In This Edition
Attention All Teachers
The Multimedia Resource Center is always soliciting information, materials or projects which can be published either as part of this newsletter or as a part of the Web site. If you have materials which you think would be appropriate and you would like to share it with your fellow teachers, submit it to the Multimedia Resource Center.
Go to Submission Page and follow the directions.
With each edition of the Multimedia Resource Center's Newsletter, we will provide teaching / learning resources. These will be on the web site but are noted in this publication to give them more attention.
These sites provide RSS feeds. Some will require that you either RSS enable your browser, download and install an aggregator or podcatcher — as per the article — or, most especially, download and install iTunes. Some have direct downloads.
All of these feeds will be concerning Adobe Photoshop. In future editions I will provide links for other multimedia soft wares.
Use these links to get regular RSS feeds:
I have not reviewed all the podcast from these feeds, so listing is in no way an endorsement of the content and quality of any material. This is only a notation of the existence and addresses of these feeds. As with any outside materials, each individual educator should view and judge the appropriateness for their students.
Apples Kiss and Make Up
After a very public and often bitter court case, which Apple computer finally won, Apple Computer and Apple Records are kissing and making-up. The Beatles are nearing a deal to put their music on the iTunes Store. This is the first time that the Beatles will allow digital downloads of their music.
Multimedia Resource Center
This is an ongoing edition of the Multimedia Resource Center E-notes. E-notes is published twice yearly. If you would like to submit materials or projects to this newsletter or to the web site. go to Submission and follow the directions. It is hoped that you enjoy reading this issue. The next issue will be in the Fall semester of 2007. Back issues of this newsletter will be placed on the Multimedia Resource Center Web site.
Aggregators & Podcatchers
The amount of information that is available from the Web which should / could be used in your classroom in absolutly astounding. Our students can surf the Web and find more up-to-date information faster than we can deliver it in a lecture. "In a age of overflowing information and proliferating media, kids need to rapidly process what's coming at them and distinguish between what's reliable and what isn't. It's important that students know how to manage it, interpret it, validate it and how to act on it." says Dell executive Karen Bruett, who serves on the board of the Partnership of 21th Century Skills, a group of corporate and educational leaders focused on upgrading American education.
Google any academic subject and the number of informational sites is staggering. For example, if you search World History there are 892,000,000 hits. Add the term podcast or filetype:rss after the subject search name and the numbers are still high. For example Shakespeare Podcast will show 1,010,000 hits.
"In a age of overflowing information and proliferating media, kids need to rapidly process what's coming at them and distinguish between what's reliable and what isn't. It's important that students know how to manage it, interpret it, validate it and how to act on it."
With the subject search of anything multimedia, there are similar results. Google Photoshop, for example, and there are approximately 107,000,000 results. Add podcast to the search — Photoshop podcast — and there are still 4,840,000 hits. Any of these could provide free information that any teacher might use as part of their lesson plans or in the classroom. How can any teacher or student possibly visit even as little as 10% of these sources? Aggregators and Podcatchers can provide great help with the management of this amount of information.
An aggregator, sometimes referred to as a news aggregator or feed reader, is a software that uses a web feed to retrieve syndicated web content (RSS) or mainstream mass media web sites. An instructor or student can create a customized set of search results and the feed reader will search designated sites for any new materials. Podcatcher is a term also given to RSS readers, however, this particular software usually will download and play both audio and video podcast (vidcast).
Browsers, including Apple Safari, Mozilla FireFox and Internet Explorer, may be used as aggregators, but I prefer stand alone applications. My favorites are below. I have selected these because they are free, easy to set-up and to operate.
Set-up is very easy. Download the software, open the application's RSS directory and begin to customize your feeds. Anytime you find a new site, blog or other educational material that you would like to follow — if it has the RSS logo — drag it to the directory. With some readers, you may have to type the address into the program. Up-date at any time, the aggregator will list all the new materials which are available. Click to download the files. Instead of taking the time to check all of your favorite sites, the RSS reader will do it for you.
I use Feed, on the Macintosh, because it shows a great deal of information before I deside to download. I also use Juice for its speed in downloading podcats and vidcasts. Lastly,I use iTunes to download and play music and to access the largest library of educational materials on the Web.
For more information and especially more feed address go to Multimedia Resource Center.
A Preview of Photoshop CS3
Photoshop CS3 Beta is ready for download for registered users of Photoshop CS2. This is the first time that Adobe has released a public beta of a major program, and it is available — presently for Mac only but a PC edition will be available very soon — from Adobe.
As soon as you open the application some of the new improve- ments are very apparent. It opens much faster. In fact, there is a speed increase in all operations. The interface has also changed with a single line of tools on the right — you can change it back to the customary twin tool line. The floating pallets are now connected and are separated from the work area by a single line of icons which product to remainder of the pallets which are now present in CS2.
I will not try to cover all the new features, but these are two of my favorite.
Forget everything you have ever been taught about converting a color photograph to a black & white photograph. Go to Image. Go to Image > Adjustments and about half way down the side menu is a new offering — Black & White. In the pop-up menu all color ranges may be corrected to a gray tone.
Next is the nondestructive filters. Filters can now be attached to images much like text effects. They can be re-opened and edited. They can also be turned off or on at any time.
RRCC a Member of iTunes University
by: Christine Shock, Chair
Hillary’s doing it, Obama’s doing it, even John McCain’s doing it! What are they doing? They are using the most powerful tool on the web to reach large audiences and you as an instructor can do it too! All you need are some simple tools that come pre-installed on the Macintosh or can be downloaded as shareware for the PC. So what is this “magic bullet” that can increase student satisfaction, increase student retention and get your “message” out to the student masses? One word…Podcasting.
Podcasting is no longer just for the lucky owners of an iPod. Podcasts can be downloaded to any mp3 player on any platform. You don’t even need an mp3 player to download a podcast. Podcasts can be downloaded and played on any personal computer, on an mp3 enabled phone or handheld device or burned to a CD or DVD. You can even place a podcast on your school’s server for student download.
So how can you start podcasting your class content? First, think about what you want to deliver to your audience. Does your content lend it’s self to an audio format, such as a vocabulary lists, definitions, etc. or does it have a strong visual component where video content may have a greater impact.
If your content lends it’s self to an audio format, you can use a shareware program called Audacity (http://audacity.sourceforge.net/) to create an audio only podcast. Audacity works on all platforms (Mac, Windows and Linux) and allows you to record, mix and output a high quality audio track. Audacity will automatically save your content in a compressed format ready for download as a podcast.
If your content is more visual, you can use several different packages depending on your platform to create a video podcast. On Mac OSX you can use iMovie and Garageband edit , score and soundtrack your video podcast. On the Windows platform, you can use Windows Movie Maker, or Adobe’s Premiere Elements (30 day free trial) to edit, score and add a soundtrack to your video podcast. All of these packages allow you to compress your video for podcasting and save to the H.264 standard for the web. Some of these programs will also let you create content for PSP handheld gaming units as well.
At Red Rocks Community College, we have developed a strong commitment to podcasting. We were accepted into iTunes University last fall and have been running a pilot of the program over the last 2 semesters. For fall 2007, The Multimedia Graphics Design/ Photography department is planning on delivering History of Photography, Business of Photography and other MGD/PHO classes with strong visual components as video podcasts to supplement the current on-line curriculum. iTunes U has given our department a way to engage our students with fresh content on a device that many students already own and use on a day to day basis. Check back frequently this summer as new content will be added to the RRCC iTunes U site. http://adminps.rrcc.edu/ituauthentication.