Posts Tagged ‘visual’

Weekly Roundup: 12/13

December 13th, 2010

Twitter typographic wallpaperphoto © 2009 Jennie | more info (via: Wylio)

The EdTech community has become rather twitterpated by @TomBarrett, who has developed a series of worldwide crowd-sourced google documents on a variety of uses of technology in the classroom. Each is essentially a series of slides made public where anyone can add their own use or see ideas from others. While many of the examples pertain more to elementary or secondary education, there are plenty of applications for higher ed and professional development as well. There’s one for pocket video cameras, one for iPads, Voicethread, Prezi and tons more. Thankfully he’s collecting them all in an “Interesting Ways” page on his blog. It is definitely worth checking out. To boot, he’s also been engaged in a Creative Commons license violation argument with an Australian software company who lifted the slides directly and removed all attribution. Thus, the advantages of worldwide collaboration and the pitfalls, all at once.

As we began sketching out our vision for the TE(A)CH site I perused a number of web-site design questionnaires to outline what we knew we wanted in the site as well as identify gaps in our thinking and issues we may encounter. Though much of the commercial stuff wasn’t relevant, I found the exercise helpful in that we thought about the user’s experience more than we might have otherwise. Smashing Magazine has assembled a list of Web Design Questionnaires, Project Sheets and Work Sheets that might prove useful as you plan your own website or work with faculty/students to design project sites.

Honorable Mentions:

Weekly Roundup: 12/6

December 6th, 2010

What a busy week! Today’s flurries of snow follow a flurry of interesting activity on the educational technology front. Read on to see what caught my eye.

Free Technology for Teachers, which is an unbelievable wealth of constant ed tech information, has a post about free ebooks for teachers and parents. Two that you might find useful are 20 Webtools Applied to Teaching, which provides summaries and sample ideas for webtools such as Voicethread (which we love here at BCC). Microsoft has a free pdf guide for Developing Critical Thinking Through Web Research Skills. Of course it is Bing-centric but it is filled with resources for you to use to help your students evaluate information online.

It’s also time for ProfHacker’s monthly Teaching Carnival. These carnivals are basically a roundup of the top news of the month on “teaching in college and university classrooms.” There’s a ton of content in this one so I recommend sending the ones that intrigue you the most to Instapaper or bookmarking the page for those Sunday mornings when your neighbor swipes your Times, you know, if you still get paper delivery.

Oh, reflexivity. In every syllabus I make sure to include the requisite “Your paper must be in APA style, 12 point Times New Roman, double-spaced with 1 inch margins and page numbers in the header” blurb. But why is it requisite? A post by Evan Snider at ProfHacker sort of blew my mind a little when he argues “such draconian formatting requirements stifle students’ creativity and cut off any critical thinking about what should be a crucial part of any writing-intensive classroom, namely visual design.” I’m all about visual research methods when I’m wearing my researcher hat, so why have I kept the visual out assignments? Snider engages the skeptics and followers with a lengthy discussion about the how and why of document design and how to encourage your students to break the mold. There’s quite a healthy follow-up discussion in the comments as well.

And, finally, there’s an interesting article from Edudemic documenting How the Harvard Law Library is Embracing the 21st Century. They chronicle the changes the library is making to move into the digital era and how these changes in information management have influenced other areas of the university. The guiding principle behind the library’s organization is “to define it before it is decided for us” which is a sentiment that I think is often echoed throughout our own engagement with technology and our own institutions.

Honorable Mentions

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