It’s all useful stuff!

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It never ceases to amaze me that sometimes it is as if there is no news at all and then there is more than you want! Ummm, what shall I write about first – I know, something simple.

Movenote is a simple little app that gives you the opportunity to put not only voice-overs on your PowerPoint but face-overs too. The video at the end of the short post here provides an example for you.

I really like this next one. Learn how to speak and cook Italian with MIT! There are links to lots more free learning on this OpenCulture site too.

Not quite sure how this next piece of technology will make things more secure but anything that gets rid of the dreaded PASSWORD gets my vote. This article from the famous Forbes journal explains how Google intends to get rid of passwords. Keep your eyes open for it, it could be our salvation πŸ™‚

Another thing I hate as much as passwords are cables. They are everywhere, all over the desk, under your feet, arrgh! Wireless technology has helped a little but we need more – like this idea from Apple. I do hope they hurry up with this, I can’t wait.

This article from Technology Review is just mind-blowing. At last the age of technology is about to provide something amazingly useful, wonderful, fantastic! When someone says, “we are going to cure the ills of the world” you never quite believe them – may be this time they really mean it.

I was very pleased when I read this article. For me the quote from Paul Kagame at the end of the article is what Digital Literacy is all about. These are such good actions, I do hope he does not let anyone down.

I can’t wait to try this new technology from Intel, it looks such fun. The more serious applications of this, “perceptual computing” are endless – coming from a health background I can see how this is going to improve online healthcare enormously.

You might think I have moved a long way from Digital Literacy but all of this is what being literate is about. Knowing what is happening in the world and being prepared to make use of that knowledge is what being literate enables us to do. And we can have some fun too – here is a 12 days of Christmas list from ALISS, some of it is a bit gruesome but there are funny and interesting pieces too πŸ™‚

What is this DL thing?

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This is “me”

I’m running a bit late today, I’ve been looking for natural science, science research bloggers. Yes I know they are few and far between but they are out there πŸ™‚ Now for something for the rest of us!

When people talk about DL it often seems that the most important topic is safety. I think safety is important but it is not the only thing we should be focusing on. This journal post from the “I need a library job” journal is about using LinkedIn to help you find a job. This is not an activity that should be left until the end of your degree to work upon!

Some people might think that this next subject is not about DL but DL is about being able to function in this new digital world we are in. Such things as digital Wearables are changing the way we live and work. We need to be aware of what is just around the corner. Watch the video and listen to what the people in the know have to say on the matter πŸ™‚

People often ask about how to write online. This post on the Langwitches blog will be really helpful if you have ever asked this question. If you want to you can download the info so you can go back and read it off-line too.

For those of you who might have a little time to spare there are two online courses you can follow to help improve your DL skills and knowledge. The courses are provided buy TechSets and start on July 8th this year.

Just to finish off I thought I’d also mention the Jisc Content site a resource for, “Digital collections and archives for learning, teaching and research”. Loads of interesting stuff here, take a look even if you don’t need something just at the moment. This is a really good site to put on your Bookmarks for Favourites.

Tit bits for the new

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This is "me"

Yesterday I was at the JISC Virtual Worlds in Education Forum in Staffordshire University. Nice place, good company and lots to chat about. Not enough space to tell you about all of it but I thought you might like a look at this game which is part of Staffordshire’s Induction to the University. They are aware there are a few things that need changing but I’d love to know if you would have liked something like this before you came here to Worcester. Give it a go and let me know what you think.

Now something from the Thesis Whisperer. As you might have gathered I rather like this blog, there is always something interesting and helpful on it. This time it is 5 rookie researcher mistakes but don’t be put off by the focus on researchers. The advice given here applies just as well to all students. Get into good habits at the beginning. If you’re past the beginning don’t think it’s not for you – make a new beginning by using this advice. I just wish Thesis Whisperer had been there when I was a student πŸ™‚

Here is something for all of you. Photo Pin provides Creative Commons Licensed photos for you to use on your blogs or whatever. Just put in a search term for the subject of your choice and hey presto, there they are. I don’t promise they will all be in english but you will get loads of them πŸ™‚

Where we are

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I’ve been working with students and talking to others in Second life today. Second Life is a communication device, it lets us see representations (avatars) of one another, it enables us to talk in text or voice (to groups or individuals), and it gives people the opportunity to build things together, so people can create together anything from art to rapid prototyping. All of this at the click of a button and from anywhere in the world at any time. This tool thus lends itself to teaching (amongst other things), as an acquaintance from Arkansas State University demonstrated for me with the teacher training course they run completely in SL. I don’t intend to dwell on Second Life and how some are doing more with it than others but all this rather got me thinking about communication and communication methods these days.

Like most other people these days I use a whole range of devices from the physical to the virtual to communicate for work, rest and play. We are all Tweeting, Texting and Scoopiting to our heart’s content, all day. We are communicating at a level of incidence never seen before and we are communicating about all sorts of things. Anything we can think about:

The above list does not include, of course, all of that everyday communication we carry on all the time with our bank or the local government (for example about housing) or the national government (for example pension claims) or the NHS (for example making appointments at the hospital).

So if we can’t communicate properly in the modern world, using modern devices of communication we will not only, not know what is happening, more importantly we will not be able to let people know what is happening with/to us.

Better now thank you :)

One of me in SL

This is "me"

So much better now – no hot eyes or aches and pains, hurrah!

I’m currently writing (trying to write?) a Social Media Guideline for Learning and Teaching. As a part of this process I’ve been looking around at the advice other universities give and at what teachers have to say about using social media. I like this post from the Teaching the Teacher blog. Stephanie writes about, “when fear extinguishes innovation” for student teachers. I think the student teachers amongst you will enjoy reading Stephanie’s post and the comments it has received. I, for one, can’t agree with her more πŸ™‚ Do have a read and let me know what you think.

For you history students out there, here is an article from the American journal, the Chronicle of Higher Education. History academics are renowned for not being frightfully interested in anything technological, at least as far as their teaching is concerned. This phenomenon exists on both sides of the pond, it doesn’t seem to matter if you are American or British. Most people won’t know Daniel J. Cohen but he is one of the people who is trying to change all that. Prof. Cohen works at George Mason University where he manages the George Mason Centre which produced PressForward, Zotero and Omeka (all of which I think I have mentioned before on this blog). Do read the article and tell me what you think. Will the history discipline be improved by moving into the digital age or will it destroy something unique?

Now something for everyone but especially for those of you interested in programming or teaching programming. The world now has a very tiny computer which costs about Β£25, it is called the Raspberry Pi. The original idea was to find something that would enable young people to play with programming on a computer that cost very little – most modern computers just don’t provide that opportunity. Read about the Raspberry Pi Foundation and the launch of the computer here. I rather like the idea of a real computer about the size of my bank card – I can see all sorts of things taking off from this development – how exciting πŸ™‚

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