Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

My favourite Pratchett

Friday, March 13th, 2015

Holiday fun – find a good book

Friday, April 18th, 2014

Here’s a good place to start – GoodReads Best Books of 2013

2013 Goodreads Choice Awards

The fiction winner this year is ‘And the Mountains Echoed’ by Khaled Hosseini

An unforgettable novel about finding a lost piece of yourself in someone else.

Khaled Hosseini, the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations.

You can also look at Amazon’s top 20 for 2013

Changes in international student numbers in Australia

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

The ABC Fact Checker is an interesting feature to spring from our recent election.  This one is interesting, not because it shows the Education Minister, Christopher  Pyne, to be (like all poli’s) a bit loose with his figures, but for the background it provides on the recent changes in international student numbers.

Chart: The number of student visas granted since 2007/08

So if you want to know why things have changed have a look here.

Copyright and Creative Commons explained (and a good use of Powerpoint)

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

OK, this video is a bit long, but set aside some time and stick with it.

Lawrence Lessig is the Director of the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics at Harvard University, and a Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.  He is heavily involved in copyright issues and in particular Creative Commons.

This is a slide and audio version of his 2009  EDUCAUSE presentation

We have an election date – You only have 7 days to enroll (and some help on who to vote for)

Monday, August 5th, 2013

I just received this via GetUp – if you know an 18 year old who isn’t enrolled sent them the link.

There are just seven days left to enrol, and it only takes two minutes online.

Click here to share on Facebook.

Click here to share on Twitter.

Or forward these links to friends and family: and… or even better, call or SMS people you know who might not be enrolled.


If you don’t know who you should vote for have a look at Vote Compass.  This tool was  put together by the University of Melbourne , the University of Sydney and the ABC.  You answer a series of questions based on the key policy areas of the major parties, and based on your responses it will suggest the party you most closely align with.

Of course what it doesn’t do is pick up on hot button issues that will determine your vote regardless of other preferences.

(as of this moment, 10am 5/8 the site is down due to excess traffic so you might have to wait a while)

14:20 I have done the survey and it does have a weighting option.

Free Screen Recording software for your Flipped and Blended Learning Classes

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

If you are looking for a free and simple application for recording your voice and screen then CamStudio is worth looking at.

It outputs and avi (video) file so you can’t edit it easily, and you can’t add in the whistles and bells that come with the expensive capture programs, but as simple workhorse program I find it pretty useful.

The trick with Camstudio is getting the Settings right.  You can only record about 20 minutes at a time.  After a bit of  a hunt around the net and a bit of trial and error this is what I recommend.

Video Options:

  • Click on Options and select Video Options
  • Untick Auto Adjust
  • Quality slider = 70
  • Key frames Every = 20
  • Capture Frames every = 50
  • Playback = 20

A playback rate much higher than the capture setting is grabbing frames will “speed-up” or time-lapse the video, a lower playback rate will “slowdown” the playback rate.

Audio Options

  • Click on Options
  • Ensure Record audio from microphone is ticked
  • Select Audio Options, Audio Options for Microphone
  • In Recording Format use the dropdown arrow and select ’44.1kHz, mono 8-bit 11K’.
  • Tick Use MCI recording

In general, I don’t recommend the ‘Record to Flash’ option as we have an increasing number of students with iPads.  This means the file will save as an AVI video file.

Unfotunately AVI files are huge and you’ll need to convert the AVI to a WMV or MP4 file.  Format Factory is a good general purpose converter.

  • Click Video in the left hand menu
  • Select All to MP4Medium quality and size

Obsessed with privacy? Got a massive block of free time? I have list for you.

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

LLRX “Law and technology resources for legal professionals” has over 200 hundred links to privacy related sites.

It also demonstrates that when it comes to content, more can be LESS.   It may be incredibly valuable, but definitely falls victim to TLDNR.  For us as educators it provides an object lesson.  Content is freely available, our job is not to serve it up up but to help students make meaning from it.

Daniel Pink: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Thursday, September 6th, 2012


Weekend Funny – Ten funniest jokes at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe

Saturday, August 25th, 2012


Even email from ‘friends’ can be sus!

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

“This is spear phishing, a rapidly proliferating form of fraud that comes with a familiar face: messages that seem to be from co-workers, friends or family members, customized to trick you into letting your guard down online. And it has turned into a major problem, according to technology companies and computer security experts.”

Basically never send passwords or financial details to anyone in response to an email and never click on any links in the email.   If you’re not sure ring them to confirm first.