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April 2006

Delicious Library

26

April


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Thank you Paul for inviting me to contribute to Digital Chalkies. I am honoured. I trust this little scribbling will be of interest to someone.
___________________________________________________________________________

Whilst trawling the internet at Christmas Time, looking for software installers for the grand-kids’ presents, I came across Delicious Library at Delicious Monster. I downloaded the demo (up to 25 scans free) and after trying it, have paid for the full version. The full licence is US$39.95.

My Delicious LibraryBasically it turned my beautiful new iSight camera that I was given for Christmas (being inspired by its educational potential using iChat AV - another story really, considering our DET’s propensity for blocking the ports needed to utilise this powerful educational software) into a barcode scanner, and it worked straight out of the box. Just aim at the barcode and it does the rest. Don’t have a shaky hand though, and make sure you have good lighting aimed towards the barcodes.

I have also since used this software with a late model Sony digital video camera and it worked well. Take care that it doesn’t go to sleep after a few minutes of inactivity though. This suggests Delicious LIbrary should work with any late model digital video camera.

The database relies on Amazon; maybe not the best information source but an good link nevertheless. Preferences can be changed to various different Amazon locations. For example my first scan took me to Amazon Japan with a very interesting result. Changing to UK was better. You can also link to Canada, US, France and Germany.

You do need broadband but it’s very clever software. Last weekend we scanned all our CDs and it worked really well. A number of Aussie labels weren’t recognised, particularly some “Best of” international stars, but you can also do a web search using ISBN numbers or even by typing in the title and author/creator. Failing that, simply type in all your own details and do a ‘google’ search for the album/book cover, dragging any subsequent pic into the picture window. If that doesn’t work, I guess you scan the label yourself.

You can set it up for different rooms, bookshelves etc. I set ours for the study, loungeroom, school office, classroom etc, then entered all our borrowers and simply dragged the books to the borrowers’ folders. It links to iCal and will issue a warning when the books are due. Intriguingly it also searched my Address Book and put all those with our family name into the borrowers’ list. Presumably you could also drag others in too. I’m not sure if it links to Mail and sends a reminder email though. That might be a nice option!

The website boasts a number of impressive awards; two 2005 Apple Design Awards, 4.5 Macworld Mice, MacMinute MacWorld Award, and an O’Reilly Innovators Award.

This is Mac OS X only software; Quoting Delicious Library Support:

Delicious Library is very dependent on Mac OS X-only technologies and that is a major contributing factor to its success. Rather than porting the application to Windows or Linux, we would rather invest our time and resources in improving Delicious Library.”

Be inspired by the clever simplicity of this software. Spend time reading the Profiles here. Think about how the creativity of these people change our world for the better. Reflect on how we can influence the young leaders of of our future, who are in our charge now.

Reg


Intel Mac

25

April


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I just convinced my Principal to have an iMac with Boot Camp, thats got to be worth mentioning considering Windows rules our departmental admin networks.
ps Yes I know its the holidays, but we got broken into again and again they didn’t bother to steal the eMacs, too heavy.

Steve


Sketchup 3D

24

April


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Sometimes you come across a piece of software that is so amazing that you wonder that no one told you about it before. Browsing through Stephen Heppell’s new weblog, I came across a reference to a programme called SketchUp. I followed it up and was very impressed.

By the way, Stephen is now semi retired and not involved with Ultralab and the Blog is a start at pulling together his publications from various places before they disappear. It is well worth reading.

SketchUp is a full 3D drawing tool that creates buildings, objects, towns, etc with the ability to do walk-throughs and artists impressions. It is used by many professionals and Schools of Architecture. It works on Mac and Windows, you can use it for 8 hours actual use free and as a teacher you can get a free copy. Watch an explanatory video to see how it works and study the tutorial videos before you start to use up your free 8 hours.

Developed for the conceptual stages of design, SketchUp is powerful yet easy-to-learn 3D software. We think of it as the pencil of digital design. This award-winning software combines a simple, yet robust tool-set that streamlines and simplifies 3D design inside your computer.

Sketchup has recently been acquired by Google and so has lots of money to play with.

Bryn

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  • Melanie: Thank you Kim! I will definitely check out this link and see the developments for higher education on the SLED.
  • Kim Flintoff: We have been using Second Life in a range of situations. Built a Wound Care Clinic with Curtin University for training nurses about wound care and the relationship between hand-washing and infection in a...
  • Melanie: Hello Paul, I am wondering, have continued to utilize SecondLife? Do you find that it has better user-friendly features? Do you find that your courses are easier to teach in this format? Is the VLC classroom a...

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  • Melanie: We may agree to disagree on the instant gratification society term, however when you look at new social network devices that are connected to mobile devices – there is an urgency that is attached to those...
  • Kim Flintoff: "instant gratification society" - I'm not sure I'm part of that society. Educational institutions do not make decisions - people do. Which people in educational institutions will cling dearly to email? Email...
  • Melanie: I agree that email is outdated in most settings. However, many educational institutions will cling dearly to email due to the aspect of "waiting before sending." Email is still a resource and an appropriate tool...

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  • Maryjane: This is incredible and we need to spread it to school districts. It was posted two years ago and I've not seen new policies or classroom innovations happen since then. People are afraid of what the kids might do....
  • Suzanne: I cannot help but think that this trend, while reflecting archetypal youth rejection of all things "adult," is also related to the digital immigrant/digital native thing. The young are very flexible, very willing...
  • Maryjane: This made me laugh outloud. School districts are still discussing whether they'll give access to students for email; do all their business by email instead of walking next door and talking to someone; and wonder...
  • Nick Smith: This video was exactly what I needed/wanted to hear. As a student working towards being a teacher, I find it great to not only revolutionize teaching, but to re-invent it all together. One woman mentioned...
  • Scott Merrick: Hey there, feel free to unpublish this comment--it's more or less for your own info: This is to let you know that Digital Chalkie has been nominated for Blog-o-the-Month at the Blogger's Hut on Second Life...

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  • Laura Seabrook: I have one other question, which I can't find answer to on the Murku wiki (no doubt the answer is right there and I keep missing it) - where/how does one get it?
  • Laura Seabrook: Murku looks really interesting (and I shall definitely try it), though the examples could do with some improvement, as per my comments above. Positioning can be important - see the Blambot article at...
  • Kim Flintoff: Murku is designed to facilitate the construction of comics based on content in a Second Life TM, ie SL, environment. Murku will be of interest to those who have always dreamt of creating their own comics but...
  • Laura Seabrook: Actually there was a typo in my previous comment. I meant to write wouldn't be, not would as far as being the first to do an SL comic. I discovered Plywood shortly after starting my own, which can be found...
  • Kim Flintoff: Hi Laura, The example in the article wasn't intended to be a highly refined product - it literally took me 60 seconds to create with some random images grabbed from my hard drive. The points you make about...
  • Laura Seabrook: I started doing Second Life comics late in 2007 ( though I didn't use Comic Life - rather I drew bits, used screenshots and put it together using PaintShopPro and Fireworks (for speech balloons etc). I knew...

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  • michael chalk: Great stuff Paul .. lots of good points here. You are right about the ABC - they're really leading the charge into the new era of digital participation aren't they! My favourite thing they do is the way they...
  • Ken Allan: Kia ora Kim! I don't think it is anything to do with HOW we communicate. It is more to do with how kids see email. It is simply to do with the age-old feature of youngsters avoiding ANYTHING that is associated...

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  • Aaron Fisher: This is very cool! It is amazing how those principles from long ago are relevant today, just in different forms. Students do learn better by doing, no matter the subject. We teachers need to do a better job...

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  • Julie Carney: Thanks for this post, and for posters like Paul who have linked and commented on resources for educators to use. As is the case with most things, it seems the right combination of educator/program/developer...

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  • Debbie: I, too am upset that this website has been taken off-line. My special education students loved it, and I knew I could always find an activity geared their levels and abilities. I hope that it will soon be running...
  • Andrew Westerman: Each LO costs $20 000. So, if 20 students use that learning object for 0.1 of an hour (6 minutes), that's 2 student / hours @ $10 000 per hour. If 2000 students use that LO for 0.2 of an hour (12...
  • Cathy Nash: Learning Objects are one of the tools in a good teacher's toolbox. It is simplistic to lay them aside as past it. A poor teacher can make a pencil look dull and a great teacher may just achieve great things...
  • Suzanne: I am so upset that this site has been removed, however I fully understand why. My Year One children and my pre-primary children loved using the site and it catered for all ability levels in my class. i do hope...
  • Julie: I am sorry that Rainbow Maths has been forced off the web. My daughter loved it so it is missed. Any idea when Jenny may put it back on the web with added security measures to prevent it being copied etc?
  • Jen Zupp: I totally agree with Jenny's reason to take it off. I have spent thousands of hours keeping my website up which is pretty much a directory of quality websites I find online. If I had created a masterpiece like...
  • Kristy Dickson: I agree with Paul, $20 000, $80 000, or whatever they cost, kids are losing interest. I think they have their place for a bit of drill and practice occasionally, but I wouldn't pay for them. Motivation and...
  • Ingrid: I'm distraught that rain forest maths is not available. My 3/4 kids loved it. My kids loved it and it is so easy to cater for their abilities with the different levels. Anyone know if there's a chance it will be up...
  • Azam Ali: my kids love this site, they come on rainforest to learn. Anyone trying to stop kids education is playing with our future. Shame on people who are greedy for money and dont care for the future.
  • Bryn Jones: Channel 4 in the UK has £50million to develop new media content. Ewan McIntosh has some role in it as Digital Commissioner for Scotland. Jobs open now! http://www.4ip.org.uk/
  • Thomas Goodwin: Paul Reid has pointed educators in the right direction (create and collaborate) however he started from an incorrect premise; The Learning Federation's Digital Resources are completely different from the...
  • Patricia Corby: Phew, what a terrific wealth of useful info here! Thanks Paul. In reference to this comment "They need to move from static to dynamic in form" as an overall comment it is relevant but being fair some are...
  • Paul Reid: If everyone's Math is correct the Teaching & Learning Federation pays $20k for jpeg pictures Learning Objects! eg these ones shown here http://www.thelearningfederati on.edu.au/for_teachers/what...
  • Janice Millard: its not fair that my class can't go on rain forest maths because of other people copying we were going to do a test on it but it was closed down my class was very upset not very happy!