eSmart week

eSmart schools

 

eSmart Digital Licence

 

Is your school or library in on the eSmart programme? The Alannah and Madeleine Foundation have done plenty of high calibre research and work to create the eSmart site and the concepts which surround it. Many libraries and school have signed up and talk volubly and enthusiastically about the positive impact of the eSmart concept. It revolves around us all having  a common approach, common language, common understanding about what being online offers us and what we can offer the online word. It fosters a positive , responsible pathway for everyone.

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Up your image game

Peter MacKinnon shows you five ways of instantly improving the photos you take. We can all do it and he explains the rationale well. We live in a visual world. Internet delivery relies on graphic design and visual literacy as much as it relies on text. Label those images well if you are uploading them so that the spiders crawling over the net to get information will know what the image is. As I have explained before , spiders are text based so all images need to be properly named. We all have plenty of input as to how to work on our written expression. We need to match that now with input on how to improve our visual expression. In 2017 it is just as important.

WordPress rainbow bar

WordPress rainbow bar
I came on to WordPress this morning to find a rainbow bar on all of my blogs. As far as I know it is a plug in you can get for WordPress.org blogs. I am on WordPress.com. It was a nice surprise and the beauty of the internet is you can go searching and finding. Rainbows have long held a mythical and cultural significance for human beings. It didn’t tell me why I had rainbow bars on my WordPress blogs , though. So not sure if I am celebrating cultural significance, marriage equality, unicorns, science or just rainbows. The aboriginal people in Australia have the Rainbow Serpent story in their Dreaming and I am sharing this video. It has been used in classrooms to teach the value of animation, aboriginal art and story telling.

Puzzle Craft 2

Puzzle Craft 2I am nearly up to level 100 on this game . It is fun, challenging and really makes me think. You cannot solve things in 5 minutes and you really have to work on strategy across the 5 villages at this level. I have to get a blackberry to be able to progress to the new and last village. You cannot bash and smash your way through this game. You cannot buy your way out and you cannot take the easy road. You have to work with your brain to sort though the possibilities and work out a way of achieving what you are focused on at that point. I work all the villages at different times because some bring resources I need, some rewards, some build up the points levels and then the main village is where I am still trying to complete all the buildings to move on. That and the blackberry. It is a great game for people who like lots of challenges and who like to puzzle! The swamp is awful. No matter how much you install swamp cleaners it never improves. That icky stuff still gets you and your resources. It makes you realise you can be totally inattentive at times . While you are looking at one thing , you don’t notice the swamp is claiming another. Ditto the moles in the mine. They are horrible. My solution now , since I have more money, is just to blow them up because they can really wreck your board when you are trying to get resources in the mine. I don’t think I’ll ever collect all the moose because of the swamp, but then again, there are other things I thought I’d never do in this game and I end up thinking my way through. The game plays with you. It will reward you generously for trying your hardest and achieving something good and it will force you to reshape your approach so that you are more successful in your strategies. I love the water puzzles. At this level they bring some interesting configurations you have to manage but the opportunities are there to apply yourself. The graphics in the game are really good. Much thought has gone into the images, the characterisation and effective visual literacy. That’s the thing. You do have to pay attention. You do have to notice and you do have to read the information about the plants and animals so that you can devise ways and means of progressing. In this game research is important and you have to manipulate the data you have to get good outcomes. I am now regularly getting the  tools from the magic portal so that has been helping a lot. You have to build up those points so that you can. I have also liked seeing the videos of what other games there are on the iPad. It is one way you can get some free rewards but it is also a way of seeing how much the iPad games graphics have improved and the selections of games. This game has just got better and better the more I have played it. I have never felt like I am doing the same ol’ same ol’ and I have never felt like it is too easy or too hard. There is a good balance. There is also an opportunity to work it out for yourself. Some things in the game are just there and are not explained. It is not a nanny game. It makes you stand on your own two feet and think for yourself. Sometimes you just have to work out for yourself how to get something for get rid of something. I like that. There is no easy fix because I have a brain and I can use it. Love that approach in this game.

Google tricks

These aren’t so much Easter Eggs as improved Google functionality. Google tries very hard to bring you fun and information and to be more and more usable in a way we want a search engine to be useful and helpful. Google can get it wrong but it does listen. Google will follow up on what you are trying to do and it has always surprised me that if I keep trying with searches, how, within a short space of time , Google will change its approach and actually bring me the information I need or want. Google often relies on keywords but there are times when that fails because it is a specific use of that keyword and not the common use. Enjoy these Google tips.

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