Sep 26

mynoteITMynoteIT is yet another web2.0 online tool for students that allows them to organize their class schedule, class notes, and group their work. It does so quite cleverly in such a way that it can be easily shared and referred to in a few mouse clicks. Potentially it could be used by students of any level. As more eLearning services come out as part of the now famed web 2.0 (”Are we there yet Dad?”) such as Nuvvo and Chalksite, it seems with mynoteIT they are getting more specialised.

Postbubble has a favourable review here as does Lifehack here. If you are interested, it is worth downloading this .wmv screencast from Screeniac.

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Sep 26

What will these digital natives get up to next! This is a good lesson on the importance of logging out of websites for digital learners of all ages (via BBC):

Pink FigaroJack Neal’s parents only discovered their son’s successful bid when they received a message from eBay about the Barbie pink Nissan Figaro.

Rachael Neal, 36, said her son was quite good at using the computer.

Link to BBC article.


Sep 24

I find it amusing that some colleagues are loathe to call syndicated XML enclosed media files by the populist name ‘podcast’. Like ‘Polaroid’ for the noughties perhaps. Others claim that podcasts are just mp3 files. The association with Apple is a difficult pill to swallow for some PC only users. In fact podcasts are any media to which you can subscribe and read/watch/listen using a feed reader, and if you choose a portable player - of which over 70% just happen to be iPods. RSS is the the corner stone upon which web 2.0 delivery is based and is here to stay - just like ‘podcast’ I’m afraid. Ironically, it was the open-source community that developed the podcast code/RSS enclosures and coined the name.

And now to the reason I am making this post. I came across this handy piece of PC only freeware - MP3myMP3 Recorder. The blurb says:

MP3myMP3 RecorderRecord internet radio and save to mp3 or wav. Record streaming audio from the Internet, microphone, or any other source for that matter. MP3myMP3 Recorder works directly with your system sound card - if you can hear it, you can record it! Use the scan tool to list all mp3, wav, aif, swa, or sun au audio files on your computer - then play and record portions of any of these files.

Handy for recording mp3s for students or for them turning into podcasts. And back to the rant. Wikipedia tells it like it is. From Wikipedia’s definition:

“Neither podcasting nor listening to podcasts requires an iPod or other portable player, and no over-the-air broadcasting is required. The name association came about simply because Apple Computer’s iPod was the most marketed and the best-selling portable digital audio player when podcasting began, and was used by early practitioners. However, the use of the “pod” name in 2004 probably played a part in Apple’s development of podcasting products and services in 2005, further [cleverly] linking the device and the activity in the news media.”

I try to explain podcasting to students by saying, mp3 players are to audio and video files what a postbox is to a magazine subscription. Podcasts aren’t just audio files, they are ‘home’ delivered personal choices.

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Sep 05

Photo Story 3

Microsoft’s free Photo Story 3 is a useful tool for teachers and students alike purely based on it’s efficient use of resources in a quick and easy (enough) manner. Photo Story 3 allows you to create slideshows using your digital photos. With a single click, you can touch-up, crop, or rotate pictures. Some special effects, soundtracks, and your own voice narration to your photo stories. Then, personalize them with titles and captions.

I read an article today on the Times Educational Supplement blog regarding and these are some of the ways they suggest Photo Story 3 can be used in an educational setting:

-present new vocabulary using individual objects or by miming actions
-to practice dialogue work such as buying different items in a shop or asking for directions
-to give a description of your daily routine or local area for example
-to design a comic strip
-to make a record of a trip
-to put together a multimedia resource for your partner school
-to design a comic strip
-to make a record of a trip
-to put together a multimedia resource for your partner school

There is a well composed online tutorial including video clips and teacher notes on how to use Photo Story 3 for Windows at this website Assignment: Photo-movie.

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