Another innocuous tweet last night (below) led to another lengthy, and truly excellent, exchange on Twitter around the merits, format, value, and attitude of eBooks.
On the back of my tweet about my latest book project, The Really Useful #EdTechBook, I tweeted that I am disappointed at how little is written or published about, or by, technical or academic self-publishers:
I have commented, negatively, on the accessibility of supposed academic eBook platforms before, so it is a welcome relief to read the JISC post today – Accessible ebook platforms – seven honest dealers (and a few non responders) – whose findings support my claims – until recently many of them were not accessible, or even should be called ‘eBooks’.
My complaint is, and has been (and may continue to be), that they are not eBooks in the sense of an ePub or MOBI file, i.e. scalable, accessible, etc. Academic eBooks are files, often PDFs, loaded to a proprietary piece of software that controls access, printing, searching, etc. In this software you can view the whole book page inside their ‘skin’ which enables searches, thumbnails, chapter links, etc. When viewed on a desktop this is clunky, at best, but workable. Continue reading
“The mere presence of a cell or smartphone on the table can disengage people during in-person conversations and hinder their empathy, according to a new Virginia Tech study that finds your attention is divided even if you’re not actively looking at your phone.”
The article ‘Your smartphone could be turning you into a lousy friend – even when you’re not using it‘ is as much about the social impact of the always-on connections we have through our mobile devices as it is about how we manage them.
“For many, digital distraction involves the “constant urge to seek out information, check for communication and direct their thoughts to other people and worlds,” the authors write.”
What is Kindle Matchbook? Announced by Amazon last year, Matchbook is (from LifeHacker) “that will allow owners of hard copies of books to purchase extremely cheap ebook versions for their Kindle collection.” If you bought a paper copy from Amazon you could be eligible to buy or download an eBook edition.
From the link above (make sure you’re logged into your Amazon account) you can click the ‘Find your Kindle MatchBook titles’ button and the website will look through your purchase history and see if any match. Naturally, none of my purchases do – eligibility in MatchBook is determined by the publisher and whether they include their title in the scheme. There is also discrepancy as to whether this is available in the UK or not yet.
Here’s a short ‘how to’ guide on displaying your Open Badges, or a Mozilla backpack, on your LinkedIn profile.
There’s the simple way, which is not very visual or appealing, which is to edit your profile and use one of the three links available under ‘contact info’, which will display on your public profile like this:
I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t really do it for me. You?
- This post has been updated to show how to display badges from either a Mozilla backpack or the Cred.ly website.
A couple of months ago I had one of those ‘ah ha’ moments I should have had 25+ years ago at school. I have never been good at taking notes. Never.
At school I was always behind and struggling because I couldn’t keep up with my teachers and their dictated notes. I wasn’t alone with this, but it was still hard. At University it was the same, but it felt worse because everyone else wrote and kept amazing notes from lectures, demonstrations, field-trips, etc. I survived and gained my degree because I had generous friends who helped me when I needed it.
Now, with nearly 18+ years since graduation I’ve finally realised why I am still making rubbish notes in meetings, conferences, etc. (apart from the obvious reason that I suck at it). It’s the wrong medium for me. It’s not that my handwriting is so awful I can’t read it (which, unfortunately, it is) it’s that I don’t respond to those kinds of notes. Therefore I shouldn’t be trying to take notes like that.
I should be sketching, or rather taking ‘sketchnotes’. Continue reading
This is the question … what is a book in the digital age? I still read (and buy) paper copies, but have also bought and read digital / eBooks. I like both formats for different reasons.
The article ‘What is a book in the digital age?‘ covers the questions very well, highlighting how we perceive the differences between paper and electronic, the pros and cons of the two formats, and the advances being made in the ‘richer reading experience’. Continue reading
From my previous post about designing Blackboard courses for a mobile-first delivery, and the discussion I’ve been having with Peter Reed and friends on his blog, this paper came at a good time to further the question “do we need this?” – AJET: “Student Perceptions of Blackboard Mobile Learn and iPads”
Well, do we? The paper concludes in saying that the students “did not demand mobile learning and were in fact mostly neutral about the experience” and that “they did not perceive a notable improvement to their learning” (Kinesh et al, 2012). While the students did not report an opposition to the inclusion of the mobile App, they also are not reported to have had any prior experience of it, a preference to mobile learning that was not limited to Blackboard Mobile Learn, nor they opinions (positive or negative) to mobile learning in general. Continue reading
Thanks to Inge Ignatia de Waard for pointing this out, this free ebook (well, PDF edition that looks like a book) on global mobile learning has some interesting research.
The highlights for me include subjects and research like:
- State of Mobile Learning Around the World
- Mobile Learning in International Development
- Planning for Mobile Learning Implementation
- Blended Mobile Learning: Expanding Learning Spaces with Mobile Technologies
- Mobile and Digital: Perspectives on Teaching and Learning in a Networked World
- Using mLearning and MOOCs to Understand Chaos, Emergence, and Complexity in Education
- Changing the Way of Learning: Mobile Learning in China
- Challenges for Successful Adoption of Mobile Learning
- Mobile Microblogging: Using Twitter and Mobile Devices in an Online Course to Promote Learning in Authentic Contexts
Read it online here: ‘Global Mobile Learning Implementations and Trends’
Welcome to a final few thoughts on and about 2013: what did I do, what did I read, what did I achieve, what did I miss, what did I not do … you get the picture. Well …
- After thinking, planning, and talking about it for nearly two years I finally got round to planning, writing, and publishing my eBook on QR Codes in Education. (May 2013).
- Several years in the making I finally completed my CMALT portfolio and submitted it and gained my CMALT accreditation (November 2013).
- In October I re-read my QR Codes in Education eBook and realised it would read better with a different structure to the contents and I took the opportunity to make it available as a printed book too (November 2013). Working with the CreateSpace website I restructured the materials, redesigned the cover and worked on the 2nd edition of the book (also updating the eBook too to match).
- Worked closely with colleagues in Leicester on aspects of mobile learning, online marking and feedback, support, course reconfiguration, and roles & responsibilities.
- Presented a brown bag lunch seminar on “Improving the Student Experience Through Blackboard in the College of Social Science”
- I am proud to have helped launch the East Midlands Learning Technology SIG including Twitter, blog, LinkedIn group, Google+ group, etc.
Most popular posts (by month): Continue reading