Dec 15

Thanks to Brad Hicks for pointing me towards this website. Open Source Living is a comprehensive collection of open source freeware and valuable to consider if you are looking for a cheap alternative to some commercial solution you can’t quite afford.
OSL
I’ve collected various open-source related links for while now and these can be found here if you are interested.

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Sep 06

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.

PixadexPixadex is to icons, what Apple’s iPhoto is to images. Pixadex lets you import, organize and search huge numbers of icons quickly and easily.

MacSaber MacSaber uses your Mac’s sudden motion sensor to detect movements, fast and slow. As you move your laptop, MacSaber plays varying levels of Light Saber sound effects, from a waving sound to exciting saber crashes. :-)
If you’d like a beta invite to test Skitch contact me here:
http://paulreid.id.au/

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Jan 28

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 or Windows Movie Maker (NB: WMV files aren’t web2.0 friendly - AVI seems ok). 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, 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.

I can imagine they would look amazing with a slow motion clip such as this. As a recent recipient of some nifty cards from moo.com I am finding these web2.0 tools and their real world products a lot of fun.

[This post was cross-posted on AusMacEd]

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Nov 24

This week marked the passing of Paul Rigby noted in The Australian as “the legendary Australian cartoonist whose quirky, stylised work graced the pages of the world’s great newspapers, has died in Western Australia.” Paul Rigby’s cartoons were regulars in the New York Post and Daily News in the 70’s. Cartoons appeal to all ages and inevitably appear in the curriculum at various stages but history examiners have “identified cartoon interpretation as an area of weakness in the teaching of History in Australian schools.” To this end the John Curtin Prime Ministerial Library has developed this Cartoon PD in a Package. The team behind the package is looking for feedback from teachers. Here’s one of Rigby’s cartoons from The Sun on 24 July 1971 with a nod to the prospect of computers taking over the Ashes entitled “Damned uncanny, these computerised Test matches…“:
20803-1-1
Source: Centre for the Study of Cartoons and Caricature, University of Kent

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