Posted in 21st Century Ed, Ideas & Reminders

ENGL 345 Technical Writing: Bill Session 10/25/17


  • Knowledge is Power!?
  • Use Jing for screen capture or Snagit (Techsmith)
    • To record image stills
    • To record brief, narrated videos (using a program, etc.)
  • Organize your materials with a WordPress site ( free at )
    • that way you can use
      • categories
      • tags
      • and the search function to search for materials easily
    • Create multimedia articles
      • you can write something
      • you can add still images
      • you can add video, embed video
      • you can create links to other web articles explaining more fully or from a different perspective
      • or you could embed audio
    • Don’t recreate the wheel
    • Google it
    • Some places to go for ideas regarding technology (education/instructional)
    • If you’re watching training videos see if you can speed up the play speed because that way you can listen to them a lot quicker
    • Be specific in defining your problem
      • Don’t just say, “Canvas isn’t working,” or “I can’t upload an assignment in my class.”
        • What part of Canvas isn’t working?
        • Which class? Which assignment?  Provide an error message.
    • Take a look at a conference and see who the conference speakers are
      • then Google for their materials that they have online
    • If someone that you are following has a reading list and says, “This is what I’m currently reading,” then you should start reading what they are reading, because that’s the material that that person is going to use for their next big thought.


FETC Conference Flyer

FETC – Future of Education Technology Conference

“Digital Consumption and Creation in a Changing Literacy Landscape”  Steven Anderson, Digital Learning and Relationship Evangelist, Web20Classroom

“…Being literate in today’s world means more than just being able to read.  Constant access to information and the digital tools used to access that information is changing the definition of literacy and what it means to be literate…”

Steven Anderson


Posted in Web 2.0 Tools

Social Media Wall

I’m not sure what led me to this MIT Connect – Social Media site, but it looked interesting.  After I looked at it, I thought, “I wonder if someone has developed a WordPress plugin that could do this.”

Pretty quickly, I found a couple of WP plugins:


Social Stream


I have often wanted to embed, via iframe, a WordPress page within an CMS, LMS or portal page (Canvas, Ingeniux, LookingGlass) to take advantage of someone’s coding without having to recreate it outside of WP.  I think I’ve found something like the following before, but the result must not have been as successful.

How to create a WordPress page without header, menu, sidebar and footer?

I copied the PHP coding found at the above link and pasted it into a Notepad ++ page, saving it as suggested.  I then used some Terminal program to login to our WordPress application on a Linux system.  I transferred the PHP file into the root folder of one of our themes and then went to create a new page, using that theme.  Sure enough, there was a “Clean Page” option in the drop down for Page Templates.  The page displayed perfectly, with no header, sidebars or footer, just the application that was embedded.

Here is the result of the WP page being displayed in an Ingeniux page via an iframe:


The same displayed in a LookingGlass Portal Channel:

I also tried this using Mobirise to create a page and it looked great there also.

I have only played with adding Twitter, RSS feeds, and YouTube.  I’m not sure this would be easy, or that sometimes changes on the media source won’t break the various social media streams being displayed in these programs.

Posted in Uncategorized

Movo Photo MTP-10

I finally decided to get back to the Google Cardboard Camera and to try and create a 360 degrees video tour.  The Cardboard Camera software was free and I was able to create a panoramic image relatively easily, but I was having to manually rotate the camera 360 degrees.  If I rotated too quickly the recording would fail.  It probably took about 3 minutes to complete the rotation.

I have just ordered a Movo Photo MTP-10 Motorized Panaromic Time Lapse Tripod Head with Variable Speed, Time and Direction with Built-in Rechargeable Battery to hopefully automate the process.  The slowest time is 5 minutes, which may be too slow for the software… but we will see.



Looks intuitive for a high tech egg timer;-)


Posted in Uncategorized


Someone recently pointed me to the UTK web site which was displaying several demographic graphs on a page.  I found that the graphs were being generated by an application called Highcharts.  I visited their site and was able to download their free app for creating these, interactive, web graphs.  There is also an online version of the app.


The impressive functionality of the graphs on the web page is that the viewer can click on certain elements to turn them off or on.  If you are viewing the graphic data for four cities, you can choose to turn one or more of the cities off/on and this regenerates the graph on the page.

Not sure if I can paste the coding into this page, but if so, be impressed;-)


Do you want to use Highcharts for a personal website, a school site or a non-profit organisation? Then you don’t need the author’s permission, just go on and use Highcharts…


Posted in Uncategorized

I think I used the free Google Cardboard Camera app to produce the panoramic 360 degree view of the room. *The image displays fine in the WP editing window, but does not display on the page, when viewed from the browser.  If you can get to the following location, there are hotspots in the view that take you to more info.

I created the above 360 degrees image using my old Samsung SIII phone on a tripod.  You could piece several of these 360 images together to make a virtual tour.  One nice feature is that you can add sound to the images, so that the sound plays when the viewer is looking at a certain part of the image.  In one of the example tours, a rooster crows loudly when the viewer is facing the image that has chickens in the yard, but when the viewer has panned the image and has his/her back to where the chickens were located, a rooster crows again, but this time, the audio level is lower, giving the impression of being further away from the sound.  *That is just good tool manipulation on the part of the tour creator.

Posted in Uncategorized

Using LED Light Bars to Enhance Video Productions

This was an initial test using my old Samsung Galaxy SIII to record the video/audio.  I used the free, online EasyPrompter teleprompter app and displayed it on my office PC.  I had a cheap desk mount tripod (purchased at Dollar Tree several years ago) and a special smartphone mount that attached to the tripod and held the phone snuggly.  I placed the phone in front of my monitor and resized the EasyPrompter display so that it was skewed toward the camera lens on the phone.

The new part of this test, and I only used one USB LED Light Bar, was some cheap lighting.  I bought two LeDengLux Dimmable USB LED “Under Cabinet Lighting” bars from Amazon for a little over $14 @ with Prime.  I think you can see at the end of the video when I lean in to turn the camera off, how well lit my face appears.  Playing with two lights, and maybe add a cheap reflector and for under $30 you could improve the quality of your office video output.

light-bar-controllerThree nice features of this LED Light Bar are the USB power connector, the dimmable on/off control and a color temperature option that changes from a reddish to bright white hue.  I figure placing one light on each side of the monitor, or an HDTV would work.  You can tell that I am reading the text, but I’m not using my glasses, because I can blow the text up to very large.


Posted in 21st Century Ed

Visual Dashboards – The Lights On Effect

“…starting to build visual dashboards that rolled up the data and showed administrators overall trends, such as which metrics wDarren Catalanoere declining or stubbornly flat. “That helped us start conversations at the university that they never had before,” Catalano said. “I call it the lights-on effect. They don’t know what they don’t know until you turn on the lights. Just aggregating data in a simple visual way facilitated meaningful conversations. We provided valuable commentary as an independent actor on campus, regarding enrollment and retention trends and strategy.”

[ Darren Catalano, UMUC’s former vice president of analytics and now CEO of HelioCampus. ]

“The bigger challenge is how to get humans to catch up to the numbers and ideas thrown our way like never before. And those teams that manage it will gain a distinct advantage over opponents that can’t.” [ Geoff Baker ]