Friday, July 31, 2009

Making Web Pages at Google Sites



The screen capture above is actually stored on my brand new Google Site located at: http://sites.google.com/site/passyworldtestone

It does seem a bit slower to load in than pictures I have stored elsewhere for this blog on my "Passy World" privately run website. However the Google Sites storage is free, whereas my private site is not.

But let me just say in passing that the hosting and support for my private site supplied by http://www.namecheap.com has been nothing short of sensational, and certainly worth every US greenback dollar I've paid them!

Here is a good 3 minute video intro to Google Sites from YouTube,
(actually made by a member of the Google Sites team) :




And this is going to be a very video intensive post, because we now have four videos from Radford University in Virginia U.S.A.
(My old home state from a few years back).


Video 1 - Setting up a Free Google Website:



Video 2 - Adding Content to the Site:



Video 3 - Changing the Appearance and Sidebar

Note: The layout for Google Sites has changed slightly since this tutorial was created. In order to edit the site appearance, you must now click on the "more actions" tab on the top right of your homepage and then click on "manage site." Now on the left-hand side you will see the heading "site appearance" with "site layout," "colors and fonts," and "themes," listed under it. "Site layout" in this case is the same as "site elements" in the tutorial. The rest of the process is the same.



Video 4 - Converting to a Wiki-like Collaborative Site:

The layout for Google Sites has changed slightly since this tutorial was created. In order to share your site, you must now click on the "more actions" tab on the top right of your homepage and then click on "share site." The rest of the process is exactly the same as in the video.



These four tutorials will give you a very good grounding in making free web pages using Google Sites.

However, immediately below, there is also a PDF document that gives step by step guidance on exactly how to set up a Google Site for the first time. In this document we also explore using a Google Site as a document storage warehouse that can feed a Blog.

The PDF document used for the viewable iframe is actually stored on our "Passy World" Private site. This is because the same version of the PDF stored at our Google Site refused to work in the iframe, and only seems to be downloadable into Adobe reader on a local PC.

So this is the one part of our plan that has failed in our quest to use the Google site to totally feed this Blog post.



If you would like to have your own full size copy of this PDF, then simply click the save disk icon button on the PDF viewer, and you should be able to save it to your own hard disk.


Alternatively, you can download the full size PDF
from our Google Site location by clicking the link below:


Shown below is a typical education use of Google Sites, where a school teacher has setup a site for her students to use:



Open the full size version of the site by clicking this link:
Mrs Richau's Class

The following link is to a PowerPoint Overview of Google Sites that was obtained from Slideshare.net and has been uploaded to our Google Sites page:

Download Google Sites Presentation as MS 2003 PPT

Note that we can only download the file from our Google Site, and that we cannot open it Online. This seems to be a characteristic of all of the files currently stored on our Google site.

Trying to embed an SWF Open Office version of the Google Sites Powerpoint onto this blog also failed.

IT SEEMS THAT SOMETIME AFTER EARLY JUNE 2009, GOOGLE HAVE PLACED THIS NEW "attredirects=0" SUFFIX ONTO THE FILE NAME OF ALL UPLOADED FILES. This new naming convention somehow stops the files from being linked to from any other web pages or Blogs. It makes the files downloadable only, and not at all viewable online. I have raised a Support Request with Google about the problems this change has caused, and I will update this post when I get a reply back from them.


Conclusions

Considering what can be done with Google Blogs, I was expecting a few more options and fancier templates than what is currently available.

The look and feel of a Google Site is more like a Wiki than a website. Perhaps this is the target market for the product, since Universities and other Education content suppliers seem quite eager to use Google Sites. A Google Site would certainly be a very good way to gather together reference materials for a class of students to use. (But not quite as nice looking as a “Wall” made in “Wall Wisher”).

However, if you have Photos in Picasa, and Presentations and so on in Google Docs, then Google Sites serves as a very nice integration tool indeed.

Personally, I would make a Google Site just to have free access to the 100MB online filing cabinet for my most referenced documents.

But what I find most disappointing is that the filing cabinet, with its direct URLs ending in
attredirects=0, can no longer be used to service my Google Blog, or any other web pages. This has all come about since Google started recently suffixing all the file names with the new "?attredirects=0" ending.

Google Sites are perhaps not the fanciest looking free web presence in town, but they are certainly very useful just the same. Each site has 100MB of storage, plenty of flexibility, unlimited pages, and it is totally free of any charges.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Web Quest Treasure Hunts


Image Source: http://www.tonyynot.com/yoda_pirate.jpg

My hero Yoda : the greatest teacher of all.
- After all he was the one who trained the Jedi!


Recently I went treasure hunting on the Internet for some Web Quests for my own young Jedi trainees. I was expecting this to be an easy ten minute job, as I thought the web would be well a wash with a pirate's bounty of worthwhile internet search and find tasks.

Alas me hearties, the quest to find such real treasures proved to be just as elusive as pirate's booty. It seems that many web tasks were written three or four years ago, and sadly a lot of their internal links are no longer working.

Once two or more links are broken, it puts a gaping hole into the whole exercise. The treasure hunt takes a big hit, much like a cannon blast through the side of a pirate's ship!


HOWEVER:
Internet web quests still in good working order were uncovered here:
http://www.ecps.k12.nc.us/dfw/ebaker/WebQuestHomepage.htm

At this site there were good quality internet discovery exercises on:
  • Chinese New Year
  • “Black Beard" the Pirate (that's gotta be a must-do!)
  • The Bones Inside Us
  • Earth Moon and Sun

Another site with quests containing interesting items is:
http://www.museummania.com/treasure.htm
(On some items where the links do not work, just skip those questions).

Other than these sites, not many fully working internet tasks were found.


Image Source: http://www.fabricattic.com/Treasure%20Map%20T060860.jpg

Perhaps I had the wrong treasure map, perhaps I should have worn a patch over both eyes, or maybe I was just sailing sideways in the wrong sea, but that's about all I found.

Still, better than running aground in "crocodile country".

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi
(The Raw Fish and Seaweed Sushi Dog)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Actionscript 3.0 Soccer Game

Use the Mouse to move the lad, and make him kick or head-hit the ball.
Kicks deflect to the left, Headers deflect to the right.
If the ball hits the bottom of the screen, a life is lost. There are three lives.
There are 3 levels of soccer goal scoring to get through to win the game and "beat the computer".


There are a few issues with this online version of the Flash game:

1) We need to do refresh or reload in between restarts of the game, or the levels stop working.

2) The ball can get stuck going vertically up and down in the left or right boundaries of the screen. The only way to end this is to move the player away, and sacrifice lives until the game ends itself as a loss.

(Although this is not all bad. After all, it does add a suprise element to the game, via the random occurrence of this unlucky event.)

3) If we do not refresh the blog page between new games, all sorts of strange things happen with the levels, and sometimes the ball starts going faster and faster (to disaster !) as the game progresses.

These issues do not seem to occur on the SWF file when it is played locally on the PC here at home. If someone knows how to fix the online issues, I would be delighted to be enlightened.

This game is actually a "Paddle Ball" game, called "Break the Bricks" that I have changed into a soccer game.

The original Paddle Ball game was built by following the excellent multipart AS 3.0 tutorial at the "Mr Sun" Flash website:http://www.flashgametuts.com/
The following PDF document gives a detailed review of the build with quite a few extra hints and ideas. It also explains how Mr Sun's Paddle Ball game was converted into this Soccer Game.
The Links in the PDF to Mr Sun's site are out of date, and you can find his Brick Breaker Game that you need to build at this link: 


http://www.flashgametuts.com/tutorials/category/as3/


Also included is a step by step guide on how to put the finished Flash Game onto a website or Blog.


If you would like to have your own full size copy of this PDF, then simply click the save disk icon button on the PDF viewer, and you should be able to save it to your own hard disk.

Alternatively, you can view or save the full size PDF by clicking the link below:


Click here to open or save the “Build the Soccer Game” PDF

The following additional PDF provides a full listing of all of the Actionscript code that was used to make the Soccer Game:

If you would like to have your own full size copy of this PDF, then simply click the save disk icon button on the PDF viewer, and you should be able to save it to your own hard disk.

Alternatively, you can view or save the full size PDF by clicking the link below:


Click here to open or save “Soccer Game AS 3.0 Code” PDF



CREDITS:
Nearly all of the AS 3.0 code contained in this game came from Mr Sun’s excellent tutorial on making the “Brick Breaker” game, which can be found at this website:


http://www.flashgametuts.com/tutorials/category/as3/

I have merely put his code together and added a few changes and extra comments and explanations along the way.

Kenny Sun is the one who deserves the credit for the overall game structure and coding. His Blog is great for learning how to make Actionscript Games.
Do yourself a favor and check it out sometime soon !

He also has some great Tutorials to build some other games on his site.

Hopefully one day, if we keep doing enough tutorials, we will be able to design games, and write the complete Actionscript code ourselves :)

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"Robo Chess" Online Chess Game


This is a fun little free Flash game of Chess made by Start Games.

Click the "Play" button to start the game. (Takes a while to load in).

Make sure your speakers are switched on to hear the very informative comments from the Robot.

Note : To "castle": Click the king once first and then click on the rook !

What I like best about the game animation is moving the mouse around the Robot's head, and seeing his eyes follow it in a very human-like manner.

What I like second best is how the Robot just says a simple "Oh No !", when you get him into check mate.

Drawbacks to the game are that the Robot makes his moves very fast, and we cannot see all of our lost pieces stacked up at the side of the board as we play.

There are several other embeddable chess games at: http://www.multigames.com .

But you do not need to CHECK out these MATE, because currently Robo Chess is the highest ranked favorite. :)

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi



Note: "Robo Chess" is fairly easy to win against, and does not have favorable reviews everywhere on the web. If you are after a more serious challenge then you should probably check out this site:
http://www.expert-chess-strategies.com/
and play some of the Java Chess games there.

Another site with a very good multi-level Chess game that I recommend for players of all abilities is at: http://www.mathsisfun.com/games/chess.html.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

AMD Phenomenal Processors



I just can't hold back any longer.
I have to do this shameless AMD "Fan Boy" Post !

The reason being that I am currently putting together a new PC that will be solely used for Gaming. This PC is built around the sensational new "value for money" Phenom X2 550 3.1 GHz Black Edition processor from AMD.

Here is a basic review of the Phenom X2 550 BE:
http://itreviewed.net/index.php/amd-phenom-ii-x2-550-black-edition/

An here is a more detailed review:
http://www.techspot.com/review/171-amd-phenomx2-athlonx2/

Initially the graphics card will be an old cheapy 1GB Nvidia 9600GT, but the plan is to upgrade later to a Radeon 4890 (when funds become available).

The rest of the rig consists of the following:

800 watt Power Supply
Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3P Motherboard (ATI DDR3)
4GB of Kingston 1333 DDR3 RAM
2 x 750 GB Western Digital HDD Black Performance Series
Gigabyte Poseiden Case
Winfast DTV2000H Digital TV / FM Radio Card
Creative X-Fi Xtreme Gaming Sound Card
2 x LiteON DVD-RW
ASUS 24" LCD Monitor



My current rig, that I will be keeping and using for "real" work, is a phenomenal AMD Phenom X4 940 3.0GHz quad core PC. This machine has been brilliant and there seems to be no limit to the number of applications that it can run at the same time. It is also magically fast on all Adobe CS3 Products.

The specifications for this machine are:

AMD Phenom II X4 940 3.0GHz processor
Gigabyte GA-M720-US3 Motherboard
Nvidia 512MB 9800GT Graphics Card
Winfast DTV2000H PVR2 Digital TV / FM radio card
Creative X-Fi Extreme Music Sound Card
2 x 640GB WD HDD Caviar Black 32mb cache
4GB Kingston DDR2 1066MHz Memory
Antec Earth Watts 750W Power Supply
ASUS DVD-RW
Lite-On DVD-RW
Samsung 24" LCD Monitor
Basic Black case with some colored neons inside it.

Naturally there is no argument that the Intel Core i7 processors are the best, but here in Australia we have to pay too much for them. I have found that I can build AMD computers much cheaper, that consistently do everything that is asked of them.

So if you want good old fashioned "Bang for Buck",
then Get into AMD Phenom !

You will be phenomenally glad that you did.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Saturday, July 18, 2009

World Wide Cooking Class

If you like Prawns, then you will love this:


This is "Fettuccine with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce and Grilled Shrimp" from the Blog by Kim at: http://kims-concoctions.blogspot.com

I cooked up this very dish tonight for dinner, and it was a refreshingly enjoyable taste sensation. Being an Aussie, I always enjoy eating prawns. But it was something special to have the lemon bite of the creamy sauce compliment the grilled prawns so perfectly.

Kim's blog is brilliantly written with detailed step by step instructions for each of her recipes. There are also plenty of photos that show exactly what to do at each step along the way.

By following these simple and perfectly illustrated step by step instructions, even complete beginner-boy cooks like me can get through to the end product a-ok.

This is the world wide web of sharing at its best, and it has certainly left a very nice taste in my mouth.

Why not give one of Kim's delicious recipes a go sometime.

Bon Apetit and enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

P.S. A week later I made Kim's "Asian Beef Stir Fry" which was also a truly tantalising taste sensation ! Go to this page for the recipe:
Kim's Asian Beef Stir Fry

Google Foreign Language Translator

Down at the very bottom of the right hand side bar of this blog, you will notice a language translator menu like this:


Clicking any of the buttons will open up a new window containing the Blog translated into that foreign language. This add-on is made by Google, and it is amazing that they do not include it in the standard Blogger gadgets, (or maybe they do, and I couldn't find it ?) .

I obtained the Gadget from this link:
http://www.mintblogger.com/2009/01/30-blogger-widgets-and-plugins.html
and it is the second widget that is on the list of thirty great items that can be added to any Google Blogger Blog.

If you want to add this same translator to your own blog:

- First make sure that you are logged into your Blog in another tab or window
- Click to go to the above link, and then click on item 2.
- This will take you to another page that has a "one click" installation.
- I found it hard to reposition my translator down the Blogger gadgets list, and so I just did "Save", and went back to my Blog by clicking "View Blog".
- I then moved the translator gadget from the top of my blog to the bottom by using the normal "customize", followed by "Page Elements", options available in Blogger.

I tried out translating my own Blog to French (which I know how to read), and the results were outstanding. I remember reading a couple of years ago that the folks at Google were working on language translators, and looks like they have really come up with the goods !

(The look of Japanese characters all over a Blog is also quite amazing !).

This tool would be great for Language teachers. Two students seated next to each other could write a short Blog post in English, and then each press the translate button to put the post into "German". They could then swap seats and try to read each other's blog post in German, and see if they can understand it or not.

Note that there is also a general Google Language Translator page at:
http://translate.google.com/#

On this page you can type or paste in some text in English, (or whatever language you like), and then translate it to a different language of your choice. Again, really amazing and simple to use technology.

May I suggest going to the following Blog to do some quick “e-travel”, and see some beautiful pictures of the French countryside: http://pissenlits.blogspot.com/
Take the text from this French Blog, use http://translate.google.com/# to translate the French to English, and really begin to see the big picture !


Language Translation : Fantastic and Free.


So now lots of people in lots of places can easily read our Blog.

Enjoy (or is that "Jouir" ? ) ,
Big Passy Wasabi

WallWisher and More Mathematics

 


The above Web page of resources for Junior High School Statistics was built using Wall Wisher. Click the link below to go to the "wall" in a new Web page window:

Click Here to view the Statistics Resources Wall


I have been busy using Wall Wisher again, this time to make a reference wall about Statistics.

Not everything about statistics, but just the basics, excluding Histograms.

I have given the direct web link for the wall to my Mathematics students. They can use the wall as their own personal 24x7 online "Help Manual" for whenever they are at home doing their maths homework.

Wall Wisher was at times "glitchy" during the build, and lost one of my post-its, but then found it again later on. Meanwhile I had redone the post-it, and so later on I had two post-its one on top of each other in view mode.

The annoying thing was that in edit mode, only one of the Post-its showed up, and so I could not delete the duplication. What I had to end up doing was moving the post-it in edit mode away, (leaving a big empty space in the wall), but in View mode this space suddenly fills up with the "prodigal" post-it...Weirdsville !

The annoying thing about Wall Wisher is that there is no manual "Save" button anywhere, and so often we cannot be sure that WW has saved our Wall ok.

I find and gather the items to link to on the wall by doing "Googling". It takes quite a while to sort through and find a good variety of items, and then decide which ones are best for the wall. Because WW is a bit "glitchy", I always cut and paste all of my links into a separate word document as backup, just in case the wall loses any post-its.

Another temporary glitch during this latest build was that for some of the web page links, when we clicked "view" in Wall Wisher to see the web page, the web page shuddered when we scrolled downwards, and went all blurred and distorted. I do not know if this was Wall Wisher, the graphics card of the computer I was using at work at the time, or a lousy internet connection.

Anyway at home, the wall is functioning perfectly, although the red template seems to be awfully bright when the wall first loads in. However psychologically, red is the color for high activity, and so maybe it will spur on the students to do their homework ?

If you would like to view a PDF document that gives full step by step details on how to use Wall Wisher, then click the link below:


Click here to view a PDF on How to Use Wall Wisher



In spite of the occasional glitches, Wall Wisher is a great tool for making an interactive set of links. The end result is very colorful and aesthetically pleasing indeed. These links contain related items, residing in all types of formats, at many different locations throughout the web.

Wall Wisher is fun and very easy to use, so why not give it a go sometime soon.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi






Friday, July 10, 2009

New Blog for Web 2.0 Learning


















There is a new Blog I have made that contains all of the Web 2.0 content from Passy's World of ICT.


It can be accessed at: http://elearnweb2.blogspot.com/

The purpose of this website is to allow anyone to learn a number of Web 2.0 applications. Many of these applications will be useful to teachers and students alike, as well as web developers, and other users of the Internet.

So check it out, and
enjoy Learning Web 2.0,

Big Passy Wasabi

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Fabulous Free Email with HOTMAIL

Hotmail has been around for a while. It is reliable, safe, and easy to use.



If you need to sign up for Free email, at hotmail, then the PDF document below contains detailed step by step instructions on how to do this.



If you would like to have your own full size copy of this PDF, then simply click the save disk icon button on the PDF viewer, and you should be able to save it to your own hard disk.

Alternatively, you can view or save the full size PDF by clicking the link below:




Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Very Flashy Websites in WIX

Here is a simple "Wix" web site that I made for free at www.wix.com.
Click on the pictures to link to the subpages.
On each subpage there is a bottom right hand corner Home button.
This Home button gets you back to this start page at any time.


Free website - Wix.com

Here is a Link to the full size screen version of the web page at Wix:
http://www.wix.com/Bigpassy/Matt-Finish-Music

The Wix homepage claims we can make free websites in Flash, and we can do it by using their editing tools totally for free – this sounded too good to be true !

Their website is at: http://www.wix.com/
(But as we discovered, it is all true, and it is all really good !) ☺

Here is a ten minute video about making a website in Wix.
This video is highly recommended viewing before starting on a Wix.

How to Create a Free Website- Wix Com

"How to Wix" is best explained by having plenty of "show and tell" screen captures, and this is exactly what you will find in the PDF document below.

Note that the PDF is around 18 pages long. It is also about 7meg in size (due to all of its screen capture pictures). So it might take a while to fully download to the browser screen.

Feel free to save your own copy of the document and share it with friends.




Here is a really well made Wix website by Renina Powell, from the Wix gallery of samples at:
http://www.wix.com/sample/website


Free website - Wix.com

It is difficult to read some of the writing on the site, so here is a Link to the full size web page at Wix: http://www.wix.com/tynshi/hypevisuals

Conclusions

Wix is much faster and easier to use than either Adobe Flash or Adobe Dreamweaver, and yet still produces very respectable web sites.

There are lots of great animations, clip art, backgrounds, buttons, slideshow templates, special effects, and pictures already supplied with Wix, and this makes it an absolute joy to use.


Best of all, Wix is free, and if we embed our Wix Flash website into another web page, there is virtually no advertising, and the “Wix” blends seamlessly into the web page or Blog.


So Why not Give Wix a Go.
Building a Free and Flashy website is definitely a lot of fun !


Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Adding a Slideshow to Blog Sidebar



You may have noticed that this Blog has a Slideshow of surfing pictures down the right hand side of the page. This is similar to the screen shot shown above.

It is quite easy to add a slideshow to a Google Blog, especially if we are happy for Google to pick the photos at random for us. (Rather than us uploading them all ourself to Google Picasa and then building our own unique slide show).

The following PDF document gives detailed step by step instructions on how to set up a slide show on our blog sidebar.



If you would like to have your own copy of this PDF, then simply click the save disk icon button on the PDF viewer, and you should be able to save it to your own hard disk.

Alternatively, you can view or save the PDF by clicking the link below:




Hope you like the Surfing pictures,

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Using Google PICASA for Photos

The Slideshow below was made by using Google Picasa:


The example slide show contains composite images made by students using Adobe Fireworks. Students are set the task to make "people" using plants, fruits, and vegetables. This teaches them how to use the selection, resize, and copy tools in Adobe CS3. They also have a lot of fun creating their family of "Plant People".

Google “Picasa” is a Web 2.0 photo display and online storage application, much like its main rival Yahoo’s “Flickr”.

In Picasa, we can upload up to 1 gigabyte of Photos for free, and assemble them into “Web Albums” and then create slideshows of these albums.

We can then email our Photo Album to friends, or get the web link for our album to put it into a word document. We can also generate embed HTML to put a slideshow of our album onto a webpage, like we have done at the start of this blog post.

Google Picasa is located at: http://picasaweb.google.com

The following PDF document gives detailed information about how to get started using Google Picasa:




If you would like to have your own full size copy of this PDF, then simply click the save disk icon button on the PDF viewer, and you should be able to save it to your own hard disk.

Alternatively, you can view or save the PDF by clicking the link below:


Click here to open or save the "How to Use Picasa" PDF


Although I have been using Yahoo's Flickr for my photos, (see previous post on this), I have recently started using Google Picasa as well.

Picasa is easier than Flickr, (less steps), for quickly getting a slideshow up onto a web page; however we don't get all of Flickr's fancy bottom-of-screen scrolling and viewing options.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Zoomable Presentations with PREZI


Press the big Play button above, and this should start the Presentation. Use the bottom right hand grey buttons, that subsequently appear, to control the slide show.

One of these buttons can be used to go full screen (and then either push it again, or push the Escape key to come back to this Blog page).

Use the right hand big grey arrow to advance through the presentation.

Prezi is a Web 2.0 tool that combines concept maps, posters, and presentations, all into one very nicely integrated unit. It allows us to create non-linear presentations where we can zoom in and out of a visual map containing words, links, images, and videos. This way we can give our Audience “big picture” overviews, as well as zooming in to view extreme details related to some items. So instead of slides, we create a large map and basically zoom around it while we do our presentation.

The underlying technology is a Flash-based presentation system that produces very dynamic presentations. We can zoom in and out across a large area (no sequential slides to step through), create a sequence path, embed images and video and do things that a fully blown Adobe Flash developer would take hours to produce. It is made by “ZuiPrezi”, who are located in Budapest Hungary.

Currently there is not any way to embed the examples that are given on the Prezi website at: http://prezi.com/showcase/ because they do not supply embed Html code.

However, an iframe can be used on a blog page to embed a Prezi like this:


The above is a sample Prezi from Peter Pappas at http://peterpappas.blogs.com/ .

On his page at: http://peterpappas.blogs.com/copy_paste/2009/02/how-to-embed-a-prezi-presentation-in-your-blog.html he supplies the HTML code to make the iframe.

The only problem with viewing a Prezi in an iframe occurs if we try to use the mouse wheel for zooming, because it scrolls the blog page as well !

Here is a short Introductory video from the Hungarian Prezi makers themselves :



The following 4 minute video shows how the "Ice Cream" presentation was made, so that we can see how someone uses Prezi from start to finish.



The PDF document below gives a full step by step review and set of instructions on how to use Prezi for the first time.



If you would like to have your own copy of this PDF, then simply click the save disk icon button on the PDF viewer, and you should be able to save it to your own hard disk.
Alternatively, you can view or save the PDF by clicking the link below:

Click here to open or save the above "How to Prezi" PDF



This next two page PDF gives a good "Quick Guide" and so is worth printing out and having alongside us to refer to while we do our first few presentations.



If you would like to have your own copy of this PDF, then simply click the save disk icon button on the PDF viewer, and you should be able to save it to your own hard disk.
Alternatively, you can view or save the PDF by clicking the link below:

Click here to open or save the above "Ready Reference" PDF


Prezi is certainly gaining popularity quickly, and is a nice break from one dimensional sequential slide show presentations. It would be nice if it evolves like “Slideshare” has, and we can search the Prezi site someday and find ready-made presentations, that we can either use straight away, or download and edit to suit our own needs.

So give Prezi a go, it will make for a new and interesting show, and is kind of fun once we get used to its unique "zoomable zebra" interface.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi

Thursday, July 2, 2009

ANIMOTO Your Photos to Video



Turn on your sound speakers, press the Play button on the above movie, wait for the loading counter to reach 100, and then briefly enjoy a snappy little thirty second movie.

The above Animoto music clip was made using some “Sponge-Bob and Patrick Adventures” pictures that my students made using Layers in Adobe CS3 Fireworks.

Animoto is a web application that requires basic IT skills to create a professional looking “music video” using photos supplied by the user. It has its own music soundtracks that can be used, so we do not have to worry about uploading songs ourselves. (Although we can do this if we want to).

Animoto then “automagically” processes our photos, syncs them with the music, and creates a short vibrant music video for us, that is a bit like a 30 second advertisement or movie trailer.

In Animoto it takes 12 to 15 pictures to make a 30 second video, and it seems that the free video limit is in fact 30 seconds. Otherwise credits have to be paid, (which means spending dollars to purchase these credits).
We think it costs about $30 US to buy credits, but we do not know how many total minutes or animations this might get for us.

The following Slide Share presentation by Tony Cassidy gives a very good overview of How to Use Animoto, for entertainment and educational purposes.


The PDF document below, gives full step-by-step instructions and details about signing up and using Animoto for the first time.




If you would like to have your own copy of this PDF, then simply click the save disk icon button on the PDF viewer, and you should be able to save it to your own hard disk.
Alternatively, you can view or save the PDF by clicking the link below:
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Here is an Animoto from Jaqui Sharp's excellent Education Blog at: http://jacquisharp.blogspot.com/.

This Animoto shows that we can take a few PowerPoint slides saved as JPG's, add some Clip Art of Bees, and end up with a very nice litttle Animoto to view prior to the PPT presentation.




Animoto is also excellent for making Online Greeting Cards. We could for example get around 10 or 12 photos of a person's friends, or of Christmas scenes, upload appropriate music, and thereby create an electronic card that we could then email to a group of people. (Use the "Share" option in Animoto to send the email link).

For me, the 30 second free limit on Animoto left me wanting more. A one to two minute video would be a lot better, as it would give time to tell a proper story with plenty of Text frames and Spotlight frames. But for a longer video, we have to start paying dollars, and so that’s where the Buck stops for me !

Still, thirty seconds of free fun was ok, and it will be interesting to see what my students come up with using Animoto next term.

Enjoy,
Big Passy Wasabi