Saturday, November 26, 2011

Annotating iPad Screenshots

Annotating iPad Screenshots

There are a number of desktop screen capturing and annotation tools such as Jing (Mac and Windows) and Skitch (Mac with Windows version coming out soon). However, there does not appear to be a dedicated iOS app to take annotated iPad screenshots, which are becoming increasingly important for illustrations in blogs and tutorials. As an alternative I have developed an efficient workflow using the iPad's built-in screenshot and the apps Photogene and Dropbox.

iPad Screenshot
  • Go to the screen you want to save as a picture on your iPad.
  • Press the On / off switch and Home button at the same time, which saves the image to the iPad's Photos Library. (As confirmation the screen will blank to white for a quick moment to simulate a camera flash effect.)
Press On / off switch and Home button at the same time
Use Photogene to crop and annotate the screenshot

Photogene for iPad ($2.99) is arguably one of the best photo editors on the iPad and includes tools to rotate, adjust color, retouch, add text, and enhance with gradients, framing, and effects. During the export process you can change the resolution and then export-send the final photo to resources such as Twitter, e-mail, Facebook, Flickr, and Dropbox.
  • Start Photogene and press Edit New in the top menu bar (to the right)
  • Browse through the iPad's Camera Roll and choose your screenshot
  • Press the Crop scissors tool in the bottom menu bar and drag the round handles to choose the area you want to keep.
  • Press the Crop button in the right menu to finalize the area.
  • Next choose the Text tool in the bottom menu bar. 
  • From the right menu drag a text balloon style to your edit area. Add a text description and drag the pointer to the section you want to describe. 
Export the annotated screenshot to your Dropbox share

You will need to have a Dropbox website that is set up for synchronization with a Dropbox folder on your PC or Mac.   
  • Choose Export in the top menu bar (to the right). You can choose the resolution but it's best to keep the highest.
  • Press Folder and when prompted link to your Dropbox account.
  • Choose Dropbox and enter a filename. 
  • Press Folder again. If you wish, you can create subfolders within your Dropbox's Photo folder to organize exported images by category.
  • Press the Share button to save the file as a JPEG image. You can immediately insert the image from your Dropbox Photos folder to a document such as a blog post. 
final version of a cropped iPad screenshot annotated with Photogene

Friday, November 25, 2011

Evaluate the Muddiest Point with Online Surveys

The Muddiest Point

The Minute Paper, One Sentence Summary, What's the Principle, and the Muddiest Point are popular assessment techniques that provide instructors effective feedback on what students have learned during their class. Students typically complete these assessments at the end of class. The Muddiest Point originated in 1989 from Harvard Professor of Statistics Professor Frederick Mosteller’s who asked his students to summarize key points and what more they wanted to know.  One of his students perceptively pointed out that there really wasn’t any feedback because students essentially were repeating the professor’s key points and were unable to precisely state what more they wanted to know.

So Mosteller asked what were their muddiest (least understood) points and received many important and concrete results, which he summarized. Based on these results Mosteller would prepare special handouts to address common points of confusion that would be studied by students needing this information outside of class. Mosteller's article describing his experience with assessing student feedback is recommended reading for anyone who is interested in assessment and improving their teaching: http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/html/icb.topic771890/mosteller.html

Mosteller had his students write down their muddiest points on pieces of paper, which were typed into a summary format and distributed. Online survey tools such as Google Forms bypass the use of paper, retyping the comments and printing handouts, thus faciliating the process of collecting, summarizing, and sharing student feedback.

Example survey question
Once students have submitted their feedback, the Google spreadsheet results can be shared with them as a link.  
Reference:

For information about Correlation Does Not Imply Causation refer to 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation

Assistive Tablet Technology to Help Students Succeed

The iPad has created a new technology space between smartphones and laptops/netbooks, providing unanticipated possibilities for teaching, learning, and accessibility. The mobility, extended battery life, and built-in accessibility features of an iPad such as VoiceOver provide opportunities for students with assistive learning needs to succeed using technology that was previously expensive, limited to a computer, and was difficult to learn and use. The "touch and gesture" interface reduces the time to master essential tools that facilitate learning and engagement. Choosing from an enormous library of apps the iPad can be transformed into assistive tools such as a video player with captions, audiobook player with text, voice recorder for recording lectures, distraction-free text reader, text-to-speech converter, speech dictation device, and sound amplifier.

Resources:
Poster

Click to view larger image

 
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