Month: March 2017

Honorable Mention: Margie Dietz and A Method for Teaching Problem Solving

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At 1:15pm On 3/8/17 I briefly attended A Method for Teaching Problem Solving presented by Margie Dietz at the 2017 NCCIA Conference located at Craven Community College in New Bern, NC.

Honorable Mention: Margie Dietz and A Method for Teaching Problem Solving

This session is an honorable mention. I went into this class but did not stay, because the class was a programming class for programming instructors. Since it was beyond my ken, I went with something more my speed. That said, when I returned to this classroom later, 4 teachers remained to keep working on the material they learned because they were so pleased and impressed with their materials. Well done, Margie Dietz!

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Introduction to SASS (Syntactically Awesome StyleSheets

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At 3:15pm On 3/8/17 I attended Introduction to SASS (Syntactically Awesome StyleSheets presented by Michael R. Schore at the 2017 NCCIA Conference located at Craven Community College in New Bern, NC.
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Introduction to SASS (Syntactically Awesome StyleSheets

Michael Score is an Asst. Professor of Web Development at Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh, NC. SASS, as I understand it allows CSS to use variables. It will be interesting to see how this can be used.

We’ve been told by several advisors through the davisory committee that this is the direction people are moving with free, opensource materials.

 

 

  • What is SASS

what is sass

Sass is an extension of CSS. According to the language wibesite– Sass is the most mature, stable, powerful professional grade CSS extension language in the world. Variables, loops, conditional statements, etc. are not usable, but we often wish it was.

state of the web

THings are changing so rapidly, that items which are hip and reliable today may no longer be usable in a short lifetime

Why do we use CSS?

Tag designs were to code and adjust. External stylesheets were built to keep it out of the flow of your documents and keep a semantic vision available.

Semantic HTML>/h2>
Writing semantic HTML brings a wide range of benefits

  • ease of use
  • accessibility
  • search engine optimization
  • repurposing

SASS vs SCSS

Syntactically awesome stylesheets vs Sassy CSS
SCSSS (sassy CSS) is an extension of the syntax of css. This means that every valid CSS stylesheet is a valid SCSS file.

Pros of using SASS

Sass syntax is concise, indented syntax removes the need for semicolons and braces. Sass syntax is easier to read. because it s rules of about indentation its hard to write unreadable SASS. THe syntax doesn’t complain about missing semicolon

example:

/* SASS */
$blue: #3bbfce
$margin: 16px

.content-navigation
border-color: $blue
color: darken($blue, 9%)

.border
padding: $margin / 2
margin: $margin / 2
border-color: $blue

pros of using SCSS

scss is logically grouped, it can be compressed. SCSS encourages proper nesting of rules and encourages more modular code with @extend. Curly braces are “ugly” and help me recognize when my code is too deeply nested and force me down the path of writing more modular code. SCSS allows me to write better inline documentation. COol tools currently exist to use this with existing CSS systems

example:

/* SCSS */
$blue: #3bbfce
$margin: 16px

.content-navigation {
border-color: $blue;
color: darken($blue, 9%);
}
.border {
padding: $margin / 2; margin: $margin / 2; border-color: $blue;
}

Pre-reqs for working with SASS

Working knowledge and experience with HTML, HTML5, CSS, CSS3, Comfortable with installing software and configuring computers, looking for RUBY

SASS Setup

Sublime text 2 or 3 is a good working project working area. Install package control. Install SASS and SCSS support packages

Ruby comes next. Rubyinstaller.org . SASS is installed as a Ruby Gem.

Features

  • Variables like light and dark can be used to work with if/then statements.
  • Partials allow you to pull out sections from SCSS and import them. (css partials all have underscore in name: _short.css) These are used like includes in PHP
  • Mixins create reausable styles. These start with @ symbols.
  • Imports & Media Queries.
  • Functions! generate from the codes actual CSS files available to your viewers
  • Inheritance
  • conditionals allow if/else if statements
  • loops!

Conclusions

Sass offers a great deal of functionality and power to the web page designs. Minimal change in thinking once the developer has a handle on CSS. Programmers can appreciate the features of Sass SCSS. Tools are powerful and widelu used.

Problem: How to implement this complex capability in our web tech program

Crush Your Powerpoint! Presentation Designc Skills Every College Instructor Needs to Know

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At 9:0pm On 3/8/17 I attended Crush Your Powerpoint! Presentation Designc Skills Every College Instructor Needs to Know presented by Matt Gambino at the 2017 NCCIA Conference located at Craven Community College in New Bern, NC.

Crush Your Powerpoint! Presentation Designc Skills Every College Instructor Needs to Know

Today, the atmosphere was a little more sedate. Since coffee would not be arriving until 10:15am again. Instead of rushing to the conference early to meet colleagues, share ideas, and talk shop, most people seemed to be a little slower in arriving today. I came early and spent some time chatting with Matt before the session. Today’s material will be focusing on using the capabilities of the program, rather than new bells and whistles. I think that’ll be fine for me. I’m really only looking to keep the students reading the material.

Matt works with EdTech Skills. He wants actionable, repeatable method.
College students aren’t thrilled with powerpoint lectures: 4% are great, 34% are OK, 62% are poor. Chalk presentations are 69% great, 25% OK, and 6% poor

Challenges include:

  • Students don’t read the content
  • students don’t read to be prepared
  • it is difficult to achieve a balance of information
  • information is sedate and readers just read off the sheet

Crush It!

We’re hoping to get more milage out of the visuals you have in an effort to liven up what you already have. We’re hoping to up the retention factors. Publishers should be providing the imagery to help you.

There is a 4-step process

Finish It First

Set the Hook. Tell them what they’ll learn by the end. Give a visual to show where you’ll end up.

There is a ten-minute window of attention that most people will give you. Begin with a visual, soundbite, or story which showcases the end result of the lecture. Next, show them how easy it is with a short demonstration. Finally, walk through the process slowly while inviting questions.

Easy ways to regain that attention: Stories are the easiest. they are personal , promoting fear, joy, and more. Slides are nice. Statistics are also great because they can be easily adjusted, and often cause people to perk up.

Unplug Everything

Many people when they hear they’re making a presentation… open powerpoint. This is unfortunate.

The best, first step is to create the material or plan with unplugged devices. Put yourself into the mood, and encapsulate what you’re trying to get to. Brainstorm and/or mindmap. Consider ways in which you can adjust the images to go with the materials you’ve created. Feel free to push outside the normal imagery and give it your all.

Plug in!

Ensure that the opening image will incite and entice people. Or, black. People love to see imagery. If the most important concepts are backed up with images which are easily forgotten. Half of high school dropouts claim their classes were not interesting, so they left.

Design your slides not to stand alone, but rather as a stepping off point for your lecture/discussion. Its not what they’re hearing, its what they feel.

Tips

Set your guides to thirds, equidistant. This is called the rule of thirds. Where the lines intersect are called Power Points. Keeping your focus points on the central power points make the slides more harmonius, and visually appealing.

Adobe Color CC is an internet applicaiton that lets you try out, create and save various color schemes. It will create color schemes based on imagery

State your purpose. Who will use it and what for. Gather. Gather the information you need. Group. Group the information in ways the reader can absorb it easily without distraction.

Use Smart Art to adjust your images. Cut them and paste special (microsoft image). Then ungroup and adjust the resized images together without having to work through smart art.

Conclusion

We wrapped up with a short revisitation of the points here, including Make connections through the materials.

Adobe Certified Associate Status in Visual Communication using Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 Achieved!

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At 3:10pm On 3/7/17 I attended the Certiport certification lab presented by Certiport at the 2017 NCCIA Conference located at Craven Community College in New Bern, NC.

PhotoshopACA

Adobe Certified Associate Status in Visual Communication using Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 Achieved!

After completing the Web Communication using Dreamweaver CC 2013 ACA in the Certiport certification lab, it was too late to join any final sessions. Since I hadn’t completed a full set of 2015 ACAs, I decided to stay in the labe and test my knowledge of Visual Communication using Adobe Photoshop CC.

Adobe Photoshop CC is the industry-standard image editing software, used worldwide by professional photographers, amateur photographers, and designers who want to perfect their digital images to correct exposure, color balance, and to straighten and crop photos. Designers also use Photoshop to create special lighting and text effects.

It had been a while since I last taught a class on photoshop, so it was great to sit down in front of a machine and see that I could still kick out 900 points in the testing process. I walked away with another ACA recognition by Adobe Inc.

This concluded the final session in the testing facility for the day. I may try to revisit in the following days.

Adobe Certified Associate Status in Web Communication using Adobe Dreamweaver CC 2013 Achieved!

Posted on

At 2:30pm On 3/7/17 I attended the Certiport certification lab presented by Certiport at the 2017 NCCIA Conference located at Craven Community College in New Bern, NC.

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Adobe Certified Associate Status in Web Communication using Adobe Dreamweaver CC 2013 Achieved!

After completing the Web Authoring using Dreamweaver CC 2015 ACA in the Certiport certification lab, I wondered why I should stop? Since I hadn’t completed a full set of 2013 ACAs, I decided to test my knowledge of Web Communications using Adobe Dreamweaver CC. In a short 40 minute testing period, I walked away with another ACA recognition by Adobe Inc.

Adobe Certified Associate Status in Web Authoring using Adobe Dreamweaver CC 2015 Achieved!

Posted on

At 1:30am On 3/7/17 I attended the Certiport certification lab presented by Certiport at the 2017 NCCIA Conference located at Craven Community College in New Bern, NC.

Adobe Certified Associate Status in Web Authoring using Adobe Dreamweaver CC 2015 Achieved!

DreamweaverACA

After our disappointing departure from Margie Dietz’s lecture, Carla Osborne and I went to the Certiport certification lab to take a test and test my knowledge of Web Authoring using Adobe Dreamweaver CC with the new 2015 testing. In a short 40 minute testing period, I walked away with another ACA recognition by Adobe Inc.

Adobe Dreamweaver did not have a CC 2015 test when last I tested. Since the CC 2013 testing deviated away from Web Communication and into Web Authoring,  It was nice to take a short break and reaffirm that Adobe is still behind my skills. In my Web intro courses, we use Adobe Dreamweaver exclusively. It was nice to test my knowledge and find the Adobe was willing to put their name behind my skills and talents yet again.

Alone Together: Creating Human Contact in the Online Classroom

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At 10:15am On 3/7/17 I attended the Being Alone Together presented by Matthew Henry, professor at Wake Tech Community College at the 2017 NCCIA Conference located at Craven Community College in New Bern, NC.

noChargeForAwesomeness

Alone Together: Creating Human Contact in the Online Classroom

Disclaimer

  • There are accessibilty concerns. Struggle entails failure, but then you’ll have amazing successes
  • no judgement is meant
  • please… try this at home

Who are you

fatpandasensei twitter handle
fatpandasensei.com website to come

2003 started teaching with WebCT. NCSU M Ed has been full online delivery. Knows what bad online teaching experience(s)

“0000001” is the loneliest number

When you see online learning marketed, you never see other people.

  • students are geographically remote
  • students have nontraditional hours
  • the class is always “open” even when the instructor isn’t around
  • student may never have contact with one anothervstudents may rarely hear from their instructor

But learning does not have to be solitary by design

Several great examples of students who had benefitted by timely video content

Ok, Prove It

  • Students in online classrooms using asynchronus video reported a “we’re in this toehter feeling”
  • instructor in video made students made them more real

Welcome and Weekly Video

  • Generic or specialized?
  • abuse youtube
  • yes, there are captioning options
  • use a “secret word” to ensure viewing
  • borrup, west, Graham (2012): video made the instructor more real, present and famililar–SImilar to face-to-face instruction

Covers everything in the video for the first week- covers allinformation about the classroom policies and must-dos. Students are worse than Perry Mason if they feel as though the policies were not clear.

Videos with secret words are great. Disable comments and embed the secret word. Even if they scrub through, they have still taken responsibility. You can use a quiz to assure that they’ve seen the content, and use it for attendance.

Other videos can still be sued with other instructors. Legacy materials must be captioned, but timely materials can be re-worked every semester.

Captioning and Transcripts

Transcirpts are not reliable, they are quirky, inaccurate and bordering on drunk. Yes, you can edit the auto-captions!

Beyond the “Welcome Video”

  • videos for micro-instruction: one topic, 3-5min max
  • The “Flipped” model
  • Students give
    • greater personal connection to instructor
    • positive evaluation of the instructor
    • increased overall satisfaction with the class
    • 91.5% of participatnts agreed or strongly agreed they wanted more content and developed a stronger relationship with that person

So, What’s Important?

Lighiting and audio are nice, but it is equally imperative that you come across as warm, approachable and genuine.

IN the absolute worst case scenario, just upload what you filmed. Its not that bad. Most often, the viewer doesn’t care about that, they just want to see the instructor.

Pro and Con of the Welcome Video

Pro

  • They humanize you to your students.
  • students put a name with a face
  • personal attention for your students and classes
  • if you make generic content, its reusable
  • you have fun with your classes

Con

  • You must make this accessible. Its time consuming but worth it
  • edit your own subtitles
  • distill your videos in Camtasia

Camtasia

  • Video Capture Software
  • Capture screencasting
  • audio-video editing
  • “callouts” are your best friends!- Use them to highlight a presentation, make them stackable

Pros

  • Go beyond basic video editing there are multiple enhancements available
  • make demos that students can review &emdash; from a powerpoint lecture to live desktop recordings
  • callouts- no, serious, your new best friend
  • Embed captions (remember keep it accessible!)

Cons

  • Slight learning curve&emdash; don’t be intimidated
  • licensed software, although “Screencast-o-matic” is a possible alternative

Adobe Connect

  • virtual classroom environment
  • share your desktop with students
  • share your webcam with students
  • install poll options
  • student discussion area interaction options
  • add-on functionality

Pros

  • size is limited by license
  • online classroom environment
  • sessions can be recorded for future playback
  • mobile friendly, but flash dependent features, some students may not share files, etc.

Cons

  • license are expensive
  • size is limited

Google Hangouts

Limited to 10 students, and maybe expanded to 15. Everyone has to get a google address invitation, has to have a plug-in enabled

FlipGrid

  • think twitter for video
  • fixed time limit to respond
  • students can post responses to flipgrid
  • great for
    • short response assignments
    • introductions at the beginning of class
    • THe oft-feared presentation assignments

Pros

  • desktop/mobile friendly
  • Free option

Cons

  • subscription requires $65 fee
  • flash-dependent (safari/ie/edge)

Telegram

  • sms/mms chat client
  • Desktop and mobile releases
  • multidirectional communication
  • groups and supergroups allowed

Pros

  • free
  • always on
  • multidirectional
  • voice and text capabilities
  • video messaging
  • encrypted messaging allowedvimnvite links for groups

Cons

  • id locked to phone number
  • one device must approved another using the same login
  • users may see your cell number
  • bandwidth hungry
  • google voice tricks won’t here

Mobile app integration

  • voxer
  • coco
  • slack
  • telegram
  • wechat

This was a great discussion. It was standing room only, and I chose to enter, and I’m really happy to have done so. Students who feel like a community, who feel a connection to one another and sense of interpersonal connection and interdependence are likely to sustain them.