Posts

About Stories

Image
I enjoy Vlogbrothers videos. This one below addresses (at about 1:07) an important issue in the world of teaching and learning. Namely storytelling, and particularly the question of what is a, or your, story about? This is a key thing to think about as you are drafting your stories - what are the stories about? Not, what is the plot, but what overarching topic/idea/emotion/subject is your story about? What is the point you are attempting to illustrate? Why is your story important? Put another way, what is the point?

These are questions with which a storyteller must grapple and answer if they want to create a good story. If you are looking for tools to help you or your students draft a (digital)story please check out this website: Digital Media Toolbox Libguide. I have put together resources and recommendations to help create the best product possible.

P.S. Flat Dr. Pepper is just saddening to think about.



CLAMP Webinar: Moodle Quiz Friday, September 22

On Friday, September 22, I will be facilitating a webinar sponsored by CLAMP for a presentation about Moodle, specifically the Quiz module.

Sonya Johnson PhD, professor of Religious Studies at Beloit College, will share about her experience coming to Moodle, anxieties and expectations she had, challenges she faced and how Moodle helped her meet those challenges. She will also share about the ways in which Moodle and the quiz module in particular, supported her pedagogy. Sonya will finally share lessons learned/take-aways and her future plans for her courses in Moodle.

The session will be recorded and the video posted here when it is available.

If you would like to view the webinar it will be be held in Zoom (https://zoom.us/j/630284326)

Read PDFs Aloud: Tagging

Image
I have talked about making PDFs accessible on this blog before. In addition to being able to search through the text, another of the benefits of running OCR (optical character recognition) on a PDF is that it makes it possible for a person to have the document read aloud or to listen to the document with TTS or text-to-speech technology.

Most of the time the OCR process works without issue. Sometimes however, the OCR will finish and the document says "blank" when it is read aloud. How do you know that a document will be able to be read aloud? I will outline below a few steps you can take to make sure that your PDF will be ready to be read aloud.

Checking Your PDF So how do you know if your PDF can be read aloud? The following steps will illustrate how to do so in Adobe Acrobat Pro. The first check is to make sure that the document has been OCRed. To check this, you can open the PDF and then click and drag to select the text. If this is successful then this means that the do…

Free Image Sources

Image
Photo by Kristian Karlsson on Unsplash

Students or anyone looking for free to use images may find some resources on the Digital Media Toolbox LibGuide. The link below points to some new sources as well. Many of these images are free to use without attribution, although it is recommended and a nice thing to do if you can.

The list of sites is:

UnsplashKaboom PicsMorguefilePixabayStocksnapNegative SpaceShot Stash
For descriptions of each of the sites the original article can be found at:
https://www.howtogeek.com/320506/seven-sites-with-free-photos-you-can-use-however-you-want/

Update to Google App Launcher

Google posted on their blog that on August 1, they will be updating the layout of the apps in the app launcher to, in their words, "make the app launcher more convenient for new users and those who don’t take the time to customize it. " This should only affect new users and users who have not changed they layout manually already.

If you find the order of the apps changed and do not care for the order, you can change it by clicking and dragging the app logos to the desired location within the app launcher.

You may read more about the changes at the link below.

https://gsuiteupdates.googleblog.com/2017/07/changing-default-order-of-apps-in.html

Google Classroom: Alice Keeler - "My Respond to Private Comments in Google Classroom Workflow"

If you are using, or are interested in using Google Classroom, then I recommend that you check out the post and blog linked at the end of this post. In the linked post. Alice Keeler lays out a workflow for managing private comments in Google Classroom. This workflow puts the priority on providing substantive, helpful feedback. If it doesn't help the student it is not worth your time to do, right?

http://alicekeeler.com/2017/07/29/respond-private-comments-google-classroom-workflow/

OCR...The Devil Is In The Details

Image
OCR (optical character recognition) is a complex and inexact process. I covered some of this in a previous post. The video below is a deeper dive into the processing and math (just a touch) behind how OCR processing happens.

Because of the complexity of this process it is important to begin with the best quality original scan possible. Some scan settings to keep in mind:
Color - This should be set to Grayscale. The grayscale setting helps to gather as much detail as possible from the original without making the file size too large.Resolution (DPI) - This should be set to 300 dpi. This is the minimum resolution recommended for OCR.Format - The file format should be PDF.