Archive for February, 2015

Powerpoint 2013 – Create Better handouts

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

To create a PowerPoint Handout click on File.

You will see this menu.  Select Export and Create Handouts

pptx handout

One of the features in PowerPoint 2o13 is the ability create handouts that put your notes next to your slide images.

pptx notes

This better than the previous option which was one page per slide.  You ended up with a stack of pages many with minimal or no text.

pptx old notes

If you can’t do this because you want to see your notes while presenting don’t worry, just use Presenter View.


Presenter view

Unfortunately the Export PDF option doesn’t doesn’t allow you included notes in this format.

Free tech books this month (Feb) from PACKT Publishing

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015


The catch is you don’t know the title is until the release day.

Another pointless research project about attendance

Friday, February 20th, 2015

There was a bit of a stink not long ago about some Harvard research on student lecture attendance that filmed students without their consent.  There’s a bit more about it here

Well. the results are out  and despite the fuss they don’t tell us anything new.   (

  • Numbers start high, and fall away
  • Guest speakers boost attendance
  • Attendance marks boost attendance
  • Some lecturers see bigger falls than others, but they don’t know why (teaching quality perhaps?)
  • It looks like the presence, or not, of recorded lectures doesn’t have much effect on attendance.
  • Students don’t like coming to Friday lectures
  • Student who attended lectures were also more likely to visit the unit online site
  • In some units students who attended also watched the videos in some they did not.

So the usual garbage, which doesn’t provide enough information to draw any real conclusions.

It doesn’t change my position, which is:

  • engaged students engage (and attend).
  • engaged student do well (they do better with good teachers)
  • students like coming to lectures delivered by good, interesting lecturers,
  • if you want to improve attendance, act to improve engagement (i.e. improve your teaching),
  • you can use tricks to artificially inflate your (ego) attendance but it doesn’t impact on student outcomes,
  • there may be a case for the delayed release of recordings and having attendance marks in first year to help establish more active behaviours (can someone please research this for me).
  • if you see a marked decrease in attendance related to the availability of recorded lectures, it may be a sign that you need to improve your face to face sessions.
  • no one shows up to 8 am and Friday afternoon lectures, so we need a different solution,
  • students often have valid reasons for non attendance and like having the backup of recorded lectures (and no kittens get drowned if you provide them),
  • the number of people viewing recorded lectures is useless unless you know:
    • the time of the day
    • the day of the week
    • the session style – chalk and talk, workshop, interactive lecture (and a description of what you mean), e.t.c)
    • how well the teacher delivers the session
    • the student opinion of the lecturer
    • the charisma of the lecturer
    • the initial student attitude toward the course
    • the importance of the unit in the context of the course
    • the quality and quantity of other course material
    • insert your own experience/research based factor.

A bit more on the Horizon report

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

Audrew Watters has put together this summary of past Horizon predictions which provides an interesting snapshot of our expectations for the field.

The “One year or Less” aren’t really predictive, they tend to be current innovative practice.

Go to the article to see the full size image

Weekend Funny – Children’s books updated for for Twenty-Somethings

Friday, February 13th, 2015


See the others here

2015 Horizon Report

Friday, February 13th, 2015

The annual EdTech naval gazing report is out.

Actually, that’s a bit unfair, the Horizon report does provide a useful overview to those new to the field.

Maria Mitchell.jpg

Key Trends Accelerating Technology Adoption in Higher Education

Long-Term Trends: Driving Ed Tech adoption in higher education for five or more years >

  • Advancing Cultures of Change and Innovation
  • Increasing Cross-Institution Collaboration

Mid-Term Trends: Driving Ed Tech adoption in higher education for three to five years

  • Growing Focus on Measuring Learning
  • Proliferation of Open Educational Resources

Short-Term Trends: Driving Ed Tech adoption in higher education for the next one to two years

  • Increasing Use of Blended Learning
  • Redesigning Learning Spaces

Significant Challenges Impeding Technology Adoption in Higher Education

Solvable Challenges: Those that we understand and know how to solve

  • Blending Formal and Informal Learning
  • Improving Digital Literacy

Difficult Challenges: Those we understand but for which solutions are elusive

  • Personalizing Learning
  • Teaching Complex Thinking

Wicked Challenges: Those that are complex to even define, much less address

  • Competing Models of Education
  • Rewarding Teaching

Important Developments in Educational Technology for Higher Education

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less >

  • Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
  • Flipped Classroom

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years

  • Makerspaces
  • Wearable Technology

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years

  • Adaptive Learning Technologies
  • The Internet of Things

Time to ban watches from exams?

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Something more for our Exams people to worry about.

Watches Banned From University Exams Because Of The Apple Watch

“Apple’s smartwatch innovation has had an unexpected side-effect. BuzzFeed News has learned that universities have starting issuing blanket bans on all students wearing watches in exam halls – because invigilators can’t tell whether students actually have a mini-computer strapped to their wrist.”

New to Moodle, or want some design ideas for your course?

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Moodle Course

If you want to see how you might use the various Moodle  Activities in your unit have a look at this site.   It is an online course for teachers new to Moodle, using the Moodle as the vehicle.

The content is mainly in ‘Books’.  It uses Databases, Wikis, Forums, Surveys, Quizzes Lessons and Pages.

You can look at the resources any time, but if you want more help you can enroll in a scheduled course.

Personally,  I think all our sites should look something like this.  Just add in some f2f interactive tutorials/lectures and workshops.