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Free Tools to Help You Stay Creative, Active and Informed During COVID-19 Pandemic

We know that being in self-isolation can be a stressful time, so we here at Toronto Film School have compiled a list of free tools to help you stay creative, active, and informed during these difficulties.



Adobe Creative Cloud – Adobe is currently offering students and teachers 60 per cent off its Creative Cloud (Photoshop, Lightroom, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, Adobe Portfolio). Seven-day free trials are also available.


Affinity – This design and publishing software company is currently offering a free 90-day trial of all Mac and Windows version of their entire suite – including Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer, and Affinity Publisher.


Amazon Workspaces – New customers will be able to use Amazon Workspaces for up to 50 users at no charge, from April 1 until June 30. Amazon Workspaces is a fully managed Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) solution that provides users with either Windows or Linux desktops in just a few minutes, and can quickly scale to provide thousands of desktops to workers across the globe.


Amazon Workdocs – New customers will be able to use Amazon Workdocs for up to 50 users at no charge, from now until June 30. Amazon WorkDocs is a fully managed, secure content creation, storage, and collaboration service on which users can easily create, edit, and share the documents they need to get their job done


Audible Stories – In the wake of school closures around the world, Audible has launched Audible Stories – a free new service that allows kids to instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages. All stories are free to stream on desktops, laptops, phones or tablets.


AVID – Offering free versions of Pro Tools | First music software for students, musicians, and podcasters, and Media Composer | First video editing software for students wishing to brush up on their skills from home.


Cocos2D – This family of open-source software frameworks for building cross-platform games and apps allows finished games to be published on Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Windows Phone or the web.


Discord – Discord has temporarily raised the viewing limit on its Go Live and Go Live – Screen Share streams from 10 people at a time to 50 people. Go Live lets people privately stream or screen share apps from a computer while others watch on any device — so teachers can conduct a class, co-workers can collaborate, and groups can still meet. Learn more about how to get started with Go Live here.


DaVinci Resolve – Free software offering innovative tools for editing, including the revolutionary new cut page, visual effects, motion graphics, color correction and audio post production – all in a single application.


Final Draft 10 – Free versions of the screenwriting software are available. Free 30-day trials of Final Draft 11 are also now being offered.


LinkedIn – Offering 16 free LinkedIn Learning courses offering tips on how to stay productive, build relationships when you’re not face-to-face, use virtual meeting tools (Microsoft Teams, Skype, BlueJeans, Cisco Webex and Zoom), and balance family and work dynamics in a healthy way.


Microsoft Teams – Microsoft has made its Teams group chat and collaboration software free to all for the next six months.


Twine – This open-source tool for telling interactive, non-linear stories allows users to extend their stories with variables, conditional logic, images, CSS, and JavaScript when they’re ready. Twine publishes directly to HTML, so users can post their work nearly anywhere. Anything you create with it is completely free to use in any way, including for commercial purposes.


Unreal Engine – The world’s most open and advanced real-time 3D creation platform, Unreal Engine continuously evolved to serve not only its original purpose as a state-of-the-art games engine, but today gives creators across industries the freedom and control to deliver cutting-edge content, interactive experiences, and immersive virtual worlds.


Unity – The world’s leading real-time 3D development platform, offering what users need to create, operate and monetize amazing games and experiences across the widest range of platforms in the industry. Free for students.



Down Dog – Currently offering all of its apps – including Down Dog, Yoga for Beginners, HIIT, Barre, and 7-Minute Workout – completely free until April 1, 2020.


Gold’s Gym ­– Until May 31, 2020, Gold’s Gym is allowing free access to its Gold’s AMP app, which offers more than 600 audio and video workouts and hundreds of DJ mixes to keep users moving at home.


Planet Fitness – Currently offering free, daily at-home workouts for anyone and everyone on Facebook Live every day at 7 p.m. All are invited to get moving with Planet Fitness trainers and surprise celebrity guests for a 20-minute-or-less workout. No equipment needed.



The following news outlets have lowered their pay walls to allow free access to coronavirus news stories:


The Globe and Mail

Toronto Star

National Post

–  The New York Times

– The Wall Street Journal

The Washington Post

– The Los Angeles Times

– The Guardian

– AP News

The Athletic


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