Archive for January, 2013

Powerpoint tip 1

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

I don’t know if you have ever trained a parrot to talk, I haven’t, but my late grand father Pop Dyker had, and he gave me this tip.

“You put a cover over the cage so there’s nothing to look at and the little bugger has listen to you.”

When controlling your PowerPoint presentation the most important item is not your mouse, it is the ‘b’ key on your keyboard.

This blanks the screen “so there’s nothing to look”.  It alters the lighting in the room.  The whole ambiance of the room changes.  Even ‘Facebook Freddie’ in the back row will look up (if only momentarily).

It’s a useful trick when you have a key point to emphasize.

Weekend refelction – This may be the most worthwhile thing put out by the Harvard Business Review this year.

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

How to Have a Year that Matters byUmair Haque.

Read the whole thing.

Here are a couple of short clips.

“Let’s cut the crap. Life is short, you have less time than you think, and there are no baby unicorns coming to save you. So rather than doling out craptastic advice to you about Making!! It!! To!! The!! Top!!™, let me humbly ask: do you want to have a year that matters”

“If you’re going to live a life that matters, you need an ethical compass: a belief system with a true north that points toward values that are in some sense enduringly, meaningfully good. Lance Armstrong’s true north seems to have been trophies — not championships; and the result, I’d bet, is a life that now feels arid, empty, wasted. So what’s your true north? In what direction do you find the stuff that makes life “good”? Does your true north point to consumption, status, transactions — instead of investment, accomplishments, relationships? If it’s the former, I’d bet: a life well lived is going to remain as elusive to you as it’s been to Lance.”

http://blogs.hbr.org/haque/2013/01/how_to_have_a_year_that_matter.html

A message to students – if you don’t like it, you can do something about it

Friday, January 25th, 2013

Guerrilla Connectivism: 10 Tips for Taking Control of your Education by Kevin Stranack

“I think this is vitally important, as most instructors are not about to start adopting a connectivist philosophy anytime soon, and connectivist principles need to start making their way into classrooms now. We, as students, don’t need to wait for our instructors to do this for us, and instead, we can take control of our own education by following a few connectivist-inspired tips.”

Here is his list, but you have to read the post for them to really make sense

1. Talk to your co-students.
2. Tweet
3. Become a Facilitator
4. Help others.
5. Establish a Google Community.
6. Start blogging.
7. Social bookmarking.
8. Keep it positive.
9. Invite the instructor to participate.
10. Connect with a librarian.

Perhaps this is a useful way for academics to dip their toes into the world of constructivst teaching and learning.

Next time you go to a conference, seminar or short couse, think about how any of the above would add to the experience, then have a think about how they might add to your course.

http://stranack.ca/2013/01/18/guerrilla-connectivism-10-tips-for-taking-control-of-your-education/

I found this via Stephen Downes Online Daily Blog

Moodle quizzes – Time expiry options (at last)

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

A failing of  Moodle 2.0 was the way it handled (or totally neglected to handle) quizzes that students completed but neglected to submit.  There was no way to centrally manage this, other than re-open the quiz and get the student to go in and hit the submit button.

This has been fixed.  You can now set options in the Quiz settings that will automatically fix this.

quiz expiry options

(A long overdue) Horray!

Holiday Diversions – Making Resumes fun (at least for geeks)

Monday, January 21st, 2013

How To Turn Your Resume Into an Infographic

You can turn your Linked in resume into an infographic

This will either ‘wow’ or totally befuddle your interview panel.

http://www.mediabistro.com/appnewser/how-to-turn-your-resume-into-an-infographic_b29716

(and no, Damain I’m not looking for another job)

Top Ed-Tech Trends of 2012: The Battle to Open Textbooks

Friday, January 18th, 2013

I posted Audrey Waters 2012 Trends  article on MOOCs a while ago – here another one.

Top Ed-Tech Trends of 2012: The Battle to Open Textbooks

“..despite all the hype about “revolutionizing” the textbook, faculty and students are still slow to adopt digital versions.”

“The proprietary publishers added all sorts of bells and whistles to their textbooks this year — high resolution images, embedded YouTube videos, analytics so you can track how much your students have read, deals with schools that bundle the costs in with tuition fees, and so on. (Much of the xMOOC trend is quite textbook-like too.) But none of this feels particularly transformative.

The most exciting change in digital textbooks, I would argue, comes with efforts like these hackathons, where teachers and learners are the creators not just the consumers of OER. (At that point, I think the word “textbook” will be entirely the wrong way to describe things. And amen to that, I say.)”

http://www.hackeducation.com/2012/12/07/top-ed-tech-trends-of-2012-the-battle-to-open-textbooks/

Holiday Diversions – Pretend to be a time traveller day

Friday, January 11th, 2013

This is stupid.  I really hope this catches on, at least for little while.

“The whole idea is to pretend for the day that you are a traveler from a different time – except that, of course, you can’t actually *tell* people you’re a time traveler,”

Here’s on example.

“Walk up to random people and say “WHAT YEAR IS THIS?” and when they tell you, get quiet and then say “Then there’s still time!” and run off.”

http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2007/12/pretend-to-be-a/

Holiday Diversions – Another 2012 list – newspaper typos

Friday, January 4th, 2013

The Best (Worst?) Typos, Mistakes, and Correrctions of 2012

“An earlier version of this article incorrectly described imagery from The Shining. The gentleman seen with the weird guy in the bear suit is wearing a tuxedo, but not a top hat.”

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/entertainment/2012/12/best-typos-mistakes-corrections-2012/59828/