Sunday, 21 October 2012

My first TED!

OK - TEDx, but perhaps the largest TEDx in the UK – if not Europe.

Hosted (rather well!) by Jim Dickenson – Director of Policy and Delivery at NUS.

(The image has one of my tweets!)

Morning Session:

Professor Martin Hall, who waded back 5 million years, saying “That’s what archaeologists do” ...

Salil Shetty Secretary General of Amnesty International.  Salil gave a personal and emotive speech, perhaps paraphrased as ‘... when you notice an absence of justice ... do something!’  #50shadesoffair

Sir Ian Wilmut – Professor of Reproductive Biology at the Centre for Regenerative Medicine.  Ian led the team that cloned an adult sheep – ‘Dolly’.  Ian talked us through some of the mechanics and science behind cloning, and some of the hopes for future uses of the technology.

Felicity Goodey gave a passionate speech about bringing the BBC to Salford – that the BBC don't own the buildings (unusual for the BBC) - about how the Salford community were engaged in the project – about how lives were changed – about how Media City is not a ‘one off’, but an emerging worldwide phenomena.  Almost makes me want to move to Salford – but although the creators of the Manchester Ship Canal brought the sea to Manchester (after Liverpool dock charges became too much) – they didn’t bring the beaches – never mind!

Humour was a coping mechanism: The txt says:
"Debs - it's Matt here.  Don't listen to Hayley
The airfares get cheaper in February!!!"
Debra Searlethe woman that rowed across the Atlantic, (mostly) on her own.  Quote: “Choose your attitude .….” because out in the Atlantic that’s about all you can choose.  Debra also use visioning as a motivational aid - envisioning what rowing into Barbados would look like.

Julie Meyer: “David and Goliath must dance” – saying that start-ups coming to Ariadne Capital are coming with ideas that work with the giants (Tesco, Google, Amazon), not with the intention of defeating them.  Another notion was “capital follows innovation” – illustrated with the philanthropists behind da Vinci and Michelangelo.

Joseph Incandela: “Searching for the genetic code of our universe” (hinting at others?) or “The Hunt for the Higgs boson ...”.  Thrilling stuff for physicists – I love this stuff!

Davide Swarup: Playing the ‘Hang Drum’ – Very chilled – very ethnic - see (and listen!): 

Afternoon session:

Ken Shamrock: Whose message was that getting wayward kids back on the rails should be the personal responsibility of everyone, not left to governments and institutions.  See:

Etienne Stott – the English Slalom Canoeist who along with Tim Baillie won Olympic Gold in 2012.  In 2011 Etienne needed surgery on his shoulder; in his speech he mapped out the milestones to the Olympic Gold – visioning his journey as a “ ... red thread from the hospital bed to the Olympics”.  Note the visioning echoed Searle’s speech from earlier.  His is perhaps the most quoted quote from the event: "The response to the problem is more important than the problem itself" – and they responded like champions.

Paul Zenon: Gave an amusing and thought provoking talk about airport security – poking fun at policies and procedures, highlighting how organisations hide behind these paper shields; then he illustrated the absurdity of being able to have as much liquid as you want, as long as it was in separate 100ml bottles – by suggesting how convenient for anyone that wanted to keep liquids apart and combine them when airborn – and encouraging them to have a mixing vessel – the clear plastic bag to carry the bottles in!?  Also – he finds taking his own metal detectors (the paddle type) through airport security highly amusing (so did we!).

Jim Al-Khalili – perhaps best known for Radio 4’s “The Life Scientific” – Jim introduced (to me, anyway) the notion of ‘Quantum biology’ – illustrating with the example of the European Robin that seems to navigate using Quantum effects in its right eye!?  (something to do with blue light causing electrons to detach from an atom in the right eye of the Robin)  He quotes many who say:  “If you are not baffled by quantum mechanics then you don't get it”.

John Robb: Punk rock vocalist and TV presenter – encouraging us to get away from the X-Factor and so many ‘covers’ to please the judges, and back to making real music and real culture with our mates in our back yard – and totally with you on that John.  How about a ‘Concert Goers Charter’ that would put a top limit on the most someone should pay for a ticket?  If enough signed up prices would tumble.

Geoff Burch gave a very hard-nosed speech on sales – a bit too hard nosed for me.  I tasted ‘vacuum cleaner salesman’ – (I’ve had them in my house – promised the earth – delivered a mess).  I loved the sheepdog analogy – getting the sheep into the pens.  But I’m into the (Geoff) derided customer relationship management and getting the sheep to feel comfortable with the direction your taking them and making sure that what you are doing is right for the sheep.  I’d prefer to come up with a different product rather than sell something unsuitable.  If you’re thinking of getting around this by creating a need for your product, perhaps that might be seen as morally grey if there were no need before you arrived with it.  However, there are many products out there that had no market before a market was ‘invented’ – such as the ‘laser’ that is used from everything from CDs to telephone lines these days.  Good speech.  Jury out on the morals - but then again, here's a YouTube version of today's speech that seems to have a different emphasis in the final few seconds:

Ray Hammond: Outstanding!  News to me was that futurologists see a ‘black hole’ in the next 20-30 years when computers become ‘as capable’ as humans.  Now as long as machines do the work – what they do best – and leave humans to ‘enjoy themselves’ – that’s fine with me.  I seem to remember Harold Wilson suggesting in the 60s that technology would perform more and more 'work' leaving us to have more and more leisure!  However, what’s new is the ‘singularity’ – and beyond, when computers make computers that are twice, then four times, then eight times ... etc.  I kept getting images of ‘SkyNet’ (Terminator) in my head.

Akala – who rounded up the evening with a history of HipHop – that he traces back to ancient story-tellers – and then performed – making us all sit up and take notice.  Outstanding!

Footnote: The above is my recollection following the event – I’d be delighted to take any corrections – at worst by comments.

Three things that continue to hold my attention:

ICTs in Education
As a means to 'pay forward' can I draw your attention to three emerging trends / thinkers in education:

Flipped model of Education:
This is where students do the learning outside the classroom, and use contact time with the teacher to discuss and explore the topics presented.  (I should point out that I started doing something similar in 2007 - students being 'instructed' by the machine leaving time for me to interact with them in a tailored manner). I suggest the wikipedia article is the best starting point to find out more about this:

Khan Academy:
Why create instructional videos on maths, history or art when this guy (or one of his colleagues) already has?  Watch Salman Khan explain the academy's background and phenomenal growth in this TED talk:  If you're not hooked by 1:07, then " ... you have no emotion."

If Khan didn't alert you to TED, then get on and take a look!  There's something really entertaining and thought provoking every week on TED - you'd be mad not to subscribe to their weekly email:  Note I've just got back from TEDxSalford - so I'm 'officially' hooked!

Sugatra Mitra:
I heard Sugatra Mitra at the ALT conference in Leeds in 2010 - he is an outstanding speaker with huge ideas that will make you question your value as a teacher - and I got to talk to him later too, but I didn't realise the significance and global reach at the time - I hope you do:

Ken Robinson:
A seminal thinker and presenter on education - particularly the education of children.  In this (11 minute) video the RSA have animated Robinson's speech from 20??, providing an entertaining, amusing and challenging look at the developed world's systems of education:

OK - I can't count - that's five!?

I'd be delighted to have a conversation with anyone about any of the above - perhaps we could arrange a lunch time 'virtual' seminar; Google Hangouts anyone?  I'm conscious that all the above barely scratch the surface of each topic - for example, Khan's TED talk doesn't cover the student tracking system - a vital component of the success of the approach.

Kindest regards to all, David (Just got back from TEDxSalford - BRILLIANT!!!)

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

A good research question

A good research question:
  • Will sustain your interest for the entire study
    ... and hopefully beyond!
  • Is achievable - i.e., can be completed within the time and resources you have
    ... yet suggests a significant area of study.
  • Is open ended, encouraging exploration of a topic
    ... and doesn't give a yes or  no answer.
  • Is not loaded with assumptions
    ... avoiding leading questions like "How has X improved pupils performance ..."
And, finally, facilitates the meeting of the learning objectives.

It is rare for students to come up with a definitive question initially - the question will be honed over the period of the study.  Although your question might be refined as your study progresses you must have sufficient focus in your initial question to ensure your study remains 'on track'.

I think I might have taken some of the above from the University of Birmingham: - take a peek - it's quite good!

Update - I've just found this 4 min YouTube clip that might have been created just for this posting:

Friday, 29 June 2012

What do you mean by a different browser?

If you are reading this, you are probably using Internet Explorer or Safari – these are the ‘default’ browsers that come with PCs and Apple computers.  That is, when you click on ‘Internet’, your computer runs a program that ‘Browses’ the internet.

There are alternative browsers available, the two that I recommend are:

   Google's Chrome

The image is from Wikimedia, indicating the types of browser usage on Wikimedia - and I hope that this will update to reflect current usage.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Staff development suggestions for 2012-13

I needed to do a quick written submission to a committee about staff development at my university for 2012-13 – after making a bit of it up, I trawled the net to get some more serious thoughts from the community that have been added to my list giving this:

1) Flipped classroom:
Here's a great discussion:
  ...  and not just creating content ourselves - but sourcing pre-reading on the web and getting students to actually look at it BEFORE the session.  For sources, look at the 'Find Content' section of my Prezi:
  (actually - this is worth looking at - there are some surprises in YouTube and TED - take a peek!
OERs will fit in here too.

2) Screen casting
 - including screen casting to individuals - for feedback on assignments.  Is there a free tool we could recommend?  Perhaps

3) Web 2.0 tools ( blogging,, wikis - concentrating on pedagogy) - and concerns - Facebook?

4) Blackboard Mobile - give academics a student's perspective.

5) Personal CPD - using online resources to develop ourselves (MOOCs, or any of the sources on the Prezi above)

Priorities from elsewhere:

6) Webconferencing (Collaborate?)
AND Elluminate Plan - allows you to create a session plan which saves times when running a live collaborate session as your session is planned out.

7) Presentation tools
(Prezi seems a favourite - I've seem some poor examples!?) - again, my prezi above covers suggestions here, from Prezi through Voicethread - but missed out Xtranormal (perhaps not suitable?).

Finally, how about something like virtual conference attendance - Anyone want to pay for me to go to the 5th Annual Emerging Technologies for Online Learning International Symposium?  This one:

Well, it was worth asking ...

Friday, 1 June 2012

An International Standard Configuration for Teaching Computers

A constant problem for me is the length of time taken for machines at the front of teaching rooms to boot up.  At every institution that I’ve taught at boot times of more than 60 seconds are common – even longer if the kit is a little older or connections a little slower.  During such boot times I tend to mutter “Unsuitable for the purpose …” (hinting at the UK’s Sale of Goods Act 1979). 

I think what irritates me most is when I compare what we have now to what we had 20 or 30 years ago – what is the boot time of an OHP?  OK, that’s a little unfair as the PC has massive affordances over such primitive technologies, but you get my point?

So, let’s be positive and consider the following suggestions aimed at making significant time savings yet have no capital cost implications:

  1. No login; not to the machine or the network.
  2. Have the standard Office applications, Whiteboard software and Anti-virus software installed.
  3. If a member of staff needs access to the Internet, on launching a browser they need to authenticate themselves via a web interface.
  4. If someone wants to get a PowerPoint up quickly, put it on a memory stick - or use a service like SlideShare - though I'd prefer to see them download it from a VLE or similar.
  5. NOT to have any passwords on the screen savers.
  6. Screen savers set to one hour.
  7. Machines set to hibernate after 70 minutes of inactivity.

I’d be delighted if anyone wants to edit this list – perhaps someone could put it on a wiki and point us there from the comments?  Can I suggest a title: “An International Standard Configuration for Teaching Computers” – now, we might be onto something …

Kindest regards to all


Monday, 14 May 2012

How to insert a YouTube video into PowerPoint

A student has just asked how to insert a YouTube clip into PowerPoint.  In PowerPoint 2010, this is rather easy.*  This is how to do it:

To insert a youtube video into Powerpoint 2010:
  1. Go the YouTube video you want.
  2. Click the 'Share' button
  3. Click the 'Embed' button
  4. Untick 'Show suggested videos when the video finishes'
  5. Tick Use Old Embed Code
  6. Copy the old embed code

    In your PowerPoint:
  7. On the Insert tab, click 'Video'
  8. Click 'Video from Web Site'
  9. Paste the embed code into the box.
You'll just see a black box - you can move and resize this.  You'll only get to 'see' the video when you 'Show' the PowerPoint.

Please have a go, and get back to me if you need further help / assistance.

Kindest regards


(*I remember having to jump through all sorts of hoops to get the 2003 version playing YouTube videos!)

Sunday, 13 May 2012

How to write an essay

I was constructing something earlier today for a few of my students, and those notes became this blog posting – aimed at a much wider audience.

What is an introduction?

My initial concern was that I notice many students were mixing description with analysis with critique right at the beginning of their essay – making evaluative and critical comments and opinion before they have so much as described their area of enquiry or ‘laid out their stall’.  I advise that such rich critical points are reserved for later discussion where comparisons can be drawn between theory and practice.  An introduction should concentrate on describing the area of interest including context, theoretical models, expert contributions (literature) and policy (government?).

What is a ‘good’ structure?

What you are aiming for is a nicely ordered journey, from description and background to evaluation and critical analysis.   Here’s a general outline that should be suitable for most requirements:

Introduction: This should be very descriptive and objective, with the exception of your hypothesis – avoid comparisons or opinion.  Perhaps state what the essay is about, clarify what you intend to cover.  Things to include are contemporary incidents that are raising the subject's profile at the moment (if any) and any current debate or policy around the issues.  You can state others opinions (that MUST be referenced), but reserve yours until the discussion or critique later in the piece where you will have opportunity to bring in your own experience and how that compares to the expert literature / policy.

Background: This sets the scene and allows you to evidence that you are au-fait with both contemporary and historical debates and literature around the subject.  You could also include what steps you took to find out about the topic and, perhaps of more importance, any limitations your approach or your context may have on your essay. Perhaps there is a lack of literature in your area, and stating how you tried to find material would inform the reader.

Discussion (aka critique, where you should offer a synthesis of a variety of perspectives):  This is where the ‘real’ marks are – where students can move from a ‘pass’ on a typical marking grid through to distinction.  At this point in the essay (and you can sub-title this section discussion or even ‘Critical Analysis’) - you should be drawing together the variety of perspectives presented earlier – some may be mutually supportive, some may be contradictory.  Here are some points I suggest you think about that may prompt your critical discussion:

  • Evaluate the relative merits of existing literature and/or policy.  What are the authors’ viewpoints? What bias might be present? Was any evidence presented; how reliable is the evidence?  Perhaps no evidence was presented – was the literature just people opinions / belief / thoughts / rhetoric / dogma? Where is the material published – is it a reliable source?  What was driving (funding?) the publication?
  • Are there any perspectives that compare or contrast radically with your experience – why might they contrast?
  • Offer an interpretation of the existing literature/policy that is a synthesis of a number of perspectives.  It may be valuable to add your own experience at this point.  This is where you can make your perspective, your synthesis of a variety of viewpoints, clear – and if bringing in your own context and experience it seems relevant, perhaps ‘authentic’ to begin your thoughts with ‘I suggest ...’ or ‘I consider ...’.
Re-iterating synthesis: In the discussion you need to demonstrate to the reader that you have understood a variety of perspectives and at this point begin to offer a synthesis of opinions that is your own unique perspective on the subject.

Conclusions (and recommendations): Perhaps allowing you to re-contextualise the discussion to your area of practice?

Further support and advice

Students at my university can book a 1-2-1 session with academic advisors that can offer general essay writing advice, help and guidance – I strongly advise you to see if this service is available to you, and USE IT if you have read this far in my blog post!

Final word:  An ‘easy hit’ to impress the examiner is good referencing.  Here’s an excellent guide to Harvard Referencing that I strongly recommend (it's the one I use and understand!?).

Comments on the above are welcomed – anything you want to add – just comment.  I especially would like to invite comments pointing to resources that may have helped you in your essay writing – and if I get enough comments I’ll make another posting summarising those links.

Kindest regards to all


Friday, 4 May 2012

Introduction to Campus Pack

In about 1/.2 an hour I'm presenting an  introductory session on Campus Pack to some colleagues at the University, so I've collected a few YouTube videos that may support this.  (Note Learning Objects is the name of the company that own, develop, support and sell Campus Pack):

Introducing Campus Pack with a focus on the "Personal Learning Space" from Learning Objects:

How to add a Podcast - by Rob from Emporia State University

How to Create a Campus Pack Blog by LearnTechNorthampton.

How to create a Journal - by MarjonLearn (LearningSpace)

Campus Pack - How to use 'Templates' - by Learning Objects

Saturday, 28 April 2012

How can learning technologies help you or your organisation?

I keep getting asked for advice from all sorts of professionals about how technology can help them and their organisations – hence this post.  Most of my work is around learning technologies, so here I suggest some examples to ponder:

Re: Examples of e-learning techniques

Most of the stuff I do is password protected.  Below are some of my examples and examples from others demonstrating the type of things I think you might find useful.


Here is one that I did a while back with colleagues, introduction new students to the SCONUL service – using a presentation technique developed by Lee LeFever of CommonCraft:

Screen Casts:

Most of mine aren’t public, but below is an example from a colleague introducing Blackboard to academic staff, and a very old example of mine when YouTube didn’t allow high quality video:

Web Conferencing

The product we’re trialing at this year is Blackboard’s Collaborate – here’s a 4 minute overview from Blackboard themselves:

Online discussion

Access to my University’s online discussions is password restricted.  However, there is a wealth of publically accessible material presenting the concept and suggesting why it is significant.  On the following link Alan Eisenberg (a corporate communications expert) outlines how online learning has moved from content presentation to engagement of an audience – and a significant vehicle for engagement is online discussion.  He hints at elements of the ‘community of practice’ I’ve been going on about … specifically, to facilitate “ … the people who were trained to help the people who are getting the training …” (0:58).  There is a wealth of evidence around people who are encouraged to discuss their practice with others becoming better at what they do – something I think leading organisatios may want to foster – to be seen as responsible for building those communities of practice.

The best way for me to offer any advice is to have a meeting, preferable face to face, where I can get more of an idea of what your or your organisation does and therefore tailor my suggestions of techniques and technologies with specific examples from your practice.  I'd welcome a conversation - so please get in touch!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Introductory iPad Training

Image by JaredEarle on Flickr
I've been asked to deliver an introductory session on iPads for staff at my University.  Below are some notes that I will use to teach from, and for  those going on the course, and even those who didn't, can use to revise and return to.

[Note that this session assumes your iPad is up to date (April 2012) with the latest iPad operating system iOS 5.  If it isn't, you'll not be able to use some of the advanced facilities like tabs in Safari - see this YouTube video for details.]

1. Setting a password for basic security.

Please be VERY cautious of using this - ensure you don't forget the password you choose.  If you want to test it in this session perhaps use 1111.  This article from shows the steps you need to take.

2. Connecting to wifi

If your iPad belongs to Edge Hill, then ask IT services to do the campus network connection for you - you can then move around campus and the iPad will connect to the various hot-spots around the campus without asking you for any input.
  • Settings
  • WiFi (turn it on if it is off)
  • Select the network you want to join – if there are no networks in range, there will be nothing listed under “Choose a Network”. Note also the strength (more bars means a faster connection) and security indicators.
  • If the network you selected has a password you will be asked to enter it. If this is a home system the wireless password may be printed on a label attached to your router or in the router manual. Once the password is entered, tap ‘Join’.
You should then be online, and be able to access web sites via Safari etc…

3. Setting up your iTunes account

I suggest you create an Apple ID and use that for both iTunes and iCloud.

Here are Apple's instructions for creating an Apple ID and here is a shorcut to the Create an Apple ID page.  If you are working on your own machine, start downloading Apple iTunes NOW because it is HUGE!?  Otherwise just go create and ID (if you haven't already got one) and we'll be using that shortly to download some free apps from the store.

4. Downloading apps

Once you have an Apple ID you can go to the App Store on your iPad and select some apps to download.  Try FlipBoard first; that should engaged you for a while!?  Then perhaps try looking for some of these 'top' free apps ... and don't forget Learn from Blackboard - the free app that allows you to have our VLE on your iPad.

Two apps I've bought (so they must be good?!) are GoodReader and GarageBand.  A favourite free app with an educational flavour is TED.

5. Tips for workplace activity.

 - syncing your email

The iPad has an email application that you can use to send and receive email from our Novell Groupwise system.  Please contact IT Services for more details of how to set this up - you will need technical details to enter into your iPad account mail settings, such as our SMTP server name.  However, note that Edge Hill may move away from a GroupWise system - so perhaps wait a while to see what we decide before investing time and effort synching your iPad.  If you don't give the iPad at least one email account then you won't be able to use shortcuts to send emails.

Alternatvively, don't synch your email - use the web mail system - it works fine.  Or even do what I do - send all your email to a Google email account - that way you will always have access to all your email - right back until the time you started to send your email out to a Gmail account.

 - creating shortcut links to your favourite websites

In Safari, tap the Share button (indicated here with the red circle) and then select Add bookmark.  Note the other options:

 - using apps for paperless meetings

I use two apps extensively for 'paperless meetings'.  Dropbox and Goodreader.

Dropbox creates a 'folder in the cloud' and allows you to replicate that folder on various devices, including PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android and BlackBerry.  I have it install on my home and office PCs, my iPad and my Android phone.

When you receive your papers for a meeting, create a folder in your dropbox, drag the files in there, and within minutes these will be duplicated across all your devices.  A disadvantage is that you need to be connected to the internet to use the service - though some functionality exists if you have no connection.  Note there is also a web service for DropBox, so you only need a browser and an Internet connection to get at your documents.

Goodreader allows you to work in a similar fashion, but the application runs on the iPad, and downloads documents to local storage so it doesn't need a constant Internet connection.  Goodreader also allows you to annotate documents, including PDF documents, using a stylus, your finger, or adds text via the iPad keyboard.  If you want to have a go at GoodReader before spending any money, have a go on my iPad.

 - saving notes (text and audio)

Besides the 'native' note taking application, there are several apps you can buy that allow you to take notes - google 'ipad note taking' and follow the links to find one suitable for your needs.  Some (such as Groovy Notes) even allow you to make audio (voice?) recordings - perhaps very useful in some meetings, but I'd be tempted to use my phone to do this (disable incomming calls though!?).

 - maintaining a diary/calendar - with reminders
Google 'iPad Calendar' and you'll get a wealth of links, some quite good, showing you how to use the calendar feature.  If you have linked any of your email accounts to the iPad, and then received invitations to one of those accounts, the appointment appears in the iPad calendar - try sending one to me for later today and let's see how long that takes to appear on my iPad!?

 - keeping up-to-date with the latest news in the field - by subscribing to RSS feeds which bring the news to you.

You'll need an RSS reader too - and there are a few good ones out there - see this recent review of the best of the crop.  My favourite RSS reader is FlipBoard - though I don't use it for RSS stuff at all (as I prefer pulling the news via google searches rather than having it pushed to me).  Flipboard is highly recommended, and the RSS features are merely an added bonus for me!

 - Accessibility (with thanks to Mark in LTD):

Zoom is under Settings > General > Accessibility > Zoom - here's a YouTube screencast showing the feature.

  • To zoom, double-tap with three fingers.
  • To move around the screen, drag three fingers while zoomed.
  • To change zoom, double-tap and drag three fingers up or down.

6. Organising your apps using pages and folders

This is a very clear screen cast of how to organise your apps - from  After looking at this let's spend a few minutes organising our apps.  Here's what my current home screen looks like, organised by my 12 year old after he upgraded me to the lastes OS:

7. Personalising the login and / or background screen with images of your choice
  • Get an image you want into the photo application.
  • Click the share button
  • Tap 'Use as Wallpaper'
  • Select Lock Screen, Home Screen or Both.

8. Some tips for efficiency eg. multi-tasking apps

- switching between open apps

Double clicking the Home button brings up the last seven applications running - (along the bottom of the screen) - you can click on one to go to that app, or drag them to the right to see other apps, or drag them ot to the left to access the to let you quickly switch between open apps.  Swiping right will reveal the iPod audio controls and the rotation or silence button.

 - closing apps

Double clicking the Home button brings and then holding one of the apps for a few seconds will present the close application option on every open app - try it!?

 - faster on-screen typing

Tap and hold to get a magnifier to allow you to position the cursor precicely.

You can select text with your finger, and move around to select earlier or later entries.  Double tap a word to select and therefore copy or cut it.  To select more than a word, drag the blue bars to where you want the selection to start / finish.

To get an apostrophe hold down the ! key, and a quote ("), hold down the question mark.  When entering web addresses, holding down the .com key gives other options such as or .org.

To hold down the caps lock, double tap the shift key.  The upper case key cap becomes a solid blue.

You can search for text on a web page by entering the text you want to search for in the search box at the top right, and then scrolling to 'On This Page' - if your text is on the the page it will be highlighted for you, and you can quickly go to the next or prevous occurance of that text.

 - quick volume mute

... can be achieved by holding the reduce volume button down.

Here's an excellent 'Cheat Sheet' from the Dummies publisher.

That's all folks!
David Callaghan, 24th April 2012

Sunday, 22 April 2012

My Den!

Here’s where I’ve just started and may continue to ‘hang out’ for a serious number of years.  I have an interest in music and IT, so perhaps this pic sums up the ideal location for me.  I have:
  • 42” LCD TV – being used as a PC monitor here (but with a HD Freeview box on the right)
  • A Roland full sized digital piano – with a USB midi interface to:
  • A recent DELL PC, that is running a midi programmer (to be replace with Cakewalk Production Plus Pack on July 6th), connected via HDMI so capable of HD video.
  • A half decent hi-fi system (Rega P III, Creek, MS10s)
  • A nice comfy chair (thanks to Ikea) when I just want to chill out!?

(I wrote and uploaded this post from here – not ideal, but it worked OK.)

Anyone have a similar setup?

Friday, 13 January 2012

Professionalising the Blog - 16th January 2012

This post supports my session about blogging.

There will be a link the the presentation HERE

Activity 1: Read and Discuss example postings.

Here are links to three blog postings  Using the questions below to focus your thoughts, spend a few minutes reading the posting - we'll then discuss each others thoughts before moving onto the next posting:

Questions to focus discussion:
  • Are these ‘professional’ blog entries?
  • What audience is intended?
  • Is the tone suitable?
  • What is the purpose of these posts?