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Software and Tool Reviews

The Stylus is Mightier than the Sword

Let’s say you’re having one of those days where you bring in your tablet to class and nothing else. You think it is going to be alright- I mean, you have your textbook and notebook in that magical box right in front of you, so nothing can go wrong.

That is, until you feel that sense of nostalgia kicking into the pit of your stomach. The tapping and snapping of classmates’ pens around you make you feel the urge to join in on the sweet feel of the oh so vintage pen rubbing through your fingertips. You miss the smell of it’s ink, and even the marks they used to leave on the palm of your hand. But it’s too late, nothing can be done now as you have already made the transition into the modern world by purchasing your tablet.

That my friend, is where you are wrong. You are forgetting that modern companies have created the new modern pen: the stylus. While the stylus may not replicate the old pen in it’s entirety, the look and feel are irresistible.

Here are some stylus’ reviewers from the Verge thought were useful:

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Tools That College Students Wish Their Instructors Used Either More or Less


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A New Presentation Platform Worth Looking At… Reveal.js and http://Slid.es

Tired of the same old PowerPoint presentations? So over the hype about Prezi? Want to be able to share presentations quickly without the hassle of attaching files or using services like Slideshare that may mess up your slide formatting?

Meet Reveal.JS and http://slid.es.

Reveal.JS is a platform created by Hakim El Hattab for web-based, HTML presentations. Its design is simple and elegant, and it has many of the features you look for in PowerPoint and Prezi. The best part: the presentation is right in your browser. No more dealing with proprietary .pptx files.

For those who just want to plug in text and images (and don’t want to mess around with coding), check out the web-based platform for quick WYSIWYG editing: http://slid.es.

For those with coding skills in HTML, CSS, and Javascript, the source code is available at Github.

Give it a look and let us know what you think. How would you use this as a student or teacher? What new possibilities does this make available?

Exploring the Potential of E-Learning

Over the past two decades, online education has developed from a simple idea into a thriving global industry with almost 7 million students of varying ages, cultures, and financial backgrounds enrolled. While the cost and benefits of such systems in traditional educational environments are still subjects of heated controversy, it is clear that the educational benefits for credible casual learning is boundless.

In a recent publication titled “Infographic: The Power of Online Schools” by BestOnlineSchools.org, information from several studies and articles on the benefits of e-Learning were summarized and outlined through a visual presentation. This infographic has been attached below, but for the full article, please visit: http://www.bestonlineschools.org/the-power-of-online-schools/

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Tableau Desktop Review

two students working on laptops

As part of UW Bothell’s mission to establish digital literacy in its students and faculty, bridging digital media tools with other areas of study is an important educational strategy that greatly enhances the value and skillset of students and instructors, as well as prepares individuals for a society where digital media tools and practices exist as the standard and norm. In an article written by Andreas Brockhaus, UW Bothell’s Director of Learning Technologies, he states that the importance of acquiring digital literacy skills is even higher now, as digital media becomes pertinent in all forms of professional and institutional work. “For faculty and especially for students, the explosion of digital media tools and practices in society have made it ever more vital that students gain skills in using media across many disciplines.” (Brockhaus, 34)

 

tableau desktop logo

 

Tableau Desktop, one of four main products under the Tableau Software name: Tableau Desktop, Tableau Server, Tableau Reader and Tableau Public, is one of the leading digital literacy tools in data visualization for statistical and data analysis. With a simple interface and powerful set of features and tools, Tableau Desktop has made analyzing data easier and much more intuitive.

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