It ‘Just Works’

The latest point update to OSX 10.7 was released last week and I was pleasantly surprised today to discover that all of the Lion machines had already updated themselves thanks to Munki.

I know this is not the most exciting news in the world, but I was happy to see it as our Mac server is only running 10.6 and had to be fiddled with to get it to dish up Lion updates. I followed Apple’s instructions on how to do this but at first I didn’t think it had worked. Now I guess it was just caching them all as Lion clients now seem to be happily updating themselves. Yay!

I guess that now frees up my half term to do the LGfL 2.0 switchover with our trusty IT technician Ji. Looking forward to that job…

iMovie Club pt.2

iMovie club this week included a foray into the wonderful world of music video creation.  I showed an example of what you can do with just an iSight camera and then talked children through importing CDs into iTunes and downloading YouTube videos (thanks to ClickToFlash).

The technique basically was to start recording iSight video using iMovie, play the song in iTunes and then mime along to the song.  You then put the resulting video into the timeline and then add the audio of the original song as the background sound.  A double-click on the video lets you turn down the audio thus leaving just the CD audio.  If you use the precision editor you can then slide the video back and forth until the miming syncs up with the audio.  (Using a clapperboard would make this a lot easier, so maybe I’ll try that next time.)

Once the basics of the track was laid down, children could then import downloaded YouTube videos into iMovie and then select interesting clips to insert over the song.  If you enable the advance tools in the preferences, you can insert a cutaway by dragging a clip onto an existing video clip in the project.  This keeps the audio and the mimed video in sync between cutaways – it’s a pretty cool feature!

It did take quite a lot of one-to-one support from me, so hopefully next week children will feel more confident to continue creating their music videos and exploring

iLife & iWork training

The staff meeting today was on ICT and we decided that it would be good to introduce staff to some more Apple software.  It always pains me when I see Microsoft Word being used so prolifically, especially as it’s probably one of the worse pieces of Mac software out there and because there is so much better stuff to use!

We started off with a look at iPhoto, which went down well.  It was slightly embarrassing that iPhoto decided to throw up a ‘I won’t print because I don’t have any themes installed’ error.  Really should have checked that!

This was followed by a look at Keynote, which is always fun.  Instant Alpha got a few cheers as did the various cool transitions.  We then looked at Pages, highlighting how it’s easy to create things like newsletters or brochures with children.  Unfortunately my secret source of certificate templates was also discovered…rats!

We rounded off with a look at Garageband, focusing on using loops and making podcasts.  It is remarkably easy to use and I’m looking forward to hearing all the things children are creating.  Headphones for the ICT suite definitely needs to go on the next bid though!

It generally all seemed to go down well, with staff engaged and enthused by the new possibilities.