Mostly fun :)

One of me in SL

This is “me”

All the examinations, furious writing, presentations and grading are drawing to a close. Soon everyone’s thoughts will be turning to how to get one last thing into the suitcase for the holidays. Before then though I have a few more goodies for you πŸ™‚

To begin with here is a chance to win a Β£5K grant from Jisc. Jisc are looking for students who have good ideas about how to use technology to improve student life – so get in touch with them!

If you are still trying to get yourself, your ideas, resources, notes organised then look at this article about Evernote. Yes I know I’ve mentioned it before and that you have probably tried it before but, as the article says, may be you just haven’t been doing it right πŸ™‚

Do you want to produce your own podcasts? Why not try PodOmatic – it’s free and you can add your podcasts to a community of like-minded people. May be you just want to see what other people have done? Have a look, there are lots of topic headings, you are bound to find something interesting.

LearnDash have some really useful tips and tools for teachers but I’m sure loads of students will find them useful too. In this particular article there is a list of 19 fun tools. My favourites are Trello which can help you organise a project or group activity and Screenleap which enables you to share your screen with a friend – both of which are free!

For those of you who have an iPad. Do watch this video on how to visually record and share your notes. There are four apps evaluated, all of which are really useful but have different price tags. This method of note taking is great, even if you don’t have an iPad, and it is well described by Rachel Smith.

Finally here are two funnies for you. The first is a truly amazing wedding photo the other is a video warning about the perils of time-travel πŸ™‚

Things to do from your sick-bed :)

One of me in SL

This is “me”

Here I am, risen from my sick-bed – well not quite, I’m feeling a lot better now. It’s not only computers that can’t function normally when invaded by a virus, organic things are affected just the same unfortunately πŸ™‚ Despite an impaired functionality I will try to create some satisfactory input for you.

I have recently been introduced to the Podcast Gallery. I have found this an excellent resource; especially when you don’t have the energy to raise even an e-book in front of your face πŸ™‚ I did a search for BBC and came up with a very large collection of podcasts which I recommend whole heartedly.

Just for some fun I thought I’d include a link to the xkcd site. There are some great cartoons on xkcd though you might find some of the humour a bit strange if you are not into science and maths.

If you are a blogger and you want to learn more about how to personalise your WordPress blog you will find the Daily Post at WordPress.com very helpful. The one I have linked to is the Introduction from January but you might know enough about branding to start off at Let’s get visual 101.

I quite often find that I would like to be able to just copy and paste between my different machines, e.g. from my phone to my Mac. I found something today that can do just that clippick. You can copy and paste from any device, any platform or any app, try it out, I think you will be surprised just how often you will use it.

I just love TypeDrawing – I don’t think it is academically of much use to you but it looks like fun and you never know it might be useful for a presentation. You can download version 3 from the App store for either your iPhone or your iPad.

I never have really liked the term e-safety, it is far too simplistic, I much prefer the term used by Jisc, online responsibilities. If you want to check up on what your responsibilities might be in relation to e-safety go and have a look at the Jisc Infokit, What is e-safety and why should we do it.

Just as a final note, if you are looking for Royalty Free music or sound effects try the Partners in Rhyme site.

Gadgets

One of me in SL

This is "me"

I do love gadgets – let’s face it they are just toys that actually do something; they’re just the next step on from Meccano πŸ™‚ I try not to fill this blog with too many gadgets as I know a lot of people are not addicted to them like I am. However, there comes a time when I just have to give in to my inner child – so here is what I’ve been looking at.

The Guardian Newspaper produced a list of the top 50 apps for the iPad. Yes I know that not everyone has an iPad but lots of you do and I just want to show the others how useful and how much fun they can be. I wasn’t particularly interested in the first section it’s stuff for the home, recipes and interior design, things like that but I can see that the interaction they provide could be helpful. The other sections (except for the Kids) have lots to interest people. Things like eBay for iPad, Skype, Flipboard to create your own magazine, eBook Creator, Painterly, Garageband and loads more. I’m definitely going to be trying some of these out.

This next one won’t be in everyone’s homes just yet but I can’t wait for it to arrive. It’s not known by a very catchy name yet but it is gesture and voice controlled TV. Hurrah! No more losing the TV controller just when I need it in a hurry πŸ™‚ I picked up this little news item from the journal of the International Society for Presence Research. If you’re into virtual reality these people are the ones to follow. Originally the article came from the Los Angeles Times where the reporter goes on to talk about the research that is continuing into the technology that supports Microsoft’s Kinect. This technology is still comparatively young and it is believed that there are lots more to come from it.

The last item is another one from Microsoft – as you know I’m not a great fan of Microsoft but their research department is very good. There is an article from Tech Crunch about Surface SUR40, a piece of technology that was introduced to us, I think, early last year – it was interesting but not that exciting and rather clunky. The researchers at Microsoft have worked on it since then and produced a table four inches thick. That sounds a bit big but the argument is that it has to be robust to survive in the real world. At nearly 9,000 US dollars this really isn’t aimed at the household market but have a look at this video (it’s a bit slow at the beginning) demonstration and you can see how it might be used in shops and in business.

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