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Tag: Open Source Schools

Things I Learned This Week – #13

Image CC BY Pink Sherbert Photography

This week I returned from the UAE only to head down to London and then immediately back up to Doncaster for the Open Source Schools Think Tank (#osschools) and TeachMeet Yorkshire & Humber 2010 (#tmyh2010), respectively. They were both great events and I was very kindly put up by Dughall McCormick (@dughall) on Friday night, allowing me to attend the TeachMeet. 😀

http://delicious.com/dajbelshaw/TILTW13
(43 bookmarks)

I’m delighted to have seen references on other blogs to this series of weekly posts and I’m glad people find them so useful!

Tech.

  • I don’t often disagree with the conclusions Lifehacker comes to, but saying that “[Google] Chrome for OS X is still much too young for full-time adoption” whereas Firefox is great is not true in my opinion. One of the reasons I switched to Chrome (whilst still in Alpha!) was not only because of its speed but because Firefox was crashing several times a day, despite reinstalling, etc.
  • Want to jazz-up the ‘new tab’ page in Google Chrome? Try Incredible Start Page:

Productivity & Inspiration

Education & Academic

  • Using video game-style ‘experience points’ instead of grades in school? <strokes beard> Interesting…
  • Need stories for deaf students or those with partial hearing? Try Signed Stories!
  • Want a (very) simply guide to getting started with Google Apps Education Edition? Try here. And then you may want some ideas on how to use it:

Data, Design & Infographics

  • According to a 1984 paper cited by Nathan Yau at FlowingData, scatter charts are the easiest to decode in terms of representations of quantitative data. Bar charts and pie charts come next. Although probably not 3D ones produced by M$ PowerPoint… 😉
  • It turns out, somewhat unsurprisingly, that if you’re a kid you don’t want the misfortune to have been born in Afghanistan. It kind of affects your life chances:

Misc.

Quotations

It is easier to stay out than get out. (Mark Twain)

It’s all right to have butterflies in your stomach. Just get them to fly in formation. (Dr. Rob Gilbert)

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses. (Henry Ford)

A true friend never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down… (Arnold H. Glasow)

It’s not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. (Charles Darwin)

How to move forward with Open Source: a teacher’s perspective

On Friday I’m in London helping facilitate a session as part of the Open Source Schools project. I was asked by Miles Berry to write a short ‘provocation paper’ which is shared below (be sure to click ‘Fullscreen’). I’d be interested in your thoughts and feedback! 😀

Open Source Schools – Open Source Software: an overview

Cooliris wall

Click here to jump straight to the presentation

I’m down at Felsted School, Essex, tomorrow at the invitation of my good friend and conspirator collaborator, Nick Dennis. The Heads of ICT departments from independent schools in the area get together every so often to share and discuss ideas. I’ve been asked to do a presentation on Open Source Software – presumably because I’m involved in the Becta-funded Open Source Schools project. 🙂

Although I’ve tinkered with Prezi as a presentation tool in the past, I’ve decided I’m not a big fan as it’s a bit clunky and slow when putting your presentation together. It’s also completely ‘closed’ meaning that not only is it against the underpinning of the presentation, but other people (including me in future!) can’t re-use elements of your presentation.

A few months ago I read Alan Levine’s post Tricking out Cooliris as a presentation tool. I thought it looked cool, forgot to experiment, and then forgot about it. That is until last week when I saw that Alec Couros and Dean Shareski had used the method in their presentation entitled 2 guys. Suitably impressed, I decided to have a go. :-p

It all looked very complicated at first until I discovered that Cooliris have a program called PicLens Publisher that does all the hard work for you. All you need to do is save your presentation as a series of images, drag-and-drop the images onto PicLens Publisher and it produces the HTML page and RSS feed required.

Once that was done, all I needed to do was customize the HTML page and upload the folder via FTP to my website. Done! 😀

Update: Dai Barnes captured the audio using his Livescribe. Check it out here!

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