Thursday, June 17, 2010

Overview of awesome stuff

We didn't have time to work with all the amazing education programs out there, but you can do it on your own time. Check some of these links out, play around, and see what you can do!
  • Glogster: "Posters" with links for your wiki or blog (online)
  • Google Earth: Amazing satellite views of the entire world (downloadable)
  • Voice Thread: Narrate or comment on slide shows (online)
  • Prezi: A new way to do a presentation, quite different than PowerPoint (online and downloadable)
  • Khan Academy: Video podcasts of many, many subjects (online)
  • Lynda: (Some free, most not) Excellent tutorials on many of the most common computer programs (online)
  • Google reader: A quick way to browse your favorite websites and blogs

Image Editing

Photographs and images are powerful tools to use in blogs and wikis (not to mention classroom presentations). Often, however, you want to edit the image--to make it prettier, smaller, larger, different.

In the last several years, free photo editing software is available both online and for download. (You can also use non-free image editing software, which is usually more powerful, such as Photoshop and Illustrator.) Here are some of the more popular free programs:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Podcast Examples

Podcasts can be scripted or conversational; both can be effective ways to engage the listener and impart information.

Listen to an episode of a popular scripted podcast, "Grammar Girl".

Listen to an episode of a popular conversational podcast, "Stuff You Missed in History Class".

Blog Templates

Blog templates (the look of the blog) can be as simple or as complex as you wish. Each blogging platform offers basic templates to use--in Blogger, they can be found under the "Design" tab. There are many websites that offer free templates to use with Blogger. Here are just a few (if you do a Google search, you are sure to find many more):

New Media 2010 Class Recordings

Part 1 - Browsers, Google Docs, Wikispaces
Part 2 - More on Wikis
Part 3 - Blogs
Part 4 - More Blogs
Part 5 - Review of Day 1, Podcasting
Part 6 - Audacity for creating podcasts
Part 7 - Images in Picnik
Part 8 - Show and Tell on extra components

Project Requirements*

(*Requirements is a strong word. We want you to do these general things, but if there is something else you want to do, just let us know!)

Your blog will be your "home" project--you will link or post all your other projects to it so we can see them. At the end of the last day of class, you will just email me a link to your blog with your projects.
  • Create a blog
  • Modify the layout
  • Modify the settings
  • Post a picture, a video, link to other websites
  • Link to your podcast
  • Link to your wiki pages (personal page and garden page)
  • Anything else that catches your fancy

Highlights from the Web on Classroom New Media

David Wiley wrote about the cool experience he had by inviting his students to submit their homework writing assignments via a public blog.
The result was a teacher’s dream — the students’ writing became a little longer, a little more thoughtful, and a little more representative of their actual intellectual abilities. And this benefit came by simply asking students to submit their homework through a different channel. They were already going to write and submit it; I was already going to read it. This was a true two-for-one.
Salman Khan has been creating small video clips on YouTube that teach a modular concept. He's got over 1400 of them up so far at his Khan Academy. In an interview with Jon Udell, he talked about how cool it would be if kids created their own video clips in the same way. (Listen at about 33:00 for that particular sound bite.)

William Thomas blew me away with an EDUCAUSE presentation about getting students in a university setting to use online tools like wikis to radically improve the mega-class-size freshman history courses. His goal was to introduce these students to the craft of writing history without overwhelming the instructor with an ungradeable raft of papers. The solution feels like a win-win.

Tanya Roscorio had a good piece in Converge Magazine that provided a quick-read overview of some of the ways teachers are using "tech" in the classroom, including such fancy tech as pencils.

Sharon Bowman has a very clever summary of some principles in brain science that might encourage us to try interesting things in the classroom. She calls them her "six trumps."

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Technophobia 2010 Class Recordings

These are the raw and unedited recordings of our 2010 Technophobia class held at Brigham Young University. I hope to trim these down just a bit and add some bookmarks to help you jump to each section a little better. Hopefully these will be helpful in the meantime.

Part 1
    • Word
      • Orientation
      • Character formatting
      • mini-toolbar
      • copy/paste
      • selecting text
Part 2
    • Word
      • Tab stops with dot leaders
      • Bullets and outlines
      • Format Painter
Part 3
    • PowerPoint
Part 4
    • Excel
      • basic math formulas
      • functions
      • auto-fill
      • list sorting
Part 5
    • Excel IF function
Part 6
    • Graphics in Word
Part 7
    • PowerPoint animations
    • Mail Merge

Free Online Training From Microsoft

If you're looking for more opportunities to learn about Microsoft Office, you might be interested to know that Microsoft makes a bunch of stuff available on their website. You can browse around and see if anything looks interesting to you. They have Office for Windows training as well as Office for Mac training.

Some of the content comes from an online training company that I've been really impressed with, If you are in the market for computer videos, you might check out their monthly subscription plans. For $25/month, you can watch quite a bit of video training. We subscribe to it for current BYU students and employees. If you happen to also be one of those, you can access our subscription here.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Thoughts on Copyright

When you pull images, sounds, or other stuff into your PowerPoint presentations, be aware of the rules of copyright. There are lots of things to consider like the principle of fair use and the TEACH act which gives teachers a little more latitude for face-to-face classroom instruction.

A handy resource for learning about copyright is the BYU Copyright Office website.

PowerPoint Comprehension

There are multiple reasons a teacher might make use of PowerPoint. One reason is that it makes a great creative and organizational palette for learners to use and they assimilate and internalize knowledge. However, the same things that make for great fun in cementing our own knowledge don't always make the best tools for sharing knowledge. One example is that PowerPoint animations have been shown to reduce comprehension in some cases.

One popular presenter, Larry Lessig, has adopted his own style of PowerPoint usage. You can watch an example of his style in this TED talk.

Quick Reference Cards

The Quick Reference cards that we handed out in class are produced by the BYU Office of Information Technology. You're welcome to download and use them. You can find them here.