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May 08
Master of Architecture student presents her thesis project.

Master of Architecture student presents her thesis project.

During the architecture program masters thesis presentations, the issue of taking up space to be more powerful came up. Truly, stretching out, putting your shoulders back and chin up, puts you in a more powerful pose, and the act of maintaining a powerful pose actually causes you to behave more powerfully.
For anyone making a major presentation – Masters Thesis, Capstone, PhD dissertation defense, course lecture, – this is useful information.
You want to be the person who is viewed as an expert on your topic. This may have personal relevance and or teaching relevance as something to share with students as they work on their presentations skills.
I am including links to a Ted Talk, Wired Magazine article, and Harvard Researcher bio so that you can continue this exploration.

Ted Talk:
http://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_shapes_who_you_are.html

Wired – Power Postures Can Make You Feel More Powerful:

Cuddy Bio:

Mar 11

Have you ever tried to edit a pdf file, been frustrated by the impossibility of that, and ended up rebuilding the document in word or Indesign? How about saving a video from your phone and then trying to share it? Zamzar, a web-based file conversion tool for converting documents, music, images, and movie files, can help you out. This multi-file type conversion tool has been around for a few years and gets favorable reviews from both Wired and Lifehacker.

 

There is a free version, a basic version for $7, or a pro account for $16.  Zamzar’s free version does limit the size of the document that you can convert to 100 MB, and you then have to click on a link to get to the converted document, but it works!

I tested it by uploading a PDF which I wanted to convert to a word document. After  a few minutes, I received an email with a link to download the converted document. Amazingly, the formatting, including colors, was all there.

PDF document that I started with.

Converted document using Zamzar – a docx. Formatting stays the same.

Terrific!

Feb 27

Let’s talk about Creative Commons.

For those of you looking for images to illustrate points in a paper, or populate a Powerpoint or Prezi or PDF, the internet has a wealth of images.  However, there are copyright restrictions placed on many images, and for a person doing research for scholarly publication this can be very confusing.

http://creativecommons.org/about

Creative Commons has licenses that allow copyright holders to make their work available to others, on conditions of the creator’s choice. So, if you are creating work, you can use one of several Creative Commons licenses, and if you are looking for images, music, blog posts that you can use in your own work, you want to look for items with a Creative Commons license.

 

This page explains the licenses.

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/

An example of a creative commons type license you would find on an image.

 

This page allows you to search various giant databases that have Creative Commons licensed work.

http://search.creativecommons.org

Pay attention to the copyright notice attached to any image or work you find on the internet. Often people are ok with noncommercial use, as long as you attribute the creator. Remember to treat others and their intellectual property as you wish to be treated. Also, any of these licenses may be negotiated if you contact the creator of the work.

Feb 11

Where to plug the powerpoint remote receiver.

 

Are you teaching in a tech classroom? Frustrated by the powerpoint remote not working? To check if the batteries (2 AAA’s) are the problem, pull the little receiver out of the hand held device and press the laser button on top of the remote. If the light comes on, then the batteries are fine. If the light does not come on, the batteries are dead and need to be replaced.

Is the red light laser pointer working but your slides are just not advancing? the batteries are fine, but you may have it plugged into a port that is not working with the receiver.  Try one of the USB ports that is on the front of the computer, or the USB port that is on the back of the keyboard. See the picture above. Do Not plug the remote receiver into the monitor. See the picture above.

Nov 26

So many course lectures are built in Powerpoint these days. To make your life a little easier, I am directing you to an automated image importer that import a folder of images into a Powerpoint presentation. This were shared with me by my colleague at the University of Washington, so I cannot take any credit. Check out the Simulacrum blog for access to the image importer. Click on the link within the blog to get to an older version of the image importer.  Or you can come see me, Cindy, in the VRC to pick up the image importer. Bring a flashdrive with you.

 

Oct 03

Do you have issues with Powerpoint presentations that are too big, pictures that disappear, presentations that take forever to copy to your flashdrive, red “X”‘s instead of images?  Your pictures are too large. Even if you are loading a jpg, it could be many megabytes in size.

Powerpoint has an easy fix for this.

Under File, Choose Reduce File Size. In the next window, choose Best for viewing on screen (150ppi)

Click ok, and Powerpoint will save your entire presentation in a reduced file size, ready to travel, and show.

You can click on these pictures to view them in a larger version.

Best for viewing.

Best for viewing.

Feb 20

The American Institute of Architects at the University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation is hosting a Universal Design Awareness event on Saturday February 25th in the great space.

To quote the poster, ” As the field of creative design adapts to the evolving needs of society, designers seek to accommodate those needs and to provide a comfortable & pleasant standard of living for all people. There exists a population among these people whose mobility is restricted as a result of a physical disability. We must consider the conditions and needs of those who are physically disabled and respond through our actions with design. But action starts with awareness. ”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 14

By Guest Blogger Lucinda Philumalee.

Beauvoir, Beautiful to View

 

When I attended my first University of Maryland Historic Preservation Organization (HiPO) meeting in the fall of 2008, the president conducted an icebreaker in which the group took turns introducing themselves and sharing their favorite historic site.  I had only been out of the South for two months so naturally I declared my love for Beauvoir, Jefferson Davis’s retirement plantation.

Beauvoir originally sat on a parcel of land of approximately 600 acres, which extended from the Gulf of Mexico to Back Bay Biloxi, Mississippi.  Since 1848, the property has decreased to a twelfth of its original size and although the visitor may still see the beach from the front porch, Highway 90 and its cars obstruct the view.  Although the raised Louisiana cottage still stands, even in lieu of Hurricanes Camille in 1969 and Katrina in 2005, a significant portion of Beauvior is unable to be experienced by the present visitor since the cultural landscape has been destroyed.

The elimination of outbuildings, forestry, and the orange grove (so often noted that a nearby town was named for it) decreased historical viewsheds, which in turn diminished the integrity of the visitor experience.  Historic preservation is not solely about the conservation of the built environment, but also about the natural site that surrounds it.  When an architect designs a structure, site analysis is a component of the process; therefore preservationists should take into account the thought behind that process and make all attempts to conserve a site, built and natural.

Jan 10

Happy New Year and welcome back to School.  Over the past few days I have been directed to some interesting websites, and I will share a couple with you here.

The first one is an NPR story that addresses a change from the lecture style of teaching, the so-called “sage on the stage” to the “guide from the side”.  It is thought that engaging the students in more active learning will help them actually retain information. 

The next article deals with digital scholarship, especially when issues of hiring, tenure and promotion come up in academia.

Digital scholarship is recognized as legitimate research, publishing and communication.  For those of you thinking about going into academia, or already in teaching and research, both articles will give you something to think about.

Dec 09

For those of you who missed the ‘How to use Prezi’ sessions, here are some links to information on building a strong Prezi. Start on the Prezi website prezi.com and click on the learn tab. On that page there are video tutorials, as well as three sets of Cheat Sheets based on skill level.  The Cheat Sheets are very helpful.

This link shows you how to access and then move through a finished presentation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3n7v5hdtmYI&NR=1

This link shows a very well put together Prezi, used in a class presentation. Although 10 minutes long, it shows a great way to build a canvas, with strong flow, and good visual presentation. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPh2Nl9AAPE&feature=related