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iPhone is perfect for ePortfolios!

UpdateI have recently initiated a new website called iPhone in Ed related to the relevance of iPhones as 21C learning tools.  iPhone in Education aims to collate, review and categorise applications made for the iPhone and specifically useful in teaching and learning.

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Alas, quite a few Mac related things have been ticking over in my mind. Or is this an open letter to Jonathan Ive? I’ve fantasised about iPhones place in education before; I’ve also publicly fantasised about ePortfolios before - please indulge me again.

Wiki/Blog server integrationRecently I attended a seminar by Professor Richard Kimbell from, Director of Technology Education Research Unit, Goldsmiths’ College, University of London. This seminar provided an opportunity for educators in W.A. to learn about the use of PDAs and other digital technologies to support assessment. The event was summarised thus:

Embedding ICT across the curriculum (i.e. getting it out of ICT suites) has been a notoriously difficult and frequently unsuccessful enterprise. Embedding ICT into assessment practice might therefore be thought to be even more tricky. The use of mobile / hand-held digital technologies transforms the debate and makes possible a complete re-visioning of the teaching/learning/assessing relationship. The e-scape pilot (just completed in 15 schools) provides glimpses into the possible futures for e-assessment.

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Blender 2.46 - new version of freeware 3D app

I spent some time in University making videos in 3D - a laborious process in Strata Studio Pro in 1997 where renders would take up to 36 hours for 30 seconds of footage. Such time did the G3 266GHz PowerMacs take to render that my team would take turns sleeping in the lab trying to make sure renders were complete.

With Kahootz 3 out around town and freeware like Blender 2.46 kicking around too, there has never been a better time to get into 3D if your a school student. The 3D and CG industry is booming worldwide. And not just for games - in industry too. In WA 3D companies are commanding high prices for their immersive works.

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Version 2.46 of Blender supports a new particle system with hair and fur combing tools, fast and optimal fur rendering, a mesh deformation system for advanced character rigging, cloth simulation, fast Ambient Occlusion, a new Image browser, and that’s just the beginning. Check the extensive list of features here … have fun!

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Boot Camp and Projector use

Hi

I am having a hard time using a digital projector on an iMac running Tiger. I can make it work on the OSX side but I can not make the projector connect on the Windows side. Any ideas? Thanks! Kris

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Inspiration News

My friends at Inspiration have asked me about what teachers in Australia are currently doing with Kidspiration and Inspiration. They are interested in publishing a few paragraphs about what people are doing and links to their files if you want to share them. If anyone at MICTi is interested or know of someone who is drop me a line ASAP. Many thanks in advance. cheers Greg E: gregalchin@mac.com

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8 great Mac Apps for Ed

Thanks to Peter Murray from Apple for hosting the session at Mt Lawley Senior High School in Perth, Western Australia today. It is great to see so many educators interested in the learning that can occur through the communicative and creative potential of Macs.

Here are links to the tools I did a show n’ tell on today - I’d just like to remind you that some of them are still in beta ;-)

PixelmatorPixelmator, the beautifully designed, easy-to-use, fast and powerful image editor for Mac OS X has everything you need to create, edit and enhance your images. (Update: this software is in locked beta - thanks Brett and Steve)
Pixen Pixen is an innovative graphics editor for the Mac. Pixen is like a very powerful MSPaint or a simpler, more agile Photoshop. And best of all, it’s Free!

Kahootz Kahootz is an eduational Software application that allows students aged 5-18 to create their own 3d content. Share designs with schools around the world.

PhotoPresenter PhotoPresenter offers many gorgeous styles to create animated slideshows with amazing effects.

Jing Jing: the concept of Jing is the always-ready program that instantly captures and shares images and video…from your computer to anywhere.

VD Virtue Desktops allows you to achieve similar to what Apple Spaces will do when Leopard arrives in October.

Skitch Skitch is the Internet age’s Camera and it Rocks! The best screenshot tool in the world from the team that brought you ComicLife.

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MacEdders online conference Wed Aug 8th

Jenny Ashby has organised a MacEdders online conference on Wed Aug 8th at 7:00pm Melbourne time. As this is an online event using Elluminate you can attend from home as long as you have internet connection. Around 50 Macedders have registered. Elluminate - a Live eLearning solution & collaboration software - is a fabulously immersive web conferencing tool that certainly has to be experienced to be believe.
Please contact Jenny if you’d like to join in the conference. Jenny’s latest BEAUT podcast also has a plug for the conference and more information about what each presenter is talking about. Check it out: BEAUT Podcast 15

MACEDDERS CONFERENCE

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Radiologik freeware for school radio stations

Radiologik is a freeware DJ tool that would be of interest to teachers and students alike. I remember when my students produced three CDs of music in GarageBand for the school International Food Day.

Radiologik

This would have been a great way to broadcast interviews with the creators of the “world music” themed tunes in between the tracks.

Radiologik is a set of two programs that seeks to address the specific needs of radio broadcasting in an accessible and focused way.

It is being developed for LPFMs, online streaming radio stations, and school radio stations and it should grow to support commercial operations over the next year.

The DJ portion is ready for prime-time now and along with the scheduler (now in public beta testing) you can have a fully-automated station.

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ReelBean media player + convertor

ReelBeanAnother for the toolkit is ReelBean. Handy if your students are using their mobile phones to capture video. The .3gp files can be converted to other formats with this and converted back for moblie phones. The ReelBean website details:

ReelBean is a movie converter and player offering many features that are normally only available in expensive pro video applications. Most of ReelBean’s features are available for free.

ReelBean allows you to export your videos to many different video and audio formats, edit videos, extract sections of audio and video into separate files, and displays detailed video information and properties panels. It can be used to extract the audio from a movie and export it directly into iTunes. Individual frames or image sequences from movies can also be saved as image files.

Screenshot

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Skitch in the classroom

SkitchThanks to Bronwen for bringing to my attention Skitch - the latest highly intuitive tool from the guys at Plasq. ICTs that have *FUN FOR ALL AGES* written all over them are hard to find. Three years ago when Comic Life appeared on the Mac platform it became a quick way to show the amazing simplicity of the OS X interface and the iLife suite integration. Apple loved it so much they began include it free on most Macs. Last month Plasq announced a ComicLife beta for Windows. The Windows beta of ComicLife is currently down but will be up again soon. Treat your Windows using pals to a nice UI! First time users are regularly amazed at the ease of use Comic Life provides. Skitch has a similar “wow why hasn’t anyone done this b4?” factor. For Skitch sign up is req’d to try the beta - I don’t have any invites yet but Plasq promises more soon. Please email me and I’ll pass one on. Possible uses of Skitch in the classroom:

  1. Quick screen-cap and draw function has the most immediately obvious use in an educational setting.
  2. The UI offers many neat features like not having to select the text tool - just start typing.
  3. Web-sharing across schools and annotating resources and user-guides.
  4. Using iSight to capture live video shots that one can scribble and jot on.
  5. Re-size and crop by simply dragging a corner + all sketches are vector and scaleable.
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Film Festival open to Aussie kids

Every year as a part of Universal Children’s Day Graeme Johnston of Coomera Primary School organises the fantastic “Dream A Better World” film festival. So get your iLife suites warmed up and get creating! From Graeme via the MacEd list:

DABW graphicJust a reminder that the 7th annual ‘Dream A Better World’ Film Festival for Australian Primary Schools is on again in 2007 - 2nd December at Dreamworld.

Just enter a 3 min film made by your class, with some teacher guidance, on an environmental or humanitarian theme and enter it in the festival.

Great prizes on offer from our sponsors and also a great way to showcase your kids skills and talents. All levels of “experience” welcome. By the way most entries are made on macs.

More details and entry forms at
http://www.coomerass.eq.edu.au/filmfestival.htm

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