Course Authoring Tools - Part 3
by Logan Smith
I am always on the hunt for good tools that I can use for e-learning, editing courses, video, sound files, pictures, HTML, DVD's etc.
I personally have no problem paying for great products that make my life easier. I do not mind paying because if I find a great tool I want it to be around for more then one to three years.
I want to mention a couple tools for use on the PC and then finish up with a few photo editing / screen grab tools.
Classic Shell: Any time I rebuild a PC or use Windows 8.1 I cannot do anything until I first install Classic Shell. Since many of you are now upgrading to Windows 8.1 you may find it awkward to use the computer without your start button. Classic Shell brings that function back and has been around now for about 4 years. The program is free but the developer does ask for donations on his website.
TeamViewer This is a great program for viewing a remote PC or helping someone with a problem. It will allow you to remote control any computer or Mac over the internet within seconds and it is free for personal use.
If you are going to be creating courses then it is always wise to have some type of basic photo editing software available. The most common is Adobe Photoshop but this can be expensive for departments with small budgets. The other problem with Photoshop is the learning curve which is quite high. Most course editors are looking for a program that can do basic image editing such as shrink or re-size an image or do basic cropping. Two products you can check out are:
Pixlr.com Free photo editing product, this product is the most like Photoshop. It’s a straightforward photo-editing tool that allows you crop, size, and tweak etc. your image and it is free.
Serif Photo Plus The PhotoPlus Starter Edition is a free version of the paid software suite that gives users nice elementary tools to edit photos. The software covers the basics but if you want more advanced features you can pay and upgrade the product so as to access advanced photo editing tools.