How to change your Mac icons

Students asked me before how I changed my Mac icons and I wrote this post Change your Mac icons. Students asked me again at the end of last year how I changed my Mac icons and so here is another post. The video explains it really well. You can just search for icons and download them and then use the preview pane to copy and paste the icons. Sometimes it doesn’t change. Don’t panic. If that happens on a folder it will invariably change when you reboot your Mac.I usually pick icons which support learning we are doing or a theme I am running in class. The video refers to Mavericks but changing the icons works the same way in all the previous versions of Mac OS.

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.

Quick MacBook shutdown

macbook shutdown Shutting down Windows on the keyboard is Alt F4 . If you have programmes open it will take more than once using the key combination. Alt F4 shuts programmes down in Windows. On a MacBook, shutting it down from the keyboard is not so obvious or so widely known but it’s easy and effective:

control – option – command – eject.

Powerpoint with pizzazz

Lenka is a famous Australian singer. Windows 8 is a much discussed operating system. DoinaK is a very talented and ingenious Powerpoint presenter. When you put these three  elements together you get an amazing Powerpoint presentation. The animation is saved as a Windows Media file (save as….select Windows Media file) and it can then be uploaded as a video to YouTube. You can do it with Keynote and iMovie too.

Change Keynote and Powerpoint presentations into movies

Keynote Simple Animation

MacMost videos help you make the most of your Mac. This video is good because you can put a face to the voice but also because it shows clearly how to make some simple animations and effects which would make your presentations more interesting. It is a matter of learning the techniques and then applying them to your own context. A video means you can stop, back track, fast forward, do whatever you need to do to absorb the information. You can also play it as you have KeyNote out on your desktop so you can pause it as you do what is being shown. He is doing it with images. You can just as easily do it with text if you want to. Saving is as a video is easy. You go up to the toolbar and export it to Quicktime. You can then import it into iMovie. The instructions are here.

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