Friday, February 25, 2011

Interwrite Workspace Layers and The Right Click Tool Boxes

Let's take a look at the layers in the Interwrite Workspace program. You can have up to six layers on one page. You can also rename the layers by clicking on the edit layer icon (page icon with the pencil below layer one). One way to use layers is to have an image with items you want the students to identify on layer one for example. You could then create another layer where students would be able to write their answers. This could be layer two. The third layer would have the answers already typed out and in the right places. This layer would be hidden at the start which is easily done by clicking the green check mark to the right of the layer name. After the students write their answers, hide that layer and make your layer with your answers visible.

You could use layers to show before and after pictures. For example you could use the camera tool to grab before and after images of New Orleans from Google Earth (use the history slider). Place the images (centers aligned) on different layers. Click the green check to hide and reveal the past and present images.

Did you also know that you can right click on any object on the Workspace page to bring up the action and tools toolboxes? The actions toolbox has undo, redo, cut, copy, paste, select all, order selected entities, rotate selected entities, group (if you select more than one object), ungroup, move to background, export entities, and add files to gallery. The tools toolbox by default has the selection tool, the pen tool, freehand shape, freehand text, multi colored pen, picture pen, highlighter, eraser, type text tool, shapes, line, stamper, zoom, undo, redo, clear tool and the mouse mode. If you chose “preferences” from the menu and click on the “customize toolbar” tab you can drag and drop the tools you want in the tools toolbox. You can also remove tools you don’t want to appear in the tools toolbox by dragging them out. You will have to name and save the scheme.

Many teachers create and use PowerPoint presentations in their everyday teaching. While in Workspace you can choose file “open” to open a 2003 or 2007 PowerPoint presentation. Each slide in the PowerPoint becomes a page in the Workspace file. Separate objects on the PowerPoint slides are separate objects on the Workspace pages and can be moved or manipulated as such. You can also open PDF’s in the Workspace software so that they become Workspace pages as well. Of course your original PowerPoint and PDF files remain unchanged. If you create a Workspace presentation, you can also export (from the file menu) the Workspace file as a PowerPoint, PDF, JPEG, Bitmap, GIF, TIFF, PNG file or as HTML.

I hope this helps you use the Workspace software more effectively in your lessons.

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