MacDirectory Magazine

Summer-Fall 2009 (#42)

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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Page 128 of 147

MacDirectory 127 BACK TO SCHOOL REVIEW EDUCATION REVIEW GUIDE > DIGITAL MEDIA TOOLS IN SCHOOLS Students need 21 st -century digital and critical thinking skills to communicate, succeed in school and plan for the future. Teachers require the tools to support their students. Today's generation embraces technology, like ducks embrace water. From elementary school to college, education is not just about the three R's, but also understanding and incorporating digital media into everyday curriculum. Tell a Story Across the world, communication involves interactive digital media that incorporates animation, digital illustration, video, print, Web design, podcasting, blogs, social networking, and virtual conferencing. Today and in the future, students, administrators and communication specialists must employ storytelling skills and technological expertise to tell their story to a diversified audience utilizing different computer platforms, languages, levels of expertise and varying viewpoints. To get the job done, the key is not to be an expert with one digital tool, but to understand and incorporate different functions from various applications. All programs were reviewed on a MacBook Pro, running Mac OS X 10.4.1 or above. Many applications recommend using a drawing tablet and pen, Intel processor, web based browser, plus additional memory. Starting Young Some simple media applications offered are from and Toon Boom. Kerpoof by Disney is a free, colorful, online media application that teaches early learners how to make pictures, cards, short animated movie clips, stories, and practice drawing. Kerpoof begins teaching budding illustrators, moviemakers, graphic artists and designers the basic tool setup and workflow found in more sophisticated media and illustration programs. Toon Boom offers several different animation and storyboard applications. Flip Boom Classic is a fun, simple-to-learn program for basic animation (flipping hand drawn sketches in fast motion). Flip Boom Classic helps move students into the digital realm. It contains a great drawing and animation tool layout – simple to use, and with easy-to-understand support documents. Using PowerPoint to illustrate reports, activities and lectures can be static. Instead, try Flip Boom Classic to animate a history report, biology lesson or create an interactive essay in a movie setting. It is a delight to learn basic animation skills. charges $39.99, and offers the Special Edition Kit at $49.99 that includes a drawing tablet & pen, templates and tutorial. Next Digital Generation has an interesting approach to incorporating technology into their free K-12 teaching curriculum. Lesson plans incorporate different cross curriculum projects, while teaching instructors and teachers to use various applications. At the Digital School Collection Teacher Resources Web page, each lesson plan provides in-class cross curriculum activities demonstrating how to use various Adobe applications. For instance, Visualization of the Atom incorporates Photoshop Elements 7.0 and Acrobat 9. Assessment rubrics are also provided. Another example is the Animal Kingdom Digital Encyclopedia, which incorporates Contribute CS4. Here, directions are not as general but more specific to the lesson, yet any teacher or student can take what they learn, and apply these skills to different material. One chemistry teacher, T.J. Fletcher at Eagan High School in St. Paul, Minn., incorporated Flash 7 and Acrobat 9 into his curriculum. Using various functions within these applications, students developed a Calorimetry simulation, and produced a chemistry-related video clip. Students not only learned how to incorporate technology with chemistry and math, they applied trouble shooting skills, working together, and problem- based analysis. WORDS BY LISA P. HILL OXYGEN GRAPHIC (BELOW) COURTESY OF SARAH MARTIN

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