Audio editing software

I have just found Wave Pad. Normally I use Audacity because it is cross platform, my students can use it easily and know the software and it is basically fuss free and effective. In class I use Audacity and Garage Band because we have MacBooks and iPads. Wave Pad is now an other option.Once you show students how to add the effects in Garage Band then their recordings really come up a level because they like using sound effects and it spurs them on to doing better. Audacity is handy in class for straight out  voice recording. Remember, I am no sound technician and I am teaching French. I am looking for things to help me improve the quality of what I can produce and thereby increase my options as a teacher but I am also looking at how anyone can make better quality sound files. Wave Pad is for Windows , Mac , Android , iOS but not Linux .I have found already that it has improved what I am doing even though I am currently just using a microphone with speaker attached. I could record something, enhance the voice, clean up the track and get a better sound…all in 10 minutes. If I can use this software, then anyone can. It does make a difference. There is a paid version and choices. That is good marketing. For a start I can have a really good look at this software without feeling it will disappear off my computer, be so limited I would not really have a clue and have no chance of really understanding how the software will benefit me and those I share sound files and sound file making with. Wave Pad comes with tutorials, helpful hints, ideas, clear explanations, You Tube support and an opportunity to grow as I learn without feeling like I have to push myself when I am not ready to. This is the crux of learning new technology. You need time to explore and gain confidence, you need help if you want it, you need a vision. I have the cables now for my mixer and so I am looking forward to using Wave Pad. I’ll still use Audacity because I am cross platform but my desktop and netbook are what I use at home and my NetBook made a really nice sound file last night just after I had downloaded Wave Pad. If nothing else, others who produce software should take some tips from Wave Pad as to how to introduce new clients to a platform.

Ubuntu Tweak

Anything which could fix my dog’s breakfast of a dual boot window as I waited to choose Ubuntu or Windows 7 was going to be a marvellous piece of software. I confess it was my fault for not using Wubi. If you use Wubi , you get a nice, clean boot menu which behaves itself. You can then choose whether it boots into Windows or Ubuntu. Well, silly me put Ubuntu on my desktop and impressed myself no end I had done that unassisted…and then the boot menu nightmare started. Ubuntu kept having yet another choice for me on the menu. I knew which one to pick, but seriously , there were about 6 choices and then Windows. All better now! I have learnt my lesson. If you want to dual boot use Wubi. Now, for Ubuntu Tweak. It is more than a menu fixer. It cleans up, it gives you the option of a fancier desktop. It loads packages and gets everything up to date. It is basically a one stop shop for Ubuntu housekeeping. It has even backed up for me. Only problem at the moment is I don’t know where the back up is!! I’ll track it down. That could be more transparent. It has a nice clean interface and is very easy to use. My best friend on Ubuntu 10.04 now.

About Ubuntu Tweak

Ubuntu Tweak download – the one from the site didn’t work.

Change Photos to Video

Foto2avi is a free downloadable programme which converts photos to video pretty easily. There is the free version and then a better premium version and you can download either of them here. At this stage I am not that good with video and have had some success so I guess I’ll keep practising . For now the free version will do me. Please ensure you read the instructions about photo size. You need to reduce them. That was the only error I made. The rest was easy. I selected the photos and transition effects, selected the music and pressed generate. I thought I was pretty clever after that! You can read more about Foto2avi here and it’s worth exploring the site because there are some very useful programmes on it.

InkScape

InkScape is an open source, free vector graphics editor, and I have downloaded it and even though I have no real skills to speak of with graphics programmes, I have been pleased that I can use it easily for what I want to do and that the thing which I liked in the first five minutes was the filters! The programmes is quick to download but takes a little bit of time to install and then snaps open when you click on it. That was my first surprise. Most complicated graphics programmes seem to take a while to set themselves up. This application will suit high end graphics users and will manage the same sorts of things as sophisticated graphics programmes. Its advantage is it is open source and not so memory hungry as some of the other big graphics programmes. That might suit NetBooks and the like. I am wondering whether it can complement or work with the other graphics big names? That would be a real advantage. According to the site: “It imports formats such as Postscript, EPS, JPEG, PNG, and TIFF and exports PNG as well as multiple vector-based formats,” so presumably you could use it with your other graphics programmes. There is a developer and user community for you to join if you want to get more out of this application.

10 movies made with Alice

And your students made them all! Have you met Alice? She comes with quite an entourage and is quite a star. She teaches 3D environments for games, video and story telling, but she also teaches programming as she goes along. This is cross platform software and there are versions 2.0 and 2.2 for more mature students and then Story Telling Alice for Middle School.She is a free gift from Carnegie Mellon. Students can actually pursue this with little help because the whole Alice concept has a comprehensive approach to learning and the instructional materials are well paced and well explained. Alice is not something you can just do. You do have to think about it and you do have to immerse yourself in the learning. Watch both the videos here and you will get a good idea about how Alice can be utilised in education. Alice has a wonderful way of infiltrating the hearts and minds of people who make friends with her and so there is considerable school support and teacher help for those who want to take on Alice!

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