Saturday, 31 January 2009
Friday, 30 January 2009
Visual Mind 11 Beta
Thursday, 29 January 2009
Wednesday, 28 January 2009
Tuesday, 27 January 2009
Here is what the hype says about this - "It’s simpler than any content management system you’ve seen before; No admin area - you just log in and edit on-site" I did not believe it, until I tried it. And it is true. If you are looking to make a simple little site, such as part of a self-esteem building exercise with somebody you are tutoring, or for your own benefit, this is certainly worth a try. You do however need to know how to upload it to a server. But once you are started, this has to be the future of content managment.
Monday, 26 January 2009
Sunday, 25 January 2009
The projects of particular interest are "Adystrain" (supporting employers and lecturers), "Calldysc" (mobile language learning), "Dystrain" (e-learning course for teachers), "Dyspatec" (parental support), "Edysgate" (cognitive games for young adults), "Forward" (teaching adults), "Include" (adult self-support), "iSHeds" (higher eduction support in the Balkans), "Success" (school-based support) and "Provision and Use of ICT by Dyslexia Students at University in Europe" (survey of ICT use).
Details of all the above project will be available through the project website.
The work within these projects will be the prime concern of the project. However, there will also be interest in the wider activities and project that have been carried out in each country.
The key areas of interest are:
- Provision and support for dyslexic child
- Provision and support for dyslexic adults
- Information and communcation technology
- Dyslexia related policies
The Embed project work in these areas will lead reports and wider access to resources developed during the previous projects.
The partnership included the following:
Leader - Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Bulgaria - Centre for Inclusive Education
Italy - Pixel
Poland - Centrum Kształcenia Ustawicznego
Spain - CREA
UK - Ibis Creative Consultants Ltd
The website for the project will be launched by the end of February. Details will be made available on this blog entry. For further details, please contact Ian Smythe - firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, 24 January 2009
Friday, 23 January 2009
Thursday, 22 January 2009
Wednesday, 21 January 2009
Tuesday, 20 January 2009
Monday, 19 January 2009
Sunday, 18 January 2009
The £99 computer, great for kids. That about it.
But everything else was similar to last year. Maybe smaller, faster, cheaper. But what difference does it really make? There were the computers that popped up from the desks, the interactive white boards, and these devices that allow you to press the button instead of raising your hand in class. But I cannot recall seeing anything that said "Many dyslexia individuals will benefit greatly from this." Yes, many items on this blog are about facilitating rather than teaching content. But that is its role. My point is that BETT had so little that said "Now teaching will improve. " There was no "How much does all this extra spending on technology add to the learning?" And there was no research that said "Here is the evidence to suggest life for dyslexics will improve with all this technology."
Saturday, 17 January 2009
Friday, 16 January 2009
Thursday, 15 January 2009
Wednesday, 14 January 2009
Skype for Mac
Tuesday, 13 January 2009
Monday, 12 January 2009
For previous discussions on plagiarism, see the entries on this blog of 24 October 2008 and 10 September 2008.
Sunday, 11 January 2009
Saturday, 10 January 2009
Friday, 9 January 2009
Thursday, 8 January 2009
Wednesday, 7 January 2009
If you have experimented with scanning using photos taken with mobiles, you will know how temperamental the results can be. That is because the camera electronics will always assume the image, no matter what it is, is an average grey. So white paper becomes grey, and a dark shirt becomes light. And this is not overcome by using flash. Also, they cannot compensate for the colours of electric light. And that is not to mention the distortion.
However, Snapter helps to overcome these problems. It is a desktop application that automatically transforms the poor quality image into something that could be used in OCR (optical character recognition.
Tuesday, 6 January 2009
Firstly, click on (for example) the link below to go to the Google Short Stories Collection. Choose a book, such as the Just So Stories. (These are well out of copyright, so will cause no problems for you.)
Then type the first ten or so words of the story into Google and search for results. You will find that some people have typed the entire short story into their web pages, and you can then copy and paste those words into your own document such as word. Once in Word, you can adjust colours, font size etc. You can also adjust the text to make the difficult words easier.
This technique can be used in many cases. However, for a good list of "Your Reader", you could try Classic Reader
Google Short Stories Collection
How the Whale Got it Throat, by Rudyard Kipling (from the Just So Stories)
Monday, 5 January 2009
At first sight, the idea of making jigsaws did not seem to be a particularly dyslexia-related activity. Obviously there is visual representation and filling in gaps, not to mention attention and concentration. But then I realised that this could be a very good basis for early literacy learning activities because you have the chance to upload your own pictures. That is, you can log in, and then upload images from your own computer to this website. You can then choose the level of difficulty, from easy to very hard. I created the above example in PowerPoint (I took a frame grab using Print Screen, Pasted it into Paint and then saved it. It is a lot quicker than it sound, especially if you are doing several!) I then uploaded it and it was ready to go. (The website resized the image to 400 x 300 pixels.) It could not have been easier.
Sunday, 4 January 2009
One way that saves waiting for email is to use Skype. As long as there are two accounts to transfer between (i.e. if you are sending it to yourself, you need to have two Skype accounts) then it is easy. Just drag and drop the file, wait for the recipient to "accept" it, and the job is don. A useful alternative for plain text I have been using recently is EtherPad. I simply copy the text into my EtherPad account page and it instantly (serious, no delays) appears in the browser on the other computer. It could not be simpler!
Saturday, 3 January 2009
Imagine you are meeting friends in a coffee shop and you are not sure where it is. They use the Zhiing “browser” to send the location of the meeting place to your smart phone, and it arrives with a map of how to get there and a set of instruction. That is, the software detects where you (the recipient) are (using GPS) and make the map accordingly. It really is that simple.
Another example on their site is that you are in a big city and lost. You want a cab but do not know where you are. So you send them a message via Zhiing, and they receive a map that directs them to you. (It could equally well be a friend direct to come to find you.)
This could remove many of those concerns about being lost or taking the wrong route. If it lives up to the words on the website, it will be wonderful.
Currently it is available on iPhones and Blackberry, but the Nokia version is due out in January 2009.
Keywords: zhiing, GPS, locator
Friday, 2 January 2009
Probably the highlight of the month for me was Dimdim (19) an excellent sharing environment that brings together all the best in shared learning environments, video conference and support.
There was a reference to my Preference Research (31), which should provide some fun for all.
To assist writing this month, there were three create entries: Combining text versions (4), Cartoons for all the family – Bitstrips (30), Concept mapping with speech-to-text – MindManager (12)
There were three entries for reference materials - Wikipedia on the move (26), Pronounce it – Howjsay (20) and Looking up words in Acrobat (15)
In the area of “text-to-speech” we had Listen to books (5), Aesop's Fables - Listen and learn through AnswerTips (29) and Spoken text (in Spanish and French) – Spokentext (8)
There were two entries for Search Engines - Advanced search from Google (3) and Search engine meets concept maps (23)
Memory and management had the largest number of entries, covering reminders and deadlines (Deadline (11) and Freminder (25)), tasks (Google Tasks (10) and Stickies (13 and 14), as well as mnemonics (18) and back-ups (16). Time management was also covered (Time (mis) management - AppActivity 2.0 (6))
Reflections were about online desktops (28), The future of computing (21) and Listening and note taking (7)
There were a number of other items that do not fit into any one category - Online password management – Clipperz (27), Screen and video capture made easy – Jing (24), Notes online – Evernote (17), File splitting – Gsplit (9), Scanning for free – TopOCR (2), Online video chat – Oovoo (22)
Thursday, 1 January 2009
It is difficult to choose what items to include in a review of the year, and harder to find a title. Do I go for “Best” – but what does that mean? What about “Things I find most useful” – but are they useful for others? And how do I choose the categories?
But My Top Three for 2008 are:
1. SearchMe (6 October) A visual web browser
2. DimDim (19 December 2008) Full sharing of the electronic space.
3. Soshiku (20 October) Reminders
I have tried to keep the rest of this entry short. However, full descriptions of each entry can be found by scrolling to each, or clicking on the entry.
Writing - Bitstrips (30 December 2008) Creative cartoon.
Sharing - DimDim (19 December 2008) Full sharing of the electronic space.
1. (With speech-to-text) Voxenable for MindManager 8 (12 December) Brings speech to text to concept mapping.
2. (Mobile) Mindmaker (13 November)Concept mapping on an iPhone.
3. (Online) Mindmeister (15 October) Online collaborative concept mapping
1. (Online) iSpeech (29 November) Upload files to download audio files.
2. (Mobile) Nokia (21 November) Reads out files on the mobile.
3. (For Blogs) Blogbard (11 October) For listening to blogs.
4. (Embedded) Adobe Acrobat Read Out Loud (22 September) Text-to-speech build into the document.
Speech-to-text Search the web by voice on your iPhone (19 November)
1. (Visual Browser) SearchMe (6 October) A visual web browser
2. (Options) Reading Survey (31 December) Allows you to discover your preferences
3. (Design) Create with Content Report (18 November) A very dyslexia-friendly layout.
1. (Reminders) Soshiku (20 October) Organiser and sends email and SMS (USA only) reminders
2. (Visual Reminders) Stickies / Post Its / Desktop notes (12 September)
3. (Back-up) Dropbox (15 September) Store, Sync and Share files online.
4. (Passwords) KeePass (28 August) A single store to hold everything (which can also be stored on a USB memory stick).
1. (Translation and speaking) IM Translator (16 October) - Translation and text to speech in many languages, with talking avatars.
2. (The future) Emimie (3 August) The "No Pain" way to speak a foreign language, an amazing idea if it lives up to the claim!
Miscellaneous Life Savers
1. (Collections) Portable Assistive Technology Suite (PATS) (26 October) Take your software anywhere on a USB memory stick.
2. (Plagiarism) Plagiarism 2 (24 October) Several entries which can be a real life saver to check everything is your own work.
3. (Recovery) Undelete Plus (4 September) For recovery of deleted files.
4. (Synopsis) Sinope (27 August) For cutting down reading by making synopses.
Now let's see what 2009 will bring!