Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Tech Tac Toe: Word Clouds

Word clouds are another great tool for visual learners.  A word cloud takes a selection of text and organizes it into a design.  The really cool thing about word clouds is that the size of each word is based upon the frequency it appears in the text.  One can customize the shape, font, and color of a cloud (based upon the application used).  There are many word cloud generators to chose from, but I like Tagul and Wordle best.  Making a word cloud is a simple as copying and pasting a selection of text into the chosen generator.

Here is a word cloud I created using Tagul, and I customized it based upon the subject. Can you guess what this word cloud is about?  

Monday, November 28, 2016

Tech Tac Toe: Screencasting

A screencast is a video recording of one's desktop, usually with narration.  Over the summer, one of my teammates needed to know how to create a spreadsheet to view responses on a Google Form. Since we were both at home, I made a screencast to show her how to do it.  I saved the screencast to my Drive, then shared it with her.  So simple!  

There are many applications one can use to record a screencast, but I prefer the Chrome extension Screencastify.  Screencastify is a screen video recorder that allows one to record one's desktop an narrate what is occurring.  I could give you the step-by-step directions of adding the extension and recording a screencast, but it is easier to show you.  

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Tech Tac Toe: The power of infographics

Infographics have changed my life!  

I have just used Canva to create an infographic for my students, and I am beside myself with excitement!  Where have infographics been all my life, and why have I not used them before in my teaching?  I am thrilled to think about the infographic possibilities!  

Visually appealing?  Check.  Easy to create?  Check.  So, so awesome?  Check!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Technology and optimal learning spaces

I’ve just learned about the New Media Consortium's Horizon Report.  Holy cow!  Just give me some chocolate, my loosies, and a glass of wine, and I could happily settle in for the night reading this annual comprehensive report on upcoming trends and developments in educational technology!  Particularly interesting to me was the discussion on classroom redesign to reflect a more collaborative, creative space to integrate technology for active learning (Redesigning Learning Spaces). 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Data mining is scary!

I do not have a tattoo, and would never get one.  I can't even imagine ever liking something that much that I would want to live with it forever.  I remember once back in the early 90s I went to a tattoo parlor with a friend.  She ended up getting a tiny rose on her ankle.  There was a brief, fleeting moment when I actually considered joining her.  Thankfully, I came to my senses.  What would others think of me if they saw it?  Would they think I was cool?  Ridiculous?  Impulsive?  Reckless?  And what would my parents think?  Ewww...how embarrassing.  

But what about a digital tattoo?  I have one of those...and it is definitely permanent. My digital tattoo is comprised of everything I've ever shared, posted, and liked online.  It also contains any information that others have posted about me, or digital records of any sort shared publicly, like my address, my salary, and my criminal record (which is completely clean; but you could find that out by Googling me).