Olympics Project

We’re going to begin a project which will include us using two tools –  Adobe Premiere Elements and Comic Life. All the links that students need to start the project are below. Listen carefully when we discuss them in class. Click on this URL.  http://www.3x3links.com/olympicsproject2012


1. Click on the link called, “Lesson Project Microsoft”.  Open the Word document called  “Research the Olympic Games”. Scroll down to another Word document called “Student Handout”. Save and then Open this Word document. The outline of your project is here. HOWEVER, instead of presenting the work in a Publisher leaflet, we will be using Comic Life for the end publication.

2. There are several parts to this Project:

a) Links are included to the history of the Olympic Games and to the current sports which are competing in the 2012 games. You need to choose a city where the games were previously held AND a single sport to write about. The ‘Information Ideas’ is where you fill in the answers (on the Word document) once you’ve completed your research. This is simply rough work, or preparation for the content of your publication. As a general guide, one topic should fill at least one Comic Life page. The project must include sufficient text and images to cover the suggested ideas.

b) Using the link to “Create your mascot” students should create an Olympic mascot. Your mascot will be the narrator of your publication. This should then be saved as a screen shot in MS Word. We will learn how to crop an image in Photoshop. (A help video is included in the links.) As the weeks progress, students will learn more Photoshop skills and these will enable you to build effective images for your project. (Idea: Why not change your mascot’s clothes for each page?)

c) There is a link to some ideas of how other Comic Life projects have been created as well as a link to a Comic Life ‘How To’. Do not be afraid to explore the application.

d) Extension tasks will include creating your own Olympic logo in Photoshop and completing the online Olympics quizzes.

Have fun!


Exam Revision

Your Summer exam timetable and revision sessions with Mrs O’Brien can be found on the main page of the school website. http://www.nottinghamhigh.co.uk/

Guidance for your exams can be found in the relevant academic department sections:


Students might find this tool for creating their own revision timetable quite useful. http://getrevising.co.uk/ Make sure that you have your exam timetable with you before you start working with this online application.

1. Sign up to the site for an account. (Register with your email.)

2. Click on the arrow next to ‘Create your personal revision timetable’

3. Use the drop down boxes to add your exams.

4. Use the slider to register if you want to spend more or less time revising for some exams.

5. Print out the revision timetable – and stick to it!

(image by Pingu1963)

Summer Term: Crazy Talk

For the next few weeks we’ll complete a short CrazyTalk project. CrazyTalk is an animation tool for creating talking characters. Students can use an imported image (one of your own) or one of the samples from the CrazyTalk models and make them “speak”. Take a look at these videos to see what you can do. (You should watch these at home) They are of an animated dog and cat. A full list of tutorials, both in online video and illustrative documents are available from Reallusion. These are useful if we don’t want to access YouTube. (TIP: Start from the bottom of the list.)

We will be using CrazyTalk 5 which is a slightly older version of the current one. A big plus is that students can download a free trial of the latest application, or an older version from Reallusion to use at home if they wish. This should enable you to experiment on your own. Of course students should always be wary of downloading software, but CNET has a good reputation. Always ensure that your computer system is compatible with the requirements of the product.
 Lesson One
1. Open up the CrazyTalk application once you’ve logged on.
2. Navigate to the internet and search for a full face image. Save this. (It would be better if this had a closed mouth.)
3. Follow the instructions from ” Basic Face Fitting” from Step 1 to 9.
4. Then add “Natural Eyes and Teeth“.
5. Finally complete the “Face profile and Stand-By Motion” tutorial.
6. Experiment!
a) That video help is available from the Reallusion website on EACH of the tutorials.
b) That you should add your original imported image to the “Custom” window for models.
c) Save your work as a “Project”. You can overwrite this each time you add something new.
Extension: Why not animate a hamburger? Follow these instructions.
Lesson Two
1. Follow the steps from “Handling the Background Image” in order to learn how to customise a background. You might wish to search for an image to use as a background first. N.B. This tutorial is not as easy as it looks!
2. To add speech to your animation you need to click on the SCRIPT option in CrazyTalk. It is quite fun to have your model talk like some of the different suggested options in the template window. The tutorial for speech is rather in depth. We only need to worry about Step 6 from the “Timeline and Emotion Library” at this stage. Students can add custom sound to their models at a later stage.
3. Finally, for this lesson, students should have a look at “Editing and Creating a Custom Script“. This will definitely take some time to get on top of, but it will allow you to create a model whose facial movements are edited to fit a particular character or a specific speech.  During class we will watch this video which demonstrates the facial expressions created by using this tool.




Lesson Three
1. Spend some time during this lesson on finalising the project. Make sure that it has all the elements you want.
2. We need to add what we’ve done to our wordpress blogs. Take a screen shot of your model, save as a jpeg and write up the process of your creation.

Acknowledgements to Claire Barnes and her notes from Willow Dene School. 


Scratch: Week 2

More Scratch this week! Once we’ve covered the creation of sprites (sharks) which bite and swallow their prey,as well as then counting the total number of fish consumed, we’ll get on with more Scratch games. Students have made excellent progress thus far. Don’t forget to sign onto the Scratch website and download some projects to look at. Study the scripts and experiment with them in your own projects. Use the support option from the website if you need help when you’re working from home.

For further experimentation, there are several good tutorials from the learnscratch website. Three main PDF tutorials cover working with sprites, movement and some advanced projects. The site has good video help.

Students should move on now and attempt to create several different types of games. All the games cover basic building blocks in Scratch programming, but in completing several of them, you will be consolidating what you’ve learnt as well as learning new “code” blocks.

1. There a three videos on making a shooting game, a top down racing game and pong and students should at least try one or two of these.

2. Students may also follow these instructions for making a PacMan game within a maze. The PDF files are quite large, so be patient when they open. (A big thanks to Mr Williams from Perins School for the tutorial.) Have fun and experiment!

Students should sign up to the Scratch website using their default username as they have been taught. Take care to save the username and password details on your web 2.0 document. Then enter the URL to your scratch webpage here.

Extension: Look at the following teachers’ websites and see if there is anything on Scratch which you’d like to try out.

Mr Haughton’s Website

Work from the ICT Curriculum site

Scratch Programming

Once we’ve finished with our creative writing pieces on the blogs, we’ll begin working with SCRATCH. Scratch is a software application which allows us to make simple and complex programmes for animating objects on screen.

Here are some examples of what people have done in Scratch Projects:

1. Soulja Boy

2. The hamster dance

3. Dynamite AMV

4. Space Shooter

5. Need for speed

To enable us to experience how prgramming instructions work, we’ll discuss the steps to make a cup of tea. Students should see that there is much careful “step planning” in order to produce this seemingly simple procedure. Scratch works with “building blocks” of instructions which are dragged and droppped into place in order to build up a programme. We’ll look at some examples of Scratch so that we can see what one can create. (Students can log onto the Scratch website and create their own collection of favourite programmes at home. These can also be downloaded and added to.)

1. Look at this presentation on the concepts of Scratch.

2. Study the basic Scratch interface.

3. Once we’ve understood the Scratch interface we’ll construct an aquarium.

4. Next we’ll try some other ideas in the aquarium.

5. Experiment!

(Thanks to Margaret Low & Jean Bodycote for the tutorials.)

Extension: Some Scratch video tutorials – try these, especially the one which teaches you how to change the colour of the fish.

Developing Creative Writing

image from iChris

We’re going to try a couple of new ideas on the blogs this week.

1. Ensure that all work from the previous half term is complete. (Tidy up blog header, pages, widgets, links, tags and posts.)

2. Go to the Junior School ICT blog page and read about their creative writing competition. Using the guidelines, students should write a descriptive piece. As with the Junior School, incentives will be awarded for good work.

3. If you feel that you have done your best with all of the above – why not try and introduce a poll to your blog? Or create a Google quiz from a Google form?

4. Comment on each other’s work using the formula: two stars and a wish.

Blogging about our Glogster Poster

This week we’re going to complete a new blog post about the Glogster e-safety poster you produced. Can you remember how to save an image from the internet? Once the image has been saved you need to create a new post on your blog. What do you think the post title should be? You need to write about the content of the poster, explain what and why you included any particular slogans, images or videos.

I’ve added a link to another set of (more simple) videos of how to add an image into a post. You then need to add the URL to the image to create a hyperlinked image in a blog post. You can refer to the videos from the Year 7 blog post – “Time to reflect”.

It is important that students remember to “Save Draft” once you’ve inserted the image into the post, as sometimes it is tricky to insert a hyperlink to the image unless this has been done.

Add tags to your post. What should these be? Once you’ve done this, find your friends Glogsters on their blogs and comment on them. Use the formula: two stars and a wish. What do you think this means?