Archive for December, 2012

Holiday diversions – Who doesn’t like a top 10 list

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Time magzine’s Top 10 Everything of 2012

Something for everyone from  the top 10 Worst Tweets to the top 10 Business Decision.

Holiday Diversions – Feeling a bit flat? Watch this.

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

Just watch it and feel happy.

Holiday Diversions – Video tips

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Here are 2 videos to to help you suck less when you pull out the camcorder this holiday season.

The 5 Deadly Sins of Amateur Video

The Rule of Thirds

Here are a few of my hard earned tips.

  • The zoom button is not your friend.  Set a frame and try to stick with it.
  • Light on the subject is good.  Light behind them is bad – zooming in on the subject can correct the back light problem
  • Your batteries hate you and will deliberately go flat if you don’t pay enough attention to them.
  • Hard drives and SD cards have finite space, and it’s less than you think it is.
  • Cameras get heavy after being held in the same position for 10 minutes.  At school concerts look for something to brace your camera against (I  bought a lightweight monopod).
  • Finally, back them up, I’ll repeat that BACK THEM UP.  That poorly shot, crappy, noisy video of your family at Christmas will become a joy and wonder as your family changes.  Tapes degrade, hard drives die, burned DVDs only last about 10 years, so BACK THEM UP.

Have a safe and happy Christmas.

Ok, one last 2012 MOOC Review

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

TonyBates gives his summary.

Online learning in 2012: a retrospective –

“Well, 2012 was certainly the year of the MOOC. Audrey Watters provides a comprehensive overview of what happened with MOOCs in 2012, so I won’t repeat what she has done. Instead in this post I will focus mainly on trying to explain with regards to MOOCs what appears to me to be highly irrational organizational behaviour, more akin to lemmings than pillars of higher learning.”

“The media love to focus on the ivy league universities to the almost total neglect of the rest of the system (the cult of the superstar). Here is an appalling irony. The top tier research universities have by and large ignored online learning for the last 15 years. Suddenly though when MIT, Stanford and Harvard jump in, all the rest follow like lemmings. MOOCs are seen as an easy, low risk way for these universities not only to catch up, but to jump into the front line. But they are hugely wrong. Moving from broadcasting to learning is not going to be easy. More importantly, MOOCs are a side issue, a distraction.

The real change for universities is going to come from hybrid learning – a mix of on-campus and online learning. Those top tier research universities though are going to miss out on this, by sidelining their online learning to a peripheral, continuing education activity.”

Weekend funny – Looking for a gift for the person who has everything?

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

Just pull the handle for wonderful random gift suggestion.

Crapomatic gift generator

The international state of Social Media and mobile devices

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

Nielson Social Media Report 2012

Apart from being a useful background report for those of us involved in Teaching and Learning it is also worth looking at for the visual way that it presents the various stats and charts.

Here’s an interesting fact for people looking at the physical design of our teaching spaces – nearly a third of people aged 18-24 use social networking on the toilet.  Something to think about when selecting chairs.

The definitive MOOC summary – Here is your Summer homework.

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

I am going to be blunt for a moment.  Until you read this article (and all the links) you don’t know enough to make an informed comment about MOOCs.

I know this is a little harsh (and unfair to a tiny select group of professional educationalists) but let’s set the bar at an appropriate level (about 2 metres above the frothing hype).

Read the entire article and, with the exception of the 30 or so links at the start labelled ‘MOOC’, visit all the links, and read the articles.  This will keep you going for a while but you will come out the other end a more enlighted person.

The Year of the MOOC

Audrey Watters is one the world’s pre-eminent edtech journalists.

Google hangouts for teaching – some links

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Google Plus is available to all Monash staff and students.  The main reason to opt in is for Google Hangouts (desktop video conferencing, screen sharing and file sharing).  If you are a Monash person you can opt in by following this link

We need to put some thought into the whole posting to YouTube idea, and the use of ‘Air’ for public broadcasts.  There are copyright and IP issues we need to clarify we we go down that road.  For now I’d avoid both options.

CamStudio is probably the best free way to record a hangout for reuse later.  It’s on the ‘Get Programs list’ – if you can’t see it you can request it via the eSolutions help desk.  If you’re a Monash person and want help with the settings let me know.

The Flipped Classroom and the unimportance of video.

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

‘Flipping’ your lectures is all about changing your teaching practice.

Video is just one of the tools to facilitate the process, and in reality, only a minor tool.

If you are considering flipping your lectures please read this fist

The Flip: End of a Love Affair

I found this link via the ever wonderful Audry Watters

Five of the better desktop ebook readers

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

More PC based tablets are begining to appear on the market so I assume more people are going to want to read their etexts and ebooks on their Win8 devices.

Tech Republic reckons these 5 are the place to start.