Archive for December, 2006

Keyboards for young digital natives

Clevy-Aus-Cut-2-TmWhile attending the Knowledge Bank 2006 Online Conference I listened to a presentation on a teacher developed website in a Year 1/Prep class at Wheelers Hill Primary School. The website is centred on developing the metacognitive abilities of the Year 1/Prep students through the use of thinking and goal setting tasks, and student self and peer assessments and rubrics. Additionally, it contains samples of student work and also planning documents. One thing raised was the difficulty students had in using traditional keyboards, specifically the ability to recognise capital letters. This is a problem I have experienced too. Adding stickers to the keys can help, but they tend not to last very long! Another solution may be a keyboard designed for these young learners. I have heard there are plastic covers available but can’t find a link. A couple of keyboards I have come across are Big Keys and Clevy Keyboard which has Australian distribution. BNC Distribution claims the Clevy Keyboard:

…. essential in the education of writing and computer skills in primary schools. It anticipates on the growing interest for the development of the motor system connected to the education of handwriting. Moreover, this attractively designed keyboard stimulates young children to get acquainted with computers in an educational way.

[Cross posted to Digital Chalkie]

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Levelator - podcast audio level enhancer

New software called Levelator may solve the tricky fluctuating audio level issue many teachers with limited equipment face. It automatically adjusts the audio levels within a podcast to account for variations in level between speakers. Drag-and-drop any WAV or AIFF file onto The Leveler’s application window, case and a few moments later you’ll find a new version which just sounds better. The application is available for Windows and OS X - it’s free (for non-commercial use).

Have you ever recorded an interview in which you and your guest ended up at different volumes? How about a panel discussion where some people were close to microphones and others were not? These are the problems the post-production engineers of Team ITC solve every day, viagra buy and it used to sometimes take them hours of painstaking work with expensive and complex tools like SoundTrack Pro, price Audacity, Sound Forge or Audition to solve them. Now it takes mere seconds. Seriously. The Levelator is unlike any other audio tool you’ve ever seen, heard or used. It’s magic. And it’s free.

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