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Open Source Schools – Open Source Software: an overview

Cooliris wall

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I’m down at Felsted School, Essex, tomorrow at the invitation of my good friend and conspirator collaborator, Nick Dennis. The Heads of ICT departments from independent schools in the area get together every so often to share and discuss ideas. I’ve been asked to do a presentation on Open Source Software – presumably because I’m involved in the Becta-funded Open Source Schools project. :-)

Although I’ve tinkered with Prezi as a presentation tool in the past, I’ve decided I’m not a big fan as it’s a bit clunky and slow when putting your presentation together. It’s also completely ‘closed’ meaning that not only is it against the underpinning of the presentation, but other people (including me in future!) can’t re-use elements of your presentation.

A few months ago I read Alan Levine’s post Tricking out Cooliris as a presentation tool. I thought it looked cool, forgot to experiment, and then forgot about it. That is until last week when I saw that Alec Couros and Dean Shareski had used the method in their presentation entitled 2 guys. Suitably impressed, I decided to have a go. :-p

It all looked very complicated at first until I discovered that Cooliris have a program called PicLens Publisher that does all the hard work for you. All you need to do is save your presentation as a series of images, drag-and-drop the images onto PicLens Publisher and it produces the HTML page and RSS feed required.

Once that was done, all I needed to do was customize the HTML page and upload the folder via FTP to my website. Done! :-D

Update: Dai Barnes captured the audio using his Livescribe. Check it out here!

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  1. Doug,

    I am at a machine at a school and cannot install CoolIris. While I appreciate the innovative format, and will check this out later on my school, it would be nice to have a traditional slideshare or something where I coul d see this other than just a giant page full of pictures.

    Just something to consider. Remember, not everyone will have (or can install) required plugins.

    Chris

  2. The Publisher tool works great if you’re only adding images. I have included videos which complicates the process. The current release of Flash however, is not compatible yet so my last presentation with Cooliris had to link to videos on Youtube. If you want your images to link to webpages, you have to get into the code. That’s not that difficult and is quite nice to be able to smoothly toggle between your presentation and the web.

  3. The one sounds great – just … all I have to do … until I get to look at the bits in between. That’s when I freeze up. I feel OK about what I do until i come across what the real … experts ( nerds – sorry) do then I crawl back into my little shell with my comfort blanket,