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Augmented reality

Augmented reality

Augmented reality can spice up your content presentation by linking real world ‘trigger’ images to online content. This is not the same as Virtual Reality which creates a complete world of its own that immerses the student.The impact of these technologies on all aspects of our lives will be huge. Fortunately there are ways to start introducing them into your teaching even if you have only a passing interest in how it all works. Metaverse is a (so far) free…

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Automatic closed captioning in Google slides

Automatic closed captioning in Google slides

When you present in Google Slides, you can now have real-time closed captioning by simply clicking the ‘cc’ button when you are in presentation mode. As long as your microphone picks up your voice, your spoken words will scroll along the bottom of your presentation as you speak! With all the fun of the not-quite-transcribed-correctly fair of course…but it worked quite well in my trials and was one of those things you show people and they go ‘wow’! Microsoft Powerpoint…

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Technological magic and the philosopher’s education

Technological magic and the philosopher’s education

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” (Clarke’s third law). The impact of current digital technologies such as Web 3.0, with its intelligent cloud, on our education system is potentially magical. Yet as we navigate our way through digital disruption, widespread effective and enthusiastic implementation among many muggle academics and their students is not immediately apparent. What determines how we incorporate technology when we design learning activities? It goes without saying that inclusion must be purposeful – the use…

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Tools, fun stuff and tips

Tools, fun stuff and tips

All our ideas – Create an online wiki survey – ask a question, seed some ideas and in a few moments you’ll have your own wiki survey. Give participants the link and they will be presented with the opportunity to vote on the seed ideas and invited to give their own ideas. Then view the results with a range of visualisations. AnswerGarden – post a question, participants post their response (up to a few words) or upvote another answer, and a word cloud…

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Reference managers

Reference managers

I’ve devoted scant resources to evaluating reference managers, which is unfathomable given a good deal of my time is involved in organising information. Over the years I have wandered from one to the other, and not been happy with any of them. The free ones all seemed buggy. The ones that cost money, work AND have heaps of delightful features fail me when I move on from the host institution willing to pay for them. My requirements for a reference…

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Word clouds

Word clouds

Word clouds are not only an interesting way to quickly get an idea of the content of a piece of writing, but can also be a navigational aid, if the keywords are linked to search results within a website or blog page. Creating the clouds is quite easy and several free online options are provided below. Usually you just provide a URL or paste in text, and a word cloud will be created, with the size of the word proportional…

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Recording a video or screencast

Recording a video or screencast

Presenting your content using a video can involve creating a simple screencast of a powerpoint, adding audio in the form of music, automated or real speech, with or without a talking head, through to a recording of a lecture in a recording room or out on location. You might use a video camera, or simply a smartphone or tablet. The finished product might reside on your institution’s server or on a private or public YouTube channel. Here are some useful…

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Free handbook

Free handbook

Richard Byrne has updated his free Practical Ed Tech Handbook for 2018. For many years, Richard has created and curated a wealth of teaching resources and made them freely available through his blog Free Technology for Teachers and other online platforms. If I was stranded on a desert island, this would be my go-to source of technology for pedagogy. It’s aimed at school teachers but meh…good pedagogical praxis is universal.

Editing your video

Editing your video

Video editors may be feature-packed or free – but usually not both. Or so I thought – til I found HitFilm Express. I have pretty limited know-how in this area but I’m able to use this straight out of the box to make basic edits and judging by the feedback around the web, it can do very schmick things as well. Well worth disabling your ad blocker for – you’ll need to do this to access the desktop download –…

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Videoconferencing

Videoconferencing

Skype is often the goto application for videoconferencing (Google Hangouts is also great) but there are alternatives. Zoom is a free, easy to use cross-platform application that prompts recipients to download a small app, although you can just use their web client, albeit with reduced functionality. You can also record up to 40 minutes and download the MP4, host up to 50 participants,  and hold an unlimited number of meetings. You can also videoconference people via the popular Facebook messenger platform through…

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