Monday, April 27, 2009

Hardware, software, and underwear

James says...
Hardware, software, and UNDERwear,
should be kept clean,
and then thrown out and replaced at least every three years
to get rid of the holes and to improve performance.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Webinars for Online Learning Tips and Techniques

I am presenting some webinars relating to Online Tips and Techniques on Thursdays until the end of summer. Anyone from the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System is welcome to join in on the sessions (email me for details). Here is the list of dates and topics. The sessions run Thursdays from 12:10pm to 12:45pm.

Date Topic
4/23/2009 Google Blogger (free tool)
4/30/2009 Audacity Audio Recording and Editing (free tool)
5/7/2009 Modifying Word 2007 Paragraph Styles
5/14/2009 Adobe Presenter Turning PowerPoint into Flash-based Lectures
5/21/2009 7 Basics for Making Your Word 2007 Documents Accessible
5/28/2009 NO SESSION
6/4/2009 Using and Creating YouTube Videos for D2L Sites
6/11/2009 NO SESSION
6/18/2009 Blemish and Wrinkle Retouching in Photoshop, and other tricks
6/25/2009 Google Groups – Free Tools for Collaboration, Editing, and File Sharing
7/2/2009 Skype Online Phone Conference Calls for up to 10 Callers (free / low-cost)
7/9/2009 Speech Recognition in Microsoft Vista – Turning Speech to Text Transcripts
7/16/2009 Introduction to Creating Tutorial Videos with Adobe Captivate
7/23/2009 Student Readiness for Online Courses – A Model for Orientation and Certification of Online Learners
7/30/2009 Respecting Copyrights: Strategies and Resources to Keep You Out of Trouble
8/6/2009 Creating PDF Handouts from PowerPoint Files
8/13/2009 Podcast Your Classroom Lectures with a Pocket-Sized Voice Recorder
8/20/2009 Virtual Office Hours: Tips, Tricks, and Technologies
8/27/2009 Creating Custom Cartoons for Courses (free tool)

Blackboard vs. the World... continuing Saga

The Chronicle of Higher Education posted an article that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has now preliminarily rejected all 57 patent claims by Blackboard. This is great news for any school using the software by Desire2Learn -- the company which continues to fend itself against lawsuits by Blackboard over patent infringements.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Mineral Oil Cooled Computer

This is a very interesting idea - cooling your computer with mineral oil. The main advantage is no noise (no fans whirring in the background). This might be especially useful in audio and video recording applications in which the background noise needs to be kept at a minimum. Also, the mineral oil distributes heat to a wider area, and a submersible pump can ensure that the oil circulates and dissipates the heat.

Video by Puget Custom Computer Systems.

Here is a demonstration using Vegetable Oil. Because vegetable oil can turn rancid, I would suggest the mineral oil suggested above.
Video from Tina Wood and Laura Foy.

More information on this topic from Tom's Hardware - Cooling with oil.

Friday, April 17, 2009

How NOT to do PowerPoint

Here are a few fun videos about how NOT to do PowerPoint.

Don McMillan - How NOT to use PowerPoint

Alexei Kapterev - (Avoiding) Death by PowerPoint

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Talent = 10,000 hours plus luck

What does it take to succeed? What is talent? Finally - you have your answer! (not workplace safe)

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Batteries, Batteries, and Where Will They Go?

Wonder what to do about a dead battery? Can it be safely tossed out with the wilted lettuce and over-ripen cucumber? Or, does it need to be treated as highly-hazardous material?

TWICE magazine has put together a guide on how to dispose of and recycle batteries.

Common Cartridge Standard for IMS Materials

Common Cartridge is a new standard which allows content developed for one Instructional Management System (IMS) to be exported and imported by another. Moving beyond the SCORM standard, the Common Cartridge allows better integration of collaborative tools and activities.
Here are some FAQs about Common Cartridge and also a Chart of Common Cartridge as it relates to an IMS.