Professional Development and Training Resources

It can be overwhelming and expensive for a novice, or even an advanced producer of media content to navigate through all of the resources and software tools needed for a project. Frustratingly, many of my own web searches over the years have led to generic lists on monetized websites that were not geared towards schools and education. The purpose of this site is to share what I have found to be useful when teaching media in schools, especially when it comes to working within a budget and finding free resources. As social media platforms allow people to express and share their creations in new and imaginative ways, we educators have a responsibility to try model and teach our students best practices for being safe and ethical when using media.

Disclaimer: As websites and links are always changing, I will do my best to keep this page up to date. If you notice a link is broken, feel free to contact me and let me know.  As of the creation of this page, the links shared have been vetted for inappropriate content, this is not to say that websites will not change, or that something was missed. Not all sites are geared for educational use. Teachers are responsible for looking through these links before including into student projects and everyone should use discretion. As always, the safety and wellbeing of our students should always be a top priority.  

Subscription Based sites I USE in my work (Prices Listed in Description)

Music licensing reimagined. Artlist brand's itself as the filmmaking industry's go-to library of high-quality royalty-free music and sound effects created by inspiring indie artists. Subscription runs about 750 SAR (200 USD) for a year subscription or about 62 SAR (16.60 USD)  per month. 
Get two free months with reference code.

Motion Array is an unlimited download membership-based website that provides a huge variety of products, tools, and tutorials for anyone and everyone involved in the post-production game, from digital content creators to motion graphics and VFX artist. Motion Array has two pricing options. Monthly subscriptions start at 113 SAR (30 USD) or yearly at around 940 SAR (250 USD).

 The Noun Project is a website that aggregates and catalogs icons, symbols, and photos that are created and uploaded by graphic designers around the world. Yearly subscription price is about 150 SAR (40 USD) OR get 50% off if you are a teacher or a student = 75 SAR (20 USD) 

Royalty-Free is a type of license used by agencies to sell stock images, video, songs, and other media content. This license type grants the buyer a determined set of rights to use the image in multiple ways, for a flat, one-time fee. Royalty-free does not mean free. After you have permission to use the image, it is only then that it is FREE to use. The links on this page provide access to FREE, Royalty-free media resources. A good practice is to always cite the source for where you found the media you are using. 

Royalty Free Music and Sounds for Projects

Sites with music and sound effects cost you no money (Free to use)

In the YouTube Audio Library, you can find royalty-free production music and sound effects to use in your videos. Music and sound effects from the YouTube Audio Library are copyright-safe. The Audio Library is found exclusively in YouTube Studio.

You can use Bensound's music available under the Free License (with the black download button) in your multimedia project (online videos, websites, animations, etc.) for free as long as you credit Bensound.com.

All the music of MusOpen is royalty and copyright free. For specific restrictions when applicable, please click the license icon to see more details.

Kevin MacLeod has composed over 2,000 pieces of royalty-free library music and made them available under a Creative Commons copyright license.  He has multiple sites for downloading his music, two of which are https://filmmusic.io/ and  https://incompetech.filmmusic.io/

Royalty Free Images and Photos for Projects

Sites with photos and images cost you no money (Free to use)

Burst is a free stock photo platform that is powered by Shopify. The image library includes thousands of high-resolution, royalty-free images that were shot by a global community of photographers.

Images licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer 

Google Images is a great place to find visual inspiration and useful web pages to help make your ideas a reality. For results where the publisher or image creator provided licensing information, Google will display a “licensable” badge over the image. You can also filter results to only return those images that include licensing information. 

Flickr is a good source of photographs that have been licensed under Creative Commons. Images licensed under Creative Commons are still subject to copyright, but the creator or copyright owner has chosen to allow other people to use their material under certain conditions.

Search through thousands of royalty free images on Pexels. You can use all images for free, even for commercial use.

Pixabay is a website offering “over 1.3 million royalty free stock photos and videos shared by our generous community.” All contents are released under Creative Commons CC0, which makes them safe to use without asking for permission or giving credit to the artist.

StockSnap.io is a source for beautiful free photos. High quality and high resolution stock images free from all copyright restrictions (CC0) - no attribution required.

Choose from a curated selection of images licensed under the Unsplash License as royalty free photos. Every image can be used for free for both commercial and personal uses thanks to the Unsplash community's photographers.

PNGPlay allows you to download free realistic, PNG transparent images.

Photo and Video Editing Software I use 

WeVideo is an online, cloud-based video editing platform that works in web browsers and on mobile devices. It is  the  only video product selected for inclusion in Google's Creative Bundle for Chromebooks. School districts can get site licenses for WeVideo. User friendly-I cannot say enough great things about this as an educational tool for schools. Can try demo for free.

GIMP is a free and open-source raster graphics editor used for image manipulation and image editing, free-form drawing, transcoding between different image file formats, and more specialized tasks. For the beginner and intermediate level editor, it can do almost everything Photoshop can do. GIMP is a cross-platform image editor available for GNU/Linux, OS X, Windows and more operating systems. It is free software, you can change its source code and distribute your changes.

Adobe Creative Cloud is a set of applications and services from Adobe Inc. that gives subscribers access to a collection of software used for graphic design, video editing, web development, photography, etc. I primarily use Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom Classic, AfterEffects, and Premiere. Depending on what you use, Adobe has multiple pricing options including educator and student discounts around 86 SAR per month. Still, for many educators, students, and schools, the subscription plan is too expensive. 

Final Cut Pro is a series of non-linear video editing software programs for Apple computers. Pros are that it is user friendly and NOT subscription based like Adobe, making it a cheaper option for teachers, students, and schools. Cons are that it is only for Apple computers. Can try Final Cut Pro for free up to 90 days.  Also, educators and students can get a discount.  Discounted price is about 750 SAR (200 USD). 

Luminar AI is an all-new application and plug-in and claims to be the first fully AI-powered image editing software in the world. It is the newest editing tool I have added to my growing arsenal and is absolutely incredible. Schools can enroll to use Luminar for free in their classrooms. If students want to use Luminar outside of school, qualified students receive a 30% discount on all software for home use.