All 37 entries tagged Inspiration

Quotes and media gathered from many sources as part of my research, development and design activities. Use these resources to inspire alternative perspectives on existing problems, or as a starting point in understanding unfamiliar situations.

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December 12, 2011

iAnnotate for iPad, annotate PDFs, mark essays on screen

iAnnotate is a sophisticated iPad app for managing, reading and annotating PD aF files. As I'm an active researcher, I have to read many such files, often downloaded from journals (as text PDFs). I have also sometimes scanned chapters from books (as image PDFs) allowing me to read them on screen. I have a large collection of PDFs in Apple's own iBooks app, and am now slowly moving them into the much more sophisticated iAnnotate.

Here is a screen shot to illustrate what I am talking about. It is a page from an image based PDF of a chapter by Bruno Latour (from his web site).

Latour page

You can see the annotation tools on the right. This toolbar can be reconfigured with many more options, including different coloured highlighters, pencils, typed text (the typrewriter icon). On this page I have scribled some annotations, typed some more detailed annotations and highlighted some text. I used an AluPen stylus to write the annotations (£20 from the Apple shop in Leamington, also good for general typing and usein the iPad interface). When working with text based PDF files (of the kind usually available from journals), the text itself may be selected and annotated more precisely. It can also be copied and pasted into other programs (like Pages the word processor). In this example you can also see that I have two documents open, displayed in tabs along the top. I can switch between them easily, or tap on the currently displayed article to go full screen with no tool box or menus.

Two further tools that I haven't used: using the iPad's built in mic I can add audio comments; the PDF can be sent by email, including a summary of all of the annotations. These features suggest a particularly important use - on screen marking of essays. Most academics I have talked to about this have said that they sit in a relaxed chair when marking, not at a desk. So marking on an iPad might fit. It is also known that audio feedback can make a significant difference to some students.

More about iAnnotate and a link to the app store ($9.99).

July 25, 2011

Media Suite poster

A retro-Apple style poster created to advertise my Media Suite facility.


May 20, 2011

Interview with John O'Toole about ethnodrama, OSL, technology and design

Follow-up to Mantle of the designer? John O'Toole and Julie Dunn on process drama and technology from Inspires Learning - Robert O'Toole

In their article "Learning in Dramatic and Virtual Worlds: What Do Students Say About Complementary and Future Directions?"1, John O'Toole and Julie Dunn discussed the differences between entertainment-oriented technologies and pedagogically-oriented technologies. This was illustrated by a case study that demonstrated the importance of students thinking about technology, learning and creativity with what I would call a designerly approach. In an earlier article, I explored this by suggesting that we transform Dorothy Heathcote's "mantle of the expert" into a "mantle of the designer" pattern. Thanks to the Open-space Learning project, I had an opportunity to explore these ideas with John O'Toole in an interview.

1"Learning in Dramatic and Virtual Worlds: What Do Students Say About Complementary and Future Directions?", Journal of Aesthetic Education, Vol. 42, No. 4, Winter 2008.