Sunday, October 9, 2011

Visual Learning

This week for my Technology, Culture and Learning Class, we learned how to use visual learning tools.  We used several different visual learning applications such as Pixlr, iMovie, screencast and YouTube. 
The Pixlr application is a photo editor, similar to Photoshop.  There are several ways to fix, adjust and edit photos and images.  You can edit photos from your photo library or take a photo on your webcam.   This online application is free to use and the best part is you do not have to sign up a username and password.  You can filter a photo, lighten or darken and put different frames on photos.  I used the brightness and contrast option on one of my vacation photo.  In the photo I was unable to see my friend in the lower corner, but I applied the brightness and contrast option I could see everything that was previous in a shadow.  I was able to also rotate, flip and crop all my photos.  You can also assign some interesting effects to your photos.  The only thing I was unable to do was remove a glare in the photo.  I really enjoyed working with Pixlr and have continued to use this program.   
Screencast and IMovie are both video editors.  In screencast you are able to upload or create your video and use the application to edit your video.  In Screencast you are able to record yourself explaining how to do something.  Screencast records you viewing other websites, which is a great tool if you are trying to teach someone how to do something online.  This is perfect for trying. I use a number of different software programs at work.  If we could up videos as tutorials to use these software programs, it would allow someone to use this tool as needed.  For example, I get a lot of questions on how to use the new version of excel.  If I were able to set up different tutorials, I could direct co-workers to these videos.  IMovie allows you to import video footage and edit these videos.  You can add music, titles and different frames to the video clips.  You can create transitions, color correction, and fade in and fade out screens.
Prior to this class the only reason I used YouTube for, was to view videos posted by other users.  I never thought I would be one of those people posting videos on YouTube.  Posting videos on YouTube was much easier to use than I thought.  This could be a great application to use when you want to post educational videos.
All of these applications are great tools to use to explain how to use different programs.  However, they should not be the only tool used.   I do believe that these visual learning applications could be a great supplement for teaching. 

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