Thursday, 19 August 2010

Google Docs

Click here to see planner one

Talking to Your Macbook - and Getting it to Reply!!

One thing that I always like to do when introducing the Mac to new users is teach them to talk to their Mac. It doesn't matter how young or old the students are, EVERYONE loves this feature.

Step 1 - Open System Preferences

Step 2 - Choose Speech

Step 3 - Select (a) 'Speakable Items' and see (b) a Bubble pop up.

Step 4 - Callibrate your microphone

Step 5 - Say each 'Speakable Item'. Check that the meter stays in the green zone.

Step 6 - Check what key is the 'Listening key' and press that down the whole time whilst you speak clearly towards your Mac. Try asking 'What time is it?'
You should hear a 'whit' sound and your Mac should answer you.

You can teach your Mac to do many things by just asking it. If you want to know what you can ask, click on the bottom of the floating bubble to open the speech commands window.

This is really fun to do. Try it now!!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

The Tablet Project

This academic year SWA is taking a bold step. All the students in grades 9-11 (11 is currently the highest grade) will be asked to purchase a tablet with stylus. This is so that we can truly become paperless. We are actively seeking out eBook versions of all the textbooks used and building our membership to online libraries.
We are a Mac school so we have decided to use Wacom Bamboo tablets which are reasonably priced and work well with Macs.
We already have quite a range of software on the school laptop image that support the use of tablets. We use Skitch, Notebook for Smartboard, Artrage and Sketchup. Notebook has quite a few tools that can be quite useful beyond the usual writing tools. One in particular is the screen recording function where diagrams can be recorded as they are drawn which can help students to be able to reproduce them individually.
Tomorrow I'll have my first meeting/training with the teachers in the Tablet pilot group. Looking forward to it. What I need to do is MAKE myself use the tablet to create something in Sketchup. That should improve my fluency with the tool.