can respond to other Twitter users and/or generate more complex conversations.

Audacity – This free program can be used to create and edit audio. In order to use the program, you will need to download not only Audacity but also this file which allows you to export sound to MP3 file formats. For more info on using this program, we recommend check out the Audacity Tutorials as well as checking out this post (from a prior course in the MA Writing Studies program called Networked Narratives). The prior class post also offers suggestions for how to find free audio clips to download and play around with on Audacity as well as info about how to download your Audacity clips onto Soundcloud so you can embed them in your blog posts and on other platforms like Padlet.

Freesound – This is essentially a library of free audio clips that can be edited using audio software programs like Audacity. The unedited clips can be used on their own as well though it is always recommended that attribution be provided. This is a great resource for someone who is just delving into audio and looking to develop experience in editing audio.

Incompetech Music – This is another free library of audio clips. There are plenty of instrumental tracks you can download for free and experiment with editing sound. We recommend using clips that have been licensed to be reused.

4K Video Downloader – You can use this tool to download videos from Youtube and convert them into MP3 files which can then be further modified using other audio-editing software like Audacity. This audio can be added to a Thinglink or a Padlet, etc.

Twine – This program is an open-platform tool that can be used for telling interactive, non-linear stories in the digital age. In the site’s own words, “You don’t need to write any code to create a simple story with Twine, but you can extend your stories with variables, conditional logic, images, CSS, and JavaScript when you’re ready.” Works made using this program are published directly as HTML and can be shared virtually anywhere. To use this program and its full features, you will need to download it. That is free download. Make sure you are using the 2.0 version!

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