Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fact Mapping, Screen Masking, Translator, and Study Skills Tools for Mac

As I was exploring these options I kept thinking to myself, "Why wasn't this around when I was in school?"

FACT MAPPING - This is a particularly useful tool to help students create, revise and draft documents. Similar to graphic organizers, this tool helps you to organize your thoughts. However, the fact mapping tool is so much more interactive as you can connect to on-line documents, etc. and incorporate material into your document. Also, you can export your page to a web page to be shared with others.

SCREEN MASKING - By clicking on the icon you can tint the screen and show small sections (even as small as one line) to "mask" the remainder of a document. This enables the viewer to focus on small portions of a document without being overwhelmed or distracted by other text features or the enormity of the written material. By clicking on the icon and the preferences section you can adjust the transparency of the masking and the height of the section that is being displayed.

TRANSLATOR - By clicking on the icon a student can highlight a word that can be translated into Spanish, French, German, or Italian. This is particularly helpful to E.S.L. students who are able to quickly translate words. When hovering over a word, a student not only is able to get the translation of a word in their native tongue, but they are also able to hear it in their own language as well. Adjustments can be made accordingly in the "Preference" section.

STUDY SKILLS TUTOR - This feature allows students to self-select important information. Clicking the icon allows students to highlight the document using a possible choice of four colours (colour selection can be made through the "Preference" section). In addition to highlighting text, students can also extract text that has been previously highlighted into a separate word document. To do so, click the "collect text" button, highlight the text, collect it and it can then be transferred to a word document.

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