Friday, March 20, 2009

FOSS Daily With Andy Mann

Andy discussed a lot of free software, most of it not open source though, but cool stuff none the less. You can find his handouts on his website, He has links to a lot more free stuff that he didn't get a chance to talk about. Here are a few of the tools he discussed:
  • ZoomIt - Zoom in, draw on the screen, countdown timer. Just pop this in the Startup folder in your Program menu and it will be available everytime you turn your computer on. (here's a short tutorial video I made on ZoomIt a year ago or so)
  • ImageResizer - This is a Windows XP PowerToy. Download and install this and you can simply right-click on an image or group of images and you can change the resolution. Very handy if you want to put pictures you took with you 7.2 megapixel camera on the web or in a powerpoint.
  • PhotoFiltre - Simple photoediting program. Not as powerful as something like PhotoShop or Gimp, but that's really a good thing for most of us.
  • Picasa - Image organizer from Google. It will allow you to do some very simple picture tweaking. The newest version of Picasa (3.0) added a bunch of new features, so if you haven't used it lately you might want to check it out again.
  • PowerPoint Photo Album - This is a download for PP2007, but is already integrated into some older versions of PowerPoint. It will create a powerpoint slide show from a large collection of pictures with just a few button clicks. Andy creatred a slideshow with 36 pictures in PowerPoint in about 2 minutes. If he had 100 picuters (or more) it would not have taken any longer to get it together.
  • iSpring Free - Turn a PowerPoint into a flash file you can upload to the web.
  • YouTube in Education (pdf) - Check out his handout, particularly if YouTube is blocked in your building.
  • Format Factory - Convert virtually any type of media file into virtually any other format. Works with videos, images, audio files, DVD video files... I'll have to give this one a look.
  • Jing - Cross platform screen capture tool (also mentioned in the Alan November Keynote). It is very easy to use, but it will only create *.swf files (which you need to open from within a web browser). 
  • Ghotit - Free online service that will read text aloud to a student and offer alternate words, which it will also speak aloud. I will be using trying with my son as soon as I get home today.
  • Termites - Seating Chart Generator. The cool thing is you an tell it not to seat certain students near another particular student.
  • Bullzip - Is a pdf printer. This program acts like a printer that you select when you print your document.


Matt Pierson said...

You must also include another emerging online app for interactive and fun learning - flashcards, groups, video, audio. Already very popular with many teachers and students.

sarien said...

Digital Media Converter is a excellent freeware audio and video converter software that will convert your files. No adware, and completely virus free. Supports almost any file format and it is a fast converter. It also does batch conversion and perfectly keeps your audio and video in sync.