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Archive for January, 2007

Full-screen Quicktime - free!

If there’s one annoying thing about QuickTime Player it is the lack of fullscreen movie support by default. As most of you know, medical the basic Quicktime (the one that comes on OS X) does not allow the user to enter into full screen mode unless they upgrade to the Pro version. or use a third party application like VLC. However, link there is a very quick and easy way around this that will let you enter full screen mode, health care thanks to a very simple three-lined AppleScript that scales the movie to your screen size. Very crafty!

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Launch the AppleScript Script Editor - spotlight for “Script Editor”
  2. Type the following exactly:
    • tell application “QuickTime Player”
    • present front movie scale screen
    • end tell
  3. Compile and Save As “Fullscreen”
  4. Launch your QuickTime movie, and Launch your Fullscreen Script.

It’s that easy!

Source: TechPwn , OSXDaily

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Turn MacBooks into a video camera

The Huckleberry mirror is a nifty tool for any MacBook or MacBook Pro doing the same as many educators have been doing with their iSight cameras. The MacBook screen effectively becomes a huge LCD with an Intel processor.

MacbookConsisting of an acrylic mirror and two durable plastic mounting brackets, weight loss Huckleberry for MacBook is placed above the screen to reflect the built-in camera’s field of view. Instead of filming yourself, health system it will now film what’s in front of you! The new Huckleberry II for MacBook Pro uses two mirrors to provide a full 180 degree change in camera direction.

Educational uses For Huckleberry:
Capture movies direct iMovie HD.
Create stop-motion/clay-mation video in iStopMotion.
Scan your media with Delicious Library.
Take pictures in Photo Booth.

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What happened last year!

Leopard2006 had a lot to offer, information pills but the biggest story from ‘the year that was‘, according to Scott Stevenson, is that Apple finally got out of the shadow of its early success with the original Mac in the 80s, and has redefined what it means to be Apple Computer. Not only is the iPod a true cultural phenomenon, but 2006 can lay claim to the most Macs ever sold in a single quarter!

Scott over at Theocacao offers a good read in his write up of The Year in Mac Development.

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BEAUT Podcast V2

Last year I made BEAUT podcasts and managed to publish 10 podcasts. My BEAUT Podcast Vol2 has been accepted in the iTunes music Store. It should appear tomorrow or later today. If you do a search for BEAUT you will find it. I would love to have some feedback on the podcasts. Somethings mentioned may be local but a lot is for all educators using Macs. This latest podcast (11) has a great tip on keeping a track of enhanced or as Dan Schmit says interactive podcasts.

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Flip Clips - for the web2.0 tool-belt

Flipbooks This online service called FlipClip takes short-video clips and transforms them into small flip books traditionally the domain of quirky gift shops. This is an interesting way to share and preserve short clips your students make in the physical world - great for clay animation made with iStopMotion or for clips with subtitles in iMovie. Basically you upload 15 or 30 seconds of video to the website and select a book size. They print out several frames from your video and assemble a book which animates when flipped. Check out a short video clip here. Surprisingly they aren’t very expensive considering they are personalised. Pricing works out to AUD$11 per book, about it and $13.40 for postage. A bulk order of 25 books can be sent for the postage price of AUD$34. Some technical info from the FlipClip website:

The ideal resolution for a FlipClip is 640×480, and there are some great cameras available now that will record movies at that resolution or higher. Although FlipClips can be printed from any resolution video, short clips (under 30 seconds) at 320×240 or 640×480 are optimal. Frame rates aren’t as important, so you can safely record at 10 or 15 frames per second and still have a great looking FlipClip. FlipClips.com currently restricts the size of file uploads to 25 Megabytes, so you may want to edit your video’s length and, if possible, compress it before uploading. FlipClips are intended to be used for movies, where flipping the pages reveals the motion.

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IT Survey of High School Students

In a school survey of all year 8 - 10 students at my school late last year I discovered the following:

  • 81% of our students had a portable mp3 player
  • The brand the majority of those students with mp3 players owned was the iPod (70%)

More of Blitto’s Survey Results:

  • 49. Do you have a computer at home? 91% yes
  • 50. Do you have Internet at home? 88% yes
  • 51. Do you have Broadband/ADSL Internet at home? 79% yes
  • 52. Do you have a portable mp3 music player? 81% yes
  • 53. Is your portable mp3 player an iPod? 70% yes
  • 54. Do you download/listen to Podcasts? 55% yes

An interesting little article on iPods for you:

The iPod is inching closer and closer to the roll of a Personal Digital Assistant (PDA). With that in mind, for sale let’s look at some of the things you might want to try using your own iPod or MP3 player outside of the usual look and listen. Note that while most of the suggestions below mention the Apple iPod, many of these options are still available for other MP3 player brands.”
Scroll down to “Feature story: Get more out of your iPod

Rod Blitvich

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Happy Australia Day - AusMacEd is *LIVE*

AusMacEd logoWelcome to AusMacEd - this is our official launch post to the group blog.

Good luck to all AusMacEdders and may the force be with you ;-)
As promised I’ve been working on a multi-user blog for Australian educators using Macs and iPods (and iPhones). The goal of AusMacEd is to bring our vibrant discussions about the huge potential of Apple based solutions in Australian education out onto the internet in a pro-active and web2.0 manner. So this is a personal invite to be the first to the *LIVE* launch of http://ausmaced.org.

I intend to let the Maced list know later this weekend. If you think there are any issues or ideas that need discussing related to the launch please contact me. In the meantime if you have the time and inclination please make a post and comment to get things kickstarted. As they say on Windows click to “ start

If any of you are interested in joining a voluntary AusMacEd moderation and administration team of the website please do let me know. Recently I began a new role in the Curriculum Through ICT section of WA’s DET so I may be a little pushed for time in the next month as I get my head around the new position.

Some background. The idea of ‘AusMacEd’ for came about for these reasons:

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Choose Your Own Adventure on an iPod

5773-15-1 When talking about wiki I always like to refer colleagues to the Terry The Tennisball Wiki by students of Grade 3-4 in Geelong in a fellow called Mr Pearce’s class. To my mind this wiki is in essence like a mini Choose Your Own Adventure story.
The CYOB format for storytelling is an engaging writing and reading literacy tool at teachers disposal. Students with iPods may be interested in downloading a free version of a story called ‘The Abominable Snowman’ from this website.

You head to the Himalaya in search of the mythical abominable snowman. But when your climbing partner Carlos goes missing, public health your search takes a very different turn.
* Read by series author and founder R. A. Montgomery
* Original text (116 pages)
* Exciting full color illustrations & sound effects
* Windows & Mac iPod compatible

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Apple Can’t Wait For Bureaucracy

AirPort ExtremeThe new Airport Extreme is something that all schools who are using wireless networks have craved for. One of the biggest issues in schools, website like this are classes of students in a small area accessing the network through just a couple of wireless access points. If students are logging onto a server this can be extremely slow due to the lack of throughput (data transfer) from a lmited wireless bandwidth. A compromise is always needed to improve the connection such as having local logins rather than server homes, cough or making a specific computer image to make the best use of the network that is often going against what you are trying to achieve with technology, view reducing what is copied to the server in the case of OSX server, you can choose which folders are sychronised while Windows profiles are a different matter (if anyone wants more on this subject just make a comment).

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More educational software for iPod

IwriterAs more schools and students use iPods, pharmacist educators are adding to their repertoire of teaching strategies moving beyond just podcasts. Tools such as iWriter for creating learning programs and iLingo for language translation are specifically being written for these devices. A current sourceforge called Encyclopodia project allows iPod users to download and browse Wikipedia on your iPod. While the interface screenshots look a little naff, read more it is interesting for the simple fact that the worlds largest and most dynamic user generated encyclopedia can now be carried around in ones pocket!

Encyclopodia is a free software project that brings the Wikipedia, rubella which is one of the largest encyclopedias in the world, to the Apple iPod. Encyclopodia can be installed on iPod genarations one to four, as well as on iPod Minis and Photo iPods.

This may be the closest we’ve come yet to the Hitchhikers Guide. Weighing in at a >800mb download the Wikipedia eBook carries with it some heavy issues like bias and source reliability. However, with appropriate critical literacy skills students of all ages will continue to find Wikipedia a good starting point in their research. Even Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales warns against it’s use as the be-all-and-end-all resource in educational settings:

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