Friday, February 24, 2012

Paths of the Elders - Free Simulation


Paths of the Elders - Free Simulation

This is a role playing simulation centred on the signing of Treaty 9 around James Bay. It is designed more towards Div 2 Elementary and Middle School students as there is a large reading component playing the simulation. Students need to create an account to save their progress and must submit an email for the service to supply information in case they forget their password.

Although it would be great to have a simulation based on Treaty 6 many comparative references, concepts, and understandings can be drawn from this website.

The students are challenged to complete 6 "Path of Learning" through their quest.
1. Self-Governance
2. Security
3. Health
4. Economy
5. Culture
6. Education

This simulation is challenging and requires critical thinking and strategy. How students respond to questions, interact with other characters, and manage resources will determine how successful they are in the quest. Cooperation with other characters is essential.

There are many audio, video and photo clips built through the quest and teacher resource guides supplied. There is even a survey for teachers and students to offer feedback and suggestions to improve the site.

Please take the time to preview and evaluate this site. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

As this site is Flash dependent I have tried it out on a few machines throughout the division and there are no conflicts so far. If you have students that rely on assistive technology there is a slight problem using the "screen capture" option in Read & Write Gold. Some of the information is hard to grab as it is only a temporary popup when you move the cursor over an area which restricts the ability to use the screen capture tool. There is also a slight problem when Read and Write Gold converts what it has captured as not all the words in the information is processed properly.

Please contact any of the coaches if you need assistance with any technological, curricular, and differentiation questions you may have.



Wednesday, February 15, 2012

XNView Portable App from PortableApps.com - editing pictures made easy

XNView portable app is a very simple and easy-to-use graphic file editor. Although not as powerful as Photoshop or GIMP, this program does contain most of the photo editing features for beginner and intermediate users.  One of the strongest features of this portable app is the ability to batch process large numbers of pictures at the same time rather than manipulating each picture as a separate task which can be a long process.

Simply download from PortableApps.com and install the program folder to either your flash drive or to your desktop.

The main features they promote include:
  • Import about 400 graphic file formats
  • Export about 50 graphic file formats
  • Multipage TIFF, Animated GIF, Animated ICO support
  • Image IPTC, EXIF metadata support
  • EXIF auto rotation support
  • IPTC editing
  • Resize, rotate, crop support
  • Lossless rotate & crop (jpeg) support
  • Adjust brightness, contrast...
  • Auto levels, contrast
  • Modify number of colors
  • Apply filters (blur, average, emboss, ...)
  • Apply effects (lens, wave, ...)
  • Fullscreen mode
  • Slide show with effects
  • Batch convert, batch rename
  • Create WEB page easily
  • Screen capture
  • Create contact Sheet
  • Create or edit Multi-page file (TIFF, DCX, LDF)
  • TWAIN & WIA support (Windows only)
  • Print support (Windows only)
  • Drag & Drop support (Windows only)
  • Compare image side by side
  • Filmstrip layout
  • 44 languages support (Windows only)
  • No Adware, No Spyware

Batch processing to resize multiple files



Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Survey Creator - Create an online survey in 4 steps

Survey Creator is a free service that allows surveys to be conducted and managed online. As the link to access the survey is controlled by the author, this service offers a safe and secure environment if desired. It's easiest to send the link and password to your class through LPSD email. For elementary classes that don't use email, the login information can be saved as a Word document in each school's "studentshare" drive for all students to access.

There are 4 steps to creating an online survey.
1. Sign up for a free account
2. Design the survey and questions
3. Send the link to your respondents
4. After the respondents have submitted their responses, you can analyse and report on the data

Survey Creator is promoting the following features:
  • Simple and user friendly environment
  • Different language preferences and support
  • User defined design (colors, fonts, style)
  • Add, modify, delete, or duplicate the questions / surveys is an easy operation
  • 4 modes - survey, instant poll (with instant results), quiz (with instant evaluation), subscription (share collected data)
  • Variety of question types: single/multiple choice, evaluation scales,...
  • E-mail notification
  • Filtering on multiple replies per respondent
  • Direct data exchange with Excel, Export in PDF
  • Graphical reporting
  • Surveys protected by login / password
  • Data storage on a secure server
  • Publicity/ads free surveys
Survey Design Editor
Question Editor
Data Analysis
The interface to design the survey and questions can be a bit challenging for a first time user and unfortunately there is a bit of experimentation and previewing needed to design the survey to your needs. There is a built in help and FAQ menu available through the service.

Please request help from the tech coaches if you are interested in using this program and feel you need assistance.