BP8 Twitter

Posted: March 2, 2013 in Education, Technology
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Using Twitter

Using Twitter was an interesting experience for me.  This is the first time I have experienced Twitter.  The amount of information disseminated through this network is amazing.  The diversity is also amazing.  Everything from useful information, to news on social issues, to the details about peoples daily lives can be found on Twitter.  I think twitter is a great idea and I like the idea of allowing everyone from around the world to post what they feel is important.  I really like the fact that you can choose who you follow because there is an awful lot of people on Twitter that I have no interest in following.  If the information was disseminated in an open forum you would have to sift through the tweets you have no interest in to get to the ones you like.

Good Communication Tool

I also like the fact that this can serve as another tool for Full Sail students to communicate and stay connected.  Since this program is completely online the social aspect of traditional classroom education is nonexistent.  Students participating in online programs need to find other ways to communicate socially outside of the classroom.  This along with Facebook, LinkedIn and wikis are all good ways for us to stay connected as a community during out program and after graduation.  We live in a community that is becoming more reliant on networks and I think it is important to stay in touch with people in your field and people who share your visions.

This Weeks Assignment

This weeks assignment caused me to research more articles on emergent technology than I normally do in one week.  It was fun and challenging to choose the articles I wanted to share.  I really enjoyed following the Twitter members related to Technology especially Mac World.  I have been exposed to tech news that I wouldn’t have been exposed to if I wasn’t a member of twitter.  I like how easy Twitter makes it to stay up to date on news from different organizations.  On a personal note I really enjoy following the Giants Twitter feeds.

Review of Techie 4 Teachers Blog Exploring the Wiki World

http://techie4teachers.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/bp-6-_-exploring-the-wiki-world/

I recently reviewed a blog call Exploring the Wiki World on a word press site called Techie 4 Teachers.  It compared two wikis that are both powerful tools for educators.  The blogger did a great job of describing and comparing the wikis and I would highly recommend this blog to anyone who works as an educator.

Educational Origami
Educational Origami contains a plethora a resources for educators and this blog explains its functions very comprehensively.  This wiki has something for all educators.

Cool Tools For Schools
Cool Tools For Schools has a variety of tools that teachers can use in their classrooms.  Again the blogger did a very comprehensive job of explaining the features of this wiki.  If you are an educator you must take a look at it.

Review of BEATJUNKIE314; My Emergent Technologies Journey’s Blog Wiki’s

http://beatjunkie314.wordpress.com/2013/02/23/bp-6-wikis/

I recently reviewed a blog call Wiki’s on a word press site called BEATJUNKIE314; My Emergent Technologies Journey.  It described a wiki called Wikifonia that allows musicians to publish and collaborate on lead sheets.  This is a great wiki for all musicians and people involved in the music industry.  The blogger did a great job of describing this wiki and I would highly recommend this blog.

wikiHow
I found this wiki called wikiHow to do anything.  It houses instructions on how to do almost anything.  The community is open to anyone who wants to participate.  I would definitely use this in my professional life to both find instructions and share instructions.  I am a very hands-on person and I like to do things for myself but don’t always have the knowledge.  With this wiki you have access to experience and knowledge of people from around the world.  Each set of instructions is separated into sections.  These may include:

  • Steps
  • Tips
  • Warnings
  • Things You’ll Need
  • Related wikiHows
  • Article Info

As a member of the wikiHow community you have access to read, edit and discuss the articles.   I think this wiki can be very helpful in my professional and personal life.  I look forward to using it in the future.

wikiHow

ProductWiki

The next wiki I found was called ProductWiki.  This wiki provides reviews, ratings and information about different products.  Like wikiHow this community is open to anyone who wants to participate and you have access to experience and knowledge of people from around the world.  The ProductWiki provides specific information on each product review, which may include:

  • Pros and Cons
  • Where to Buy
  • Features
  • Improvements
  • User Reviews
  • Pro Socre
  • Gallery
  • User Comments
  • Product Competitors

One unique thing this wiki does is providing a ProScore to each product.  A score is derived from each users number of pros and cons they assign to a product they review.  These scores are averaged among all users to calculate a ProScore for the product.  As a member of the ProductWiki community you can create product reviews and edit or add new products.  I find these scores to be very helpful in considering what to buy.  I research and purchase a lot of technology for work and I think this site would be a great resource in evaluating what to buy.

ProductWiki

Both of these wikis allow the user gain knowledge.  Both these wikis also allow the user to become a member of the community, which allows them to contribute to and edit content.  They both allow people from around the world access to the wiki, which allows users the benefit diverse perspectives.  I could see myself using both of these wikis in the future.

BP5 ET Commercial

Posted: February 17, 2013 in Education

This week I’ve decided to review Auditorium Notes.  It is an app for the iPad that allows note takers to take notes and record audio simultaneously.  It can be difficult to listen with full comprehension and take notes at the same time. This app has been designed to take some of the pain out of note taking.  The user can take notes and also reference back to the audio at the same time, which can be reviewed later to help clarify the notes.  Overall I think this application can be very helpful to all note takers.

What Can You Do With This App?

The note-taking part allows note takers to take notes while recording audio so they can review the notes later while listening to the audio.  It allows note takers to share the notes through e-mail or Dropbox.  It supports multiple hours of audio per note.  It allows note takers to bookmark their audio and the timeline allows them to find a specific spot in the audio easily.  The app will continue recording after it’s closed allowing note takers to research things on the web during a lecture, meeting, etc.  Users get to choose from different designs, icons and rich text, which allows them to customize their notes.  It also interfaces easily with

Changes made to the notes on the note takers desktop/laptop while accessing Dropbox will automatically sync with the iPad app.


Who Is The Audience?

  • Students
  • Corporate trainees
  • Minute takers at meetings
  • Reporters
  • Interviewers
  • Just about anyone with a reason to take notes

This app appeals to a very broad audience.


How User Friendly Is It?

Audiotorium Notes - Interface

The note taking part looks just like a note pad and you tap on it to type just like taking notes on the note app that comes standard on all iPads.  There are clearly labeled icons at the top of the screen that allow the user to adjust the font, edit the format and change the design.  Above the icons is the audio timeline and above that is a button that says start record.  All of the features were in logical places.  Even if you aren’t familiar with the iPad this app is still very user friendly.


What Do Users See?

Audiotorium Notes - Pad & RecordingNote takers tap on the start record button to begin recording the lecture, meeting, etc.   There is a  bookmark icon to the left of the record button.  The note taker can mark a spot in the audio by tapping on this icon.  There is a clock that records the length of the audio recording to the left of that icon.  The record button reads pause record after recording has begun.  The note taker can stop recording by tapping it.  It will then read continue record and they can continue to record by tapping it again.  The note taker can type notes on the notepad while the lecture, meeting, etc. is recording.  The note is automatically saved.  The note taker taps on the arrow at the top left hand corner of the screen labeled notes to get back to the main page.  Each note’s title appears on the main page and the note taker just needs to tap the title to retrieve the audio along with the notes taken during the recording of that audio.  Each recording is automatically time stamped.


How Do I Get Support?

There is general information on the iTunes App Store Support website.

Support for Auditorium Notes:


Are There Any Fees?

The App itself can be purchased for $4.99, in the App Store which is reasonable.   If you don’t already own an iPad or iPad mini they can be a little bit pricy, starting at $329 for an iPad mini.


Is Content Kept Private?

Users can passcode protect their notes so only authorized users can view them.

Audiotorium Notes - Security

How Reliable Is It?

This app seems reliable as far as I can tell.  It can be synced to Dropbox so if something happens to the user’s iPad, computer or both the user has access to the notes.  The notes can be accessed on dropbox.com and can be restored to a new device.  


What Can Be Improved?

One thing I wish this application could do is to allow the user to reference the audio that was being recorded while a specific note was being taken.  This can be done through the audio bookmarking feature, but it would be more helpful if the application did it automatically for the user.

Review of Technology For Teachers Blog on Skitch

I just reviewed this blog about Skitch.  It looks like a wonderful tool for editing photos on the go.  Please go to this blog and check it out.  http://techie4teachers.wordpress.com/2013/02/10/bp1_skitch

 

Review of BEATJUNKIE314 Blog on Akai Mpc Renaissance

I just reviewed this blog about the Akai Mpc Renaissance drum machine.  It looks like a great piece of technology for today’s musician.  Please go to this blog and check it out.    http://beatjunkie314.wordpress.com/2013/02/10/et-review/

BP2 iTunes U

Posted: February 9, 2013 in Education
Tags: , , ,

How User Friendly Is It?

iTunes U courses are very user friendly for both the students and the instructors.  People simply have to sign up for an iTunes account and they can create and enroll in iTunes U courses.  Additionally, the iTunes U App can be downloaded to mobile devices:

  • Smartphones
  • Tablets
  • Mp3 players
  • Other Hand Held Devices

The user functionality for both students and instructors is easy and logical.  iTunes U allows the creator of the course to post an overview/syllabus, instructor bio, posts, notes and course materials in different, well designated sections of the virtual classroom.  Students can access each section by clicking or tapping on it.

What Do Course Managers See?

When course managers go into their iTunes U account they come to a page that lists the courses they’ve created.  There are two buttons at the top of the page.

  • My Materials
  • Create New Course

On the left side of the screen is a series of frequently asked questions.  Each question is a hyper link and when clicked on the answers pop up in a separate window.

Course Manager

Course managers can add a variety of materials to their courses.

  • Audio
  • Video
  • Books
  • Documents
  • Apps
  • Images
  • Web links

Materials

They can customize the course settings as they wish and choose weather or not they want their course included in the iTunes U course catalog.

What Do Students See?

When students go into their iTunes U account it looks like a bookshelf and each book is a course.  They simply click or tap on the course they want to enter and they are automatically led into the info screen.  Three choices are displayed.

  • Overview
  • Instructor
  • Outline

The bottom of the screen contains four buttons.

  • Info
  • Posts
  • Notes
  • Course Material

If students move out of the info page the info button brings them back.

Who Is The Audience?

Courses can be created for all different audiences with this tool.  People can create corporate training courses, supplemental material for credit courses, educational support courses, professional development courses, and the list goes on.  iTunes U is meant to be supplemental when used in an academic capacity.   It is not meant to replace distance education platforms like:

Is Content Kept Private?  

The courses are kept private unless the instructor wants to make them public.  The instructor is given an enrollment code to share with his students.  Additionally, when students enroll a notification is sent to the instructor and he has to authorize the enrollment before the student gets access to the class.  The instructor also has the option to include or not to include the course in the iTunes U catalog.

Are There Any Fees?

Anyone with an iTunes account can create a course.  There are no additional fees.  It is also not exclusively compatible with apple products, although it may not be compatible with all electronic devices.

How Do I Get Support?  

There is a link on the course manager page to a form course managers can submit for tech support.  The form indicates that you will get an answer to your inquiry within forty-eight hours.  There is also a link to a webpage dedicated to iTunes support located on the same page as the form.

How Reliable Is It?

The courses seem reliable.  The content uploaded easily and was easy to access.  It appears to be a wonderful tool for teachers and trainers.  I will continue looking into the benefits of this tool.