The power of connectivity 2020

Internet minuteThe power of the internet is monumentally impressive. Just look what can be achieved in one minute. Big data and data analytics will be playing a significant role. Why wouldn’t they? The Internet of Things has grown enormously over the last few years along with artificial intelligence. Are we making the most of it? Doesn’t it look like we have an awe inspiring capacity to connect, consume and engage through the ether? Doesn’t it look like there is so much processing power there in terms of social connection, ideas sharing and participation to solve all our world’s problems? Is this vast array of internet use just about income or could it be used for outcome too? Use all that power to conceive  the world differently?

 

Look good on a webcam

 

Yes, some of us need to do better. No shame in that. We have been thrown into working from home, video calls, increased use of socialising over the ether because social distancing and social isolation is saving lives and jobs as we stay safe at home.

There are simple things we can do to improve our visual look on a webcam.

makeuseof  has 13 ideas to help you improve your webcam look. You need a decent camera. You need plenty of ram because it is video and if you are talking and trying to open files and do web searches then you need even more ram. Tablets and phones will often manage video calls better than a laptop or desktop but that is if you are just talking and it can be limiting on a mobile device because you can’t easily do other things. Rehearse. Run your webcam and talk to yourself and open and close files to see if it interferes or slows down your computer.

Caleb Wojcik in the video explains things clearly, quickly and well. There is no nonsense. It is all good information and help. I like his plain background. Think of the backgrounds you have seen in webcams and don’t like. Think of the looks you don’t like. I don’t like people peering down the camera, am over the interminable bookcases and don’t especially like looking up people’s nostrils. Don’t do what you don’t like . Don’t overly worry, either. The more you video chat the better you will be.

 

Google Keep

Google Keep has been around for a while but not everyone knows about it. If you like Google apps and use them a lot it is worth making use of this in the suite of apps available from Google since it means you don’t have to go and find anything else. It can sync across devices and run alongside Gmail and so is quite handy.

It is like Evernote and that is an app many people would be familiar with. Basically , it’s an app for curating information and ideas as you work and interact with your devices. For study and working at home it is a handy way of storing your information. One of its advantages is that it can reproduce text saved from, say, a newspaper clipping. It can save the images too. There are plenty of YouTube clips about Google Keep. I have just selected one to get you started.

You can find out more about it on the Google Keep site.    makeuseof  also has a good comparison between Google Keep and Evernote so you can see the difference if you are used to Evernote.

 

 

Udemy courses

We must be isolating. Nothing like upgrading your brain and skills during ISO. I have completed two courses this week. One paid and one free. Udemy offers a range of courses at a range of prices. I have used it for a long time and have never been disappointed. Even less than perfect courses deliver a new perspectives, a different set of ideas and content worth knowing. I archived one paid course because it wasn’t what I thought and yet, I really liked the instructor and how he was talking me through the content. I am now wondering whether I shall be able to unarchive it if I want to do some more …

The SEO course for Beginners I have done before in 2016. Was it worth another go? Yes. Did Udemy notice I was doing it for a second time ? No. You can do the courses as often as you want.  I really got value out of this course the second time around because I had 4  more years of working with blogs and the changes on the internet since then and it has changed quite a bit. Daragh Walsh does not waste one minute of my time and he is good value in terms of tips, ideas, skills and explanations.

Anders Toxboe offered a paid course, Building Persuasive Products and it was worth doing in the light of how media saturated we have become. he did it as a lecture style and that might not suit everyone. It pulled out the psychology of websites, and online experiences and put it together in a way that gave clarity . It was mostly what I knew but it was really helpful to see it presented in such a comprehensive manner. Some things I did not know and so am now more mindful when I am online. New awareness of how things work.

Both courses had a glitch of doubling up on the subtitles/captions through different sections. I was on my iPad . It might have been a tablet issue. It has never happened before. I was really pleased to see the captions because it assists learners.

I have my next course picked out and then shall have a really good look at what else is on offer. Normally I am too busy to have time to explore the Udemy site in full. Am happy to make good use of this time as we all keep ourselves safe.

Training your brain in lockdown

University of Melbourne has put together some excellent advice for keeping alert and active during lockdown: how to train your brain during lockdown so you cope with the new set of circumstances and continue to thrive. The information is set out clearly.

You do need brain exercises, social contact and a way of staying solutions oriented. As I wrote the other day, technology is helping us significantly to create avenues for ourselves and others so we can keep moving in a positive direction no matter what the challenges.

We have been mastering web conferencing. We have been getting better at visual communication. Our reluctance to video call has been abandoned because it is hard not actually seeing anyone so it’s good to see them on video calls. We are all wearing our at home wear and our longer hair. We are more concerned we can see and talk to someone than we are about that picture in the background. It is making us real. Some people are getting together on web conferencing apps to do amazing things like the French orchestra who made Bolero for us all. Researchers can work together globally. People can use their languages skills to translate information so it can be quickly circulated. We are not perfect but we are rising to the challenges. Apps are being developed which will help us, 3D printers which were idle have been put to good use to make masks and face protection.

Training our brains is vital. We need to get through this and we can do it by sharing our knowledge. Technology lets us do that from home. Who would have thought we’d run the world from the settee? Big shout out to the teachers, students and parents running school from home and for @EduTweetOz and others for letting us know the successes of this . We are all pioneers.

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