The beauty of data visualization (TED)

31 08 2010

“David McCandless turns complex data sets (like worldwide military spending, media buzz, Facebook status updates) into beautiful, simple diagrams that tease out unseen patterns and connections. Good design, he suggests, is the best way to navigate information glut — and it may just change the way we see the world.” Is data the new (s)oil?

(View via TED here)

Remember Correct Posture

23 08 2010

Slouching for long periods is harmful to the back. I am guilty of this. As school begins, my goal this year is to remember to use gooder posture (!) when seated at my desk developing those unit plans on my laptop. It may also be beneficial to share this 3 minute video with students and other staff. (Allow a few seconds for the video to buffer)

How to sit and stand up safely while working at your desk? Animated Explanations

Designing Schools for the 21st Century

21 08 2010

In this film, architect Randall Fielding demonstrates the connection between where and how students learn in the 21st century. (You may also watch it here)

Apps (& sites) for your new Macbook Pro

16 08 2010

Well, my summer holidays are officially over and they weren’t as adventurous as this, but at school I received my new Macbook Pro and have been transferring/downloading apps to it. I previously blogged about Little Apps & Tools I Can’t Live Without back in October 2009 and I recommend you check it out if you are new to Mac or want some ideas of tools to use, as I still stand behind that list.

Some others I would add to the list are:

CoolIris: a browser plug-in that revolutionizes how you find, view, and share photos and videos. Whether you’re browsing the Web or your desktop, Cooliris presents media on an infinite “3D wall” that lets you enjoy content without clicking page to page. Download.

NameChanger: A must! Rename multiple JPG/Video files in 1 go. I have blogged about it before here (with video tutorial). (Mac only)

Flip4Mac: Flip4Mac WMV Components allow you to import, export and play Windows Media video and audio files on your Mac (though, you probably will rarely do that).

Norrkross MorphX: Not essential but I enjoy morphing photos together through a transition. Check out Norrkross Movie as well.

Panorama Maker 5: Stitch your photos together the easy way. It’s 80USD but the free trial version is good enough for posting on the web. I blogged about it before here.

Tooble/KeepVid: Download videos from YouTube etc. just in case your school’s internet is slow or gasp, blocked.

And don’t forget, you can now also do screencasts with Quicktime too (great for creating video tutorials of your computer screen).

Go here if you want a further essential list of free online tools. Lastly, install some useful widgets too.

Appreciation Of Art

9 08 2010

As our new school year begins next week, I’ll be finding myself no longer teaching elementary Drama, but only teaching Art from grades 6-11. I guess I better brush up (no pun intended) on my Appreciation Of Art (below).

Rethinking Pedagogy with Negotiated Learning

4 08 2010

Thanks to Will Richardson for passing along this find via Twitter, though I don’t know much regarding the origins of the video or the school being referred to. It discusses how one school attempts to negotiate learning and make a new way of teaching by bringing hobby, interest and passion into school. (It sounds very similar to PYP.)

Make a Daft Punk Helmet in 749 steps

2 08 2010

With the new Tron movie coming out this year and the soundtrack being done by Daft Punk, I stumbled across this video of how to make a Daft Punk helmet in 749 steps (and 17 months) by replica and prop maker Harrison Krix. Interesting!

Pixlr – Free Online Image Editor

1 08 2010

pixlr thumb

I’m not too sure how long Pixlr has been around for, but it’s a recent discovery for me. It’s a little like Photoshop for beginners as it also uses layers etc. You can use the online version or install it on your browser. It is also free. Below is a little intro video. I have other lists of free imaging tools here on my wiki if interested.

(video link)