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Open Source software

Written by David on June 27th, 2009.      0 comments

Continuing the Open Source software theme.  I have been attending a course on 3D animation for the last 10 weeks, it came to an end this week.  I attended primarily to bring my Blender skills up a notch or two.  I am self taught and am well aware that while this method can work well it is also a recipie for engendering bad habits!

The course was at the Freelance Animation School here in Auckland and their program of choice is Max 3DS.  As is usual at the end of these things we had to complete an evaluation.  I thanked Mark our tutor for teaching me more about Blender in the previous weeks that I had learnt in a long time.  He was confused as we had not even looked at Blender!  It got me thinking and we discussed how using Open Source 3D animation would be a good choice for adult evening classes.  At this point his boss walked in and we had a discussion about why Open Source software should be offered as a short course option.  I believe that offering short courses in Inkscape and Blender for example to secondary school teachers would be able to provide foundation courses in these programmes in school which would teach the pupils the basic principles of the programmes that in courses such as the ones offered at Freelance, students would arrive with a better grounding and with a skill set that could be easily transferred to the commercial variants that the work with at Freelance.

Mark’s boss seemed very impressed by this notion.  We are currently investigating how I could put together a programme of lessons for their tutors, alumni and existing students in such open source programmes as Blender, Inkscape, The Gimp etc and have me deliver them.  I have already drafted out a series of lessons and skills, I will be meeting the school again in a week or so to continue the planning.


Open Source Source

Written by David on June 27th, 2009.      0 comments

I have been approached by an author in the US who is writing a book on bartering, the book title is The ABCs of Barter and Trade Exchanges by Trish A. Truitt. The book is due for publication at the end of July at the earliest.  They will also have a web site which is due to go live soon  the link is:  http://www.ABCsOfBarter.com The reason for the contact is that she wants to reference one of my tutorials on You Tube in her publication, I have of course said yes.  The tutorial that she is interested in is my Open Office tutorial, which is just an introduction to the program.  I figured that a tutorial was not really necessary as most users of the Internet would already be familiar with a myriad of word processing programmes.  However Trish thought that the style was clear and conscise enough to warrant a mention in her book.

We have been chatting for a while now and it was clear that she did not want to reference a You Tube link in her book.  I suggested that I create a wiki and embed the video there.  The result is that I have now created an open source wiki for all of my Open Source software tutorials.  It is a repository of tutorials organised by application and will continue to grow in the weeks and months ahead.  Indeed today I will be sitting down and re-creating the ‘addons’ tutorial that I have already created and will also create a series of Calc tutorials for inclusion on this specific Open Source wiki.

The address is: http://opensourcesource.wikispaces.com


Client work continues

Written by David on June 27th, 2009.      0 comments

I am currently working with two schools to design and revamp their sites.  It is interesting work designing websites for schools as each has their own ethos and philosophy.  A website should be something that acts as a mirror, especially for institutions such as schools.  As such, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution for schools.  I have seen several school websites recently that have been ‘templated’ by the same company and they look just that, die cast.  In fact the more you look at these sites, the more you see the company that built them than the school.


Initial feedback

Written by David on June 1st, 2009.      0 comments

The good news is that my Milestone report has had the green light from the national facilitator. I had to make a few minor changes and additions, it was then converted to pdf and is now in the annals of the Ministry.

I will get some in depth feedback at a later point. Next Wednesday I have to present my findings to the cluster lead teachers, complete with my analysis of their efforts and what I feel the next steps are based on their submitted evidence.


Ulearn 09

Written by David on June 1st, 2009.      0 comments

I have submitted my two presentations to the organisers of Ulearn 09. I am thinking that my personal theme for this year’s event is to give rather than take. By that I mean, my intention is for me to go to Christchurch and share as much as I can, rather than attend breakouts to glean as much as I can.

As a result of this I may well end up submitting a few more presentation proposals for the organisers to choose from. Time now to organise cheap flights and accomodation, before the best seats and rooms get snapped up.


Client work

Written by David on June 1st, 2009.      0 comments

I have been working on a new website concept for a client this last week. The client was happy with the roughed out pdf I sent to them, then when I expanded on my ideas at a recent meeting, they understood the concept better and had the opportuniy to add more of themselves to the concept. I have now created a design, built it and have sent it to them. They are ecstatic about the outcome. I now have to wait for them to send the text and image content they want on the page and it will go to my test site for their final approval before going live on their domain.



David has been a specialist in the field of elearning for over 12 years. He has presented on elearning at conferences in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. His consultancy work includes education and business clients. READ MORE


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