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Doing a Masters or Doctorate? Tools you need

Are you planning to take more schooling, like a Master’s degree or a PhD, or are you already enrolled?  If either of these is the case, I highly recommend you invest in ALL of these tools and I will explain why.

  1. Dropbox or Google Drive Both are FREE! – First thing you do not want to do is lose any or all of your documents, readings, discussion posts and replies, or assignments.  In order to do this, you should create an online area where your files can be stored.  This means that you create an account, download a small program and move your files to this folder.  Many people are worried that this means the files will look different or they won’t be able to reach them if the internet is down – Wrong!  The files look and act exactly the same.  They are housed on your computer and BACKED UP on the internet in “the cloud”.  This means that if your computer or flash drive breaks down, which they often do, you do not need to worry because you can download the program on another computer and login.  All your files will download to that device, open, and react exactly like you are used to them doing.  Just remember to write your login and password where you will remember it.  
  2. Mendeley FREE for 2GB of cloud space! (Costs after that, but you won’t likely use it all) – Time to organize your documents and retrieve or search through them easily.
    -Did I mention it was DRAG and DROP?
    -Did I mention it auto-generates your citations and bibliographies with a plug-in in Word?

    WATCH VIDEOS or Get guide here: https://www.mendeley.com/guides

    [Read my more detailed directions about Mendeley at the bottom of this article]

  3. Perrla for APA or MLA ($34.95 USD) – 
    Perrla

    Perrla

    Perrla will generate citations in APA and MLA, but use it to set the proper margins, headers, title pages, spacing, and so much more.  They auto set tables and figures in APA proper formatting.  When you read the APA (and I am sure the MLA, but I haven’t read it) manual you find these details are very tedious and time-consuming to apply.  Perrla guides you through 200+ citation types and explains every detail along the way – if you want to know more about what is happening with your Mendeley citations or how to do those weird, super esoteric ones.  

  4. SPSS (Approx. $90 USD) – You’re going to need to do some data crunching and analysis, even if you think, “No, I will just do a qualitative dissertation or thesis.”  Nonetheless, you will probably end up doing some predictive analytics after you gather all of your interview and case study material.  SPSS is one of the most widely used statistics softwares.  It is relatively cheap, is relatively simple to use (when you know what you are doing – Watch some Youtube videos about the specific types of analysis you plan to do and type “SPSS” in the search), and it is versatile.  
  5. Atlas.ti (Approx $99 USD – with Student ID) – If you are going to delve into qualitative research, this is the cheaper way to go and still has almost all the functionality of Nvivo.  It allows you to analyze and find patterns in documents, recordings, PDFs, quotes, and memos.  From there you can code, organize, develop nodes, and visually represent your data in many unassuming forms.  
  6. Evernote FREE! – Get started with this early! Use it to embed and tag articles, websites, clippings and even import text through Livescribe pen scanning ($69.95+).  Search through every item you have collected to realize information you have accumulated for your comprehensive exams and your dissertations.  It is an excellent and necessary way to stay organized.
  7. Free Natural Reader (PC) or Speech (MAC) Both are FREE! – When you are ready to turn in an assignment or submit a discussion post, you need to review it.  The best way to do this is to hear it out loud.  On a PC, there is no software built-in so the Natural Reader is an awesome download you need to get.  Macs have an advantage in this area because they have this built-in.  Go to the APPLE (in the top left corner), go to SYSTEM PREFERENCES, a dialogue box will appear, go to SPEECH, check “Speak selected text when the key is pressed”, SET KEY (I would choose OPTION + S) – Highlight some text and try out either of these options to hear it read back to you.  You will notice mistakes so much easier.
  8. Harzing’s Publish or Perish FREE! – If you need to find the seminal articles written around a 
    Harzing's Publish or Perish

    Harzing’s Publish or Perish

    subject, this is the software for you.  Search for any subject and voilà, you have found the most cited, the highest ranked, the number of citations of the article per year, and more.  Download this into Windows or a parallel system that enables Windows on a Mac, like Parallels ($79.99 USD).  

  9. Windows and Microsoft Word for Windows – The reason I recommend using the Windows environment for post-graduate work is because many of the products listed above work naturally in this operating system.  I also enjoy that Microsoft Word on PC allows for click editing of words to bold, italicize, underline and change other attributes without moving your cursor all the way to the menu bar across the top.  Plus, if you opt not to buy Perrla, which I highly recommend that you do, Word on a PC has more up-to-date APA and MLA citations.

Bookmark these sites:

  1. Crossref – If you are using APA 6, you need to find DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers).  This website allows you to reverse look up journal articles and sites to find if there is one available.
  2. Thesaurus.com – You are going to need to use ‘the other word’ often.  When writing a paper, Microsoft Word has a bult in thesaurus, but Thesaurus.com offers, furnishes, grants, and presents more and better options.
  3. Smartthinking – I hope your school offers this services free of charge.  They have online tutoring, essay submission and editing, APA editing, math help and so much more.  It is awesome but I just examined the pricing – not so cheap.  It depends upon what you need, so have a look.  Well worth it for major essay editing help.
  4. Turnitin – Again, I hope that your University uses this service.  To make sure that you are not plagiarizing, this site locates all the information that turns up from other sources.  Remember, as a rule, your essays should not have more than 20% of other people’s work.  After submitting an assignment, Turnitin highlights areas and determines where it has come from.  Your profs may use it.  You should too!

If you have other software, hardware, websites, or tricks that you use, please tell me in the comments.  Finally, remember to thank me in your Dedication. Good luck with everything.

Mendeley details:

  1. Create an account
  2. Download the desktop version – install
    • Drag and Drop your downloaded PDF articles into the Mendeley interface
    • IMPORTANT – Double check newly imported article’s details are correct – 80% – 90% reliable – be especially careful that the DOI didn’t get truncated because of a forward slash: /
      • (This will add completely different details for articles with the other DOI number)
      • If you lose the article because of incorrect DOI auto-fill – search “Recently Added”
    • Ensure correct “Type” is chosen (e.g. Journal Article, Thesis, Book)
      • For chapters of a book, select “Book Section”
    • IMPORTANT – “Sync” often (2 GB of free space in cloud – paid for extra space: ability to install Mendeley on multiple computers and keep up-to-date)
    • Create Folders with terms that are useful (e.g. Dissertations, Recommendations, Case studies) – drag and drop articles into folder
    • Add notes where applicable to articles
    • TIME SAVER – Have notes tab open and click through “My library” articles to quickly see notes you have written
    • RECOMMENDATION – Use Stars to delineate articles that are 3 years or newer for easy reference
      • In “My Library” “All Documents”, click “Year” header to sort column
      • Star all documents that are within the 3 year date range – deselect others
    • RECOMMENDATION – Use Green / Grey dots to delineate which articles have been cited in dissertation or paper
    • TIME SAVER – With article open and selected, click “Contents” to jump to areas in articles
    • Search to get an overview of where this query can be found in every article
      • Double click an article to open it in a new tab
  3. Download the Mendeley plug-in for Microsoft Word – install
    • Find Mendeley auto-references under “References” tab
      • Click to insert –> Type name of first author of document
      • If needed, type into reference in paper to edit –> Select “Keep Manual Edit”
    • Insert Bibliography into paper (Note – this auto-updates upon insertion of new reference)
  4. Yay!!
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Does Hands-up Damage Classrooms?

Does Hands-up Damage Classrooms?

Great post!

I just worry here: “There should be no place to hide for kids that are unwilling or presently unable to engage in their learning.”

What if the student is emotionally not ready to participate for reasons unknown to the teacher? For example, I remember watching a movie, years ago in teachers college, where a student was not participating in class, but was still coming to school. What the teacher did not know was that he was going home every day to a mother and sole caregiver who had died and was still in his home.

This is an extreme case.

But I think of myself as the student. On certain days, I do not want to be called on and I am not emotionally ready; Maybe I was dealt bad news, maybe I am extremely tired and not ready to engage, maybe there is some other emotional reason that I have.

In any case, I offer this solution:
An adaptation to popsicle stick – with a check-in method where students walk into class and and if they cannot participate they can take their popsicle stick out and put it in the “stop” or “please don’t call upon” holder.

If the educator notices a trend in the move of the popsicle stick, they can have a conversation with the student about why or refer them to a counsellor. It could be a win/win for educator and learner.

Education Rickshaw

I recently watched BBC’s Classroom Experiment with Dylan William (YouTube video above). While the program is interesting on so many levels, I was especially drawn to William’s first intervention that effectively bans hand-raising from the classrooms he works with, and replaces the practice with popsicle sticks. You can also read more about it in, “Where Hands-Up In Class is Banned”.

While watching the segment on hands-up (from about 5:20 – 16:16), I jotted down notes about my beliefs on student engagement and participation. I think they’re pretty standard:

  • Every child deserves a level playing field that is not dominated by those that demand the teacher’s attention.
    • Students that monopolize the conversation need to give way for participation from other students.
  • Teachers need to hear from students that do not participate.
    • There should be no place to hide for kids that are unwilling or presently unable to engage…

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PODCAST: #RunYourLife

13495163_10157116396435445_2761635682743991100_nThis is my first-ever Podcast experience. Andy Vasily, an educational consultant, co-author with me, former colleague, and friend of mine involved me in this. At first, I was leery, nervous even, but Andy made me feel at ease with his questioning and banter.

The range of conversation covers ideas about: perspective and cognitive dissonance; rethinking SAMR; differentiation and personalisation; reframing educational experiences; blended learning; findings from John Hattie, Richard E. Clark, Seth Godin, and others; and even God.

Find out for yourself why I might even Podcast again, if asked in the far-off future:
http://21clradio.com/?powerpress_embed=2629-podcast&powerpress_player=mediaelement-audio

 

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Design and Presentation Checklist

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 12.30.50 PMI have seen too many mishaps and boring presentations.  Because of this, I decided to make a checklist that can be freely shared to help those who might be getting ready for their presentation.  Find it below as a PDF and .Doc:

Presentation notes and checklist.doc

Presentation notes and checklist.pdf

 

 
 

Do jobs run in families?

Do jobs run in families? Are twins more likely than siblings to choose the same profession? We tackle these questions with interactive visualizations.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: research.facebook.com

Share your insight

See on Scoop.iteducation | tech | design

 
 

The Best Youtube Channels You Can Work Out to Right Now

It’s cold. The gym is crowded. Might as well stay home and watch videos…workout videos. Here are some of our favorite ways to get fit with YouTube.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: vitals.lifehacker.com

I have said before, but I am proving it now – I love lists of useful things – I love working out – and I love technology.  Here is a combination of all of this.

See on Scoop.iteducation | tech | design

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2016 in Technology

 

John Hattie’s apples and oranges

First, I love stats and especially ones that can shape my theory to guide my practice.  Hattie, some could argue is one of the gurus of educational stats because he has been looking at such vast amounts of data through his meta-analysis.  The article I cited at the bottom explained a main argument against Hattie’s grouping and rankings, which can be found here: http://visible-learning.org/hattie-ranking-influences-effect-sizes-learning-achievement/

It would be interesting for a researcher to delineate these two types of studies that could be derived from Hattie’s findings:

APPLES: “The truth is that Hattie sometimes uses ‘effect size’ to mean ‘as compared to a control group’” (EC, 2012)
One group is a control – the other is the treatment

ORANGES: “and other times uses it to mean ‘as compared to the same students before the study started.'” (EC, 2012)
There is no control, but an effect size can still be determined.

It would be further applicable if the studies were broken down by age, skill level, or grouping.
For example, primary school children, middle school, and high school.

Reference:
EC, 2012 – http://literacyinleafstrewn.blogspot.ca/2012/12/can-we-trust-educational-research_20.html

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2015 in Technology

 

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What is leetspeak?

Computer dictionary definition for what leetspeak means including related links, information, and terms.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.computerhope.com

This is one of the most appropriate resources to demonstrate LEET SPEAK.  It has a LEET generator, that also creates may other outputs: Upside Down, Pig Latin, Gibberish, Binary, ASCII,  morse code, stats, and more.

See on Scoop.iteducation | tech | design

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2015 in Technology

 
 
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