Saturday, 23 February 2008

Animation and Education at Learning@School

I have just returned from the Learning@School Conference in Rotorua for the ICT PD Cluster network. I wanted to bring to your attention the release of MARVIN. Promoted by the developers as “the world's fastest growing avatar (character based) animation and education resource development platform in the world”, it enables teachers and students to develop and share 3D content easily and without having to grasp a lot of new skills. The software comes with a library of animated characters that are also designed with a specific age group target. Users can then add background images, written text, text to voice as well as recorded voice in a language of choice.
The potential to create interactive content specific to learners’ needs and context as well as content that reflects cultural and social frames of reference makes this software potentially very appealing. Purchase price and licensing sounds reasonable (I suspect because of support from Microsoft) and schools can also access training. I have a demo disc so will be exploring this further with some teachers in our ICT PD cluster. Find out more and register online.
If you are using MARVIN with your students now or in the future please post a comment here or email me. It would be useful to see some NZ examples.

MARVIN is for Windows, however I was sitting with Dave Young at the presentation yesterday and he fired it up in Parallels on his Mac ( below left) and it seemed to behave itself a little better than the presenters copy ( below right)

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Saturday, 9 February 2008


Greetings everyone and welcome to 2008.

Looking forward to continuing the development of this space as a team blog. The community welcomes contributions through commenting on individual posts however if you wish to post as an author visit the ICT in English wiki for instructions. See below for a couple of current events that you may be interested in exploring further.

If you are attending the Learning@School Conference in Rotorua from 19-22 February 2008 you may be interested in visiting the Bloggers Cafe, an opportunity for some face-to-face and a place where you can pick up some tips on blogging.

International Year of Languages
The following was posted on the List Serv by Roslyn Teirney (GATEWAYS Project Leader Ogilvie High School, Tasmania) and I thought it was worth including for ICT in English blog readers too.

2008 has been declared "International Year of Languages" by the U.N. General Assembly. It is described by Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, as "a unique opportunity to make decisive progress towards" ensuring "that the importance of linguistic diversity and multilingualism in educational, administrative and legal systems, cultural expressions and the media, cyberspace and trade, is recognized at the national, regional and international levels."

For more details see the
wikipedia entry.

There is a gathering place for those wishing to support 2008 IYL on Facebook in the groups section of that fantastic networking site.

There were 100 members by Jan. 1 and 1000 on Jan. 23, and they are still aiming for 10,000 by International Mother Language Day, Feb. 21.