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Icecream Apps - Free Software

icecream-apps

Over the weekend, I was contacted by Yuriy, the CTO for Icecream Apps. Icecream Apps is a new team of developers that publish freeware (free software) for Microsoft Windows and Apple OS X.

The current lineup of software includes:

  • PDF Converter
  • Media Converter
  • eBook Reader
  • PDF Split & Merge
  • Screen Recorder
  • Image Resizer
  • Slideshow Maker

I have not tested the software yet, but there is plenty for faculty and students to look at.

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Open-Sankoré - Don't Update to OS X 10.10 Yosemite

open-sankore-error-message

If using Open-Sankoré, don't update to OS X 10.10 Yosemite. The Open-Sankoré website does not post this prominently, but Open-Sankoré will not run on Yosemite. According to the Open-Sankoré Facebook page, Open-Sankoré will be updated in late November and should work again. The Facebook message reads as follows:

open-sankore-facebook

Unfortunately we know this problem for a few weeks with the beta version. Apple changed several important elements that prevents QT to work correctly in Yosemite. We will work to correct this problem as soon as possible (probably late November). Thank you for your patience.



Update



OpenBoard is an alternative to Open-Sankoré that works perfectly on OS X Yosemite. You can read more here.

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Windows Surface Pro 3: Information Services Supported

surface-pro-3

Some good news for faculty and staff interested in the Windows Surface Pro - this is now a university supported option, and can be purchased via Procurement (Natalie Max would be the best contact). The Windows Surface Pro 3 has a larger screen than the previous 1 and 2, making it a much more usable device for teaching and presenting. This is a device that I think is worthy of consideration - the stylus allows faculty to annotate material on the screen (great with Open-Sankoré and screencasting).

Cost for a Core i5 with 8GB RAM, typecover, ethernet adapter, service plan and Computrace is in the region of $1,557.00. A similar i7 (faster) would be in the region of $2,187.00

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Technology Tuesdays: Lecture Capture From The iPad


On the 25th July, 2013, I gave a one-hour session on "iPad Lecture Capture" as part of the monthly Technology Tuesdays. Above is an abbreviated video that shares some of the essentials of the presentation, outlining five strategies to capture and share lecture material on and with the Apple iPad.

Presentation Resources


Sansa Clip
Guerilla Lecture Capture

Five Methods of iPad Lecture Capture


1: Jailbreak and Display Recorder
2: Screencasting Apps
3: Epiphan VGA2USB converter and Camtasia/ScreenFlow
4: AirPlay Approach
5: AVerMedia - C875 LGP

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New Pen Tool - Ideal for effectively communicating key concepts

FITS has recently purchased a Wacom Cintiq tablet. The Wacom is essentially a high resolution monitor with pen input. The model that FITS has purchased is connected to an Apple Mac running Screenflow (with professional microphones, webcam, and second monitor). We use it to create lecture videos for online and hybrid classes.

The setup allows us to create exemplary screencasts, in which faculty can annotate and draw on top of anything displayed on the computer screen. Possible examples would be:

  • Showing how an equation could be solved / Time Value of money / T-accounts, etc.
  • Annotating an Excel spreadsheet
  • Annotating a PowerPoint presentation
  • Drawing lines of connection on top of a website, video, architectural plan, etc.
  • Sketching the construction of a graph
  • Annotating economic forecasts
  • Constructing a project plan

I talk more about the table here.

Josh Lund (of DePaul FITS) and I have been experimenting with the Wacom Cintiq tablet. Three programs were used to present and annotate the material (PowerPoint, Open-Sankoré, and OmniDazzle. Each has their own advantages and disadvantages. ScreenFlow was used to record each of the videos.




PowerPoint is a familiar tool to most faculty. The annotation option within Powerpoint is fairly basic (red felt tip pen or ballpoint pen) but it works. PowerPoint allows for dynamic transitions and animations. The annotation option needs to be activated on a slide-by-slide basis, but this can be activated by one of the buttons on the tablet.



Open-Sankoré is a free tool. It is not quite as stable as PowerPoint (it crashes occasionally), but has a richer set of annotation tools. The animations and transition that might be used in PowerPoint presentation are lost, and individual slides are imported as a folder of images. However, Open-Sankoré has a rich set of annotation tools (pen, highlighter, line, zoom, etc.) with the option to change pen color and nib thickness. In most cases this would be the best tool for faculty to use. The ScreenFlow recording can be cropped to remove the tool interface from the exported recording.



OmniDazzle is another free tool that can be utilized in annotated videos. The Scribble mode allows faculty to draw on top of any element displayed on the computer screen.
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ScreenFlow Keystone Example

I have been an evangelist for the rather excellent ScreenFlow at DePaul for a while. The video below describes how to add a basic keystone effect to a ScreenFlow recording.

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New Screencasting Tool - Screeny2

screeny

Attention Mac Users - Screeny 2 is a cheap screencasting tool. Not as powerful as ScreenFlow or Camtasia, but cheaper. You can read more here.

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Teaching With Technology

teaching with technology

Faculty Focus recently shared a free set of articles on Teaching With Technology, written by John Orlando, PhD. The articles are short and helpful - I think the advice may be of help to faculty and staff at DePaul. You can download a copy by following this link.

The articles within the document are:

  • Using VoiceThread to Build Student Engagement
  • Wikipedia in the Classroom: Tips for Effective Use
  • Blogging to Improve Student Learning: Tips and Tools for Getting Started
  • Prezi: A Better Way of Doing Presentations
  • Why You Should be Using Social Bookmarking Tools
  • Unleashing Innovation: The Structured Network Approach
  • Save Time and Teach Better with Screencasting
  • Integrating Social Media into Online Education
  • Using Polling and Smartphones to Keep Students Engaged
  • Lecture Capture: A New Way to Think about Hybrid Courses
  • Personal Learning Environments Help Students Extend Learning Beyond the Classroom
  • Education Remix: Unlocking Creativity to Boost Learning
  • Effective Uses of Video in the Classroom

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