A tagxedo for my blog
(CLICK ON THE IMAGE!)
I haven’t had time to check this out yet, but it is supposed to work across platforms, be a free (to a point) space to organize and store academic research, and allow group access. Let me know if you have time to investigate!
One more to check out when there is time:
Also, a free tool for storing research sources in the cloud:
“Graduate Students Professionalizing in Digital Time/Space”: A View from ‘Down Below'” by Kendall Leon and Stacey Pigg really helped bring this course together for me. After reading it, I have a much better understanding of what we are doing in this class. Not only have we been exposed to social media tools and their use in teaching/learning, we also have the real opportunity to apply them to our own professional development.
I just want to make two points about the article. First, the act of reading it marks a turning point for me in moving from paper to digitized reading. For years, and I mean years, I have printed out articles to read and annotate because I needed to have them in hand to understand and sort of remember their contents. Finally, because of this unit’s assignments, I tried a technology new to me that allows highlighting, underlining, commenting, and a host of other commentary tools, to be used directly in the PDF file onscreen. I used Foxit Reader, a free download for reading PDF files, that I got the basics of on my own in one frustrating but productive half-hour. I learned about it here, from a tip on Deltina Hay’s website. (I’m always looking for free tools.)
I’m not saying that this technology doesn’t have unknown costs or that I will never again print out sources to hold and annotate while I’m taking a bath. But now I do have an alternative to consuming massive amounts of paper and ink to produce hard copies that I need a small storage unit to house. The reading process online is a little different for me: I read more slowly and carefully because I am thinking about how to make note of what I want to remember about a particular passage. (This may change as I become more proficient with the technology, which also has nifty advanced features I hope to find time to explore.) Using Foxit also geographically limits my reading to my desktop currently because it’s installed on my primary computer’s hard drive. No doubt, I will also install it on my laptop, and when I break down and buy a tablet, there, too.
Finally, I will need to investigate storing my annotated PDF files because I’d like them to be in the cloud, rather than on a device I own. I can hardly believe I just wrote that, but the fact is that personally and professionally, I need and want to lighten up. Like the climate, the times, they are a’changin’. Lugging around the physical artifacts of my history is something neither the planet nor I can any longer afford.
Okay, I’m out of time. Second point later.
* So how would you capitalize my title? I want to insert a simple survey here with choices for readers to select, but I don’t have time to research how to do it! Here are the choices I would include for you to check:
Why Reading the Leon/Pigg Article was so Important for me
Why Reading the Leon/Pigg Article Was so Important for Me
Why Reading the Leon/Pigg Article Was So Important for Me
Y Rdg the Leon/Pigg art. was so 🙂 4 me
None of the above
Like this article on Facebook
(just kidding except to say that the finer points of capitalization remain a mystery to me)
Kendall, Leon, and Stacey Pigg. “Graduate Students Professionalizing in Digital Time/Space” A View from ‘Down Below.'” Computers and Composition 28 (2011): 3-13. Science Direct. Web. 3 Apr. 2012.
by Common Craft
Textboxes aid the reader in sorting out important information, so I am experimenting to see if I can make one. Here is some random text that I will attempt to place in a box using instructions I found online.
How do you get out of the box? Okay, this is awesome. How do you move the box? How do you round its edges and make it a certain color? Yes, a little code can be fun. Here are the instructions I used, posted by Stephen Cronin.
Hmmm, no dice. Okay, I’m out of time for this experiment. Jason Ohler recommends text boxes, white space, and headlines, among other things, to improve readability for online writing. He recommends the 7 B’s for visually differentiated text:
- breaks – add blank lines between paragraphs by simple pressing return
- banners – my word for paragraph titles; introduce paragraphs now and again so that your writing is scannable
- bullets – using the bullet command in Word, blog editors, etc.
- boldface – boldfacing titles, etc.
- beginnings – providing the first paragraph of a longer piece and a link to the entire piece
- beyond monochromatic text – use text of a different color, but use it sparingly; avoid being “cartoony”
- boxes – easy to do in Word, but usually requires a little programming to do for web page development (Jason Ohler 2012)