Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What are Digital Tablets?

Digital tablets are computer input devices, very much like a mouse, but very much cooler. The tablet allows you to use an electronic pen, and this gives you much better control and resolution when drawing on the screen.

A simple application is signing your name on an electronic document.
With a mouse, your name would look childish or undecipherable.
With an electronic pen and digital table, the familiar motions of a ball-point pen are recorded to your screen.

A better application of this technology is a digital whiteboard. Using your laptop computer and an LCD projector in a classroom, you can use your digital tablet to take notes and project them on a screen. After class, you can make your handwritten notes available as an electronic file.

There are many vendors in the Digital Tablet marker, but one of the better known vendors is Wacom. Here is a company "pitch" video for their Bamboo Tablet line.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Faster Bookmarks

Screenshot of a page of hyperlinks segmented into a table by category of type of link
I have a new homepage on my Internet browsers.
I've decided to create a webpage which has my most frequently accessed links, and I've saved it to my local network drive (so it follows me around campus). This allows me to create quickly access my bookmarks regardless of which computer I'm using, and yet it keeps my set of links private (stored on my campus network drive/not on an open website).
Part of the reason for "hiding" this - is that I have so many usernames and passwords, I can give myself reminders of my usernames for the sites I am accessing.

Click the image above to view a full-screen version of my bookmark setup.

If you already are using a social-bookmarking tool, another suggestion might be to make that your home page.

I use SeaMonkey (web browser suite) to edit the page. It has a built-in webpage editor called COMPOSER which allows you to easily create web pages without knowing HTML coding. Then the page can be saved wherever you wish.

This idea might be extended to online course sites, since faculty could create a series of resource links for students and then upload the HTML file into their course management system to share with students.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Video "Helicopter" Overhead Shots

I did a bit of video atop a paint-roller extension pole. I strapped the camera to the top of the pole and did a few quick overhead clips to demonstrate the potential for this project.

The video is a bit shakey because I'm walking and also the wind was gusting to 15MPH. On a warm, still day - the quality could be much better.