Infographics for Careers


I really like infographics.  I keep hearing of people that don’t and yet they keep on appearing.  In my morning reading on Zite, one of the categories that I visit daily is indeed “Infographics”.

I’m amazed at how interesting the creators of them are.

It’s an attractive way to display statistics and potentially big data.  I know that, when teaching Computer Science, problems that were given to students were most motivating when the desired output was graphics oriented.

Today, I ran across two infographics that got me thinking of a use in a Careers classroom – a subject area that’s always a challenge to find engaging and motivating activities.

The first infographic was “Salaries on the Scene at Fashion Week” where the author takes a look at the various salaries in the fashion industry.  Click the link to see the full infographic.

Almost immediately after I enjoyed this infographic, I ran into “What Really Motivates Employees

Taken together, they made for some interesting reading and deeper thought.

Then it occurred to me.  Why wouldn’t activities like this be a genuine research and productive activity in the Careers Classroom?

At the introductory level, you could look at the infographics online and talk about the content.  There’s certainly a great deal of merit to that but I wouldn’t stop there.

One of the things that a good infographic does is cite its resources at the bottom.  Why wouldn’t you take the resource links (find Canadian equivalent ones if possible) and send the students to the links to look at the raw data and have them create their own infographics to summarize and display the results through their lens.  It would be interesting to compare the statistic interpretation through their eyes as opposed to a commercially developed one.

Of course, you’re going to need tools.  You may find right from the get go that students have the skills to dig into Photoshop Elements (licensed by the Ontario Ministry of Education) right away.

For the others, there are wonderful resources on the web.

And away you go!  As indicated above, I love to collect infographics and infographic resources.  They’re all tucked away in my Diigo account.  Help yourself.

As I’m sure you’ll agree, this just screams to be an activity for groups where skills are shared and brainstorming rules.  Pick a career and you’re off to the races.

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OTR Links 01/31/2013


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Still Relevant


Part of my regular Saturday routines involves maintenance to my computers.  On this machine, it’s the one day that I reliably boot into Windows.  That lets me grab any/all of the updates from Microsoft from the past week; run a defragging utility; I update my anti-virus; and I scan the computer.  Thankfully, all goes well and I move on.  Last week, instead of rebooting into Ubuntu, I put it to sleep in Windows 7.  Later on, I awoke the computer and gave a “oh no” as I watched the computer struggle to awake.  Just like a boot into Windows, the ol’ hard drive is going like crazy awaking everything that was either sleeping or hybernating.  It took quite a while and was a reminder why the computer spends most of its time in Ubuntu.  When I wake it from sleeping, it’s almost instant on.

I’m still not at the point where I would move it to Ubuntu fulltime and forget about Windows.  There is software on the Windows side that I paid for, there’s software that I’ve spent half a lifetime learning and mastering, I play around with C# there, and I just like to keep my hand in it when I get asked a question.

But life in Ubuntu has spoiled me.  I’ll confess that I do most everything on the web now so really I just need a good acting web browser.  Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox get workouts regularly.  I’m a fan of both products.

As it happens, I read an article recently “Never been convinced by Linux? Here is a challenge for you.

I shared it with Twitter which is my place to share interesting articles with others and a temporary holding place for me so that I can go back and read the article thoroughly when I have the time.

Later that day, I did in fact re-read the article.  It was one that had me nodding my head in agreement.  I recall when I first tried to work wtih Ubuntu – it was just a curiosity that took up some time in a summer.  However, the more I used it, the more I liked it.  I wished that I had taken the advice from this article sooner.  I think I would have become a regular Ubuntu user much sooner than I did.

I chuckled as I read some of the replies to the post.  Some talked about Vista and Windows XP doing just a fine job for them.  Again, I chuckled.  I wondered – why aren’t they talking Windows 7 or 8?

Then, this dummy confesses, I looked at the date on the article.  It was December 23, 2007.  I guess that Zite had just picked it up because of a recent revision or something.  I was just dumbfounded.

I think that the advice in the article is even more relevant today than it was in 2007.   Actually, it’s probably more relevant.  Ubuntu and Windows have certainly both become better products since then.  If you’re using the web for your work, browsers absolutely have become so much better.

Reading and experiencing the article is time well spent.  Reading the replies (170 pages of them) can take a while but there’s a world of education in the replies.  Of course, as one would expect, there’s your share of Windows-bashing or Linux-bashing but in between some very good reading.

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OTR Links 01/30/2013


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Learn Computer Security in a Week!


That’s the claim from Gust Mees who has devoted a great deal of effort putting together an online course for those desiring to know more about what they can do to keep their computer safe and their online browsing experiences happy.

On his blog, Gust has put together a week’s worth of activities that will take you to the secure side of computing.  Each day has a number of activities pointing you to some of the best of the web in terms of security.  If your computer is not sporting best of breed software, then you need to take a run through his activities.

Gust has selected great Windows and Macintosh software titles as part of is course.  Even if you’re using another product, it’s worth the time to check out the opposition; the more you read and understand about computer security, the better off you’ll be.

Gust is also a curator of related resources.  Check the top of his page for security stories in both English and French.  He’s always tucking away the best of what he reads.

If that’s not enough, check out his Scoopit! resources for collections dealing with security and education.  He curates nice collections there.  In fact, we’ve been known to share each others’ scoops at times!

You can follow Gust on Twitter at @knolinfos

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OTR Links 01/29/2013


Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Hover Zoom


I’m not sure how best to describe Hover Zoom, an extension to Google Chrome, except that I find it indispensible!

It almost transforms your web browsing experience into 3D.  (Well, at least images jump off the page at you!)

The premise is relatively simple.  So often, you hit a web page and the author has done her/his very best to optimize the page so that it appears on your screen quickly.  This optimization involves making thumbnails of the images on the page.

Hover Zoom, I guess, reverse engineers the process!  All that you do after you’ve installed the extension is visit a page and hover your cursor over a thumbnail image.  Hover Zoom then displays the image full sized.

Where I find this most helpful occurs when doing a Google or Bing image search.  The results are returned in thumbnail format so that you get a sense of what they are.  Simply move the cursor over the image and the larger original is displayed!  Sure, you can click on the image but often that opens a new page.  Hover Zoom just overlays the current page with the larger image.

Hover Zoom is definitely part of my browsing suite and I’m sure that I use it every day.  Once installed, it just becomes part of the browsing experience.

Download the Hover Zoom extension for Google Chrome here.

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