In2edu I.C.T. Resources Enhancing Education & Learning

Top Educational Freeware for Your Mac

top_apps_freeware_mac_osx_apple

Here is a quick overview of the Applications - Programs installed on the Apple MacOSX laptops in the school. They focus on learning and productivity. Of course, using Web2.0 documents are not covered in this entry, such as online mindmapping, GoogleApps, GoogleDocs, and delicious etc. So we will update you on our best web 2.0 picks very soon.

Have a look at the list and check out how you could use them. Also check out our top educational freeware/open source here.
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Maintaining Your OS X Computer with Onyx


Keep your computer running lickerty split and smooth.

'This requires administrator access to your computer. We will be using ONYX, freeware available from here, with the latest version also usually in our freeware network share at school, so you do not need to download it. Generally, you should optimise your computer every month or so, and especially before and after a large MacOSX system upgrade (always use the combo updaters for these System updates). Locate Onyx in Applications... Onyx and run it. As it starts up you get asked for an administrators password.... Open up the attachment below for a quick tipsheet (use the 'Help' in the program for more details. [View : Download]
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Blazing fast web searching


Monocole is a small freeware utility that we have found that can significantly help in webs searching. Monocle is found here and we suggest you add other search engines to it as we have listed below to take your information exploring to the ultra expert level. Check out our "how to Use" tips sheet below.
  1. creativecommons.org
  2. biblegateway.com
  3. teara.govt.nz 
  4. www.k8.ebonline.co.nz/elementary (free subscription for NZ schools to Britannica online) Setup if needed via TKI EPIC Databases
  5. teachertube.com
  6. Oxford English Dictionary Online Setup if needed via TKI EPIC Databases

Do you have any search engines you think should be added to this list? Make a comment below.

For the Databases Via EPIC you will need to get the password allocated to Medbury for this year.
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Portraits and Prints Review

Just recently posted from the authors of Chronosync (backups for Macs) is a range of programs that they have just updated for Snow Leopard. They (econtechnologies.com) have decided to release Portraits and Prints, Imagecaster (webcam solution) and Daychaser (calendar tool) applications as freeware, deciding to instead focus on their backup business. I will be reviewing Chronosync and the other freeware in upcoming blog entries, in the meantime here is a quick look at Portraits and Prints.
Overview
This program allows you to take images from folders or directly from iPhoto and manipulate them further by simple graphical adjustments, putting them into templates (catalogues) and printing them.
Templates Art ICT iPhoto

System Requirements
A Macintosh computer running Mac OS 10.3 ("Panther") or later, a minimum 400 MHz G3, and a color printer. It is a universal application.
First Look
If you have a general familiarity to Macs it is fairly easy to get started when you open the program. Within a few minutes you can have a page of identical or different photos entered into a template ready to print, pdf or publish to disc.
Similar Programs
Comic Life - amazing comic layouts, commercial software with significantly more options.
iPhoto- Supplied with iLife package on new Macs. More graphical manipulations, less catalogue templates.
Education Suggestions
Create simple photo captioned sequences.
Publish a visual report.
Create invitations or simple photocards.
Create a photoboard of a class activity or trip.
Create visual poetry.
Best Tips
You can add multiple photos using command+click in the finder dialogue.
Drag n drop a template to change photos in an existing template to a new or updated template.
Add plain text to photos by dragging in (the hard to see) blue dot handles on the speech bubble.
Hot
Simple and Free.
Red Eye - works quickly on a basic "turn my eyeball black" scheme.
Good range of basic templates.
Not So Hot
Can't paste other titles or images (layer) from other programs to enhance presentation, unless you do this on the template itself.
Can only crop in oblong/rectangular/square shapes, otherwise you use the built in bitmap masks or create your own extra masks available in template mode only.

Final Word
Taking in the balance this softwares status of "freeware" verses our Not So Hot comments we award this software three stars. Worth placing in your collection for specific photo printing purposes! 3stars award software mac apple
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ICT Equip & Room Booking System

I looked at a number of systems, from paper to iCal and beyond. Looking for a cheap solution I came across MRBS a SQL solution and we have adapted it so that we can loan out materials, rooms, areas and I.C.T. equipment. We just use one log in via web-browser (pupils and staff book under this) and it is great for booking classrooms, ICT Suite, ICT gear and allocating halls and fields. It will take a bit of setting up but it is brilliant for the FREE cost!
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iPhotoBuddy

Overview
iPhoto Buddy 1.2.6 is a Mac OS X application that allows you to easily create, manage, and switch between multiple iPhoto Libraries. The advantages of splitting your One Huge Photo Library into multiple, smaller ones include improved iPhoto performance, increased flexibility in organizing your digital photo collection, and a consistency with most other Mac applications that allow their respective data to be stored in as many documents (in this case, “Libraries“) as you like.

Runs well under Rosetta. Tested on MacbookPro, Intel (1 GB Ram), 10.4.8, 2Ghz.
Similar Programs
  • iPhotoManager is the best competitor and has a freeware version and registered version (US $19.95) Universal.
  • iPhotoLibrarian is a simple script that changes location of library.
System Requirements
Required: iPhoto Buddy requires a Macintosh computer running OS X 10.2.4 or later, and iPhoto 2 or later. iPhoto Buddy is fully compatible with iLife '04, iLife '05, and iLife '06.(Universal Version not available)
First Look
iPhotoBuddy LargeiPhoto Buddy installs from a simple disc image drag and drop to applications. On running it picks up your default library and from there you can create new folders or add other libraries from elsewhere (a collection someone else has). You simply select the library you wish to launch by double clicking on it or selecting and clicking on the iphoto icon. It gives you details on the library collections and displays a view of the folders/albums in the selected library.
Education Application
For any user who is handling a lot of digital photos (art pictures, science experiments, school trips) and juggling with personal photos etc, this program provides and easy way to seperate out libraries to manage them more easily. It can help in the sharing of libraries, although permission issues will need to be worked through.
Best Tips
Use iPhoto Buddy to store your libraries on other media. i.e. Firewire HDD, network sharepoint.
Hot
* Free software that is simple and easy to use and does the job really well
* Simpler navigation and information from the display window than iPhotoManager
* Able to password lock a library
* Able to put a personal thumbnail on the libraries
Not Hot (Feature Suggestions)
* Ability to merge libraries would be great. (available in registered iPhotomanager)
* Ability to create a merged library from different albums
* Ability to create a shortcut of the library you wish to quickly launch (available in registered iPhotomanager)
* If you decide you need to swap a library while using programs (say Keynote) you will need to save, quit ad re-open the file.
Final Word
4 Stars Free and does an excellent job.. so no arguments. If some of the features available in the registered version of iPhotomanager appeal then fork up some money, otherwise I think that iPhotoBuddy has a simpler ease of use. It is reliable and works well.
If you would like to make any comments on this feature or have suggestions or workarounds, feel free to leave a comment.
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