Photosynth is a great, free application that makes it easy to create interactive and immersive panoramic images. There are 2 versions of photosynth that I have been looking at recently which do slightly different things; Photosynth for iPhone.
Once you have installed this free app, you can use it to take a 360 degree panoramic shot. It is very easy to use, just stand still and take your first picture, after that just slowly move the camera around slightly and it should automaticly take the required photos. Once compleated the app will stich the images together to view on the iPhone or uploaded to the photosynth website. Click the link below to see one I created earlier.
The other version involves taking as many photos as you can of an area and uploading the images to the website. The website will then do it’s best to stitch them all together. The results are more ‘blocky’ than with the iphone app, but you can use any camera and it allows you to take photos of small parts of the larger image, which viewers can zoom into.
So what can you do with this? As well as creating fun holiday photos, this can provide a safe, immersive simulation of a real life area. One of my examples is of a dangerous kitchen ,where learners can have fun moving around the image to find the hidden dangers, without having to be there. It could also be used to put someone at ease if they are nervous about going somewhere new.
The Accessibility colour wheel allows you to select foreground and background colours, simulates how they would look to those with different types of colour blindness. If you select a colour combination that is good, in terms of accessibility, you will get a ‘good’ message appear on the screen. http://gmazzocato.altervista.org/colorwheel/wheel.php
WAVE is a free web accessibility evaluation tool provided by WebAIM. It is used to aid humans in the web accessibility evaluation process. Rather than providing a complex technical report, WAVE shows the original web page with embedded icons and indicators that reveal the accessibility of that page. http://wave.webaim.org/
The Fujitsu Web Accessibility Inspector is one of a number of tools that will validate a webpage according to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) guidelines. This can produce a detailed report which identifies a number of issues. If you are using a system such as SharePoint, then it might highlight issues that you will not be able to easily change. http://www.fujitsu.com/global/accessibility/assistance/wi/
For a long time I have been impressed with Wordle . This is a site where you can add a bunch of text and it will create a wordcloud. A wordcloud is an image that contains the words you have added, the more times a word appears the larger the word appears in the cloud. So for example the word cloud below is made up of Barack Obamas inauguration speech. The words ‘Nation’, ‘America’ and ”People’ are large, which means there were repeated many times. Wordle is very easy to use and gins you options such as changing the colour scheme and removing specified words.
barack obama's inauguration speech as a wordcloud by wordle
I have just discovered an alternative to Wordle called Tagxdo.com . The big advantage this seems to have over Wordle, is that you can get the words to appear in a specific shape. So here is Jules Verne’s 20, 000 leagues under the sea as a Seahorse
Again, the more times a word appears in the text the larger it appears in the word cloud. There are dozens on templates you can choose from or you can upload your own silhouette image. I have embedded this as a standard image, but from the website you can downlaod as a range of image types or get the code to embed as an interactive image.
Tagul.com Is a similar site with less predefined templates but it allows you to create interactive word clouds where you can click on am image to search that word in Google.
This post is related to an online workshop on the Reading & Writing components of MyStudyBar V3 which has been developed by the JISC RSC Scotland NE. Many of the resources on this post link directly to those onhttp://eduapps.org/ including handouts in MS word format developed by Julie MacRitchie of Jewel & Esk College.
The link below will open a recording on the online training event
This post is related to an online presentation on the Planning & Vision components of MyStudyBar V3 which has been developed by the JISC RSC Scotland NE. Many of the resources on this post link directly to those on http://eduapps.org/ including handouts in MS word format developed by Julie MacRitchie of Jewel & Esk College.
MyStudyBar is a collection of applications that can run directly from a USB Stick, a Network install or can be installed directly onto a PC. The applications can be accessed via a floting toolbar which can be dragged to any part of the screen.
Downloading and installing mystudybar
The Latest Versions on MyStudyBar for Windows XP or Windows Vista & 7 can be downloaded as a zip file from http://eduapps.org/ Once downloaded the files should be extracted and added to a usb stick.
Several colleges are using video games with learners to encourage engagement and interaction. There are some great examples of how games consoles have helped learners with disabilities to get involved with activities and collaborate with other learners.
The following podcast is an interview from June 2009, with Anita Appleton, Head of department for Supported Learning at Trafford College about how they have been useing the Nintendo Wii and Wii fit with learners with learning difficulties.
Unfortunately not all games and consoles are as accessible as they could be. www.ablegamers.com is a website which reviews popular games from an accessibility point of view. The site has a real community feel with a forum, blog and community photos. It also includes news related to the accessibility of video games, such as the development of an accessible controller for the Guitar Hero games
RoboBraille is a free service which allows anyone to email a document to a dedicated email address and, within a few minutes, get a reply which includes the text converted into a chosen format including;
MP3 file of the text being read out
Daisy format audio book
Braille, either 6 or 8 dot, full text or contracted
The following video shows how it is being used at Lancaster and Morecambe College, not just with visualy impaired learners, but also with dyslexic learners and those learning a foreign language.
I have just gone through the tutorial for Microsoft Windows Seven speech recognition. This is software which is built in to the latest version of Microsoft Windows which allows you to too many of the tasks of using computer without touching the keyboard or mouse. Following on from the tutorial I decided to give it a go by writing this blog post just using Microsoft speech recognition. This meant that I had to open my Internet browser, Navigate to WordPress , select add a new post And dictate the title and content of this post.
As you can probably tell I am definitely not an expert in using this software, but I am not doing too bad. It is definitely taking me longer to dictate this than it would to type in this, and there are a few frustrating mistakes along the way, but I am getting there.
The only complaint I have about the tutorial Is that it did not include the phrase, mouse grid. This phrase is invaluable when trying to navigate websites.
Well that’s enough for me dictating, I will now do my best to publish just using speech recognition. If anyone gets to read this blog post it means it’s worked.