Easel.ly (beta)

I have always wanted to create my own INFOGRAPHICS. The challenging part would be to rearrange all the data visually while making it appealing, plus the data needs to flow well from the beginning to the end.

Then I came across EASEL.LY (still in beta mode). The online application claims that it provides the right support, thus the process of creating INFOGRAPHICS will be manageable. OK time to check it out. (by the way, CLICK on Image 1 to go to website)

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Image 1: EASEL.LY homepage

After a simple registration, I am brought to the design area. Here, you are given 15 themes in creating your INFOGRAPHICS. The visual themes are awesomely appealing! Of course, you can start with a blank page (provided too). For a newbie like me, I would go for the themes.

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Image 2: Templates

Ok. To start off, I picked the Meals template. The interface for the workstation is friendly.  At the top of the workstation will be the editing tools (Image 4).

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Image 3:Interface

 

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Image 4:Editing tools.

You can add provided objects to the template, your own background, add text, change colour, undo the previous action, edit the text in the template, change the size of the object/text from the template, rearrange the items from the template and more…

One of the best parts of the application is that you can save your work and continue later. You can also choose to share (Image 5) your work by publishing your pieces via embed link or setting the infographic to public mode for others to view. OR one can choose to download the INFOGRAPHIC. Download file is in .JPG. That is even better in case there is slow connection which will take more than a minute to load the image.

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Image 5

How can it be applied in classes? The possibilities are endless.

Ask students to create infographics based on the given set of data. Then the teacher will be able to see different interpretation and also be able to gauge students’ level of understanding on the matter. The usage of infographics is not limited to numbers. It can be used for literature, history, and even language subject.

I do wish Easel.ly has an offline application. Then I don’t have to worry about slow internet connection. Well, wishful thinking.

Anyway, this is one application worth using for teaching and learning.

YouTube Questions Editor

YouTube has come out with a new feature (beta mode) and it will work awesomely great with education.

YOUTUBE QUESTIONS EDITOR!!

You are able to add MCQ type question(s) to your video. There is also sub-function:HINT (in case your student needs help to answer)

Then your students can choose the possible answer.

You can add questions along the duration of the video.

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PIC01

 

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PIC02

To try this great feature, you need to enable it by going to this link: http://www.youtube.com/video_questions_beta

Remember, you must have your own uploaded videos in order to use this function.

Since it is in BETA MODE, some parts are not stable.

Possible activities for this:

Put up a few questions. Ask students to choose answer and use the comment function to provide the reasons for the answer.

If your students are pre-service teachers, you can ask them to create MCQ questions for the video. Take opportunity on the comment and like function to evaluate on that skill via peer learning.

Hope this NEW FUNCTION sticks around for good.

Moglue

Lately, there has been a wave of interest on creating and publishing your own e-book. The wave gets higher as there has been interest to make the e-book more interactive. So far Apple has created an application – iBook Author which can be downloaded free oops…but yours truly doesn’t have a MAC.

A team from Korea create an interactive ebook application called MOGLUE.

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Before I start yapping about it, do not compare this with iBook Author. Smile  Both are different in levels and also the approach.

This application can be used on Windows platform. The catch is – to check/preview your changes made on the ebook, you need to download MoglueBooks in your iOS device-iphone/ipad (they are currently developing Mbooks for Android—see image below on the issue)

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Here is the dashboard (Image 1) for Moglue Builder.

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Image 1

On the dashboard, the layout is pretty simple for user to grasp how to move around.

Things provided in their library are images and sounds. You can add your own images and sounds

(Refer to Image 2) Since I am not into the images provided by their library, I decided to “borrow” images from the Web. By the way, when it comes to choosing images, be very selective on the images for the content. Once you download the images of your choice, click FILE —> IMPORT —-> Select the downloaded images —> and the images will be transferred to the application library. The choice of fonts are a variety. Of course, size, colour and rotation for both font and images can be changed. To remove the images from the page, just click on the image, and then press DELETE from your keyboard.

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Image 2

 

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Image 3

Then there is the part of adding and deleting pages (Refer to Image 3). Just right click on the previous page, and you can start adding pages to the ebook Smile

 

For interactive, there are a set of provided actions (refer to Image 4) which can be embedded on the image ( s ).

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Image 4

 

What you need to do is to drag the selected action into the box (which will comes with the image that is embedded on the page) You can add a few actions accordingly depending on how you want the image to interact with the reader. If you want to remove the selected action from the image, all you need to do is  press DELETE.

For more info on the arrangement for actions, go to this link: http://kb.moglue.com/index.php/2-5)_States_%26_Triggers_(Setting_up_actions)

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Image 5

 

So to preview the current page or book, make sure you install MoglueBooks in your iOS first. Switch it on in your iOS device. Next, on your MoglueBuilder (installed in your PC), click FIND TARGET DEVICE (Refer to Image 6). By the way, make sure both iOS device and PC are on the same Wifi line. A box will appear (Refer to Image 7). Click FIND and the application will locate the device with the MoglueBooks. If the application is running, the iOS device IP address will appear. Then you can start previewing the page/book from your iOS device real-time. Kinda cool actually! Unfortunately, it can be a hassle for those who do not have iOS device. I do wish the team do away with that, and have the preview change from the desktop.

 

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Image 6

 

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Image 7

Anyway, the book created cannot be published yet. I can’t seem to find the button for that. I guess the developer is working on that soon.

For those who are in the tertiary education, don’t be put off by the images (meant for kids). I think it is possible to create an interactive textbook / manual / handbook for your audience.

So far Mogluebuilder is great for those who has iOS device (for previewing the changes made on the book or page)

To see what Moglue can produce, check out the ready made interactive e-books:

http://store.moglue.com/html/store/index.php (only can be downloaded in iOS devices)

The ebook which I create is pretty simple. Have not done anything textbookish or complicated as I am not familiar with the application yet. Hmm…maybe I should give it a go and see how it works out.

Storybird:the how

As I have mentioned in the earlier post, I will be writing about how to use StoryBird. The HOW entry looks at how to create a story.

For this online storymaker application, you need to sign-up. It is free. Two options for you to choose from:the regular account or the kid account or the teacher account. I choose the TEACHER account to see what the application can offer for teaching.

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PIC 01

As I log in as the teacher account, there are 3 items (see PIC 01) :

GETTING STARTED, ASSIGNMENTS, CLASS LIBRARY

The interesting items which the teacher can use are (1) adding students in her/his community for projects that focuses on storymaking skill. Here the teacher adds the students. (2) assignments-the teacher can create specific assignment. Assignments here not only focus on creating story but collaborating in designing the story, or commenting on the story or even predicting the story. The latter two activities are possible because there is a feature (See PIC02) in this application which allows the reader to comment on the story.

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PIC 02

Okay, now let us start creating the story. STORYBIRD provides a set of amazing artsy pictures. Amazing artsy pictures which I felt is sufficient to whet the students’ imaginative appetites. You can choose from the art images or themes (See PIC03).

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PIC 03

In my opinion, if a teacher is starting to introduce the application to the students, then the option of asking them to select from art images to start creating will be a better choice. Making the students excited and hooked on the application will be first thing to do. Once the students get the hang of using the tool, and for a more advance activity, then the teacher can include the option of exploring themes.

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PIC 04

First, let me choose the art for my story. I pick the Fairy art set (See PIC04). Then you will be brought to this page. Click START A STORYBIRD to begin your storytelling (See PIC05).

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PIC 05

Now, this page will appear (See PIC06). Your work station for creating the story. The images on both left and right are for me to choose to create the story. The basic process of creating the story will be ADD PAGE, REMOVE PAGE, and you can even rearrange the CREATED PAGES.

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PIC 06

The e-storybook also includes a COVER (See PIC07) which the creator needs to add a title, and even change the author’s name. To be able to change the author’s name provides a sense of identity to the story-teller. Imagine your student coming up with their pen names. You can also change the colour for the cover. Colour palette depends on the chosen image for the cover.

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PIC 07

I will choose an image to start my story. Let me start by selecting an image for my first page. All you need to do is to drag the image to the page. Before placing the image, hover the image around the page to decide where you want to put your text. BOTTOM, LEFT, RIGHT or TOP (See PIC08).

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PIC 08

Of course, if the issue of writer’s block occur, there is always SAVE and CLOSE option under the MENU ICON. The draft will be saved and you can choose to continue later.

The challenge for this activity is to create a story with just that amount of pictures. Hence, it pushes the students’ creativity and imagination to create an awesome story with that “limited” resource. By the way, never underestimate your students.

Issues such as:

(1)What image is suitable to represent the flow of the story.

(2)How much description to add because [A] if the texts are too lengthy, it can be a put off to the reader or [B] if it the texts are too few, it can be turn off because the parts of the story is incomplete.

can be used as part of the class activities. The students will learn how to manage such problems when it comes to story-telling.

As I an educator from Malaysia, teachers who teach Bahasa Malaysia, and English language can use this tool for composition writing activity. It is not only for the Primary School students but I believe secondary school students can benefit as well. As for Chinese language, the STORYBIRD team is working on  it (See PIC 09).

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PIC 09

Do have fun trying out STORYBIRD.

I did.

Previously created 2 stories. Smile

By the way, here is another complete story. My third. Smile

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Storybird

Recently, I tried to create to learning objects from the Web 2.0 tools which I introduced during class.

The Web2.0 tool is STORYBIRD.

It is an online tool to create stories.

The provided graphics are amazing. Beautifully drawn artwork.

So far I have created two stories.

My next entry will be more on how to use the tool to create.

GL2010:Day01

17052010: 9am: Andaman Ballroom 1

Online Learning Design using LAMS by Leanne Cameron from Macquire University, Australia.

The reason why I sign up this workshop because I have heard so much about LAMS but am clueless about it.

So, here starts: It seems that it is not so learning object – form. Looks more like a LMS platform but very arranged.  Anyway, Leanne showed her sample: It started with welcome  or introductory page for the students.

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As you can see, at the left side of the picture, which looks like a direction thingy, shows the student the steps which they need to take for that particular task / activity. GREEN ARROW shows the activity is not done yet. RED BOX means this is which activity you are at.

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This is the CHAT functions. Looks similar to the MOODLE chat. Here, the instructor can divide the chat into groups.

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This is the assessment function. From the picture above, these are the SEVEN TYPES of assessment questions. More or less similar to MOODLE.

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A survey at the end of the tasks to check the level of the understanding of the students (something that MOODLE doesn’t have – but when this is integrated with MOODLE, MOODLE-LAMS can be quite a powerful LMS)

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By the way, you can see the results on pie chart or bar chart. You can see two icons in a red box at the picture’s background.

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After the student has finished the many activities in that task, he/she can review the selected activity by DOUBLE CLICK-ing the blue circle (see picture above).

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Now you design / map the journey / process of the tasks. Just click AUTHOR (see the tabs at the top-in picture)

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And it will lead to this page.

Now on to some hands-on: Designing the lesson

On the left side of the picture (above), you can see the types of function which can be added in the lesson. By the way, we didn’t try all the functions but the try out on some of the functions is pretty much a good start to understand how LAMS work.

First, dragging the NOTICEBOARD to the main box. Double-click to put in content (refer to picture below).

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As you can see ( picture above) Looks similar to MOODLE. ADVANCED and INSTRUCTIONS tab is where you will click if there is a need to format the additional functions of NOTICEBOARD. E.g. INSTRUCTIONS is where you can upload file.

Second, added in Share Resources 🙂 (see picture below)

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By the way, if you want delete any of the dragged ACTIVITY, just drag the activity to the TRASH BIN (at the right hand corner-see picture above)

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Adding content in Share Resources. It seems that if you are an existing MOODLE user, applying and understanding the functions in LAMS is not much of an issue.

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Now this is what one can find in the ADVANCE TAB.

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Now this is where you put questions for students to answer.

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Now you need to click on the TRANSITION ICON to create the arrows which link from one activity to another activity.

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Save the “design” of the lesson in which ever category / location.

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Okay. When the BLUE BOX appears (see picture above), it means the lesson is saved.

You can also Preview 🙂 (by clicking on the PREVIEW ICON). PREVIEW allows you to see exactly what the students will see.

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One thing that is unique about LAMS is the STOP feature. (See picture below) There is this STOP SIGN between NOTICEBOARD and MINDMAP. Now STOP SIGN allows synchronous learning among the students. Let me explain a little more. The STOP SIGN is a padlock to another activity. The padlock will be unlocked once every student reaches that activity e.g. NOTICEBOARD. Hence, no student left behind.

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imageAs you can see (picture above), the STOP SIGN or better known as the GATE has several properties: Condition, Synchronise, Schedule and Permission. Choose either one depending on the nature of the lesson, the type of students, and the instructor’s expectations.

There are a LOT of resources for LAMS

Download LAMS here: http://lamsfoundation.org/downloads_home.htm

What do want to know about LAMS here: http://lamsfoundation.org/index.htm

Help and also to get templates for LAMS here for all level of education from k-12 to higher education: http://lamscommunity.org/register/?return_url=%2fdotlrn%2findex

Help for integrating LAMS and MOODLE: http://moodle.lamscommunity.org/moodle/