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 ]

Posted in Chromebook, Repurpose Equipment

A Dell Latitude D630 Chromebook


I was perusing an article yesterday Learning the Alphabet and found that Neverware has CloudReady, which repurposes old PCs or laptops into Chromebooks for a relatively cheap price per unit.  I went to their site and found that I could download and try out CloudReady for free.  *For personal use, the OS is free.

This Dell Latitude D630 is the same system that I converted some time ago to Ubuntu 14.2 LTE.  I played with that OS for a while and then have just been updating the Ubuntu OS regularly as new updates were made available.

The instructions for creating a USB Install Disk for CloudReady were well spelled out.  I fortunately had an 16 GB stick.  It actually took longer to burn the USB Install Disk than it did to run it on bootup of the Dell and have it install the Chrome OS there.  If I still had Windows on this laptop, I might have tried the dual-boot setup, but not sure this was one of those devices with which dual-boot would work.

CloudReady does not boot my Dell Latitude D630 up in 10 seconds as does my Chromebook.  But, it has connected with WIFI, and Bluetooth, and has run YouTube videos without a hiccup via WIFI.  I can do everything that I normally do for work using my Chromebook.

Here is a COG for Chrome screen shot of my Dell Chromebook.


Running Stupeflix from my Chromebook at home and finding it worked perfectly got me excited about Chromebooks again.  That is why I was reading through some Chromebooks in Education articles yesterday.

I haven’t tried Cloud Convert yet.



Posted in Uncategorized

Knowledge Isn’t Power. The Ability to Learn is Power.

Knowledge isn’t power.  The ability to learn, quickly and efficiently is power!

I was driving about the countryside recently and saw a sign that said something to the effect, “Knowledge is Power.”  Years ago, this was true, but with the Internet and the rapidity of our changing and global society, this is no longer the case.  The knowledge you currently possess is much like the printed word in a just published textbook… It is old by the time it reaches the presses, and even older by the time it is shipped to your bookstore.

Tere Traub, Executive Director – Kaplan

So, the ability to learn quickly and efficiently makes you more marketable and powerful in our current society.  I am guessing that most of the junk you have memorized in your lifetime is now quite useless.  Do you need statistics?  Google it!

I rarely purchase books, even at discount rates, or in electronic form, that are meant to be definitive works, or even introductory works.   I find technology conferences and peruse the list of conference sessions, topics, and leaders and try to determine what are the “trending” ideas or technologies.  I then google for session leaders and their session topics and normally will find where they work “in the real world” and the writings and presentation materials they have posted previously regarding a topic.

I haven’t found this recently, but if a leader is willing to post, “What/Who I am currently reading,” then I try to google to the source of the stew.  After all, what they are currently reading or researching will become the ingredients for future recipes.  Maybe the session leader is reaching the end of the life of their current session topic, and is preparing to turn in other directions.

A couple of years ago, I started watching a local conference session video.  The leader was faculty at a local higher ed institution, and was introducing a trending topic & its creator. Their department was interested in implementing this new concept.  I stopped about a third of the way into the video and googled for the topic & the creator’s name.  I found their book on  I also found that the creator had spoken at another higher ed institution, for that institution’s faculty, and that his lengthy & detailed introduction had been videoed.  I didn’t go back to finish the local conference leader’s video.  Why should I?  I had found the source.  I was able to have the creator teach me personally.  Ain’t the Web marvelous!

I also read articles from the latest online issues of “Campus Technology” or “T|H|E Journal“.  I will google the topics and leaders, as I do for conferences.

Posted in Uncategorized

Unbundling: Marketing to the Prospective Student in a Digital Age

[Slideshare slides for Ryan Craig’s presentation above.]

A distinguished panel of higher education marketing experts, including UNC, Kaplan, and Duke, discuss the future of education given rapidly changing trends in the industry.

The Best of Education Connect 2015” [LinkedIn]

Will Unbundling Kill Higher Ed as We Know It?” [Campus Technology Magazine]

6-17-2016 9-41-14 AM

COLLEGE DISRUPTED The Great Unbundling of Higher Education [Ryan Craig]

Posted in google cardboard, MY3D, stereographs

Viewing Old Stereograms with My Hasbro MY3D Viewer

It just gets better!

I was thinking that I might have to get some “converter” app so that I could view old stereograms on my phone using my MY3D viewer, but  I didn’t have to do anything to the scanned images.  I just opened the image on my phone, placed the phone in the MY3D, and it works great.


[Download the above stereogram to your phone: ]


Here is another photo (not a stereogram) of the same room and you can make out distinctive items from both images.


It is amazing how the mind works.  The items in the images appear “flat” but they have a sense of depth which does provide added life to the photos.  Amazing that images taken more than a 100 years ago appear so remarkable.  There are some amazing images taken from the Spanish-American War 1898 at the above Boston Flickr site.

google-cardboard-glassesWhereas the Hasbro MY3D Viewer works perfectly well with displaying stereographs (and it is easy to use your finger to move between slides from the holes on the bottom of the viewer), this Google Cardboard viewer does not display the stereoscopic images well.  A large portion of the displayed image is distorted.  There is also no easy way to move from one image to the other.

Posted in Uncategorized

Cardboard Camera Turned Inwards?

Okay, I don’t know that this would work with the Google Cardboard Camera software, but it would be worth a try…

Could you use this same software to capture a 360 degrees view of an object (e.g. cup, doll, statue, etc.)?  Place the camera at the outside of a Lazy Susan facing inwards.  Then place a stationary object in the middle of the Lazy Susan, and start the image capture, rotating the Lazy Susan and camera around the object 360 degrees.  *The software is already aware of the camera rotating 360 degrees, facing outwards.  Shouldn’t it be just as aware if the camera was facing inwards?  After all 360 degrees is 360 degrees.

I think the logic works.  Now we just have to find if it works in the real world;-)

Posted in Uncategorized

Hasbro MY3D Viewer

IMG_0750 IMG_0748 - Copy IMG_0747 (002) - Copy IMG_0745 (002) - CopyI bought a cardboard version of the Google Cardboard viewer.  The lenses were not well ground, so there were imperfections in viewing images.  The other thing was the sharp edge of the cardboard cut into my nose.  I happened to see this Hasbro MY3D Viewer on sale and thought I might be able to make it work for my Samsung Galaxy SIII smartphone.  *One of my “good moves”.

At first I had to physically hold my phone against the back of the viewer, but MY3DVELCROHOLDER2the lenses were good and produced a pleasing 3D image.  It wasn’t too long before I saw that someone on eBay was selling this viewer with a modification.  They had used a crossed pattern of two strips (I thought they might be velcro on the ends.) attached to the viewer.  You could detach the strips to slip in your phone and then snuggly reattach the strip to the viewer.

I happened to have some Scotch Multi-Purpose Fasteners that I had bought some time ago for other purposes.  The Fastener system had matching velcro strips and the back of the velcro had a strong adhesive.  I cut a couple of short strips for the top & bottom of the MY3D viewer and attached them with the adhesive backing.  I then put my phone on the back of the viewer and measured out a velcro strip to attach to the top & bottom of the viewer while holding the phone snuggly.  It worked perfectly!  I didn’t even need to add the horizontal cross-strip.  *Sorry, for not showing the phone being held by the velcro strip, but I had to take the pictures with the phone;-)

Posted in Uncategorized

Google Cardboard & Cardboard Camera

I tried out the Google Cardboard app, without the glasses, on my Samsung Galaxy SIII (Android) phone.

Addendum [09/22/16]:  Just found this.

I then installed the Google Cardboard Camera app and created a view of our Cook Training Lab.  I tried unsuccessfully to create the 3D image just holding the phone and moving around slowly, but it failed twice.  I then brought out the old camera tripod and walked it around and made the image below.  Pulling this into the Google Cardboard app displays a 360 degrees view of the lab.  *I didn’t record any narration, but the app allows for this.  IMG_20160119_093937.vrI’ve also just ordered a pair of Google Cardboard glasses from which should be here by Friday.


The Google Cardboard glasses arrived.  Pretty much of a disappointment.  The piece that Screenshot_2016-02-17-09-20-39fits over the nose cuts into the skin uncomfortably.  The image did not display well on the large lenses.  I fiddled a few minutes with it and have since left it alone.

ADDENDUM [02/17/16]:  Got back to this last night.  I am using a Samsung Galaxy S III Android phone.  During Cardboard app setup you are asked to scan a QR code from the glasses and that will determine the viewer type.  Apparently, there is a problem (with some S IIIs) that cause the image displayed on the phone to be small and at the bottom.

mbcr9kfSomeone had modified some of these settings and provided a QR image to switch to the alternate viewer with these mods.  This moved the image to the center (bottom-cenScreenshot_2016-02-17-09-17-29ter-top) and made some other mods I am not quite sure of, yet.  But, these changes made the viewer usable.  The clarity of the projected image isn’t great, but it is close to a poor Vue-Master rendering.  *I am thinking that a 3D printer and some creativity could take these viewers in a differentqalbw9ysyp0bl8k9fbyz direction.2-17-2016 9-58-06 AM

You could go here, Google Cardboard Viewer Profile Generator , and play with some of the settings to see if you can make a better viewer.

If anyone else is still stuck with a Galaxy S3 (like me) and Google Cardboard displays way too small to be functional, I finally found out how to get it to work properly.

How about putting play dough over the nose piece to make it more comfortable?  How about using a 3D printer to create a nose guard that can be attached to the Cardboard Goggles?


IMG_20160216_134529.vrA comment on the above VR image:  I am surprised that my image is not blurry.  How did it take into account that my slightly moving arms & head, and blinking eyes should not be included in the final image?


Above is the phone on the camera tripod.

ADDENDUM ADDENDUM [02/23/16]:  How could I go so long and fail to show you the ultimate effect of Google Cardboard Glasses?


Posted in 21st Century Ed, Audio/Video, Web 2.0 Tools

Intel Boxed Compute Stick with Windows 10 Pre-Loaded

They just keep getting smaller and smaller. currently lists this for about $134 +tax, but I saw something on TV just yesterday regarding when electronics “deals” are best during the holidays season.  The Monday before Thanksgiving is supposed to be the best for these types of items.


  • New Generation compute on device that transforms any HDMI display into a fully functional computer
  • A solution with plenty of storage and performance needed for light productivity, social networking, web browsing, and streaming media, such as Netflix, Hulu, or games.
  • Enable thin-client solutions for small- to medium-sized businesses, delivering ultra portability and reliable plug-and-play simplicity, with Windows Remote Desktop access for on-the-fly support
  • Windows 10 Pre Loaded (includes PowerShell)

It has a USB port, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 support and a mini-USB connector for power, Pre-installed 32-bit OS: Windows 10 and micro SD card slot for additional storage


NOTE:  I asked about PowerShell being included with this Windows 10 because I recently have been learning some PowerShell scripting so that I could modify and use a “content migration” script via the Canvas LMS API.  *Versions of Python (v 2.x & 3.x) are included with the Rasberry Pi that I have.  I also have one of the Logitech wireless keyboards (shown below) that I use with the Raspberry Pi.  It is slightly smaller than a full-sized keyboard… and I think it is the location of the “Shift” key that causes some problems when I am using Python.

A wireless keyboard with trackpad for about $20 at Wal*Mart.

I have a Chromecast that is hooked up to my 40″ HDTV so I know how nice it is to push web video/audio to the larger screen.