Tired of typing Google docs? Use Speech Recognition

The Speech Recognition Add-on changes spoken words into text. Open your Chrome browser and follow these steps:

  • Create a new Google Doc or open and existing document
  • Click on Add-ons (top menu of Google Docs)
  • Type Speech Recognition in the search bar
  • Click on the Blue + button to add it to Google Docs (Mine is green since I have added it already)

image001

  • Click again on add-ons (Google Docs menu)
  • Click on speech recognition
  • Choose your language (Afrikaans is there!)
  • If you select English, you can select the dialect as well
  • You can choose for example South Africa as the dialect

unknown

  • You can use a range of commands
  • Click on Save to save your settings
  • Click again on Add-ons
  • Click of Speech Recognition
  • The box will open (far right)
  • Click on Start (Blue button)

unknown-1

  • Click on Allow to use microphone
  • And start talking
  • Google will listen to you and type the text where you need it.
  • The microphone stays green to show that it is ready
  • If the microphone is crossed out, click on Start

unknown-2

Example of her excellence:

unknown-3

 

Tips:

  1. I do not use the punctuation, I add it when I proofread my text
  2. Insert lines to show new paragraphs.
  3. Google learns quickly, thus the more you use it, the better she will understand you.
  4. For now, I am impressed.

Google understands my dialect of English, and her spelling is excellent – she can even spell “reëls” correctly!

 

 

 

(100 visits)

How to use Google Drive offline

Google released a new Google Drive interface a few days ago. Google Drive, when enabled, allow you to access , create and edit your Google docs and presentations offline. I find it useful when I need to get access to my documents where no Internet is available.

The offline function is only available in Chrome browsers. Follow these steps to enable the offline function.

  • Open Chrome browser
  • Check the box next to
  • Choose Drive

screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-8-17-50-vm

  • Click on the gear icon (far right)

screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-8-19-14-vm

  • Click on settings
  • Check the box next to Offline to sync Google Docs, pages, etc to be edited offline as well
  • Turn off wifi
  • Click on document you want to edit and it opens in the chrome browser
  • When you are connected to the Internet, the files will sync automatically.

 

(84 visits)

3 Nano technology innovations I can do with

Nano-technology is amazing. After watching this video, I think I love the spray on clothing the most!

A)  Ultra-ever dry (0:00-4:03)

Sprays on anything to protect it from being damaged by accidental water, oil, mud and even concrete spillage.

B)  Spray on material (see minute 4:05).

The material can be washed and worn again, but it can also be dissolved to create a new clothing.

C)  Liquipel (5:33)

Protects cellular phones from accidental water damage.

(87 visits)

Mac desktops found their voices

Siri, the 5-year old intelligent assistant of Apple mobile devices is now also available on Mac desktops since she is part of the new macOS 10.12 Sierra operating system introduced on the 20th of September 2016 and offer features designed exclusively for desktops.

Siri, the intelligent assistant, includes all favourite features and new ones designed for Mac desktops:

  • send messages
  • create reminders
  • search the web and more while you work
  • drag and drop or copy and paste Siri results
  • pin Siri results in notification centre and reference later
  • find files
  • adjust settings
  • get system information by asking Siri.

Copy and paste between devices near each other with universal clipboard. Copy a quote, image and video from an app on one device and paste it into an app on another device.

Drag and drop search results into emails, messages and notes

Pin results where you can find it, right in the notification centre, where it stays up to date. Just click + to pin results to today’s view, where it stays up to date.

Apple watch: log automatically into my Mac by wearing my Watch.

Use iCloud Drive to get access to files on Mac desktop from iPhone. Store and update files on desktop and in Documents automatically in iCloud Drive and access on any of your iOS devices and even another Mac.

Apple pay in Safari makes it faster, easier and more secure to pay on the web since you can check out without providing your credit card details. Complete the transaction by Touch Id or double-clicking the side button on the Apple Watch.

Optimized storage since Sierra automatically stores files rarely used in iCloud. Store files in the cloud until you need them. This feature includes the following:

  • remind you to delete used app installers
  • clears out duplicate downloads, caches, logs, and unnecessary stuff
  • ind and delete large apps and files and ones not used
  • delete files that have been in the trash for 30 days

Rediscover memories, and turn them into memories, including:

  • new technologies for powerful face recognition
  • display all photos on interactive world map, zoom in and out to see where the shot was taken
  • search photos by objects and scenery in them
  • memories automatically creates slide shows and sharable collections of best photos, based on people, places, holidays, and more
  • find photos of beach, sunset, birthday cake, etc.
  • sort photos based on face recognition

Improved messages to express yourself in new ways, including:

  • huge emojis
  • respond with heart of thumbs-up
  • play videos in conversation
  • preview links in the conversation

iTunes makes is easier to find favorite songs and discovering new ones. For you makes it easier to:

  • discover new music and playlists Apple think we would love
  • new browse function – new releases, exclusives, playlists, top charts
  • view lyrics while listening to refined mini player

Tabs works same as in safari, but now in most of the apps. It allows for example to:

  • breeze between multiple page documents in full screen mode
  • look at various destinations in maps

Picture in Picture allows you to float a video window from Safari and iTunes over desktop or full screen app, his allows you to:

  • play a video in the corner of the desktop, resize it and see what is behind while you catch up on email
  • or to watch a game while you are busy with something else

Questions to ask Siri:

  • Show all PDFs in my downloads folder
  • How much free space do I have on my mac?
  • Play the top 40 jazz songs
  • What’s the weather like in Barberton?
  • Add Laura to my 10AM meeting
  • How do I spell broccoli?
  • Find photos I took at home
  • What is the time in Cape Town?
  • Show me all files I have shared with Karen last week
  • Find tweets from Paul
  • FaceTime Jane
  • Get information about Cape Town
  • Search the web for images of Cape Town

I am an Apple fan, therefore I do love the new MacOS Sierra. Now I have a reason to learn to use Siri more effectively! For more ideas, watch Help!

 

(69 visits)

Interactive animal cells

I came across a website where students can learn in an interactive way about animal cells.

screen-shot-2016-09-19-at-10-06-17-am

You can add the labels for immediate feedback. The labels only attaches when it is correctly labeled.

screen-shot-2016-09-19-at-10-08-35-am

Or you can take the quiz to be rewarded. If all questions are answered correctly, the student can see how a cell divides! If the answers are wrong, students can go to the tutorial. You hover over a part of the cell to read more about the functions of a ribosome, etc.

I love this interactive game. Students can learn individually, in groups or it can be used as a class project for teaching and revision purposes.

 

 

 

 

(43 visits)

Reading a Map

Reading a Map is an interactive website developed by the National Park Service of America.

screen-shot-2016-09-19-at-8-11-28-am

When you click on Let’s Go!, it shows a photograph of a park. In the following slides, an aerial photograph is shown, then a Topographic map. Students are prompted to interact with the map to identify three hills, feedback is provided and the Topographic map is linked with the photograph provided in the first slide to allow students to understand the link between map work and reality.

I do not want to provide more information, I believe Geography teachers and students will find this interactive tool valuable. Students can click on buttons to Watch Again, a feature that can enhance learning.

screen-shot-2016-09-19-at-8-20-41-am

Terminology covered include: direction, scale, legend, and choosing best routes to the top of a hill. It might be on elementary school level, but I believe secondary school learners can also benefit from it since map elements are described, illustrated and then they are involved through interactive exercises to provide a learning experience they can repeat before writing tests and examinations.

(64 visits)

Meaningful integration of eportfolios in distance education.

I have asked one of my students to create a video, reflecting on her eportfolio.

Based on Vicki’s reflection on her eportfolio, eportfolios are high impact educational practices. In July 2016, eportfolios were added as an 11th high impact practice recognised by the American Association of Colleges and Universities. However, not all eportfolios can be regarded as high-impact practices. I have developed the following learning-oriented framework for integrating eportfolios in a post-graduation module in distance education (see Figure).

cvanstaden-FIG-03-cvs

The framework is described in two recently published papers, namely:

van Staden, C.J. 2016. ‘n Leergeoriënteerde raamwerk vir eportefeuljeontwikkeling in afstandonderwys. Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Natuurwetenskap en Tegnologie, 35(1), online version.

Van Staden, C.J. 2016. A learning-oriented framework for integrating eportfolios in a post-graduate module in distance education. AAEEBL ePortfolio Review, volume 1(1), pp. 36-52.

(190 visits)

Comparison between e-portfolio systems

I have tested a few e-portfolio systems. Based on my own idea of an effective e-portfolio system, the following structures was used to create sample e-portfolios.

  • Home page – or brag pag
  • About me – if needed
  • Add videos – ease of use
  • Add text and images – ease of use
  • Add tables – possible?
  • Add links and documents – link to document? or PDF can be read online in space
  • Add sections – add sections to pages / portfolios
  • Add mathematical symbols – for maths
  • Add slide show – possibilities
  • Extras – listed on one page with links to the extras – what extras are available on one page.

The following systems were used to create e-portfolios;

  • rCampus
  • Digication
  • Mahara
  • Pebblepad
  • Karuta
  • Taskstream
  • Chalk and Wire

My examples

r-Campus Mahara Chalk & Wire Pebblepad Task-

stream

Licence/host Licence, host and cloud options Self-hosting Hosted Hosted option Hosted option
Pricing Cost organisation

Cost Students

FREE 22$, down to 12$ depending on amount of students that will use e-portfolios 20 pounds individual accounts

10 pounds / 1000 (bulk option)

20$-42$per student, staff FREE
Time

difference

Does not matter Big difference 1 hour after us No big difference
Assessment Rubrics Rubrics Rubrics

Lti

SIS Public API

eUpdate

Please check

Graded assessment

Blind assessment

Double blind assessment

Rubric assessment

Reporting comprehensive

Quick monitoring

Rubrics
LMS Integrated LMS Moodle

Blackboard

Sakai (?)

Integrate with LMs Integrates with Sakai Integrated LMS
Features See example See example See example See example

Templated for all extras

Can create own

See example
Support Have not contacted them Community I struggled to get access, their support people reacts quickly Best I have encountered

Interactive short videos for every feature

Quick responses

Free – include student support, institution does not have to worry about support
Turnitin No No YES YES No
Personalise Not free version Limited Yes Various options Various options
Comments Not in Portfolio Each page of ePortfolio Yes Side of pages

Comments on request, can switch off

Not in ePortfolio
Collaboration Discussions

Comments

Rubrics

Discussions

Comments

Rubrics

Discussions Groups
Sharing Yes, via email as well Yes, via secure links as well Yes Via email

Via URL

For assessment

Yes, via link as well
Workbook/easy e-portfolios None None None Can be created to guide the students throughout the year

Assessment easy and can follow their journey

Graded and rubric assessment

None
Afterwards Lifelong, can be free Can download Can be renewed Keep for life, free of charge, can edit afterwards
Feedback Rubrics Rubrics

Comments

Yes Comments

Feedback forms

Rubrics

Comments

More examples Chemistry

Teacher

Examples Example Examples for a university shared with me

Kameron Giacchero

Kathryn Guertin-Davis

Cheri Boteilho

Sonja Taylor

Emily Ford

Examples
Demo Have not requested No On request to showcase assessment tools On request

To demonstrate the assessment tools as well

On request

To demonstrate the assessment tools as well

Overall Difficult to add images, have to Not for assessment and grading Assessment tool Assessment tool Assessment tool
Contact details None None Geoff Irvine Dr. John Couperthwaite

Ben Coulter

All systems could be used to create structured, multi-page e-portfolios. There are a number of important points to note, based on the review of the above systems:

  • Some e-portfolios only allow the sharing of links to videos, while others can be used to embed videos to create effective multimedia presentations.
  • The drag-and-drop functions of Mahara and Pebblepad provide an easy method to upload multimedia.
  • Mahara allows for comments on each page of an e-portfolio, a feature that can assist collaboration and assessment in various ways.
  • All systems could be used to create structured, multi-page e-portfolios, therefore it is suggested that the academics evaluate each of the systems based on their own requirements in order to identify an e-portfolio system to be implemented.

I have not tested the assessment tools since it is not possible if I am not an institution. However, Pebblepad, Taskstream and Chalk & Wire offer online demonstrations. I found it extremely worthwhile, therefore, I can recommend asking for online demonstrations.

The quality of the final products varied since not all of them can be regarded as multi-media presentations. Therefore, it is recommended that the final choice should not be based purely on assessment tools, but also on the quality of the multi-media presentations created to showcase achievement towards both subject specific outcomes and the critical cross-field outcomes all South African higher education should aspire to.

 

[sbscrbr_form]

(184 visits)

Use Google to create icebreakers

I came across this video showing amazing things you can do to catch the attention of your students and audiences. I believe it can serve as icebreakers. So have fun!

I love number 10.

 

Did you also enjoy the way this author communicates with his audience?

 

[sbscrbr_form]

(236 visits)

Understanding the efficiency of your teams

Social Network Analysis provides a method to understans the efficiency of your teams. It is both a theoretical perspective and a method to understand human behaviour. Jacob Moreno, is regarded as the father of Social Network Analysis. Although he was not the first researcher who studied the relationships between pairs of people, he was the first person to visualize the networks in which human beings are embedded to understand, predict and describe the influence of these networks on human behaviour.
Moreno used dots and lines to draw sociograms or visualizations of the networks. In one of the first studies he used a sociogram to understand the behaviour of babies (see figure 1).

                                               Figure 1

He used this sociogram (figure 1) to show that a type of hierarchy exists between babies. Some of the babies are situated on lower levels because they were not recognized by any other babies, while other babies are ranked higher due to the fact that they were recognized by more babies. In another study he looked at a football team to understand their behaviour (see figure 2).

                                               Figure 2
The red lines indicate the likes and the black ones the dislikes. Moreno urged the players to indicate whom they liked, and whom they did not like.  He used this sociogram (figure 2) to explain why the team might find it difficult to play as a team.  The full back (top middle, figure 2) received dislikes from four other people, indicating that they might find it difficult to play as a team. The centre (centre of figure 2) received seven likes, indicating that he might be able to captain the team because both forwards and backs liked him. This information is not available to organizations and coaches although the impact of these underlying social networks might have devastating influences on the outcomes of team sports and organizations.
I would like to explore the likes and dislikes of the current Springbok team (2012).  I think a sociogram might provide information to explain why the team does not perform. And I have certain ideas about my reasons for making this statement. Ruan Pienaar (current scrumhalf) was booed three or four seasons ago off the field (as flyhalf) by a pavilion of South African rugby supporters who knew that Morné Steyn had a better kicking track record. I think it might have been a terrible experience walkin off the field under such pressure. I also think that Ruan Pienaar might have very strong negative feelings towards Morné, don’t you agree? I have seen him kicking good balls away before he would pass it to Morné. And I have also seen him passing those balls when he played next to another flyhalf.  I have also seen him passing very bad balls to Morné – as if he needs to prove that Morné does not belong in the team. Therefore I think he will do anything in his power not to boost Morné Steyn’s performance on the field – even if the Springbok’s have to loose the game. And to my astonishment Morné was dropped from the team playing on 29 September on Loftus, Morné’s home grounds. To me it seems like the perfect punishment – out of Ruan’s perspective.  When I was still teaching, my friend and the 1st team hockey coach could not understand why her team lost a game they already had in the pocket. The Monday the girls told me why. The one wing refused to pass balls to the striker because she dared to look at her boyfriend!   This same scenario can be found in organizations as well. If I don’t like you, I will not do anything to help you to outperform me.  Problem is that the performance of the whole team relies often on the quality of a relationship between two players.  Therefore SocialNetwork Analysis might provide an effective tool to understand why teams underperform.

Social Network Analysis is not a new method or methodology, it has developed over a period of 80 years in a powerful tool to understand and predict human behaviour. It is just under-utilised to understand human behavior.

(37 visits)