Monday, November 26, 2018

Toyota Corolla 1:18 Scale Diecast Car

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Top 10 Techniques for Exploiting Infographics

Infographics are a great source of information and make reading information from the computer screen much easier, but just showing students an infographic and telling them to study it isn’t the most effective way to exploit the medium.

Creating your own infographic tasks can be time consuming though, so in this posting I’m presenting a number of generic ideas that should work with a number of types of infographic. You can use these ideas with students to help focus their comprehension of the information and give them clear goals for engaging with the information in the graphics.

Peer created questions
Give your students an infographic and get them to create a quiz based around it. Once the students have created their quiz they can use it to check the comprehension or knowledge of other students in their class. You can make this competitive and have teams to quiz each other. You could also have different infographics for each group and they can exchange questions and infographics.

  • This activity has a duel role in that students need to read through the infographic and understand it in order to create the questions, but they also practise formulating questions. The activity also adds an element of competition which some students find motivating and of course it saves you a lot of time creating questions yourself.
Fact finding
Ask your students to find x-number of what they believe are the most important or significant facts in the infographic. Get them to justify their choice and explain why these points are the most significant.

  • This activity encourages students to evaluate and make value judgements about the information they are being exposed to. It also reveals elements of their own value system and exposes them for discussion which can be very enlightening.

Checking sources / corroborating information
Get students to check the sources of any statistics mentioned in an infographic to make sure they are correct and that the sources are valid. You could also get them to find supporting sources on other sites that either authenticate or contradict the statistics stated in the infographic.

  • There’s a common joke that 83% of all statistics are made up. Often students tend to believe any information that they find online. This activity encourages students to be more critical and to check the validity of information they find. It also helps them to develop the necessary research skills to validate online information.
Comparing to yourself
You can get students to find out where they fit within any infographics that contain personal information. You can also use this as a mingle task by asking students to try to find someone in the classroom who fits into any of the same statistics that they do.

  • This encourages the students to apply the information to themselves and by personalising it can make it seem more real, memorable and tangible. This can make data a little less dehumanising. The mingle activity can also help to improve classroom dynamics and help students to get to know each other.
Checking bias and motivation
Ask the students to find out who created the infographic and why they think it was created. This involves them researching the source and thinking about the relationship between the company that created the graphic and the information in it.

  • This encourages students to think more deeply about information and to question the goals and motivation behind it. Students often think of information as neutral, but the way information is displayed and what information is chosen can influence readers. Pushing students to look more deeply at the motivations behind the information can make them more critical readers.
Personal response
You can ask students for a range of personal responses to any infographic. Here are some possible example questions.
What did you find interesting?
What information do you doubt?
What information would you like to share? Who with? Why?

  • This encourages students to think about applying information and making it purposeful for their own lives. Encouraging a personal response from students can also make the lessons more meaningful and memorable for them.
Summary / Writing
Ask your students to take notes about the most important information in the infographic and then use the notes to write a summary. The summary could have some form of publication as a motivation, such as a newspaper report website publication. Once they have finished a first draft they can exchange with another student and compare to see if they chose the same main points. You could also ask them to peer edit the text and then return it before writing a final draft.

  • This can help to develop students process writing skills and academic study skills. It encourages students to evaluate information and make and articulate the connections between different nuggets of information.
Presentation summary
You can ask your students to prepare an oral presentation based on the information they took from the infographic. They can also prepare a presentation deck with images and text to help support their presentation.

  • This can help to develop students speaking and presentation skills. The ability to present and talk about information is also a valuable workplace skill.
Create your own research
Get students to create their own research questionnaire based around the same topic. They can use this either in class or share it through social media and collect the information for their own infographic.

  • This develops students research skills and encourages them to think about the framing of questions to extract information. It also encourages them to think about how they present data once it has been collected.

How to Add Quick Text-to-Speech Button to MS Word

Microsoft Word has a hidden text-to-speech button built in. To access add the text-to-speech button to the quick access tool bar click on the down arrow in the top left corner of the screen. Next click on more commands and then click on all commands from the drop down menu. Finally click on speak from the list and then press add. To use the text-to-speech feature select the text you wish to have read and click on the text-to-speech button you just added to the top left corner of the screen. The text will be read allowed instantly. Click the button again to stop the text-to-speech. Watch the video above to learn more. Click read more below for step by step instructions.

How to know What is on my iPad?

As a dyslexic high school student my iPad, with a number of assistive apps, has become a very valuable tool. With my iPad I can read and fill out a PDF using text-to-speech, read a book with Voice Dream Reader, or map out my ideas with Inspiration Maps. The iPad mini is a perfect size for my needs allowing me to read sitting up, or reclining comfortably while listening to a book. Before I got the iPad I would either be tied to a computer to read using text-to-speech, or reading on the tiny screen of my iPhone. Here's a list of my favorite iPad apps and how I use them to help me both in and out of the classroom.
Voice Dream Reader is a text-to-speech reading app that allows users to read a wide variety of files through the app. The app includes the ability to buy very high quality text-to-speech voices for use with the app. Voice Dream Reader allows you to highlight  important parts of a passage as you read along.. One of my favorite features is the ability to download and read Bookshare books from within the app. Currently  Voice Dream Reader does not support  Bookshare books with images, but hopefully will add that feature in the near future. In all Voice Dream Reader is a must have for anyone who prefers reading with text-to-speech.

Read2Go is another app for reading Bookshare books. Bookshare provides accessible digital books to members. Using Read2Go users to keep their books at their finger tips all the time. The app has a choice of two text-to-speech voices. While Read2Go does not have as many features as Voice Dream Reader the support it has for books with images is a plus.
The free Learning Ally Audio app allows Learning Ally members to download and listen to their audio books on the go. The app has useful features such as bookmarking and playback is easy to control and customize. Learning Ally is starting to add digital text to some of their books so users can follow along with the text while listening to the human narrated audio book.

PDF Expert 5 is a new addition to my iPad home screen. The app includes polished annotation, editing, and management with easy to use built in text-to-speech. Using the app I am able to read a PDF worksheet with text-to-speech and complete the worksheet with the annotation features. PDF Expert can also connect to your Google Drive or Dropbox for easy upload and download.

Inspiration Maps is a mind mapping app perfect for pre-writing and getting your ideas out onto paper. Inspiration Maps makes it easy to make great looking webs and outlines on the go. I like using Inspiration Maps to get my ideas flowing when I have to write about a difficult topic. Inspiration Maps also has a more kid friendly version called Kidspiration Maps.
Prizmo is one of my all time favorite apps. With Prizmo you can take a picture of text in a document and Prizmo will recognize the text using optical character recognition (OCR) then the app can read the text back to you using text-to-speech. Prizmo also is a great scanner allowing you to snap a picture of a document and save or share it as a PDF.

Kurzweil 3000-firefly - Free

Kurzweil 3000-firefly is a app that allows you to view and read Kurzweil documents that you store online. The app is free for users that have a Kurzweil 3000-firefly licence. Users can save a Kurzweil document to firefly from their computers and then view and read the document using text-to-speech. The service is helpful for people that use Kurzweil frequently and want to read documents while on the go. Firefly can also make sharing Kurzweil documents to multiple people much easier.

How to Ask Siri How to Spell Unfamiliar Words

Siri is a new feature available on the iPhone 4S. I find myself asking others how to spell unfamiliar often. When no one is around I have to find a different word to use. If you are like me Siri can be very helpful. Simply ask Siri "how do you spell..." and Siri will give you the correct spelling in seconds. Siri has many other useful functions such as defining words. To learn more about the iPhone 4S and its accessibility features click here.

How to See the Email Sender’s Company and Logo in your Gmail Inbox

The default layout of your Gmail inbox has the sender’s name listed in the left most column followed by the subject and the date of the message. The emails are sorted in reverse chronological order with the newest messages listed at the top.
The problem with this layout is that you cannot figure out who the actual sender of a message is without actually opening the email. For instance, if you get an email from Angus who works at Google and a second email from another Angus who is employed with Microsoft, Gmail will simply show Angus as the sender for both emails.
To solve this exact problem, I wrote Gmail Sender Icons and it is now available for everyone. It is a Google Chrome extension that will make it easy for you to identify the company or the organisation of the email sender right inside the message list of your Gmail inbox.
Check out the screenshots and you’ll get the idea.

The add-on extracts the email address of the sender, parses the website domain from the address and pulls the favicon image (often same as the logo) of the domain. It then appends the logo image and the company’s domain as a label to the message subject thus making it easy for you quickly identify the message sender.
It run entirely in your browser and not even a byte of your Gmail data is shared with anyone outside your browser. The Chrome extension internally uses the InboxSDK library to parse emails on the client’s side.

When your inbox is flooded with emails and you’d only like to focus your attention on messages that are from known senders, this Gmail extension will be a big help. It shows the sender label in default message views and search results.
Source Labnol

Switch between Google Accounts Easily

Lots of us maintain multiple Google accounts for a variety of reasons. Maybe your day is mostly spent inside Gmail and Google Calendar associated with your work account but you prefer to store files inside Google Drive of your personal Google Account.
Google does make it easy for you to sign-in to multiple Google accounts simultaneously so you don’t have to log out of one Gmail account to check emails of the other one. Simply go to and sign-in with the other Google account inside the same browser session.

is Easy, Switching Accounts is Difficult

One you are logged in, click your profile image in the upper right and select any Google account from the drop down to switch to that account.
The default account, the one that appears on top of that list, is the one that you signed in with first. Thus, if you type in your browser’s address bar, you’ll always be taken your Gmail account. If you need to set another Google account as the default one, you’d have to sign-out of all existing accounts and sign-in first with that account.
That’s obviously too many steps for users who have to constantly juggle between multiple accounts. So here’s a simple URL trick that will help you switch between Google accounts quickly.

Create Keyboard Shortcuts for Google Accounts

Go to the Gmail website and press Ctrl+D (or Cmd+D on Mac) to bookmark the Gmail website.
Click the Edit button to modify the bookmark. Here add ? after the last slash(/) symbol and append the shortcut to the bookmark name as shown below. We use the short “gw” meaning Google Apps for Work Gmail.
Repeat the steps for all your other Gmail accounts.
You can now type gw in the address bar to quickly launch your work Gmail account even if that account may not be your default Google account.

If you are a keyboard ninja, shortcuts are a much faster way to do things that using your mouse to click a bunch of menu items. The trick works with all Google Apps services including Google Drive, Contacts and Calendar.
Source Labnol

How to use Whatsapp as a private store for Notes

WhatsApp is a perfect messaging app for staying in touch with friends and family. It is super-fast, works on nearly all phones (including desktop computers) and Facebook has no plans to charge WhatsApp users.
You have been using WhatsApp primarily for text messaging and calling but there are a couple of other interesting uses for WhatsApp that will help boost the utility value of this app even further. Other than communicating with the external world, you can also use WhatsApp to:
  1. Capture and save ideas, notes, voice memos, scanned documents and everything else in you own private storage space that is accessible from everywhere.
  2. Quickly transfer web links, documents, screenshots, and other files between your computer and phone without having to sign-up for another service.
The idea is simple. You create a new virtual contact inside WhatsApp and, everything that you wish to capture privately, you can just share it with this virtual contact.
It is not possible to send WhatsApp messages to your own number but there’s a simple hack to get around this problem. Create a new WhatsApp group with just a single participant – you. Here’s how:
  1. Open WhatsApp on your phone and create a new group.
  2. Add any contact from your address book to this group. Give your group a name and save.
  3. Now go to the group in WhatsApp, tap the subject to view the list of participants.
  4. Tap and hold the lone participant in this list and remove them from the group.
That’s it. What you now have a private store in WhatsApp that is visible only to you and accessible from the web (desktop) and your mobile phone.

If you wish to transfer a document from computer to phone, open on the computer, send the file to this group and it will instantly become available on your phone. There’s search built-in so you can easily find messages by keyword later.
Source Labnol