1. Tracker Projects: A Tracker project consists of one or more Tracker tabs and videos along with optional support documents (pdf, html), all zipped together by Tracker itself into a single file with extension TRZ. The TRZ file automatically includes an information page with project title, description, thumbnail image and metadata for search and display in the Library Browser. TRZ files are easy to share since they are entirely self-contained and open in Tracker with just a double-click. For help building and saving Tracker projects see Help: Tracker Projects.
2. Collections a collection of Tracker projects can be one of two types: live or XML.
- A live collection is simply a file directory on a local machine or web server that contains multiple project files (and subdirectories if desired). When the directory is opened in the Library Browser the projects are automatically displayed. This is the easiest way to share multiple projects.
- A shared directory on a local network is an ideal place for students to turn in lab projects. Instructors and students can browse the directory with the Library Browser and open the projects directly in Tracker.
- For the web you must first upload your project files to a directory on a server, then copy the Library Collection PHP script into the same directory. To open the web collection enter the URL path to the script in the Library Browser. Here are the steps:
- Download the php_library_collection.zip file and unzip it on your local machine to obtain the PHP script file "library_collection.php". You can rename it whatever you like.
- If desired, edit the PHP script to exclude specific file types and/or subdirectories. Read the instructions at the top of the script for more information.
- Upload the PHP script file to your project directory on the server.
- Note: the server must be able to run the PHP script. You may have to change the script extension. Check with your web administrator if unsure.
- An XML collection is built using the Library Browser. This takes more work but gives you more flexibility and control of your collection. For example, you may include resources located anywhere, including other servers.
Here are the steps to building an XML collection. For a more complete tutorial see Help: Library Browser.
Once you have a local XML collection it is easy to convert it to a web-based XML collection:
- Oganize your local Tracker projects and other resources within a single directory (with subdirectories if desired).
- Use the Library Browser to create, edit and save your XML collection file on a local drive. The base URL of the XML collection should be the absolute path to the directory containing your resources. By contrast, all paths to local html files and resources should be relative to the base URL, not absolute. It's easy to convert absolute to relative paths when building the collection in the Library Browser.
Note that your XML collection file need not reside in your web collection directory or even on the server--you can also email it to others or share it on a local network. Note: If you have a good web-based XML collection please email Douglas Brown who can (if approved) add it to the Library Browser's built-in Collections|Shared Library menu. It will then be accessible to all Tracker users, not just your students. For a list of collections currently in the Shared Library, see Shared Collections.
- Upload your entire directory (with resources and subdirectories but not the XML collection file) to a web server.
- Change the base URL of your XML collection to the URL path of the directory on the server so that all relative paths point to web files.
- Upload the XML collection file to the server (need not be ). Open the collection by opening the URL path to the XML file in the Library Browser.
3. ComPADRE: the ComPADRE Digital Library is a network of educational resource collections supporting teachers and students in Physics and Astronomy. By submitting your own Tracker project to ComPADRE you are helping others worldwide to teach and learn physics.
- Click here to see a list of current Tracker resources on ComPADRE. Note that most of these are Tracker experiments and projects contributed by teachers like you!
- Check that your Tracker project file is 10MB or less. With large videos you should always check the Save Clips As checkbox to keep only the frames of interest. If needed, review your project to see if you can reduce the number of frames in your video clip (for example, by increasing the step size). Experiment also with different video formats.
- Log into comPADRE (registration is free) and open the Suggest a Resource page. Unless you have instructor materials or other ancillary resources, simply enter the information in the Quick Suggestion tab, attach your Tracker project file, and click the Make Suggestion button. That's it! The OSP Collection editor will review your submission and, if accepted, create the full record for the project.
- If you wish to include additional resources along with your project file, use the Full Suggestion Wizard tab on the Suggest a Resource page.