By passive tools I mean any tool used to create a closed product. For example: if we write a text for students to read, this is a passive task. Of course it can include questions for the students to answer but if falls in the category of webquests.
Usally passive products are created with word processors such as Microsoft Office or Open Office. Simple Html code usually creates simple pages which only contain text and image and include links into other similar pages. This concept can easily be explained when we refer to the LMS platform MOODLE which contains two different levels of resources to include: simple resources ( text, web document, image, movie, etc. ) and activities ( chats, fora, tests, surveys, lessons, workshops, projects, wikis ).
If you have never used a word processor, there are a few tasks you should be able to accomplish both in Microsoft Word and in Open Office Write:
- The screencast touches the following aspects:
- Creating a new document
- Choosing font and size
- Justifying text
- Using bold and italic
- Inserting a Text box in order to move images easily
- Resizing images
- Naming and Saving the file
If you have never used a spreadsheet, there are a few tasks you should be able to accomplish both in Microsoft Excel and in Open Office Calc:
- Understanding cells, rows and columns
- Formatting cells (insert activity where learners have to create a sheet )
- General ( using all these concepts )
- Oulining cells with lines
- Colouring cells
- centering content
- Inserting basic formulas
- Understanding the concept of functions
- Basic functions: media; count.if; if function
- Preview and pagebreaks
If you have never used Microsoft Powerpoint or Open Office Impress, there are a few tasks you should be able to accomplish both in Powerpoint and in Impress:
- Inserting slides
- Choosing font, style and size (insert activity where learners have to create a presentation )
- Creating Text Boxes
- Inserting Images
- Resizing and changing images
- Numbering and bullets
- Choosing background images or colors
You can find information on the above aspects in the following Tutorials:
Most documents created by both Microsoft or Open Office are presented in the PDF ( Portable Document Format ). This format was created by Adobe but is now quite common, being Pdf Creator the most common open source application that is used in most programmes as a printer.
In order to take advantage of images and graphics, it is important to know a few facts about the most common types of image and their differences and characteristics. The most common types of images are:
.bmp The bmp file which is not permitted in Wikieducator would have 518 Kb
For a layman the photos are almost the same quality. Therefore you can always use the less "heavy" one in order to save space in the server and speed connections and loading functions.
If a teacher wants to work on photos, changing types, resizing, colouring and so on, he must use a special programme to do that. There are several programmes such as Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro, but these are expensive. As free and open source there is
Both work very well and are more or less easy to work with. One of the things that has to be done is transform pictures in such a way that they do not occupy much space. That is the reason why I've shown the above pictures so that you can compare the quality of different image files.
Another application that is yuseful when we have to work with many photos and change their size and "weight" is the application called Prish Resizer
Video File Types
Similarly to images, it is important to know a few facts about the most common types of video and their differences and characteristics. The most common types of video file are:
- .avi - used in many video cameras ( audio Video Interleave )
- .mpeg - Another type of compressed video file
- .mov - Quick Time video file
- .wmv - Windows Media Video used in Windows Movie Maker and Photo Story 3
- .flv - Flash Video Files ( the ones used in Wikieducator )
Although the use of video files is limited here in Wikieducator, most of these types can be embedded in Moodle, as can be seen here.
There are many web-based sites where we can upload our films and embed them later in HTML pages as in the example above. The best known sites are:
If you want to make a video a an activity in class you can use a video camera and them convert the video file into WMV in order to work it in Windows Movie Maker, which is an easy to use computer-based application that cames with any legal copy of Windows.
There are other possibilities of creating videos from still pictures, giving them a hint of movement. That can be done either by using Photo Story 3 or by uploading the pictures and sounds to Animoto and creating your film there. You can embed it or send an url to anyone with whom you would like to share the movie, but it is not public.
Microsoft Photo Story 3 is quite easy to use because it allows us to use standard jpeg images, combine them with music in the mp3 format, or create music by itself...It also allows us to to record our voice to narrate and it is quite easy to give movement to still pictures, giving the audience the idea of film movement. The end product file is a wmv but it can be converted into any type of movie file by using freeware application colled Any Video Converter ( ACV )
If you want to upload it to youtube for example it would be better to convert again to avi. You should only be careful if the film contains the faces of children and such. In that case you should guarantee that parents are not against the publishing in YouTube.
--José Romão 16:42, 19 December 2009 (UTC)