Thursday, 28 October 2010

What operating system does your mobile phone have?

Do any of you ever wonder... Im curious what everyone out there has on their mobile phone, if you're willing please fill out this simple questionnaire. You can view the responses at the end of the questionnaire. Thank you!

I want to do this questionnaire in another window!

Monday, 25 October 2010

YouTube Video Editor part 2

Thought I would throw in this quick update about the YouTube online editor. This is in addition to my previous post while in Beta testing. Users with YouTube accounts will now notice that the Video Editor tab appears at the top, rather than manually typing in the URL.

Notable changes:

  • There is no longer a limit of 7 clips.
  • There are a set of 3 simple transitions cross-fade, wipe and slide. (cross-fade is my personal favourite for a more professional touch)
  • Preview playback is extremely grainy, but the final output will be as good as the original quality.
  • Moving the preview playback slider is very dependant on network speed, typically you have to watch all the way through to see if transitions and video work...

Select image to enlarge
It's a very simple process of drop and drag, items can be easily removed by simply using the 'X' on each of the transition or video objects.  Notably adding the music will still prevent the user from downloading the MP4 file later, so if you intend using your completed file elsewhere it is preferable to add music or additional sound using an offline package later. Hopefully YouTube will add the option to upload your own sound files in the future and then allow MP4 downloads.

 The MP4 download option can be found as shown (from the 'My Videos' area):

A word of warning, if you get too carried away you may find that the Download MP4 option disappears from the drop down menu, usually it warns you that the option is 'currently not available'.  So what happens? Essentially there is a limit of two MP4 downloads per hour as described in the YouTube help, so choose your downloads well...  If you need more, just come back later...

Overall, a very handy simple, quick and free video editor that will suit most peoples requirements for simple educational videos. As YouTube also hosts your videos (for free) all videos can also be easily embedded into online resources. Thank you YouTube and keep up the good work.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Using Google Earth to train engineering geologists

I have recently had the pleasure of working on this geology based technology enhanced learning (TEL) project with Prof. Jim Griffiths (Head of the School of Geography, Earth, & Environmental Sciences, University of Plymouth), Dr Anne Mather (University of Plymouth) and Professor Adrian Hartley (School of Geosciences, University of Aberdeen), a project originally funded by the Experiential Learning CETL here at Plymouth.

The project was primarily about using technologies to help engineering geologists better understand such things as landscapes and how processes of landforms develop over geological time. The approach chosen by Prof Griffiths and colleagues was to implement Google Earth for reconnaissance mapping and terrain evaluation training. We essentially used Google Earth's excellent layering ability to produce geomorphological layers coupled with appropriate integrated legends, image pop-ups and tours. The beauty of Google Earth from teaching enhanced learning perspective, is that it's free; easy to navigate; provides really quite decent terrain and outputs are easily packaged into KMZ files for distribution among students. Students can easily do a reconnaissance of entire massive landforms with relative ease, in this case the well known great landslides of Chile, obtaining a much clearer understanding of the environment. It's not a replacement for the real thing, but an excellent addition to the training required to bring students to chartered geologist level and certainly something we will be looking to develop further in the future.

Further information:
Griffiths, J.S., Mather, A.E., Truscott, J.B., & A. Hartley (2010) Application of low-cost satellite imagery for reconnaissance mapping and terrain evaluation training: A case study of coastal landslides, Chile. Geologically Active: Proceedings of the 11th IAEG Congress. Auckland, New Zealand, 5-10 September 2010. 

Currently available from Amazon,  Routledge Taylor & Francis Group or ISBN: 978-0-415-60034-7.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Barcode Creation

Thought I would share a useful find, something I had been testing for potential TEL projects.  Its a handy bar code creator on TEC-IT website. Allows users to create specific barcodes with any alpha numerical text! Its free for non-commercial use..., hence the logo below, thank you TEC-IT ;)

Yes this one also says 'Hello World!'.

Try Barcode Scanner on the Android to test it out, works a treat!