If, like me, you like to watch your films or listen to music on more than one device (in more than one location) then you’ll have had to copy/digitise/rip it, which is not always legal.
But it can be done. For your CDs you need to just put them in your computer and iTunes or other music library software will offer to rip it for you. Connect your digital audio device and copy the file across and you can listen to your CD in the car, gym, bus, or at work or walking the dog. It’s slightly more difficult for your DVDs but there is software that can rip it into an MP4/M4V or MOV or WMV file which will play on your laptop, tablet, etc. and you can watch on the train, bus, plane, or in the shed or bath (wherever you want).
But what about your extensive library of books you’ve been collecting. If, like me, you also want to be able to read these electronically then it’s a lot tougher to digitise. So why can’t you get the electronic copy at the same time as the physical one? You can do this with your DVDs and with some CDs now (some DVDs come with the Ultraviolet digital copy), so why not books? Continue reading →
Those of you know me will know I published two eBooks earlier this year. This post will deal a little with the ‘how’ and ‘why’ I did it, but also I hope it’ll help you think about whether it’s something you want to do for yourself.
Self-publishing isn’t just about fiction or recipe books, it isn’t just about making lots of money or becoming a house-hold name. It’s about control over your knowledge, control and influence over availability and presentation of your work, and above all it’s about your name and your ‘brand’.
Just so you know I’m talking from experience, here are the details of my two self-published works (to date) – I have grown and strengthened my reputation based around my work as Learning Technologist and with QR Codes, and I write here on these topics frequently:
QR Codes in Education: “These black and white squares have appeared everywhere from billboards at the side of the road, roof tops, cola cans, buses, magazines, etc. So why not in your library, textbook, assignment, project, or classroom display? The ability to use them to direct students or colleagues to online resources (presentation slides, websites, video, book location, etc.) is powerful and engaging and, when well implemented, can offer a level of interaction and engagement. It’s not about what they are but about how we use them and what they can offer me in an educational setting.”
What is a Learning Technologist?: “My journey as a Learning Technologist started in 2007 and has taken many turns and overcome many obstacles. What has remained throughout is the question of ‘what is a Learning Technologist’? Looking at published work and personal experience I have collected my blog posts together in this eBook and added further commentary and notes to provide the background to the posts and the work I am engaged in.”
“These funny little black and white squares have appeared everywhere from billboards at the side of the road, roof tops, cola cans, buses, magazines, etc. So why not in your library, textbook, assignment, project, or classroom display? The ability to use them to direct students or colleagues to online resources (presentation slides, websites, video, book location, etc.) is powerful and engaging and, when well implemented, can offer a level of interaction and engagement. It’s not about what they are but about how we use them and what they can offer you in an educational setting.
Using computers and technology in educational environments can be exciting and challenging. Implementing QR Codes within your student’s learning is just that: exciting to see how students of all ages use and interact with them, and a challenge to make them usable, informative, applicable, and appropriate. This book draws on established examples from the commercial and corporate world as well as from established users of QR Codes at all levels of education; from primary schools up to Universities. Not only will you find examples of how QR Codes have been used but you will find out how you can design, create, and implement your own QR Code treasure hunt, library resource, student group work, orientation activity, conference or event feedback, etc.”
If you would like to find out more on the book, the contents, or it’s release, please follow me here on my blog or on my various social media accounts for updates and publication details:
Wow, something must be going on … two posts on QR Codes in a week?
Yes, I am finally getting round to writing my semi-promised eBook on QR Codes and education / classroom technology … more on that score later, but if you’re interested in being involved or reviewing it, please let me know by email or message on Twitter.
Whilst browsing and writing up and expanding my previous thoughts, links, and resources I came across this (new?) QR Code generator, Visualead - http://www.visualead.com/. As you can see from below you can position the QR Code over all or only a part of the image you choose.
Naturally if you want to make the most of the full statistical analysis and support/reporting you’ll need to upgrade and pay then something, but the free version is a good start before you go further.
Will this make a difference in the use and popularity of QR Codes? I think not, but this kind of aesthetic approach to tidying up QR Codes might bring a few more advertisers and marketing agencies back to using them, which could have a positive impact on how educators (or more specifically students) view them.
While searching and researching QR Codes, for an eBook I might write, I found this video. I thought / hoped it would be a good resource to link and share … but was sorely disappointed.
Called ’37 Examples of using QR Codes’ it could have been so good – showing innovate ways a QR Code can be used for different purposes: medical, arts, marketing, education, etc. What it turned out to be was just 37 places you can put a QR Code, and some of the actual codes are awful. While it could be a viewed as good introduction to ‘where’ to put a code, it does nothing to help or describe what code could be used for, hence my disappointment at the title that clearly states ‘using QR Codes’.
I have used Prezi a number of times in the past, most recently on the University of Edinburgh EDC MOOC for my submitted artefact (see below) but what I find most complicated or difficult to explain to others is the subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) techniques you need to consider and take in to account when designing and creating your Prezi.
Scale – As most projectors are still restrained to a 1024×768 pixel resolution it’s best to use background images and frames in this ratio too. If you create or use a screenshot in your presentation then it’s best to re-scale your screen or browser to this ration before taking the screenshot.
Frames – Use the ‘shift’ key when you create a frame as it locks it to the 4:3 ratio (see above).
Hidden frames – Not everyone wants to see the frame border around each bit of text, use the ‘hidden’ frame to structure your Prezi without the border viewable.
Search – If in any doubt then search through the extensive archive of Prezi’s on the site for inspiration.
I’ve talked about QR Codes for a long time now. They haven’t really lived up to the hype, and even I admit this now. But every now and again they pop up and someone does something ‘new’ with them. It may not be “wow, amazing” but it’s enough to remind us that there is still life in them yet.
Well, what about combining these two ideas .. someone did. If you happen to be in Bucharest and are waiting for a train, you now have the chance to download an eBook to read for the train journey home, if you also happen to have forgotten to get yourself something to read before leaving home.
The Durham University Blackboard Users Conference on January 8/9, 2013 is all about ‘Make do or Spend?‘ next year (spelt ‘sp£nd’ – see what they did there?) with the focus clearly on the VLE (or other technologies) and how well we use it in the face of stiff competition for student numbers in the current economic climate.