Kevin's Tool Box

The following are tools I use often and have found them to be useful and reliable. I find myself returning to these tools time and time again. You may find them helpful as a base tool box too. Most are free or low cost.

Any Video Converter ($0)

Use AVC to make sure your videos are compressed to a smaller and web friendly size. AVC will convert and optimize your videos so students can more easily view on their devices. Make sure to download the free version and not the trial version. Windows and Mac OS.

Mac OS- iMovie may work just as well for you as AVC.

Audacity ($0)

Well known as the best and easiest to use free audio editor, Audacity allows you to intuitively edit and record audio files for lectures and such. In order to save to .mp3 format, you will need the LAME Encoder. Windows and Mac OS.

Mac OS- Use Garage Band for this same purpose. Garage Band is most excellent and comes with your Mac.

Camtasia ($$)

When it comes to creating videos with special call outs and other features, Camtasia is hard to beat. It costs a bit, but if you plan to create many videos (including screen capture), it is easily worth the money. Windows and Mac OS.

Free alternatives include Screen-cast-o-matic, Microsoft’s Office Mix, and LiteCam HD

Mac OS- Quicktime works well for screen recording. Use along with iMovie to complete most any project you face. Both come with your Mac.

Collaborate/Instant Messenger ($0)

Whether holding online class, office hours, tutoring, or meetings, Bb Collaborate is an excellent tool with many advanced features. Create virtual classrooms in your Blackboard class for ease of use with your students. Bb Instant Messaging offers you the more immediate connection with your students and others on campus and around the World. Bb IM makes office hours super effective and very simple. Set-up/download from within your Blackboard course. Windows, Mac, and Mobile.

Download Helper ($0)

Sometimes YouTube videos disappear or will not stream due to poor Internet access. Download your favorite videos to your computer for back-up or for use in other ways. Download Helper requires FireFox. Windows and Mac OS.

Online non-FireFox option-

Dropbox and OneDrive ($0)

Keeping your files in the Cloud is so convenient and makes losing files due to computer crashing obsolete. There are so many options for online storage, but Dropbox and OneDrive are hard to beat. Both have desktop versions which will keep your files synced for off-line and online use from anywhere you have Internet access. You can create public sharing links for embedding in Blackboard or other places as needed. Windows, Mobile, and Mac OS.

Google Drive/Docs ($0)

In addition to 15 GB of free online line storage (like Dropbox and OneDrive), Google products are excellent collaboration and creation tools. There are so many useful tools offered by Google (such as a Google phone number to give to your students). Dig around Google. You could likely not need any other services. Windows and Mac OS.

MoPad ($0)

For ease of use, instantly public availability, no login or accounts needed option, MoPad is great. Use it in class to have students create lists or content to support your lectures. You can view a history of changes, and comments are available chat style. Windows and Mac.

Respondus Quiz Creator ($0)

While Respondus (not the same as the lockdown browser) Quiz Creator is intended to be used for creating quizzes, it is most useful as a means to upload to and download quizzes from Blackboard. Also, it does a great job of converting your old Word files or Publisher Test Banks to a Blackboard compatible format- saving your hours. Download from within Blackboard.

SnagIt ($)

Even though it will cost you 50 bucks, Snagit has all of the features you need for screen capture and annotating images. You can also do simple screen recording. If you do a lot of tutorials, Snagit is well worth the money. If you have MS Office and do not do a lot of screen capture, Word, OneNote, and PowerPoint will do a nice job. Windows and Mac OS.

Free alternatives- PicPick, Skitch, Monosnap, Ms Office Mix,

Mac OS- Skitch, Monosnap

Screen-cast-o-matic ($0)

Excellent and super screen recorder for video lectures, video feedback, and tutorials. It is browser based so it works on PC and Mac. The best part is it makes it very easy to upload your videos to YouTube or Screen-cast-o-matic storage. Videos may be linked seamlessly back to Blackboard. The pro version offers many enhancements including video editing and is only $15 per year. Windows and Mac.

Teamviewer ($0)

Mostly used for tech support, Teamviewer has the best screen share for the money, but it also has video and voice. You could certainly use the service for any reason to connect with someone at a distance. Teamviewer makes it easy for you to access your own various computers from anywhere in the world- even with your phone! Windows, Mobile, and Mac OS.

Texter ($0)

One of the more simple yet powerful tools you will ever use. Texter allows you to create key commands to auto-type recurring phrases. Think- feedback you write over and over for your students or commonly used phrases in emails. Windows only.

Mac OS- XType, DashExpander

Tools Indexed by Need

Use this index to help find a free or low cost tool to fit your need. The suggestions here are those known to be effective and reliable, but other options may exist too. If none of these tools fit your need, give us a call or email for more assistance.




DVD Conversion


Image Editing


PowerPoint Conversion for Online

PowerPoint Alternatives


Sound Editing

Screen Sharing

Streaming/Storing Multimedia


Saving Time and Energy

Screen Capture (images)

Screen Recording

Testing and Assessments

Video Conversion

Video Lectures

Video Editing




Links to Other Tools Lists

JSU Provided Tools

Blackboard- login at

Collaborate- create your web-conferencing sessions right in Blackboard

Examity- online proctoring for testing

Respondus Campus Wide 4.0 (quiz creator)- create and convert quizzes for upload./download to Blackboard

SafeAssign- originality checker integrated with Blackboard

Voice Thread - Video based discussion board which is integrated within Blackboard.