Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Yr7: DTP2 Creating a Menu

For this task you will be applying the Publisher tools we looked at in the previous lesson:
  • opening a document
  • changing the page setup from the default portrait to landscape
  • adding text
  • making text box borders visible (+ selecting colour)
  • adding WordArt
  • inserting + resizing images
  • cropping images
  • grouping and ungrouping objects
  • changing the order of objects, eg sending an image to back sets it as your document background
  • using the taskbar to change the background
You can use some of the screenshots below to help refresh your memory! EXTENSION: You could also find a long document with instructions on many other aspects of Publisher here (right-click to save, Ctrl+click to open in a new window/tab).
We will be creating a menu for your Come Dine With Me dinner party, in a booklet (an A4 landscape document split in two).
First we'll create a list of what goes into a good menu - we can use some of these examples to help with this.

  1. Note the features of a good menu
  2. List your 3-course menu (starter, main, dessert - if you want to extend yourself you could add vegetarian options!)
  3. Find + save (or copy/paste into your document) photos for each course
  4. Set up a new landscape A4 blank document
  5. Set it to 2 columns (see the screenshot below!) - splitting your page creates two panels. (Alternatively we could try some of the brochure entries from the new document section of the task pane)
  6. Insert another page (so you have 4 panels to work with; if you don't you only have 2 panels to work with)
  7. Pick a background - and apply it to both pages!
  8. Use some scrap paper to roughly sketch out/list what will go on each panel
  9. Design the front panel
  10. Check off the key features as you do them: cover page (the invite, a pic of your home [any house will do]), menu (each course with photo/s), map + directions to your house, dress code or theme, arrival/start time etc)
Photos of the food, a nice cover?
Again, photos of the food feature!
7ADM suggested the following should feature in a good menu for your Come Dine With me evening:

  • the 3 courses
  • key ingredients of each course (+ if something like a curry, the type of curry)
  • any accompaniments (eg rice, potatoes [roast, boiled, mashed etc], salad)
  • vegetarian alternatives could be given
  • info on whether nuts, dairy or gluten has been used for allergy sufferers
  • pictures of the food
  • funny names might be given, eg Colin's Curry or Larry's Lasagne
  • cola, fruit juice, blends etc
  • no need to use your actual address, any Ilkley street address would do
  • use GoogleMaps to create a map (take a screenshot using the Capture programme: START - ALL PROGRAMS - ACCESSORIES)
  • there is often a theme (eg the 1950s, Disney characters etc) or a dress code (eg black tie, evening wear, ... Disney characters/fancy dress! etc)
  • you could illustrate this with a picture
  • although the programme wouldn't, you could also add contact details if you wish - though with e-safety in mind, again don't use your actual contact details!
More detail/choices on this, but note the nice logo + contact details!
Pic of the place, nice subheadings - but this wouldn't work in a one-fold brochure!
You can find other examples by googling something such as 'dinner party menu'.

Here's some reminders of how to access certain Publisher tools:


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Yr7: DTP1 Intro to Publisher

In this lesson we will look at some of the key tools in the desktop publishing (DTP) programme Publisher, part of the Microsoft Office suite. When you're creating a poster for other subjects you should use this instead of Word!
I will demonstrate this first, then ask you to follow these steps.
(i) Open Publisher from the Microsoft Office folder in Start - Programmes
(ii) Either select File-New or find the icon for blank A4 (portrait) document from the opening selection of choices.
(iii) Task Pane - close it! Now work out how to reopen it!
(iv) Click View - Toolbars and look at the options. Remember this - if you accidentally close a toolbar you need, you can reopen it from the same place.

(v) Try to type into your document and see what happens. A stamp for anyone who can write their own name in their Publisher document within the next 60 seconds!
The main solution is to add a text box: either click the text box icon on the Objects toolbar OR click Insert - TextBox
(vi) Add a new text box with instructions on how to add a text box!
(vii) When you've done this, save your Publisher document as "1st Publisher Doc". As we work on, keep pressing CTRL + S.

Publisher has some stock images ("clip art"), and you can of course google for and save images then insert them. Lets take a screenshot to help us remember where we found the text box option:
(viii) Find and open the Capture programme (Start - Programmes - Capture). Select the 3rd option, the rectangle with the dotted outline, to select an area to save (drag the mouse to select). Save it, and insert the image (Insert - Image), resize it and reposition it.
(ix) Also insert a piece of clipart, resize and reposition.

Lets use Word Art to add more text as a title. We also find this on the Objects toolbar.
(x) Use this to type in My 1st Publisher doc. Experiment with the options!

If we want to move 2 or more objects (text boxes, pictures, etc) around at the same time, so they stay in the same relative position to each other, we can group these. When we're done we can also then ungroup these objects. We can also change the order, just like layers in Photoshop.
(xi) Group any 2 objects and move them. Then ungroup again!
(xii) Move 1 object so that it partially covers another. (Send to back)
Can you also work out how to change the background?!

Find and insert an image from your favourite movie, and have a go at adding other features to make your Publisher document look like a convincing movie poster! (tagline, bbfc cert, release date, reviews etc)

At the end of the lesson use the wall below to add a note of the most useful (or surprising!) thing you learned how to do today using Publisher.

We'll come back to Publisher next lesson to develop and apply these skills!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Yr8 Logo + Brochure

What goes in to a good logo? It must be easily recognisable from a distance and stand out when placed on colourful backgrounds (packaging, posters etc).
That means:
  • a simple graphic design
  • using few colours (2 or 3 usually)
  • the company/brand name should be short too: 1, 2, maybe 3 words
  • the brand name is part of the logo; the font used is very important
You can follow the PowerPoint below to learn more about logos. Once you have you need to create a snappy company name (your business is fixing, mending, improving, transforming photos - you can use your name, txt-style spelling, words linked to photography or improvment/change ...).
Every business needs a good slogan too - as Tesco plc says, Every Little Helps...
Once you've done that you can follow the instructions in how to use Photoshop tools to create a great company logo.
Make sure you save, and keep saving, your Photoshop work - any computer can crash. Press Ctrl+S every time you've made a major change you're happy with.
GuessLogos DB Compressed

Remember: Make sure you save, and keep saving, your Photoshop work - any computer can crash. Press Ctrl+S every time you've made a major change you're happy with.

Your brochure needs to feature certain key details - you could do your own research, looking at examples, but if there isn't enough time you can find a list of the key details you need to include in the document below. This also has instructions on how to create a 6-panel leaflet in Publisher.

Don't forget which panel will end up as the front, back, inside ... use this document as a quick reference:

Think about background colours, and take care with your font choices; experiment with text effects too: you can make shapes with words.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Yr 7: EXCEL working with formulas

For this lesson you will be learning how to make Excel do the hard work for you and make calculations - much quicker than manually working out sums in your head or by calculator and then typing them in!

First, open up both MyDocs and My Computer. Resize and reposition both so you can drag files from the curriculum share / ICT / KS3 / Yr7 folder to your own ICT folder.
I've opened BOTH My Docs AND My Computer. I repositioned AND resized both windows so I'm able to drag and drop files from the curriculum share ICT folder into my own ICT folder.
In MyDocs open up your ICT folder and if you haven't already got a folder called SPREADSHEETS then click FILE > NEW FOLDER and name this.
Navigate to the usual place in My Computer. In ICT / Yr 7 find and open the MODELLING folder. Go into LESSON 1.
Drag the Excel file Zoo Activity and drop it into your own ICT/Spreadsheets folder. Do not open the file yet.



Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Passwords and the hackers

It is written for an adult audience, but there is plenty of information in the article copied in below (click on read more to read the full piece) about how computer hackers are constantly working to crack our passwords - and why we do need complicated passwords to keep our personal information and files safe!
(Link for the article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/oct/05/online-security-passwords-tricks-hacking)

Online passwords: keep it complicated

By now, you probably have about 20 different passwords you're struggling to remember. There must be an easier way. How do you stay one step ahead of the hackers – and still stay sane?
passwords illustration
This word cloud shows the most commonly used passwords, with greater prominence given to those used most frequently. Published in InformationWeek BYTE 'Top 5 Password Managers'. Dazzlepod. Disclosure Project, dazzlepod.com/disclosure/
Let me hazard a wild guess: the system of passwords you use on the internet – for accessing online banking, email, shopping sites, Twitter and Facebook accounts – is a mess. You know perfectly well what you ought to be doing: for each site you visit, you should be choosing a different, complex sequence of letters, numbers and symbols, and then memorising it. (That's rule number one of the conventional wisdom on passwords: never, ever write them down.) But you don't do this, because you weren't blessed with a brain that's capable of such feats. So instead you use the same familiar words for every site – your dog's name, the name of your street – with occasional ingenious permutations, such as adding "123" at the end. Or maybe you do try to follow the rules, in which case you're probably constantly getting locked out of your bank account or trying to remember the answers to various absurd security questions. ("What was your favourite sport as a child?" I'm now asked, though my real favourite sport was finding ways to dodge PE. One question at the iTunes Store asks users to nominate their "least favourite car".) And things are getting worse: these days, you find yourself forced to choose passwords with both upper- and lower-case letters, and what normal human being can remember multiple combinations of those? Not you, that's for sure.
One reason not to feel too guilty about your bad password behaviour is that it seems to be almost universal. Last month, an analysis of leaked pin numbers revealed that about one in 10 of us uses "1234"; a recent security breach at Yahoo showed that thousands of users' passwords were either "password", "welcome", "123456" or "ninja".

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Yr8 EXCEL chart task: key points

For this task you need to  (1) design a survey; collect responses; tally up the totals for each possible answer you gave; (2) enter the data into an Excel spreadsheet; (3) display your results as a pie chart or graph (using the instruction sheet provided); and (4) finally assess someone else's work while they assess yours!

You need to follow these steps for a successful outcome:
You can create a pie chart or a bar chart/graph
  1. Create a question that most of your class have a reasonable chance of answering!
  2. Provide 4 or 5 possible answers, plus 'other' so that anybody who wouldn't choose any of your possible answers still has something to select
  3. Examples would be 'which of these is the best film/TV show/pop band/football team/country/city/food' or 'who will win the premier league/championship/formula one title/next football world cup'. These are just a couple of examples.
  1. For your spreadsheet, put the title into cell 1A, eg '8AHF's favourite pop bands'
  2. You can change the font and size so that this stands out
  3. Skip a row: go to row 3 next
  4. In cell 3A write the category (eg film, country, team; whatever your question asked) - one word will probably be enough
  5. In cell 3B write 'total'
  6. From cell 4A and working down column A type in the choices you gave on your survey form
  7. If any of your choices is a number (eg the film 300 was used in a list of best films) then put single quote marks '' around the name so that software recognises this as a word and not a number
  8. You may need to expand the border of column A so that the full word/title can be seen: if so, click off from any individual cell; hover the mouse between the border line separating columns A and B until you see the icon change and then simply drag the column A border over to the right
  9. From cell 4B and working down column B type in the totals
  1. Save your work! Either hold in the Ctrl button and press S or File/Save As.
  2. BEFORE you start generating a graph/chart, check you've not left a blank column, have missed out row 2, have put category + total in 3A and 3B, and have created a spreadsheet precisely like the example shown earlier!
  3. If you really want to add a border, hold in the Ctrl button and click on this link to read this post with instructions.
  1. Now follow the instructions in the Publisher document Differentiated help sheet which you can find in the Y:\ICT\KS3\Year 8\Charts folder (the Y drive is the curriculum share folder you see when you open My Computer)
  2. When you reach stage 5 on this helpsheet make sure you also check the box for category name.
  3. In the final step change the setting in 'As object in' to Sheet 2 (it is set to sheet 1 automatically).
  4. If you think you've gotten everything right you're ready to have the person beside you go through the checklist to note which parts you've successfully completed! When they're ready you can check theirs. Put their full name on the sheet you're writing on (I'll collect all of these in before you go).
  5. You can put your data collection sheet into the recycling bin.
  6. If you've done all of this you could spend a little time on yout Independent Learning assignment, which must be handed in by Friday 26th October - you can see some instructions in this post.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Yr8 Independent Learning September-October

THE TASK: Create a guide to using the audio software Audacity to show someone new to it how to use it
'INDEPENDENT LEARNING'?: You work on this outside of lesson time (at home or lunchtime for example)
WHERE ARE THE INSTRUCTIONS: You can find information below, but you must download the two documents from the SLG or save from the curric share folder: instructions and a document to write in.
WHAT DO I PRODUCE: You pick the software: PowerPoint, Photostory, iMovie - all of these and more would work well. You also complete the Autumn1 section of the learning log.
CAN I SEE AN EXAMPLE: Yes - scroll down!
DEADLINE? WHERE DO I HAND IT IN? Before your last lesson this half-term. Copy/paste it into the hand-in folder on the curriculum share drive, looking for the folder for your teacher and class.

In addition to the general work we do in lessons you have some independent work to undertake and to hand in by Friday 26th October, the last day before the half-term holidays. You hand it in by saving it in the the hand-in folder within the curriculum share folder/ICT. (Y:\ICT\Hand-in)
Your task is to create a user guide for Audacity - see https://hslg11.capita-cso.co.uk/schools/IGS/SLG/Students/CurriculumAreas/ICT/KS3IndependentLearning/Year%208/default.aspx for details (log in to SLG and go through students, curriculum areas, ICT, KS3 Independent Learning)
You will need to download the documents there.

Don't leave it to the last minute!

Here's an example of what you might do: Matthew Cook (8LO) has produced a PowerPoint with a nice background, clear and specific instructions, and screenshots to help readers to follow his instructions. The sample below is not Matthew's full guide, just a few slides to give you an idea. Remember too that you can also create video work and use other software besides PowerPoint.
How to Use Audacity Matthew Cook Sample Only

WHAT IS AUDACITY? - Its a piece of software which you can download and use for free ('freeware'), used by millions of people for recording and editing audio, eg for creating podcasts.
MY LAPTOP/COMPUTER IS A MAC/LINUX... - This software is designed to work on all the common operating systems, so you will find a version that will work on your computer.
Screenshot of the Audacity website.
I DON'T HAVE A COMPUTER AT HOME... - Audacity is installed on the school computers, so you can do your independent work task while at school!
HOW/WHERE DO I HAND IT IN? - Check that each file is saved with a clear file name: YourName Audacity Guide (eg, Joe Smith Audacity Guide). Copy and paste into the Hand-in folder on the curriculum share folder (Y:\ICT\Hand-in)
WHAT DO I NEED TO INCLUDE? - Read the instructions included in the PowerPoint file you can download from the SLG (see above); you can also read this document below but remember there are TWO documents to download. You also complete the Autumn1 section of the learning log.
WHERE DO I FIND AUDACITY? - The link for their website is included in the PowerPoint file, though remember you can access it on the school computers. This is the link: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/.

Year 8 Term1

Yr7 Independent Learning September-October

In addition to the general work we do in lessons you have some independent work to undertake and to hand in by Friday 26th October, the last day before the half-term holidays. You hand it in by saving it in the the hand-in folder within the curriculum share folder/ICT. (Y:\ICT\Hand-in)

Your task is to plan and write a letter - see https://hslg11.capita-cso.co.uk/schools/IGS/SLG/Students/CurriculumAreas/ICT/KS3IndependentLearning/Year%207/default.aspx for details (log in to SLG and go through students, curriculum areas, ICT, KS3 Independent Learning)
You will need to download the documents there.
You also complete the Autumn1 section of the learning log.
Don't leave it to the last minute!

The PowerPoint document with instructions can be viewed below, but make sure you download all the documents you need (you can also access these through an IndLng folder within the ICT folder on the curriculum share folder).

Year 7 Term 1

Yr8 PHOTOSHOP: Improving photos

YEAR 8: Your challenge: to learn how to apply a range of Photoshop tools to enable you to improve and transform a range of damaged photos. You will then promote this valuable skill by launching a new photo improvement shop, creating a logo and slogan for this and finally a brochure to showcase what your business can offer to the public, including several before and after snaps!
For two lessons you will be learning how to touch up photographs using various Photoshop tools, then applying these skills to a range of photos you'll include within a brochure ...
After your two lessons working with Photoshop you'll work in Publisher to create a company logo and then a brochure for a business which takes in and improves damaged or poor photographs (you might use other software such as Flash to help create your logo).

An example of an old photo a customer might bring to you

Here are a few tips on which tools to use for improving photos in Photoshop...

This won't always work well, but is worth a try. Click ENHANCE from the top menu and try out a few of the options to see what effect these have. This is worth trying out with a new image, but as often as not you'll want to undo (Ctrl + Z) the changes.

This is arguably the most important tool you have to improve photos with cracks, folds, dirt etc. Remember, you need to hold in the ALT key to select the part of the image you want to clone, and you'll need to redo this as you move around. The x that appears marks the spot that you cloned. Experiment with the brush too. This site has great videos to help guide you step by step: http://simplephotoshop.com/photoshop_tools/clone_stampf.htm. You could also use this detailed, more text-based, guide: http://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/retouching-repairing-images.html.
By using the clone tool I've begun to fix the image!

Modern cameras are getting better at avoiding this, but many photographs, old and new, still have this redeye effect. Unless your subject really is a demon you'll want to correct that! When using this tool remember you can experiment with the light/darkness settings to make it more realistic. There's a useful guide at http://www.brainbell.com/tutorials/Photoshop/How_to_Use_Red-Eye_Tool.html.

As you discover useful tools, make a note so you can find and use them again
This article (http://www.bmcphotoart.com/tutorial-impressionist-photoshop-painting/) takes you through the steps you need to apply a filter to create something very different from the original photograph, a service that might help your photo editing business attract some customers! You can experiment with many more filters than the ones shown here.
Also try out FILTER > DUST + SCRATCHES and experiment to see if this can undo some damage to save you a long time using the clone stamp tool.

Check the brushes available to see if these offer the ability to make changes to sections of your final image. See this guide: http://garymgordon.com/misc/tutorials/photoshop_tutorial/elements/ref/tool_impressionistBrush.htm. Here's another guide, much more detailed than the first with information on what settings to change: http://www.the-graphics-tablet.com/impressionist-brush.html

You can choose from many frame styles
Especially for photos that you've made to look like paintings by applying certain filters, its useful to be able to offer your customers a framing service so they can hang the image you produce on the wall. Framed images are also popular as gifts! Try clicking through LAYERS > EFFECTS > FRAMES and experiment. Note that frames can only be added right at the end - to a single, flattened layer.
Look at the options on the right of your screen - just above the Layers palette you get the Styles and Effects palette. Select Effects from the first dropdown menu and frames from the second, then pick and modify your frame. 

In the second lesson of four on this you're ready to start taking in orders and turning damaged photos into flawless photos that customers will be thrilled with! You can find a range of damaged photos in the CUSTOMERS PHOTOS folder within the curriculm share/ICT/KS3/Yr8/Photoshop folder. The more of these you can work through the more before-and-after shots you can use in your brochure to tempt in the customers! You could copy some of these into your own My Documents and work on a couple over a lunchtime or two as well!

Not ideal, but if you're struggling to fix 3 photos here's a quick method. This is Photo1 and I've selected the crop tool and drawn round an area which cuts out the fold and tear. Once I click on the green tick I get...
It may not be quite what the customer wants, but we can do this partial fix very quickly. We can also try the auto smart fix from the ENHANCE menu at the top of the screen
ENHANCE>autofix options are hit and miss, but here they've worked quite well to sharpen the image, although we can take more control over sharpening by trying FILTER>SHARPEN from the top menu

We could also add a frame...
...and here it is; hopefully the customer will pay good money for this as a gift (at least once you've also removed the other small bits of wear and tear!)