18. May 2016 · Comments Off on Is VR leapfrogging over virtual worlds? · Categories: My personal learning journey
Years ago in Second Life, I experienced a sim that allowed you to add a small program to your avatar (HUD – heads up display) in order to experience the sites and sounds of a person with schizophrenia. It was chilling, heartbreaking and gave me a window into a world I knew little about.


Last night I caught the tail end of a BBC report on Radio National about the use of Virtual Reality headsets in the humanities and mental health.

There are two sides to it:

1) Helping people with mental disorders to safely experience situations they find threatening (examples included an autistic person practising for a job interview and a paranoid person taking public transport) http://europe.newsweek.com/virtual-reality-used-treat-schizophrenia-psychosis-bipolar-330365  andhttp://www.bbc.com/news/health-36053058 and 

2) Helping psychologists understand what it is like to be schizophrenic by simulating what a schizophrenic person not on medication might experience  

I found this nothing short of spine-chilling.  What this will do for people with disorders and people who need empathy towards those with mental health issues could be ground-breaking.  And the little I’ve learned recently about body-based learning seems to tweak that a virtual reality experience is going to be more impactful that guiding an avatar through 3D space.
21. April 2016 · Comments Off on Critical thinking, logical fallacies and spurious correlations · Categories: Literacies
Some great resources for teaching and learning about critical thinking…

Spurious correlations: What do pool drownings and Nicholas Cage movies have in common? 

http://tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations

Logical fallacies-  get the poster: https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/poster

School of thought website: https://www.schoolofthought.org/

Free Mindmapping tools 

There are dozens of free mindmapping tools out there, here are three to start with.

Mindmup

Free web-based mind mapping tool that can be added to Google Drive. For best results, log into Google Drive, click on New and then More and select Mindmup. It will ask to be installed to your Google Drive. Can download work as PNG image, PDF, Freemind file format and more.

https://www.mindmup.com

Freemind

Device-based software program that requires download and installation.

http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

Prezi

A web-based presentation tool that can be used to create a mindmap. Students can send links to their work or can download the end product and present it on a computer.  Students and educators can have free accounts where they can control privacy/access to their work.

https://prezi.com/pricing/edu/

Image editing software

For Mobile Operating Systems, check your App store for the highest rated Apps.

GIMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Program)

A downloadable software program for Windows and Mac OS that allows multi-layered image editing and the creation of animated GIFs.

https://www.gimp.org/

MS Paint

Free image editing software that comes with MS Windows. Click the Start menu and type in the word Paint.

MS PowerPoint

Start with a blank slide, add images, graphics and text, then export the slide as an image. PowerPoint includes cropping tools and an easy drag and drop interface. You can change the slide size and orientation to anything you like – so could use it to layout posters or to create layered images.

All UniSA students have access to PowerPoint at no charge.

Multimedia creation/editing software

For Mobile Operating Systems, check your App store for the highest rated, free Apps in video and audio recording and editing.

MS Movie Maker – Windows OS

Microsoft Movie Maker is a free download from Microsoft and should be installed on all UniSA computer pools that run MS Windows. It does basic edits, allows for text overlay, music and voice-overs. It can create a video from still images imported into it as well as edit video. Tutorials are available here: https://vimeo.com/album/3369125

YouTube Creator Studio

Accessible by logging into YouTube.

For a video created from still images, click on Upload and select Create under PhotoSlide Show. YouTube can access photos and videos from Google image accounts or you can upload new photos.

For a video, click on Edit under Video Editor and select an existing YouTube video or upload a new one.  YouTube Creator studio features allow users to add YouTube music and create text overlays. At this writing (January 2016) voice overs/narrations are not supported.

MS PowerPoint

Yes, you read that correctly. Newer versions of PowerPoint allow you to save presentations as one of two video formats – MP4 or WMV.  (When in doubt, choose MP4). You can add voice over to slides and, if you embed video from your computer and set the video to play automatically, you can embed video and trim it. YouTube links won’t work.  See this video for a quick tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wcfm1wdPQbE

All UniSA students have access to PowerPoint at no charge.

Audacity audio editing software

This free, open source software download for desktops and laptops allows for multi-track audio production and post production. It works on Mac, Windows and Linux operating systems.

http://sourceforge.net/projects/audacity/

28. July 2015 · Comments Off on Moodle groups, groupings, forums · Categories: My personal learning journey
This is a brain dump post. Groupings and news forums – to create a new news forum, duplicate an existing one. If you apply a grouping, only people in the grouping will get the messages. Magic! Groupings and Q&A and single discussion forums – do not mix.
27. April 2015 · Comments Off on Movie Maker – good and free · Categories: My personal learning journey
It’s been a few years since I last touched Movie Maker. At the time, I felt it was clunky and I was still missing PhotoStory 3 as a great, easy to use product for educators.

I revisited Movie Maker a few months ago in an attempt to find a readily available, cost-effective solution for staff and students at the university for which I work to edit videos they can create in our new automated green screen rooms.

I found Movie Maker easy to use and liked its feature set. It’s not multi-layered video editing, but it is an easy cut editor and using transition animations at the start of new sections allows for softening of your cut edits. You can either bring outside video in or record video straight from your webcam. You can also add narration straight into Movie Maker and then bring in a music bed underneath.
And for those of us who remember and miss PhotoStory 3 – all those features are here too. Import still photos, set duration, choose transitions and movements, add music — and now narration too!
There are also open captioning and titling capabilities.

This is not professional software. But, it’s not trying to be. 

Here is a look at some tutorials I’ve created for staff and students on how to use Movie Maker – this should give you a sense of the user experience. Or, download it from Windows Live Essentials and have a play – it should take you about 30 minutes to get the hang of it.