Life with extras

David Baugh looks at Kudlian's plug-in packs for Apple's iLife suite

Every now and then you come across software that allows pupils to make a step change in the way they work with ICT. It is possible that Kudlian Soft has done this with its newly released iLife curriculum expansion packs for education. There are two packs: Charting and Graphing and Weather and Geography. Both packs contain neat iMovie plug-ins and curriculum-based iDVD themes that are simple to use out of the box and produce very professional results. The iMovie plug-ins are able to make a huge impact on digital video projects by bringing data-handling to life and by allowing pupils to recreate real television with weather forecasts.

To create a graph or chart in a digital video project until now you had to resort to going into a spreadsheet program and saving the chart as an image or by creating a graph in an imaging program. With the Kudlian graphing plug-in you can use a helper application to build 2D bar, 3D bar, 2D pie, 3D pie and line graphs. These graphs can then be placed on a background clip, resized, moved and the opacity of the graph and the underlying clip can also be altered. To achieve this without the plug-in with another DV editing program would require high-level skills and some pretty hefty processing power.

The Weather plug-in allows pupils to make their own custom-made weather charts and overlay them on top of background clips. There is also a Chroma Key weather chart feature that allows a pupil to be filmed in front of a coloured background which is then combined with weather charts. This allows pupils to make their own weather programmes or documentaries on the weather. In addition to the iMovie plug-ins there are the iDVD themes, which are very impressive templates for making curriculum-based DVDs by simply dragging finished iMovie projects on to them.

The two packs released so far have been well received by educators and further packs should help digital video to make further inroads into everyday ICT in the classroom.

iLife curriculum expansion packs

Charting and Graphing

Weather Reporting

Software plug-ins for Apple's iLife software that extend its capabilities for digital video

Prices for are the same for each program - single user licence pound;29.95, 2-5 Macs pound;75, 6-10 Macs pound;129, 11-20 pound;225, full site licence pound;299

Tel: 07000 583542

www.kudlian.net

Charting and Graphing

Fitness for purpose *****

Ease of use *****

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Weather Reporting

Fitness for purpose *****

Ease of use ****

Features ****

Quality *****

Value for money ****

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