A lot has changed in a year.

Last year, May 2010, I walked during lunch at work and rode my bike after work, some days. I also weighed about 250 pounds. In 2010, I rode 700 miles on my bike and I was pretty proud of myself. I rode 300 miles in 2009.

So far this year, I have ridden over 400 miles; close to halfway to my goal of 1000 miles this year. I am down to 215 pounds now, and I feel great.

This has been a good year.

My First Infographic

EBLinfograph update.pdf Download this file
Even though I am not a graphic designer, I really appreciate the opportunity try to rub shoulders with those types of people. I like to read the things they share and analyze how they approach tasks and design.
In education, design really takes a back seat. Sometimes, even in the trunk. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule.
I fancy myself as someone who pays attention to good design, and I think about it. "Thinking about it" is usually 95% of the solution. If you just look at it and think for a moment, you're more than most of the way there.
So, Piper and I got an assignment to collect and present some information on the time our office has spent on professional development with teachers this year.
I compiled the data from 18 people and put it into a spreadsheet. We used Numbers, Pages, and Acorn to create the infographic.
I haven't ever used Acorn, but I bought it a few weeks ago, and I have been waiting for an opportunity to use it. I am glad something presented itself.
The infographic itself is a Pages document (11 x 17). The images are from some image pack I downloaded years ago, but haven't had any reason to use. To get the triangle graphs, I had to create them in Numbers, then paste an image of them into a Pages document and "Mask with Shape..." to get them right. I wish I could mask graphs in Pages (or Numbers) with a shape. That would be really nice. I tried to do it in Acorn, but I couldn't figure that out either.  Piper pulled the + signs from somewhere and Instant Alpha-ed the white background so they looked better.
I thought it was pretty fun creating it. Even though it took a long time to do, it was worth it. I learned a lot, and created something beautiful in the end.
Here is the Prezi my boss used in the presentation to the principals in the district:



Good thing we didn't get rid of our girl clothes. #itsagirl September 13th is the due date.

When iPads aren't successful as eReaders


From this post: http://speirs.org/blog/2011/5/5/ipad-trials-at-oklahoma-state.html

Was the integration of an E-Reader an enhancement or detraction to the academic experience?

The responses were mixed. On the one hand, students liked using the iPad to house their textbooks and suggested it promoted more reading. [I'd venture that they could read more because they were actually able to have their books with them at a time when they otherwise wouldn't] On the other hand, reactions from the beginning-of-the-semester expectations of planned use to the end-of-the-semester actual use saw e-book reading exhibiting the greatest change, a substantial decrease. Students thought they would use the iPad as an e-reader but did not do so as much as initially planned.

What was said later about pedagogy needing to change with technology was spot on:
"...technology, pedagogy and curriculum each have influence on the other. If you're not able to modify your teaching methods or curriculum to take account of new technology, that's a barrier to getting the maximum utilisation out of these devices."

If the iPad-as-textbook is just the textbook loaded into iBooks, with nothing else changed, the iPad is no better for reading than a textbook; it is probably a worse reading experience (with the only benefit being that the iPad is lighter than a textbook).

If the textbook is just a PDF opened in Noterize or PDFNotes, then it is already much better, as those two programs are designed for annotating a PDF.

If the textbooks are in something like Inkling, where there are additional multimedia supports (videos, pictures, interactive images, etc.) then it is even better.

It is probably best when the book adapts to the new technology like the book "Our Choice", which clearly appears to be the best "book" reading experience on the iPad.

I hope the image explains it better than I could.