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Teaching Learning Technology Centre

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LEARN Navbar – Custom Navbar

February 19, 2013

Tagged in: How to Videos, LEARN V10

Description:

The default navbar applied to new courses in LEARN have the tools we felt most useful for your course.

This video will show you how to easily customize your own navbar with the tools you want to use, and even links to external resources.

LEARN Rubric Tool

February 19, 2013

Tagged in: How to Videos, LEARN V10

Description: The following video will show you how to build a rubric for your course and how to incorporate it into your dropbox item.

Interactive Online Presentations

April 17, 2012

The TLTC frequently assesses new software. We post parts of our internal reviews on our blog, but we do not necessarily endorse the technologies presented here. Please use this post for information only. The TLTC only supports technologies listed in our technology toolbox.

There are different softwares that help to organize and present educational materials in interesting and challenging way to students. In this Post we will preset to your attention different tools that can create your course lessons with engaging interactive content. Read More →

Tools for Making Microvideos

April 13, 2012

The TLTC frequently assesses new software. We post parts of our internal reviews on our blog, but we do not necessarily endorse the technologies presented here. Please use this post for information only. The TLTC only supports technologies listed in our technology toolbox.

The TLTC has been looking and testing softwares that are friendly to use and produce good quality products.  Some instructors are going to create their first videos by themselves and we want to make it easier for them, so they will be able to concentrate on their content and not fighting with the production hardware or software.

This post will introduce you to softwares that we checked and recommend to use when you need to create your Microvideos. We found friendly to use and effective Web camera recorders and screen capture softwares that will work for your needs and assist you to get good quality videos.

Debut Video Capture

Use this software when you need to record Talking Head Microvideo or to capture computer’s screen. For Talking Head Microvideo, download Debut, add a web camera to your computer and record.

Debut records good quality image and can produce different export formats – we recommend saving your files as MP4 because this format works with LEARN website best.

You can download Debut here: http://www.nchsoftware.com/capture/

Camtasia Studio

This software has the same options as Debut Video Capture and more. You can record yourself talking or capture your desktop and edit. Camtasia Studio has large video editing options that allow editing your videos and adding titles.

You can download Camtasia Studio here: http://www.techsmith.com/download/camtasia/default.asp

Jing Screenshots Capture

This one is perfect for screen captures. Jing gives you option to choose the exact place on your desktop, mark it and capture what you need.

You can download Jing Screenshots Capture here: www.techsmith.com/jing

Note: most software has 30-day free trial versions.

Hardware

Web Camera, stand, Document Camera such as Elmo or Ladybug all this equipment you can get by contacting Library’s Media Services Department:

Phone: 632-2231

Email: Media@RRC.CA

Website: http://library.rrc.ca/Contact-Us/default.aspx

Aviary Tools

March 26, 2012

The TLTC frequently assesses new software. We post parts of our internal reviews on our blog, but we do not necessarily endorse the technologies presented here. Please use this post for information only. The TLTC only supports technologies listed in our technology toolbox.

Aviary Tools is a bunch of online creative applications for artists of all genres from image editing and logos creator to audio editing and music maker. I found this suite full of friendly and easy to use tools that can be used right in your web browser.

Here are three applications that I find as very helpful:

Quick Markup (Falcon)

Some of you may find this tool very useful! If you are not looking for Image editing software because you need only to make small marks such as add text and markup the images to highlight the important parts Quick markup will make your editing easier.

Quick Markup’s main features are to point on the important things and add comments:

Quick markup also will resize, rotate and crop images easily if you need and save your image on desktop.

Image Editor (Pheonix)

Looks and feels a lot like Photoshop. It has layers, masks, undo history, effects, brushes that you can customize as well as a good number of filters that make manipulating photos easy. This tool is perfect for basic and advanced image editing.

Vector Editor (Raven)

This one is for people who are looking to create things. Images produced can be used as logos or applied to t-shirts and other garments. The application allows users to work with lines, paths, curves and objects.

Other tools in this suite:

Aviary is also offering online tutorials videos and a Forums that help its users to improve their design abilities.

I recommend to explore Aviary Tools!

SlideShark: PowerPoint Presentations on the iPad Review

March 22, 2012

SlideShark is a PowerPoint viewer. This app is free to use on any iPad device. The application has the ability to be synced with their web interface for use on different devices you may own. For example if you uploaded a PowerPoint to  the web interface, the iOS app will give you the option to download it onto your device.The one drawback to this is that when you find a PowerPoint on your device, you must first upload to the site then download it from the site onto your device where you will be able to view it. The presenter portion of the app is what you would expect from a slide presenter with nothing new in terms of features.

The app is free and manages PowerPoints with ease and will backup all of your PowerPoints to the cloud. With a few concerns about the process of getting PowerPoints onto your device this app does exactly what you expect from it.

Keynote Review

March 22, 2012

Keynnote is a iOS app created by Apple. The premise of this app is that you can create presentations on the go using your iOS device. It will cost you around $9.99 but as you will be aware; is quite worth it.

Keynote has a very simplistic design. It has two main screens, a collection list of all the presentations you made or downloaded and the presentation viewer/editor.

The editor is exactly what you would expect in a simple Microsoft Powerpoint application. Just not as heavy. What you can do with this app is actually quite amazing. For starters the presentation editor allows you to import pre-made objects, pictures and movies straight of your device and control how they transition into the slide or configure its orientation/size. The amount of effects you can use will make your slide look professional. Because of this subtle feature you’re not hindered in terms of presentation because of simplicity but can benefit from the simple interface to make quick and easy presentations.

This app also allows you to make decision based events like skipping to another slide. With this you can make interactive presentations.

After the presentation is made you have a set of options to export the presentation.

The app is $9.99 but worth every dollar if you’re the type that is on the go or needs to create presentations on the fly. I recommend this app. A more detailed review can be found here.

eBook Creator Review

March 12, 2012

The TLTC frequently assesses new software. We post parts of our internal reviews on our blog, but we do not necessarily endorse the technologies presented here. Please use this post for information only. The TLTC only supports technologies listed in our technology toolbox.

eBook Creator is a iOS app with the purpose to allow the mobile users to produce eBooks on the go. This app has some features like sharing the final product to other mobile users, ability to import images from the devices photo album, background music, and more. A full list of features this app can do can be found on the bluefinger.com website. I will go over the interface and functionality of this app as well my final thought about it.

The interface for this app is simple, a book case containing your created eBook’s. Upon entering the eBook Creator’s creation menu you are given very simple and intuitive options. These options include adding titles, background images, background sounds and text. You have the choice frame options, transition styles and effects to each slide. With these features and options you can create eBooks quickly and easily.

Where this app lacks is the functionality it has. Though the interface is easy to use and to understand, the functionality is not at par for post-secondary use. Whats missing in this app is more functionality to enhance the eBook creation process. What I would of liked to see is the ability to add more text per page and more images. Currently the only image you can add is a background photo from your devices photo album. Also the workflow to create new slides is not intuitive. You will need to create pages by reverting back to the main creation page and then make sure the page was last viewed in order to add details like background images, sound and text.Once done you can send it to your friends or colleagues by tapping on the send button in the creation page.

While the app is great for younger audiences the overall experience for post-secondary use is lacking. This app costs $3.99 (March 3rd 2012) and can be found in the Apple Store.

Free And Portable Image Editing Software

February 27, 2012

The TLTC frequently assesses new software. We post parts of our internal reviews on our blog, but we do not necessarily endorse the technologies presented here. Please use this post for information only. The TLTC only supports technologies listed in our technology toolbox.

I’d like to present another free and also portable image editing software that I tested and found very easy and friendly to use. PixBuilder can match to any level of needs, whether you need to do small changes to your images or for someone who wants software that can make more serious and advanced corrections.

Another thing that I really like is that PixBuilder requires low memory so you can load it on a USB drive and run it from any desktop.

PixBuilder works with high resolution images and support layers, an important feature for anyone who’s halfway serious about editing images. PixBuilder’s uncomplicated interface is familiar and intuitive, with menus across the top, a toolbar down the left side, and a set of panels down the right.

Main Features
  1. Image resizing, rotating, and crop function.
  2. Brightness/Contrast, Color balance, Levels, Hue/Saturation, and Color fill.
  3. Auto Contrast and Auto Levels.
  4. Built-in high quality effects: blur effects, sharpen effects, dithering, and more.
  5. Flexible selection management functions, such as transparency masks, magic wand, different lasso tools, single column selection, color range function, and the gradient color transition effect that gives you the ability to draw complex raster shapes and apply effects for complex areas.
  6. Layers concept makes your work more effective and efficient.
  7. Text layers with drop shadow.
  8. A full set of brush-based tools, such as the stamp tool, healing brush, replace color tool, and others.
  9. Built-in shapes drawing tools (rectangles, circles, and lines).
  10. Free transform and Selection transform.
  11. Save with preview.
  12. Support of image scanners.
Supported formats

Import: BMP, PNG, JPG, GIF, TIFF, PCX, TGA, PSD, ICO

Export: BMP, PNG, JPG, GIF, TIFF, PCX, TGA, ICO

Questions?

PixBuilder comes with a well-written Help file that will explain and teach you about each feature that the program can do. Also, there’s a Forum on PixBuilder’s website that covers all Frequently Asked Questions and guides you How To.

You can download PixBuilder here: http://www.wnsoft.com/pixbuilder/