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Technology Toolbox

Capture and Paste the Easy Way

October 28, 2015

How often do you want to capture something on your screen and post it in LEARN, a Word doc or email?  There is a way to capture anything on your screen as an image or a video, annotate it and paste it.  One thing more: it’s free and available on a click from the college software center on your computer

On a college computer use the search available on the start button and type on Software Center.  You can click around the catalogue and find Snip. At home just go to to download and install it like any other program.

snip imageFollow the steps to install and in a few seconds it is ready for use.  It will appear automatically at the top of your screen when you move the mouse pointer near there.

Here’s what you can do.

    • Snip anything on your screen. Snip an image, a window, or any other object on your screen. Click and drag to adjust  your snip and automatically copy it to the Clipboard.
    • Annotate your snip. Add voice narration if you wish or just draw on your snip for emphasis.
    • Annotate pictures. If you have a built in camera on a laptop or tablet, you can mark up the images or record a narration to describe the scene.
    • Share your snips easily. The most common scenario is: (1) snip something on your desktop; and (2) paste it from the Clipboard into an email or other document. For snips annotated with voice or ink, there is a third step: (3) share your snip by clicking Link in Snip to get its URL, or Embed to get the embed code.
      Snip currently requires Windows 7, 8 or 10.

Here’s an example lesson  from Tiffany Dinh (used by permission). Watch how she marks up the screen as she talks.

For you this may be the easiest way to build an instruction guide with pictures and arrows.  It is also the fastest way to capture a quick talk-through of some steps you want to show  in LEARN.

It certainly is the simplest way to paste something from your computer screen into an email.



Capture Anything on Your Screen

April 10, 2015

Windows includes a free, easy to use utility to capture an image of anything your desktop: Snipping Tool. It allows you to snip a rectangular section of the screen or even draw a freehand outline that you can then annotate, save, or e-mail right from the Snipping Tool window. Read More →

Proper Attribution

March 25, 2015

Free download icon from earlier post on where to find Copyright-free images still begs the question, “How does one give proper credit for public-domain (like the one on the left) or Creative Commons images culled from the Web?” The answer is largely dependent on the source. One unobtrusive way is to simply hyperlink the image to its source and include a download notice in its Title attrribute. What follows are a few simple guidelines and examples.
Read More →

Image Confusion – Where to Find Images That Don’t Infringe Copyright

March 24, 2015

"No Photos" sign

There is still much confusion since the passing of the most recent Copyright Modernization Act and a related Supreme Court ruling of 2012. RRC’s policies have been updated, and articles such as Michael Geist’s or Meera Nair’s give good analyses of how Canada has moved from a Fair Dealing to more of a Fair Use model. But note that Fair Dealing in Canada, even in education, “does not infringe copyright” only if the work or other subject-matter is not “commercially available”. Bottom line, you can’t just copy anything, even if it’s for educational purposes (see section 29.4[3]). Read More →


February 5, 2015

Respondus is a powerful tool for creating and managing exams

Respondus is a tool that helps you create and manage exams that can be printed to paper or published directly to LEARN. Exams can be created offline using a familiar Windows environment, or moved from one eLearning system to another. Whether you are a veteran of online testing or relatively new to it, Respondus will save you hours on each project.

If you have your quizzes already in Word or some other document format, we’ve developed a guide to Respondus Formatting For Importing Questions.

Check out our how-to video section for step by step video tutorials on how to use Respondus.

RRC has a site license for Respondus, which means that you can have it installed on your work computer. Click here for the Respondus download and for the Respondus license. If you don’t have permission to install Respondus on your machine, put in a caselog with ITS to request installation.


How Do I Install Respondus?

The Respondus installer can be accessed here. You will be prompted for your admin\account, once done follow the directions located within.

If you require ADMIN access to your computer, you will have to write in a caselog in order to have Respondus installed.

Need more information on Respondus? 

• Respondus Package
Respondus How-to-Videos


MathType: Convert MS Word Equations to LEARN Code

February 3, 2015

The TLTC frequently assesses new software. We post parts of our internal reviews on our blog, but we do not necessarily endorse the technologies presented here. Please use this post for information only.

Attention, users of Microsoft Word’s Equation Tools! MathType is conversion software which can quickly convert math equations made in older versions of Word to a LEARN-friendly format.

As an instructor, you may wish to convert math exercises created in Microsoft Word to an online format using LEARN, where answers can be automatically graded and students can receive instant feedback. LEARN is able to display properly typeset math equations, so instead of students seeing an equation displayed inline as “2 7/16 + 3 1/2 + 5 5/8 + 10 3/4 =”, they can be shown as:


Far more complex equations are also supported.

However, if your document was created with Word 2003 or older, the process of transferring the equations into LEARN can be tedious. Due to an incompatibility between LEARN and older versions of Word’s math tool, known as Equation Editor 3.0, equations cannot be simply pasted into LEARN as they can from newer versions of the program. Enter MathType’s math utilities to help “translate” older equations into LEARN’s MathML or LaTeX coding protocols.

equation editor 3.0

Editing an equation in Equation Editor 3.0.

Using MathType

Converting a Word document to either MathML or LaTeX protocol is as easy as clicking a button on the MathType toolbar.

To start, download a 30-day trial or purchase a copy of MathType from Installing MathType adds a new MathType tab to Word’s ribbon.

mathtype toolbar

 Converting Word Equations:

    1. Click “Convert Equations” on the MathType tab to open an options window. Choose to convert equations to “Text using MathType translator:”. On the drop-down list, choose “Desire2Learn:LaTeX” or “Desire2Learn:MathML” as shown below.
    2. MathType automatically converts the equations to code which can then be pasted into LEARN. The converted file will be in the native .DOC file format. IMPORTANT: Use Save As to create a new copy of the file; otherwise, your original file will be lost when you hit Save.
    3. The code that is generated can be daunting at first glance, but individual questions can be easily made out as the original numbering is maintained in the document. For example, the code shown below is for question b. Copy the code for an individual question and you are ready for the next step, pasting into LEARN.

generated code

Pasting Into LEARN:

Pasting the code generated by MathType into LEARN is much faster than typing equations manually. Simply copy the code for an individual question from the Word document and paste it into your LEARN quiz.

  1. First, add a new quiz question to your LEARN quiz; either multiple choice or fill in the blank works the best for math. This will take you to the question editing screen.
  2. Your equation will go in the “Text:” box on the editing screen, but don’t paste your code just yet. To insert your code, click the “Show All Components” button (…) to see a larger list of buttons.insert equation
  3. Click “Graphical Equation”, and then either “MathML equation” or “LaTeX equation”, depending on which language you converted your Word document to. The “Insert Equation” box opens up.
  4. For LaTeX code, simply paste it into the LaTeX equation box.
    For MathML, paste your code between the angle brackets as shown below.
    mathml equation boxClick “Generate a preview” at the bottom of the window to see what your code will look like; if it isn’t displayed correctly, try deleting some of the characters at the beginning or end of your code such as brackets or slashes until just the equation remains in the preview.
  5. Press “Insert” to add your equation to the question, and you’re done! Add your answers, save your question, and repeat these steps as necessary.

Visual Understanding Environment

December 5, 2014

The TLTC frequently assesses new software. We post parts of our internal reviews on our blog, but we do not necessarily endorse the technologies presented here. Please use this post for information only.

The Visual Understanding Environment is Open Source focused on creating flexible tools for managing and integrating digital resources in support of teaching, learning and research. VUE provides a flexible visual environment for structuring, presenting, and sharing digital information.


You can download VUE here: Visual Understanding Environment (VUE)


Prism Video File Converter

December 5, 2014

The TLTC frequently assesses new software. We post parts of our internal reviews on our blog, but we do not necessarily endorse the technologies presented here. Please use this post for information only.

Prism converts or compresses video files to various video formats such as:

  • AVI
  • WMV
  • ASF
  • MPG
  • MOV
  • MP4
  • FLV
  • SWF

Prism supports everything from HD to high compression for smaller files. You can even configure encoder options for your video as resize, crop, change framerate, color change, text caption and rotation.


Additionally, it fetches and converts files directly from DVDs and multimedia devices.


To try the Free trial version for 14 days click here.

Principles of Microvideo

December 5, 2014

Microvideo is a model of media creation for blended and online courses that gives the power to the subject matter expert or instructor. You don’t need a big studio or expensive cameras – all you need is a webcam and a topic.

Examples of Microvideos include:

  • using a document camera to capture solving a math problem on paper
  • using a webcam to record a welcome message for a unit of content
  • using a document camera to show the manipulation of small objects like thermostats, tools, etc.
  • capturing your computer screen with a program like Camtasia to show how to interact with software
  • building engaging interactions with off the shelf software
  • and many many more!

Read More →

Ladibug Document Camera

December 5, 2014

The TLTC frequently assesses new software. We post parts of our internal reviews on our blog, but we do not necessarily endorse the technologies presented here. Please use this post for information only.

Brighter Teaching


The Lumens™ Ladibug™ is a multimedia document camera that delivers clear images and crisp text. One-touch audio/video recording and playback do not require a computer.

More information on the Ladibug can be found here:

Document cameras are a valuable tool for creating Microvideo. They can be used to capture video or photos from above, which allows you to do things like:

  1. show math equation or scientific equation examples
  2. record you showing work on paper
  3. demonstrate the details or manipulation of small objects (like thermostats, electrical circuits, machine parts, tools, etc).
  4. create closeups for detailed looks at objects
  5. replace overhead projectors

The TLTC has Ladibugs and other document cameras available to help you create your own.

Rapid e-Learning: Building a House Without an Architect

Click here for a link to a blog about rapid e-learning