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E-HELP: Recommended Software

John Simkin

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SIMKINS is one of those acronyms that appeared in the Thatcher Years. Remember, YUPPIE, DINKY, WOOPIE, LOMBARD, TINA?

YUPPIE: Young Upwardly-mobile Professional Person

DINKY: Decription of a married couple: Double Income No Kids Yet

WOOPIE: Well Off Older Person

LOMBARD: Loads Of Money But A Right Dickhead

TINA: There Is No Alternative (a nickname for Mrs T.)

SIMKINS: Decription of a married couple: Single Income, Married, Kids, In a Nice Semi

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Publicity blurb

InstantWebquest is a web based software for creating WebQuests in a short time. When you use InstantWebQuest, you will not need any of writing HTML code or using any web editor software. InstantWebQuest creates all the necessary files and puts them into the server free. Hosting is FREE!


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This is some of the software which I use on a regular basis and would recommend. It is all free - I hate paying for software! B)

FairUse Wizard - this great program allows you to compress whole films (or clips) from DVD to DivX or Xvid, which are compressed digital video formats. It used to be Freeware, but then went paid-for. A free version, along with a guide on how to use it, can be found on my website here. :D

Flash Movie Extract Pilot - many teachers have data projectors in their room but lack an Internet connection. There are many fantastic Flash animations on the web (such as the ones in the BBC's Multimedia Zone) which couldn't be used without this program. Once you have viewed the Flash animation in Internet Explorer, loading up Flash Extract Pilot allows you to save the animation to your hard disk. Unfortunately, like FairUse Wizard, this program has now gone paid-for, but you can still download a free version from my website here.

PDF Creator - there may be more advanced commercial offerings, but this free program certainly gets the job done! The program installs itself as a sort of 'virtual printer', meaning that you can create PDF documents within any program from which you can print! It is available at the following address


Picasa - if you're like me, you'll have lots and lots of images which you've either scanned in downloaded, or traded with fellow teachers residing on your hard disk. Unless you've got a very efficient filing system, it's often difficult to locate these. With Google's Picasa software you can not only organize these files into coherent groups, but add tags to them and even edit them. An outstanding piece of free software! (http://www.picasa.com/)

Swiff Point Player - once you have downloaded a Flash animation using Flash Extract Pilot, you may want to put it into a Powerpoint presentation. Doing this manually can be a bit tricky, so fortunately this small, free program does it for you! Once installed, the option to 'insert Flash movie' appears on the 'Insert' menu in Powerpoint. You can download the program here: http://www.globfx.com/products/swfpoint/

(Swiff Player, a separate download, is a free and superior Flash animation player)

Teachers Report Assistant - an invaluable resource for quickly producing short interim reports commenting on pupil progress. The program is free and allows users to insert their own statement banks in an easy-to-use and clever format. Available from: http://www.rayslearning.com/report.htm

:plane Doug

Edited by Doug Belshaw
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Andrew Field is creating an online guide to webpage creation covering Word, PowerPoint, Publisher and Dreamweaver.


This is an outstanding piece of work. The guide explores the benefits and disadvantages of each program and encourages students to reflect upon the approprate use of each.


There will then be four guidance booklets (currently only 3 are complete) covering each of the programs. The user-friendly guide helps anyone create a simple five page website that can then be developed further.




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