Tag Archives: PowerPoint

Five Photos Five Stories — Day four

Back to Day one (books) and introduction to the challenge

Back to Day two (writing)

Back to Day three (Break out)

My retirement jetski

My retirement jetski

My retirement jetski

Geoff Le Pard threw me a challenge to post five photos and five stories over five days. He is probably just as surprised as I am that I took him up on it, especially as this week is particularly busy and significant.

Tomorrow I finally break up with a relationship that has been on-again-off-again for over forty years. Tomorrow is my last day working for Education Queensland. While I then become “officially” retired, some of you may know that I am not very fond of that “R” word and prefer to think of my life as taking a redirection.

In a couple of weeks’ time I commence another part-time job at the University of Queensland with the exact number of hours for me to remain “officially” retired, but nominally “working part-time”. The remainder of the week I will continue to write and work towards fulfilling my goal of establishing an online store of educational resources. This is where the jetski comes in.

There are many expenses involved with preparing content for the website including getting work illustrated, having the website designed and, hopefully, if I can figure out a way, having interactivity added to some resources. Deciding how much cost is acceptable is difficult when there is no guarantee of ever getting any return, and often the time I spend tapping away on my computer keyboard when I could be doing other things comes into question.

The fact is I love tapping away on my computer keyboard writing works of my choosing, and the expenses involved are necessary in order to make my “creations” available to others through a website. If I were to choose a jetski, a sports car or an around the world cruise as a retirement gift for myself, as many do, and spend hours each day riding the waves or the roads, no one would question my choice of activity or the cost of the initial purchase or ongoing maintenance. They would be pleased that I was having fun, enjoying my later years. Well, for the moment at least, writing is my pleasure and I (try to) justify the expense by calling it my “jetski”.

As my work targets an early childhood market, illustrations are an essential accompaniment to my work. When I first registered my business and domain name, my (graphic designer) niece designed my logo and beautiful banner, which you see at the top of my blog, and produced illustrations for some stories. Recently I have had other illustrations done by artists from 99designs so I am starting to make headway in that direction.

Kari Jones (ArtbyJonz), who did the S.M.A.G. badge has produced illustrations for two stories. Here is a sneak peek at one illustration from each:

ArtbyJonz ©Norah Colvin 2015

ArtbyJonz ©Norah Colvin 2015

ArtbyJonz ©Norah Colvin 2015

ArtbyJonz ©Norah Colvin 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and sneak peeks of illustrations for stories by Sketcherlady, Goetia and Tyohermawan, to whom I awarded the first contest.

sketcherlady ©Norah Colvin 2015

sketcherlady ©Norah Colvin 2015

Goetia ©Norah Colvin 2015

Goetia ©Norah Colvin 2015

tyohermawan ©Norah Colvin 2015

tyohermawan ©Norah Colvin 2015

I have been very happy working with each of these designers. They have all been very helpful and accommodating and worked hard to produce illustrations to match my requests. I am happy to recommend any of them if you are looking at getting some work illustrated.

The next step is to speak with a web designer. I must say I’m a bit fearful of the cost, but hey, it’s my jetski.

What seems to be more problematic at the moment is adding interactivity to some resources. PowerPoint has some facility but not enough. I looked at another program recently which promised any interactivity I could imagine. But unfortunately the program designers had not imagined what I had! I discussed some of my requirements with a friend who is learning to code and he thought it would even be difficult to code what I want. Since these open-ended interactions are to be a point of difference for me, if I can’t have them, I may need to trade-in my jetski on something completely different. Maybe a novel? (That must be pretty easy, eh Geoff?) I’m not sure I’m ready for that. If you have any suggestions about adding interactivity to resources I’d love to receive them please.

I nominate my lovely fellow local Queensland bloggers to take up this Five Photos Five Stories challenge should they so wish:

Irene Waters who writes memoir and blogs at Reflections and Nightmares and already shares many beautiful photos and stories;

Desley Jane, a girl with a camera who blogs at Musings of a Frequent Flying Scientist; and

Marigold Dicer who blogs at Versus Blurb but who has popped off the scene temporarily while she completes what used to be called “prac” teaching when I went to college.

Please be aware that your participation is completely voluntary. I know each of you already post frequent photo stories. However if you choose to participate, I hope you enjoy the challenge as much as I have. 🙂

The “rules” of the Five Photos, Five Stories Challenge are:

1) Post a photo each day for five consecutive days.
2) Attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or a short paragraph. It’s entirely up to the individual.
3) Nominate another blogger to carry on the challenge. Your nominee is free to accept or decline the invitation. This is fun, not a command performance!

Thank you

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

 

I’m learnerate and loving it!

In my previous post I can do this – one step at a time! I shared two words that I had just learned: illearnerate and learnacy*. I was excited by the power of their meaning and proudly declared myself to be learnerate.

But it wasn’t always that way. Like the students Guy Claxton described in his article Learning to learn: a key goal in a 21st century curriculum, I had been schooled to be illearnerate. Over time, with the opportunity to take control of my learning and follow my interests, I developed a passion for learning, especially learning about learning, and became learnerate. Enthusing others about learning has been a life-long ambition and journey.

Included in that post were two videos in which I demonstrated ways I use PowerPoint. I found out immediately after publishing that the ways I demonstrated weren’t the most efficient. I am grateful to Bec for informing me of a better way of saving PowerPoint slides as images; and also for the consideration she showed by informing me away from my blog in order to reduce the chances of my feeling  embarrassment about having  my “primitive” method pointed out (my words, not hers).

Bec’s consideration for my feelings as a learner was in great contrast to school experiences in which humiliation and ridicule seemed the preferred way of dealing with any inadequacy, real or imagined.  Whenever a lack of knowledge or skill was revealed, rather than being perceived as an opportunity for learning, it was seen as an opportunity to be singled out, chastised and embarrassed in front of as many others as possible.

sad

One particular instance stands out in my memory.  I was in year eight. History tests had been marked and handed back; all except mine.  I tentatively raised my hand and told the teacher. Wrong move. The teacher made a big show of looking for my paper, finally “finding” it in a stack of papers on the desk and announcing to the class that it had been set aside as it was such poor work and I should be thoroughly ashamed of myself.

Over the years I have come to realise that there is no shame in not knowing, or not being able to do something. It simply indicates an opportunity for learning. It is rare that someone will intentionally do less than the best they know how. If there is a better way, they need to be shown. Thank you, Bec, for showing me.

My intention for this post was, and still is, to share my recipe for Pinwheel sandwiches. At the time of making the videos used in the previous post, I had already made the PowerPoint but had not made each slide into an image for uploading to my blog. How lucky was I that Bec told me a much more efficient way before I had done so! Instead of saving as a PDF, and then snipping and saving an image of each individual slide as I had demonstrated, all I had to do was click “Save As” and select “PNG” as the file type and every slide was saved as an individual image. Simple: very quick and easy, as I demonstrate in this 90 second video!

 

And now for my pinwheel sandwiches. They also are simple, very quick and easy; very popular and just as tasty as they look!

Slide1Slide2Slide3Slide4Slide5Slide6Slide7Slide8Slide9Slide10Slide11Slide12Slide13Slide14Slide15Slide16

 

 

*Think of the terms illiterate and literacy and apply them to learning and you will have a good idea of the meaning.

Thank you

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts about any aspect of this post.

I can do this – one step at a time!

Confidence, the willingness to have a go and to get up and try again after an unsuccessful attempt, is crucial to learning.

Attached to real confidence, as opposed to false bravado, are certain types of knowledge:

  • of the desired outcome
  • of possible steps to achieving the outcome
  • of what is needed to achieve the outcome
  • of where and how to find the knowledge or support necessary to achieve the outcome

and an openness to possibilities.

Knowing what one doesn’t know is just as important as knowing what one does!

Caroline Lodge expressed a similar view on her blog just this week, confessing that she didn’t know how to go about revising her novel, but that she did know what to do about not knowing: she enrolled in an online editing course. She attributed the view of intelligence as “knowing what to do when you don’t know what to do to the educationalist Guy Claxton.

I wasn’t aware of Claxton but he sounded like my sort of educationalist so I decided to investigate further.

 

A Google search brought up this result:

Claxton - Google

Hmm – seems like, according to Claxton, that definition of intelligence is first attributed to Jean Piaget. I’d better read his article: Learning to learn: a key goal in a 21st century curriculum.

I didn’t have to read far into the article before I knew that Caroline had sent me in the direction of another great educator (thanks Caroline).

In the introduction Claxton says,

“The well-rehearsed economic argument says that knowledge is changing so fast that we cannot give young people what they will need to know, because we do not know what it will be. Instead we should be helping them to develop supple and nimble minds, so that they will be able to learn whatever they need to. If we can achieve that, we will have a world-class workforce comprising people who are innovative and resourceful. The personal argument reaches the same conclusion.”

I have expressed similar views previously on this blog, including here, here and here.

A little further into the article Claxton introduces a new (to me) term: illearnerate. He described students not thinking of themselves as effective real-life learners. He says,

“They think that school has not only failed to give them what they need, it has actually compounded the problem.”

The term is new, but the thinking is not!

He goes on to say that,

“More fundamental even than the concern with literacy and numeracy is the need to protect and develop young people’s learnacy.”

What great terms, illearnerate and learnacy, I have added to my vocabulary today!

The steps I am taking are definitely enhancing my learning. I think I am learnerate.

However, I digress. I was looking for the attribution to Piaget and, a little further into the article, there it was:

Claxton - Piaget

I looked further online for confirmation of the quote and found this on goodreads:

Good Reads - Piaget

I think there is a subtle difference in the interpretation given by Claxton and would say that intelligence is not so much defined by, but incorporatesknowing what to do when you don’t know what to do”.

A few weeks ago I used images in my post Bring a plate that prompted Geoff Le Pard to ask,

“How do you do the images? Adding the captions?”

I said that I used PowerPoint and would post some instructions if he thought it could be useful. He said that it would be, and Anne Goodwin agreed.

For some time I had been wanting to create an instructional video using a capture of what I was doing onscreen. However it hadn’t reached the top of my to-do list. This seemed the perfect opportunity to put it there and do the learning required.

In response to Geoff’s request I made this video demonstrating how to insert pictures and text in PowerPoint, then group and save them as one image.

For my first attempt I was fairly pleased with the result, though I fear the video may be a bit long at 10 minutes. Maybe I should have started with a simpler image – one picture and one text box may have been enough for the demonstration to be effective. I’d be pleased to know what you think.

After I had finished the video it occurred to me that I may not have addressed Geoff’s question at all, that the combination of image and caption that Geoff was referring to may have been the image of the whole PowerPoint slide, like this one:

Rice salad 2

If so, then my first video would be of no use to Geoff.

There is a saying attributed to George Bernard Shaw:

“Those who can do, and those who can’t teach.”

I both agree and disagree with the statement for different reasons. Teaching is an incredibly important profession and not everyone can do it. Looking beyond the profession to simply teaching someone a skill is also something that not everyone can do. Sometimes I think that the one most capable of teaching a skill is the one who struggled to learn it; not the one who was able to do it effortlessly and almost by intuition.

The ability to teach requires knowledge of each step or each component and how they work together. This knowledge helps the teacher understand where a learner is confused or what the learner needs to know.

So just as teachers in classrooms provide resources and strategies to cater for a range of needs and abilities, I have produced a second video demonstrating how to make an image of a PowerPoint slide. This shorter (five minute) video explains how to create images using three different methods: Snagit, Snipping Tool, and printscreen function. I hope I have explained the steps for each clearly.

Important update: Do not do this at home. Do not follow the procedures in this video.

Since viewing this post and videos my daughter Bec has told me of a much easier way to create an image of a PowerPoint slide, or of every slide in a presentation. Maybe you know of it too.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Click on the slide you wish to make an image of, or any slide if you wish to make images of all slides in the presentation
  2. Go to file, save as
  3. Choose Save as type: PNG
  4. Click Save – you will be asked which slides you wish to export: all or just this one
  5. Selecting all saves every slide as a separate image to a new folder with the file name you choose; selecting just this one saves only the slide selected.

How easy is that? Thanks Bec. 🙂 And I don’t mind that I found out after making the video. I wanted to learn how to do that anyway, and now I have learned something else as well. Great steps in learning. I’m learnerate!

The discussion of steps to learning tied in very nicely with the flash fiction prompt set by Charli Mills at the Carrot Ranch this week. Charli challenged writers to In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about steps, stairs or a staircase.

This is my response:

If only

She collapsed, exhausted. Stairs led up and stairs led down; some steep, some wide, some narrow, most dark. Her head spun and vision blurred. Which way now? Which way had she come? Had she been going up and down these stairs forever?  Going around in circles?  They all now looked the same. She didn’t even know if she’d been in this place before.

“I’m trapped,” she thought. “Stuck here forever.”

She closed her eyes, surrendering to despair.

Outside birds heralded the rising sun. She was lost, oblivious of its promise.

If only she had recognised the door.

 

Thank you

 

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts about any aspect of this post, including the videos and flash fiction.