Friday, August 28, 2009

Up Your Productivity with Twice the Desktop

In the market for an LCD television? Make sure that you get one which has computer inputs (VGA/PC or DVI). Run a cable from the TV to your laptop and work on a second desktop.

According to an article in USA Today, having the second monitor increases your work productivity by as much as 50%.

I've used dual monitors for almost a decade, and I can really feel the slowdown when I have to work on one screen.

If you would like to try using a dual screen with your laptop - simply borrow any LCD monitor and connect it to the external video port. On my campus website I have added a link to provide instructions.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Skydrive for 25GB of Sharable Web Space


Microsoft is offering 25GB of online web space in their Live.Com accounts. The space is called Skydrive, and you can set each folder to different permissions (private, public, networked friends, specific email addresses).

This might be a great way to distribute self-generated media to students without all the extra hassles and delays associated with posting content on a campus web server. Also - the site handles the login / password authentication for you -- making the distribution as easy as setting up a list of email addresses which can access the content.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Adobe Offers Free Curriculum in Digital Video

I just stumbled upon a site within Adobe which offers a free curriculum in digital video. Follow the link above for more information.

Quoting from the Adobe Website:

The Digital Video project-based curriculum develops career and communication skills in video production, using Adobe tools. You can use the Digital Video curriculum in career and technical education courses as well as courses involving video use in academic courses.

The Digital Video curriculum develops knowledge in storytelling, capturing and editing video and audio, and finalizing content for DVD or web through emphasis on design, communication, project management, and video technology. Key skills are developed in a spiral as each project adds more challenging skills on foundation proficiencies.

The Digital Video curriculum aligns to the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) for Students (2007).

Fun Animated Movies for Free

Devolver (formerly Dfilm) allows you to create quick and easy animated movies. The story-lines are short and the amount of dialog is limited, but you can select different backgrounds, settings, characters, and music. Check it out!

Monday, August 17, 2009

High Tech Cheating

Cheating Goes Graphic Design

There is a new wrinkle in cheating - thanks to easy and inexpensive graphic design software. Students are scanning in labels of soda bottles and then replacing the label with one full of formula, crib notes, and vocabulary. Yet one more reason to replace traditional multiple-choice exams with assignments which require problem solving and research.