World Book Club

World Book ClubThe BBC world book club does a lot to support reading, authors,  interest in reading and knowledge of books. It regularly offers podcasts where they discuss particular books and you can email in questions to ask the author if you keep a track of which podcasts are coming up. They also have a bank of video clips where authors discuss their books. You can listen live or use the on demand services. It really is a good site to help keep reading and authorship real and authentic.

Another good site is Goodreads. You can track your reading and write reviews. It is also a site which offers insight into authors and books and encouragement to read. Right now they are holding a vote on the best books for 2017 which you might like to participate in.

Both of these sites offer a strong connection development between authors and readers and that’s how you do it in 2017.

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Free Microsoft Courses

Got his information via Better Cloud email. The Microsoft Virtual Academy has been set up so that you can have access to some good quality information and insight into technology. The courses are free and there are plenty of choices. The home screen gives you a good visual overview of what is available and then you can click to find out more about the sorts of courses you might be interested in doing. Left of the search box in the top bar of the screen is the drop down menu of the courses. That gives you an even better overview. That is something which is good about the site. It offers users different ways of accessing information in a way which might suit them better so there are visual and text based options to click on. That’s UX and UI  done well.

Keep yourself secure

computer safetyImage: thinglink

You need a plan when it comes to online security and you need to check it every so often. Checking settings on sites on a regular basis is important , especially with Facebook which can change settings and then you don’t understand why you are seeing too much information or broadcasting to everyone. Facebook settings can be in the main setting part  top right but also on each post and picture. bleeping computer has a good list of tips to run through to ensure you have a checklist you can follow to ensure you are doing as much as you can to keep yourself safe online. You will be doing most of it. There is a list of free security software on listoffreeware which you can check to see if there is anything you might want. The main thing when downloading software is to ensure you are not getting any extra software which you don’t want. Have a plan and be routine in your security checking.

How to use WhatsApp

 

WhatsApp is a hugely popular messaging app with corporate overtones which Facebook bought for 19 billion dollars in 2014.  Yes, it makes you wonder but that is how much it is worth. It is free to use and then had small in app annual fees which appear to have been cancelled for general use because that model wasn’t working. Facebook Messenger does exactly the same thing but some people are used to What’s App or they just prefer to use it. Once you have downloaded it can be allowed to look through your contacts to show you who else is on What’s App. You can look at the advantages and disadvantages on online-sciences.  You can look at an article where they discuss how and why they dropped the fees so you can contextualise that better if you are not familiar with What’s App.

Text to speech

 

There is some really bad text to speech  out there and the upshot will be that people will abandon whatever it is using  a bad voice synthesiser. You get it on news clips, how to clips, automated phone messages. It is awful. Digital voices are as unique as human voices so I am not sure why they seem to pick the most annoying and horrible ones for public consumption. There are some reasonable voices out there and they are improving all the time. Text to speech does have its uses especially in terms of accessibility , literacy and mastering a new language. The video clip gives you some ideas as to how to manage text to speech effectively and this clip on another text to speech option shows you too how effective it can be. The tip from both clips is to try the different options to get the best one for your purposes.

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