Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mahara ePortfolio System

Interesting open source ePortfolio from NZ

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Using PowerPoint and OneNote to have interactive lessons over laptops

A nice addition to PowerPoint has emerged that has some vague similarities to Mouse Mischief. It is Microsoft's Interactive Classroom. This small 7mb freebie from Microsoft adds an extra Tab onto PowerPoint. With that tab you can create a variety of questions (true/false, yes/no, and multiple choice) as well as on the fly polls, and deliver them through your network to wireless or wired computers for instant (well near instant) feedback. In addition all the session material is delivered to the participants OneNote computer so they can annotate during the delivery and take home to digest. Any live additions or amendments are refreshed onto participants screens during the session.
Unfortunately it is serial to Mouse Mischief, you can run one after the other but not both at the same time.
The format is relatively simple, and the instant feedback is nice. But the main aspect I like this the delivery of material to the end user in a live way.
There is the suggestion that interactive clickers can be married into the system. One would have to determine whether there is any benefit in running the session in Interactive Classroom as opposed to the native propriety clicker system. Again, the main plus would be that the material is shared to all the participants.

This is one to experiment with, and hope that further development can expand on its functionality. Requires OneNote 2007 or 2010 on participants computers.

Link to  Download page for Microsoft Interactive Classroom

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Using Video in Word

The realm possibilities that have opened up with the realisation that we can embed youtube video directly in word documents is just dawning on me. Without bloating the file size, we can have video enhancement right at the typeface. Connectivity issues are almost a thing of the past. If a person has a computer it is probably online, if they are reading your word document they are probably hooked up to the Internet. While we could always hyperlink out to a webpage video, to have the video display directly as an image in your word page keeps the reader focused on your 'paper' where we want them. There is no to'ing and fro'ing with the risk of them being hijacked or straying. The nice thing is that while it looks a little complicated at first, it is remarkably simple to accomplish. See instructions on the website.