Listening to playlists on YouTube is a great way to check out new music for free, but you have to keep your browser open and you have to watch a bunch of ads. If you'd like a cleaner experience, tech blog Digital Inspiration shows how to play playlists in the VLC media player.
Tuesday, 27 November 2012
Despite the name, Google Type isn't a real Google product. The site generates fonts based on Google image search, hence the name. You type in words, the site digs through image search and regenerates your text using image versions of each letter.
This is all based on an interesting quirk of Google's image search. If you type in a single letter and search images, Google gives you a lovely collection of image representations for that letter. For example, plug in "Y," and you may see the "Y" from "Yahoo," an illustration of a guy with his arms up in a "Y" shape, and a hand making the hang-loose sign. Any of these could pop up in Google Type.
Monday, 26 November 2012
So you want to create a digital magazine for your students but still did not find the right web tools to do so. Well now you can . we have just finished reviewing some great web services that you can use with your students to create and publish highly customizable magazines and newspapers for your class.
If we're to believe much of the mainstream press, then video games are little more than a plague upon our youth, a disease that turns delightful, law-abiding young citizens into diabetes-ridden, sociopathic adolescents without a firm grip on reality. That's not to make light of such issues, but to lay the blame solely on games is to be as ignorant as those who claimed rock-and-roll would be the downfall of society, or that TV would result in a generation of brain dead morons; the Stones are still rocking, and Jersey Shore is classed as entertainment, but we've not reached Ayn Rand levels of dystopia just yet.
Tuesday, 20 November 2012
Google Docs is convenient, cheap, and compatible with just about any platform, making collaboration incredibly simple. It’s also infuriating, incomplete, and limited. Google Docs wafts in the cloud, just beyond your tinkering fingertips, and you’re at the whim of the Google engineers who control the tweaks, fixes, and enhancements.
Since launching Google Spreadsheets in 2006, Google has steadily improved Docs to support complex text documents, worksheets, tables, forms, and presentations. You might have to wait for its software wizards to make the big changes, but you can still apply a few workarounds and hidden features. Want to trim the number of Google Docs browser tabs? Compensate for the lack of a guided spelling checker? Create shortcuts for frequently used text? To make your overall editing experience a bit better, read on; we also offer some tips that you can use with Google’s spreadsheet and presentation applications.
The human mind is a funny thing; it likes to play tricks on us.
For example, when we proofread and edit our own writing, we tend to read it as we think it should be, which means we misread our own typos and other spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes as well as problems with word choice and sentence structure, context, and overall readability.
If you have a friend or family member who has good grammar skills, maybe they can help you out by proofreading and editing your work before you send it out or publish it.
For special submissions and publications, hiring a professional proofreader or editor is the best way to make sure your writing is free of errors.
But for most of us, it’s not likely that anyone’s going to proofread and edit every single piece of writing that we create. That’s especially true for writers who put out a lot of material — like bloggers, copywriters, and freelancers. Proofreading and editing services can get expensive and friends and family probably don’t want to spend all their evenings checking your work.
Monday, 19 November 2012
Recent education headlines express the dilemma currently facing UK higher education. The Council for the Defence of British Universities launched last week promoting a vision of education for education's sake, with universities as centres of learning in danger of being shackled by short-term performance measures and funding models. On the same day, the Engineers Employers' Federation (EEF) called for a closer alignment of the education and training system – including higher education – with the needs of the labour market and employers.
Are universities a key pipeline in the nation's skills supply route? Should they be pursuing academic excellence and scholarly enquiry, or fulfilling more prosaic but economically valuable goals? Could they do both? These questions will be at the heart of next week's Institute for Employment Studies (IES) conference as part of a discussion of the wider role of higher education and the ways it might meet employer demand for high-level skills.
Tablets are poised to become one of the most revolutionary education tools in a generation. They have streamlined various aspects of education in such a way that we couldn’t imagine just ten years ago, causing many parents and educators to reevaluate the old textbook and notepad standards.
Children and college students alike respond to the interactivity of learning material on tablets in the form of free and modestly priced educational apps. The iPad in particular has many engaging and informative apps for those who want to incorporate tablet usage into their lesson plan. Here are 5 of my favorites.
Wednesday, 14 November 2012
On 2 November, Newsnight broadcast what are now known to be mistaken claims by former care home resident Steve Messham that he had been sexually abused by a prominent 1980s Conservative politician.
Following the broadcast, there was much speculation as to who that politician was. Some of this discussion was via Twitter, with individuals linking Lord McAlpine to the Newsnight report - causing his name to appear as a "trending topic".
Media reports suggest that Lord McAlpine may be considering suing at least some of those thousands of people for libel.
The legal position of an individual who posts content online, be it on Facebook, Twitter, or on comment sections of online news pages, is clear: He or she is responsible for that content. Ignorance of the law is not a defence.
Monday, 12 November 2012
So much is written in the press about the negative use of technology (in particular social media) and young people. Yet technology and social media has become such an integrated and important part of our lives. We see ‘tweets’ on the television, read facts on Facebook and gather information on Google+.
In the past 24 months social media has toppled governments, helped us rescue flood victims and delivered us both localised and international news in almost real-time.
Social media is both powerful and purposeful yet its full potential is still to be realised in education. How can it be used to transform our classrooms in the same ways that it has transformed many other aspects of our lives?
Wednesday, 7 November 2012
While complaints can be heard far and wide that it's hard to find the right IT security experts to defend the nation's cyberspace, the real problem in hiring security professionals is the roadblocks put up by lawyers and human resources personnel and a complete lack of understanding of geek culture, says security consultant Winn Schwartau.
Monday, 5 November 2012
The internet is peppered with factually incorrect news stories. To help sort through it, Dan Schultz, a masters student at the MIT Media Lab's Information Ecology Group, has built Truth Goggles. The web software runs on your browser like a bookmark, scanning internet content and highlighting fact-based sentences. These lines are sourced from PolitiFact, a fact-checking database that evaluates public statements by US Congress members, the White House, lobbyists and political interest groups.
Friday, 2 November 2012
Twitter is too big to ignore. You see hashtags in commercials, sponsored tweets, posts, news broken on Twitter, etc. It’s quickly become an indispensable tool for teachers, admins, parents, and students too. Right now, there are still many (MANY) in education not using Twitter. They may think it’s tough to start using, difficult to monitor, and even a waste of time.
Thursday, 1 November 2012
IBM (NYSE:IBM) today announced Smarter Education projects with the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) and Gwinnett County Public Schools to apply predictive analytics and Web-based software technologies to help improve student performance and achievement.
All schools, from K-12 to colleges and universities, are under increased pressure to ensure that students not only graduate, but possess the workforce skills to succeed in a globally competitive world. Both CCRI and Gwinnett County are digitally transforming their learning environments to help improve student achievement.
Now in its 48th year, CCRI is the largest community college in New England, offering nearly 90 degree and certificate programs to its approximately 18,000 students. ConnectEDU is working with CCRI on their Connect to College (C2C) project, designed to centralize critical student services and offer a unique way for students to manage their academic life. By adding IBM’s predictive analytics software, they gain the ability to see data patterns to determine where intervention might be needed.
With the combined solution, CCRI will be able to both capture and convey student data, gaining real-time perspective into how a student or school is doing and where intervention is needed. They will have the tools to determine which students are at risk of not completing the steps to achieve their intended goals and implement the interventions to get them back on track.