Tools and Methods for Distance Education
The following applications, applets, tools, utilities, and methods were
developed by the Dept. of CSE at the University of Washington over the
years to aid in our efforts at distance education. They are described
and made available for download here in the hope that they will be useful to
others who may be implementing streamed media or distance education facilities
of their own.
Initially developed by Microsoft Research, ConferenceXP is our base platform for audio/video conferencing,
streaming and archiving.
UW Classroom Presenter
Enables a presentation in a distributed classroom environment, combining
PowerPoint with the annotation capabilities provided by the Tablet PC.
Media Archive Transcoder.
Tools used to post-process ConferenceXP Archive Service data to prepare audio, video and presentations for streaming
and off-line use
ConferenceXP to Windows Media
Windows Media Gateway provides streaming and archiving capabilities to a live
ConferenceXP Web Viewer
This is the client application for Windows Media Gateway or ArchiveTranscoder content. It embeds the
Windows Media Player, and additionally contains code to display a ConferenceXP
presentation including slides and tablet annotations.
- Capturing and Synchronizing Slides with WMV.
This page describes tools and methodologies used to capture high-resolution display
images from a presentation system using VGA capture hardware, and to build a WMV
archive with synchronized slides in a semi-automated fashion. The use of VGA
capture means that nothing needs to be installed on the presentation system, and
any type of presentation can be supported.
Script Command Management and
Post-Production Tools. The script command
management tool set consists of a client and a server which together enable
flexible and fail-safe collection of PowerPoint presentation timing
information, and also optionally transmission of that information to a live
Windows Media Encoder. The associated tools aid in the preparation
of PowerPoint slide images, and transform saved slide timing data so that it
can be easily integrated with the stored stream file.
Image Capture Script Command Client.
Designed to interoperate with the script command server (part of the management
tool set above), this tool is designed for the scenario where the slides or
supporting material for a talk either are not Powerpoint, or are
Powerpoint, but are not available long enough in advance of the talk. The
tool copies a series of stills (in our case, frame captures from a
scan converter or second camera) to a web accessible location.
Then it constructs and sends the corresponding script commands to be
embedded in the media stream.
Whiteboard and Image Display Applet
. This Java applet reads a set of stored data representing a recorded
interaction with an electronic whiteboard, and responds to events generated
from a user's interactions with a Windows Media stream, and script commands
embedded in the stream. It manages a display area which may present the
whiteboard interaction or a slide or arbitrary stored image, and keeps the
display in sync with the media stream.
Whiteboard Data Logging and Post-Production Tools
. This Whiteboard application and tool set enable the collection and
preparation of data for the Whiteboard Client applet. The
Whiteboard application is designed to work with the SmartBoard (tm).
Timed Screen Snapshot Utility, and Post-Production
. When run on a PC the snapshot utility will capture screen images at a
user defined frequency. The postproduction tools build images and script
commands from the raw data so that they can be easily integrated with a Windows
JPEG Image to PowerPoint File Conversion Utility .
This tool builds a PowerPoint file from a directory containing JPEG
images. If used together with a tool such as GhostScript, the
PowerPoint file can be built from a Postscript source.
An Experiment with Multimedia Annotations.
This experimental annotation system permits users to attach data to a
multimedia stream. The data is tagged to a particular time in the stream and
stored in a database so that it may be played back by subsequent users. Typical
annotataions would be questions, answers and comments about the stream content.
In this way, a stream may gain educational value simply by being used.
Computer Science & Engineering
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195-2350
(206) 543-1695 voice, (206) 543-2969 FAX
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