I have used a few tools for my projects. When I created these I was doing different responsibilities, some of which will continue in my new Instructional Design position. Others may or will not. I say this for you to understand with the purpose was behind these projects. I have experience with the tools PowToons, StudyMate, Tellagami.
I would say that I have a tie for my favorite. One is Tellagami. Telligami fun. I have not tried it but I believe it would be appropriate for students to learn by creating. I believe it would also be useful for instructors and students to use Tellagami® to create book reports, solve math problems and recite lessons. It has short comings, such as getting it to work in D2L, or getting the character to say where you put it, and you cannot get back to the gami when once posted online except to make minor text changes. If you use it for specific purposes, it can be useful. The product currently is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, IOS 6.0+. I use my iPad. You can share it with a link, embed code, or save it to your IOS device. Output is in all browsers.. The help consists of an FAQ and email contact. No bad for a small product. When I stared using it I can concerned about accounts required by students, support, usefulness, and ease of use. If the instructor is the only one using the program, then many of those concerns are not a problem.
I use it as my welcome message for our online student orientation course for D2L. I call it a NancyGami. I made a quick Tellagami to show everyone. I would call this an Introduction and App Samples. I believe the Tellagami Edu is the better version. You do have to pay for it. Unfortunately, I do not remember the price. I am to finding the price. The question(s) I ask myself is can I find other ways to include it in and online class.
My other favorite is StudyMatSe Author. Our state system provides us with 2 products, Respondus and StudyMate. We have StudyMate Author. Pricing is done through our state system. Using StudyMate Author student can master the material for a course by using learning activities, self-assessments and games. Students select activities that appeal to their learning style, making the whole experience personalized and effective. The help is actually very good. They have tutorials, user’s guides, and email support. I have used this and it is actually very good. It can be use in LMSs and all browsers.
Creating the questions to use can be time consuming unless you have quizzes in Repondus that you can use by importing them in Study Mate. If you are creating questions from scratch, they have to be formatted in a specific way. For example, an M/C question has to be formatted as below. Basically there has to be an ) or . after number of question an ) and . with an a * showing the correct answer. Plus, only one line between a question or answer choices. Not hard but tedious.
3) Who determined the exact speed of light?
a) Albert Einstein
*b) Albert Michelson
c) Thomas Edison
d) Guglielmo Marconi
Here are some Product Samples. Here are those products used with a History Example. You can upload products to StudyMate.com or export as html or some file types. Questions I have include, will they ever update the types of choices you can create? Some seem rather childish for Higher Ed. Will the standard for formation questions in word or text files get easier?
Lastly, I have used PowToons. This product does have a free version but of course it is not full featured. There is also Educational Pricing.
I found creating this not quite as easy as they claim. They claim 5 mins. However, anything with substance will take longer. They do have tutorials, an FAQ, email contact, help tickets, and a PowToon’s blog. It can be use in LMSs and all browsers. You can also go from a PowerPoint to a PowToon. You can upload your work to PowToons, export them, and use embed code to share them. I created a Cybersecurity Awareness piece on phishing emails. I may still use it for our online student orientation.
My biggest concern with using PowToon or Tellagami with students is the fact you have to create accounts. You can log in with Facebook or Google accounts. However, to me that could be a security and privacy problem. Our students complain about “another password” to remember. Plus, how will that work for elementary school or special needs children. All this is going to need more experimentation.