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DL»Tools in Distance Learning

Tools in Distance Learning

General Tools

Scanning a document into PDF

Scanning a document into PDF

We advice you to use you mobile phone as a scanner. To do this, there are many tools available for almost all platforms. Note that if the app is free then you might face with one of the followings:

  • Watermark on the PDF file
  • Feature limitations
  • Limited period for all features

As an example we will be mentioning CamScanner only. This app has also Premium option for educators and students for a coronavirus pandemic period; please follow the instructions on the page.

There are many tutorials exist for the app. We give only three:

For Students

For Instructors

Tools for Platforms (OSX, Win, Linux)

Tools for All Platforms (OSX, Win, Linux)

  • "For compressing video" Typically, the videos that you record will create very large files. By processing them, you can reduce the size considerable. One possible choice is Handbrake application. Instruction on howto use this tool can be found here. You can reduce the size of a video by a factor of four or more. It is not important which output format you choose to the new file.

Tools for Machintosh

Tools for Machintosh

For screen recording, recording from a webcam, or editing a video, you do not need to install any software. Quick Time Player comes pre-installed on OSX and can also be used to record the screen, make a video from the web cam, or edit a video. A guied on how to use these features is available from the Apple's web page. Editting capabilities of Quick Time Player are limited, but it allows you to trim your lecture video. If you would like to do more extensive editting you can use iMovie. It might already be installed in your system.

If you have a tablet (like Wacom Intuos) and would like to use it to create videos, you can use Write app from StylusLabs. It is simple, free and gets the job done. An alternative is Microsoft OneNote.

Tools for Linux

Tools for Linux

FFmpeg : A complete, cross-platform solution to record, convert and stream audio and video. It is a command line client that can capture screen, record from a webcam, edit movies, etc. To record the screen using audio you can try the command:
ffmpeg -f x11grab -r 25 -s $screensize -i :0.0 -f alsa -ac 2 -i pulse -vcodec libx264 -crf 0 -acodec copy -q:v 0 -tune film $(date +m_H:%M).avi
where $screensize is the size of the screen that you want to record.

To record the full screen, you can determine the size by using the command:

xdpyinfo | grep dimensions | sed -r 's/^(:cell PQA(PSS(^0-9):)*((:cell PQA(PSS(0-9):)+x(:cell PQA(PSS(0-9):)+).*$/\1/'

FFmpeg can also be used to reduce the size of a video creating by capturing your webcam or screen using in the following form:

ffmpeg -i (the video file you created) -q:a 0 -q:v 0 (the new name of the file including the extension)