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Using Technology: Ways to Use Computers (page 3)

By — John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Updated on Jul 20, 2010

Taking Pictures or Creating Videos

With the advent of digital cameras and digital video recorders, many students are familiar with how to take pictures and create movies using a digital camera. If not, you can still use the traditional methods for taking pictures and creating videos.

For research assignments, you can take pictures and insert them in your report. For example, you can document plant growth for a science project on the effects of using a fertilizer by taking photographs at various stages. Likewise, you can take pictures of something in nature to use in an art assignment.

Digital cameras offer several advantages over their non-digital counterparts. First, you can preview every picture (and delete and retake them, if needed). Second, you can get prints quickly, using your computer, a film printing kiosk, or traditional printing services. (You can also order prints online, but that takes longer.) Third, you can copy pictures from your camera to the computer, and then use photo-editing changes to make changes or repairs to each picture. For example, you can fix red-eye or crop the picture so that the focus is on a particular portion of the photo.

Digital video cameras have also become popular, which means you may be challenged to create a movie as part of a project. For example, you might create a film of a skit based on a novel you’ve read. You can create a film to demonstrate some activity, such as playing an instrument or performing an experiment.

If you don’t have digital camera technology available to you, you can still find pictures (in printed works or online) to use in your research assignment. Also, rather than filming a skit, you can perform it in class. In the end, the creativity and applicability of your pictures or videos are what’s most important, not the method you used to create them.

Getting Extra Help

Computers are also an excellent method to get extra help on a topic or subject that you find difficult. For example, if you’re struggling with math, you can purchase a practice math program with a CD that includes sample problems (and answers). In fact, your textbook or course materials may include a CD component for extra studies. You can also purchase a program to help you study a foreign language, such as Spanish or French, and use this program to practice at home.

You’ll find that you can purchase educational software on a variety of topics and subjects. Look for these programs at discount stores (such as Target, Wal-Mart, Kmart, Sam’s, or Costco), at electronic and computer stores (like Best Buy), and at office supply stores (like Office Depot, OfficeMax, or Staples), and online.

You may also be able to find free help online. For example, you can find sites that help with vocabulary or explain science in terms that may be easier for you to understand. See the “Searching the Internet Using a Search Tool” section later in this chapter for tips on searching the Internet.

If you don’t have a computer, you can also find print resources to help with the same tasks. For example, you can find printed workbooks for practicing algebra, grammar, spelling, reading and comprehension, and other topics.

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