Saturday, April 11, 2015

Case Studies for Teaching in the Sciences

I attended the Teaching and Learning Conference in Athens, Georgia last week.  One of the handouts had a link for the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science at http://sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/

The resource is excellent.  The site has case studies for all science disciplines, including nursing.  There are case studies for all levels of education.  If you are an educator, the site is worth exploring. 

Apple Update 8.3

The newest version of Apple OS for iPad and iPhones was recently released.  The new version provides choices of skin color and hair for male and female emoji icons.  It also allows user to change Siri's voice.  From what I read on a CNN article, Opps Apple's Diverse Emoji Turn into Aliens, if you do not upgrade, the male and female icons turn into aliens. I prefer not having to make an extra step and select the type of female icon each time - wish it would "remember" my preference.  Who knows what the future will bring with new updates. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Visa New App to Help Prevent Fraud

Look forward to the release of a new app, Visa Mobile Location Confirmation for your phone if you use a Visa credit card.  The app is designed to help prevent fraud. The software company where it is being developed in Finsphere.  CNET has an article with the details.

In short, it is designed to verify your location using GPS on the phone - where you are making the transaction.  The idea is that if you are purchasing something with the Visa card, you will have your phone with you.  The app is an opt-in service.

You can read more with the CNET news article at http://www.cnet.com/news/visa-says-new-app-will-cut-credit-card-travel-troubles/

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Microsoft Office Clip Art - gone

I read several weeks ago that Microsoft Clip Art was going to disappear  - and it has.  If you are using Microsoft Office 365, you will notice it is no longer a choice on the insert menu. 
You can read more about it in the article, Microsoft is Killing Off Clip Art in Favor of Bing Images

The article, How to Find Images for Office Documents Now that Microsoft's Killing Clip Art provides information on how find copyright free images with the Bing search engine.  Bing does have images that are licensed with Creative Commons (CC) licensing, however, there are 6 different CC licenses.  If you want to use an image for a commercial product, like a book, you need to verify that you have permission to do so. 

Outlook App Finally Available

I read in the New York Times today that the Outlook app was released last week.  It is available for iPhones, Android phones, and the iPad.  The app is free.  I was using OWA as an Outlook app, but it did not have the robust features of Outlook.  If you use Outlook, try out the app. 

To learn more, go to http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/outlook/to-go

Monday, January 19, 2015

Adding YouTube Videos to iBooks Author

I am creating an eBook on the history of bioethics for nurses while also learning more about using iBooks Author.  I did not see an iBooks Author widget for YouTube videos, so I did a web search.  I found a free EASY to use website entitled Bookry.com with lots of neat widgets including one for YouTube. Bookry has a short video demonstrating the process.

Adding a YouTube video to an iBooks Author ebook is a four-step process - but it is quick and easy!
  1. First create an eBook - just a title with a placeholder for widgets.
  2. Add the YouTube widget to the Bookry ebook - name the YouTube video the subject of the video, add the name of the video, and the YouTube URL.
  3. Save the YouTube video to your Mac downloads folder.
  4. Drag the widget from the Mac downloads folder into your iBooks Author ebook.  From there you can use the Inspector to format and title the video.

Creating Digital Books

I am preparing for a workshop on creating eBooks.  I will demonstrate Apple iWork Pages, iBooks Author, and SoftChalk.  My special interest is creating interactive books.
  • iWork Pages will save a file in an ePub format, which can be viewed on mobile devices.  The downside, is that the digital books are not interactive. 
  • iBooks Author is my choice of platform.  The updates to the free software make it very easy to create interaction.  The downside is that you must use a Mac and that the books are available in iBooks Author for iBooks.  You can save the books as a PDF file, but then you lose all of the interaction.
  • SoftChalk is a great tool to use when creating online lessons.  You can also design eBooks with the software and save them in an ePub format.  Although, SoftChalk indicates that there are a variety of interactive tools you can use with the ePub, I was able to only to create a one item interactive quiz.  Drag and drop and timeline revealed raw code.  I reported the problem.  The SoftChalk ePub feature is in beta development.  The other downside to SoftChalk is that the software is not free.  I am able to use it because our University has a site license.