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Freepath–a tool a librarian (and a teacher and a presenter and a student) can love

Every once in a while a new tool makes me almost want to be a PC user.  Take Freepath, launched yesterday in public beta.

Although Free Path (darn it!) will not run on my MacBook Pro (without running the Windows OS), it appears to have fine potential for the classroom and for all those media-rich presentations and meetings and digital stories we can expect to enjoy over the coming school year. 

Instead of the formatting aggravation we normally face forcing everything to run within one presentation format, say PowerPoint, we can now drag and drop all types of media–PowerPoint, videos, documents, music, websites, pdfs, images, and more (up to 100MB)–in easily scoochable sequences and run them all natively and seamlessly from one playlist.  A media or AV rack on the right offers controls for editing videoclips, music files, and audio levels.  Because it runs your stuff natively, you can edit documents on the fly, within the interface.  You can preview media in the viewer or run content full screen.  (This should work nicely on our SmartBoards.) 

From what I can tell, this is not a play-and-run kiosk approach.  The presenter provides the connections among the media choices.

The opening video had me sold and eager to leave behind embedded links, file conversions, and media downloads.

Freepath’s easy-to-use playlist lets you tell it like it is. Simply drag and drop original files into the playlist or add pointers out to anything on the web and instantly, you can mash up all your favorite stuff together for presentations, classes, web meetings or fun events.

Free downloads are available for Vista or XP.

Consider showing this one to an administrator as you help him or her prepare for a faculty or board meeting. (The tool is compatible with existing web conference tools like Webex and GoTo Meeting.) Consider sharing this with those teachers who regularly enrich their lessons with varied media.  Consider sharing it with groups of students looking for an organized new way to share relevant content with the class.

Freepath is decidedly 2.0 in its sharability.  As you build lessons and presentations and meetings, you can exchange playlists with with colleagues through myFreepath, in the process solving some of those tricky storage and file transfer issues.

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. This is exactly what I need. There’s so much good content but in the past, it’s been a pain to try and use them all together. Freepath is the answer.

  2. Sue Hellman says:

    HiJoyce — if you want to see more about what Freepath will do, check out my workshop (Small Changes: BIG RETURNS) at the Horizons conference (CUEBC) on October 25th. I’m teaching at the White Rock Learning Centre in Surrey, BC.

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