Showing posts from February, 2014

Reading at 500 words per minute (wpm)

So for those of you who don't know me well, I'm dyslexic.  It has always been something I've had to battle to overcome.  One trait of this is that I have to internally verbalise each word I'm read.  This results in me reading at a speak I would normally speak - or slower.
So what do you think I thought when reading something that told me I could read at 500 wpm in 5 minutes time?  Yep that's what I thought too! Yet I am here to tell you I've just been reading at500wpm with ease and wishing the demo version of the software would allow me to go faster.
So how?
Spritz is a new method of reading at high speed.  Simply put it displays one or part of a word at a time removing the need for your eyes to move around the screen.  They also give you a focal point keep your eyes fixed and focused allowing you to relax and just absorb the information.
You start out at 250 wpm and work you way up finding an ideal speed for you.  Well within 5 minutes…

Blackboard Tests - Item Analysis

For those of us who used WebCT we were left feeling disappointed with the stats that you could generate in Blackboard after the move.  It seemed that WebCT had a great set of tools to allow you to analyse your test data, where as Blackboard v9 didn't. Since service pack 10 or 11 this has been corrected.  We now have Item Analysis.
Here is my very quick video showing you how to access this great information: Blackboard also have support information available at:

Turnitin UK User Group - Aston University 12th Feb 2014

The following are my notes and thoughts from the Turnitin UK User Group on 12th February 2014.  Please feel free to add comments if I missed anything or it's not clear.
11:00 Welcome Chris Caren, CEOOpened session stating he was here to listen to what we have to say.Stated more developers are now based in the UK as traditionally all developers were based in the USA.Chris apologised for outages in last few months. "clearly let you down" "sincere apologies" "error on our part"Chris also apologised for 3rd year of offline issues in the UK.The cause of the issue this time was human NOT technology.Stated they have a target of 99.9% uptime [I do not know why they do not strive for 100% uptime?]Chris tried to justify/quantify issues by listing services, free and paid, where large outages have happened. [But for me the biggest difference is those listed, e.g. google, microsoft and blackboard, communicated their issues as they happened]UK and rest o…

Digital Signage / Information / Waypoint Screen

As the cost of LED screens comes down a lot more people are installing them in reception areas etc. as replacements for noticeboards.  They look smarter and allow for more accurate and engaging information to be displayed.
So, you've purchased a simple screen (with no in-built digital signage software - which would have increased the cost) and you've connected it to the old PC left under a desk no one was using.  How do you display information on the screen?  Most people will usually just display a PowerPoint presentation as this is something they know BUT you could do so much more!

In one of the Schools I work with I've been trying out a FREE solution to display their information. This Canadian company have been developing software for digital signage since around 1992.  Rise Vision is a FREE solution that does have some add support but these are only ever displayed to the administrators / editors and never the public.  To be honest, I expected (…