Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2012

Infographics are a great way to visually represent your data so it is easily understandable by all. ISC has been creating more than a few infographics lately, which can take some time to create.  I was thinking there must be an easier and less time intensive way to create an infographic for those of us who are not graphic designers.  With this in mind, I found, a Web 2.0 tool that makes infographic creation as easy as dragging and dropping. This free tool is in beta so the creators are still improving it, but it already has many features that will help you quickly create and share your infographic.  Here's a sample infographic below:

Virtual Schools Symposium 2012

The Virtual Schools Symposium highlights the cutting-edge work in K-12 blended and online education across the country. It is the only national conference focused solely on K-12 online and blended learning in such a comprehensive way, and the highest-level practitioners and policy-makers seeking to develop e-learning programs within educational institutions in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and abroad are in attendance.  This year the focus was on "Inventing the Future of Learning"  with Keynotes from Stacey Childress, Deputy Director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and John White, Louisiana Superintendent of Education.  Here are some key points from their keynotes that we can keep in mind as we work on our on blended learning projects:

Stacey Childress, Deputy Director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
 Biggest trend over the next decade on the future of educationFocus over the last few years Student centered personalized learning as a lever for …

A few Photoshop retouching tips

I have decided for my blog that I would give a few pointers in Photoshop retouching.  I will be presenting a few tips with the burn tool for hair, the healing brush tool for wrinkles and spot healing brush tool for imperfections.

With just these few tools you can do a pretty good job of cleaning up some of the imperfections of a image.

Below is a before and after image of my touch up of Mr. 007.

Here are a couple video tutorials for photoshop retouching tips and tricks.

Skin retouching

Changing hair and eye color

Darkening gray hair

Schools of the Future: Acquiring and Representing Knowledge

This year's Schools of the Future conference was an information-rich event.

When we think of the future, more than a few of us probably also think of technology. That association certainly carries over in the interpretation of the conference title Schools of the Future.

Indeed, many topics besides educational technology were covered; however, the technological advances were a strong highlight at the conference in my view. As mentioned in one of Cassie's previous posts, there are online classes everywhere.

The first few links on my list reference ways to learn on your own (i.e., ways to acquire knowledge). The second set of links refer to ways of representing knowledge.

**Note:  All icons link to the affiliated website. 

Academic Earth has hundreds of free online lectures from prominent university professors, including Carnegie Mellon, Stanford, The University of Houston, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, MIT, Michigan State, Princeton, Rice, UCLA, UCSF, and the list goes on. The lec…

Highlights from the Adobe Photoshop SkillPath Seminar

Last week, Jenny Tanaka and I attended an Adobe Photoshop seminar in Waikiki at the DoubleTree hotel.

A  few major benefits of attending seminars like this include the following: seeing what is possible in the program, becoming better equipped to do research into Photoshop's features, and watching a "Photoshop guru" put some tricks into action.

In reviewing the highlights of the seminar, this post will focus on 3 things having to do with beginner-level use of Photoshop:
I.  ShortcutsII.  TricksIII.  Applications

I. Shortcuts 
One of the wonderful (albeit daunting) things about Photoshop is that there are multiple ways to do just about anything that needs doing. This can be pretty intimidating for a beginner, so it is good to start learning keyboard shortcuts if you want to start learning Photoshop. The early part of the conference went over a few of the shortcuts that our lecturers would be using throughout the day.

Basically, we were given a very small taste of the many, …

A gold mine of information: "Ho‘okuleana"

Webinar Review: "Avoiding PowerPoint Poison: Instructional Design Techniques for Using PowerPoint in eLearning

This webinar is basically an infomercial for Rapid Intake, a cloud-based software which helps you build elearning modules, without "development knowledge" (i.e., HTML5 and Flash) in your PowerPoint slides. This is particularly useful when introducing a subject, to build connections, "activate knowledge." Their selling points are:
-Quick to create
-Templated interactive pieces
-You don't need to know special programs
-You can develop on mobile technology
-You can develope for mobile technology in the same module.

Aside from the commercial aspect, the presenter gave an interesting demonstration of instructional design, using Dr. Merrill's First Principles of Instruction (here is a post on Merrill's theory:

Establish a foundation and connection to knowledge before going on to new material.
-Problem-based interactivity: survey, quiz, game, scenario, etc.


Pam Chambers on Leadership: Clarity Leads to Power

At last week's Human Resources leadership training with Pam Chambers, the mantra of the session was "clarity leads to power." Chambers consistently reinforced the idea that good leaders clearly understand themselves and others and have the ability to clearly communicate to their team. Problems with leadership tend to occur when leaders are nebulous or unrealistic in their expectations of staff. The theme of clarity resonates with me as I often used to remind the struggling writers in my class of the following George Orwell quote:
The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one's real and one's declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink. The first portion of Pam Chambers' session focused on helping us understand our own career values and clarifying the characteristics of groups with whom we work.  In one of the early activities, Chambers had the gro…
How to solve impossible problems: Daniel Russell’s awesome Google search techniques

You already know many ways to do a focused, productive Google search - enclosing phrases or exact spellings in quotes, using a minus to remove a keyword from the search, or using the Advanced search to limit your search to a time period or location.  But did you know you can also force Google to search the contents of a page as well as the title and keywords by using Intext:[keyword]? How using "reverse dictionaries" such as,  to look up words based on a concept?  Learn more in an interesting article by investigative journalist John Tedesco.

FREE Programs and Apps


MindMaple Lite is a free download for Windows users who want to create mind maps on their desktops.  Like any good mind mapping tool Mind maps created with MindMaple Lite can include images, links, and text. One of the handy features of MindMaple is the ability to draw loose elements into a group. In other words, you don't have to construct elements in a connected sequence. You can move elements of your mind map into groups after you've put them on the canvas. Completed mind maps can be exported to Microsoft Office.


Asana is a task management tool for groups. Asana allows you to create multiple projects and lists of assignments for completing each project. Within each project you can assign tasks to the members of your group. Groups can have up to 30 members in the free version of Asana. Asana provides feeds for your projects so that members can subscribe and receive updates about new assignments and progress toward the completion of projects.

Asana h…
Krys' Quick Blog Post - mLearnCon Conference, San Jose Calafornia.
I wanted to share out some pictures on the event and will be posting more information and links after our sharing out with our ISC Ohana.
General Welcome, Main Ballroom. Over 875 folks in attendance. The conference kicked off with high energy. The event was well organized with a lot of amazing overlapping breakout sessions. Vendors and experts from all around the globe talk about integrating mobile learning on the iDevices and tablets with a focus of compatability for technology and learning. Many discussions about taking advantage of the "hands-on" experience on a mobile device and how this experience adds value to learning.
Very excited to actualy speak face to face with the experts of Lectora! In addition, we were able to talk story with the faces behind BlackBoard Mobile, Centurion, Cisco, and a wealth of other leading mobile developers and programming experts that create or support mobile learning…