So how does it work you say? I updated my Livescribe Desktop to version 1.4 and installed the4 trial version of MyScript for Livescribe 1.0 without a hitch. Once installed there now appeared a new icon on my Livescribe Desktop toolbar. I opened a page of some notes I had just recently taken at a conference and clicked on the MyScript icon which automatically launched the MyScript for Livescribe 1.0 application. Once launched you see a two page view of your handwritten notes on the left hand side of the page and by simply clicking on the conversion icon you text is recognized and appears on the right hand side of the page. You can go into the MyScript Preferences and select from three different handwriting modes, Hand Print, Capital Letters, and Natural Handwriting to help the recognition engine along. One more click on the Word icon, and your text transfers to a Word document-pretty neat! Once in Word the text is fully editable and ready to be reformatted. I should note that handwriting recognition has come a long way but it is not perfect. From my perusal of the Word document I would have to say that I was really impressed with the conversion process- with a little spell checking and some formatting my notes are now editable in Word. Having handwriting recognition is a significant feature and one that will allow students and teachers to use this technology to move their notes into Word with the ability to modify and make whatever accommodations that are needed. This is wonderful assistive technology tool and one that keeps getting better and better. This is a great gift for the holiday season.
On the heals of the release of MindManager 8 I thought it might be interesting to see what new features are most valuable to you and how you are using MindManager to accomplish your work and personal goals. I have also included some questions about your interest in training and what add-ins you are currently using with MindManager. So if you can take the time to complete it I will summarize the data and report back here with the results. Click here to go to the poll. Thanks- Brian
One of the limitation of the first release of Export as Mindjet Player is that you can not embed your attachments. After thinking about this for a little while, I realized that while you can't attach documents that are stored on your computer, however, what about your documents that are stored on Google Docs or Acrobat.com? Instead of attaching documents to my MindManager maps I could simply hyperlink them to my documents. Yes- this does limit the number of attachments but it gets the job done. It was certainly worth trying and in fact my solution does work. Here is how to do it. In Google Docs open up your document that you want to be able to share and click the Share tab and select Publish as Web page. This will automatically create a unique URL that you can share with other to access your Google Docs. Now just create a link in Mindjet MindManager with that unique URL and you are ready to go. Remember you can also upload your Microsoft Word documents and bring them into Google Docs and be able to accomplish the same thing.
I have been using Acrobat.com for a lot of the consulting work that I am doing and it is just as easy to link your documents (Word, Excel, PDF's, etc) in your Acrobat.com account to your MindManager 8 maps and then Export as Mindjet Player and retain the attachments. In fact you will find the process a lot easier. Once you go to the MyFiles directory- simply select the file you want to link and make sure that you have selected Open Access which will let you share your files with others. Now simply click on the Copy URL button. Once you are back in MindManager 8 select the topic you want to link it to and bring up the Add Hyperlink and paste the link in. Now when you Export as Mindjet Player you will be able to access your documents from anywhere when you are connected to the internet.
While I hope that at some point in time we will be able to attach documents that can be embedded into the Mindjet Player for now this is a workaround that should serve us well for maps that we would like to share with others. Let me know what you think of this strategy. You can preview the file that I created by clicking here.
Everything is right there in front of you as you see in the screenshot. You can now easily adjust your audio, select your screen size, as well as your webcam from the Record pane.
When you are ready to record just click in the big Record button and you are ready to record high quality video and audio form your computer. You will be happy to learn that you can now use Camtasia Studio to record in High Definition (HD- H.264) should you need to. After recording your video you can quickly preview your video in the newly designed Preview screen. The interface is very clean and neat and it is very clear how to save, edit, delete or produce your video. By clicking on the edit button you are taken to the very familiar Camtasia Studio screen to edit and produce your work. While not much has changed with regard to the interface there is lots of changes under the hood which will benefit all of us who work with this wonderful tool. This is the first version of Camtasia Studio that lets you decouple the video and audio which will make it easier to make edits and re-record the audio for retakes. TechSmith has now added a number of Hotkeys which will allow us to quickly add captions, callouts, zoom, and markers to the timeline. Just today I created a video and wanted to add a zoom in- and by simply pressing the letter z, I was able to bring up the Pan and Zoom dialog box and insert the zoom. This is certainly going to reduce the amount of time it takes to create and produce my videos. Like I said before, a lot of work has gone on under the hood which we will greatly benefit from. When it comes time to produce our videos TechSmith has really listened to our call and with the Production Wizard we can now output our videos to some of the most popular formats without the need to worry about the settings. We can now produce videos in High Definition (HD), SWF, as well as produce it for YouTube, Screencast and for the iPhone by going through the Production Wizard. In every case you will get perfect video and audio for that platform which is extremely important from my perspective- no need to guess. If you have a Screencast account you will appreciate just how easy it is to store and post your videos to your blog or web. The integration is seamless and within minutes you can have your video on your web or blog.
TechSmith has done a great job of listening to its users and making it even easier to produce high quality screencasts. It is the subtle changes and the work under the hood that will change your workflow and make you more productive using Camtasia Studio 6. The videos that I have recently recorded with Camtasia Studio 6 are very sharp with excellent audio fidelity. If you are on the fence about the upgrade to Camtasia Studio 6 take the plunge and see all of the benefits that you will derive with this very substantial upgrade. You can also download a 30 day trial of Camtasia Studio 6 form the TechSmith web site.
You may have noticed that I have placed a new widget on my blog recently to have you sign for free premium assets and information. This will allow me to target my readership and provide you with timely information which may include video's, newsletter, and or articles. For those of you that sign up now I will email you a link to Portfolio so that you can see just how easy it is to package your maps and attachments. So if you have a moment, please subscribe for the free services at the top of the blog by entering your name and email address- thanks Brian
One of the most important features from my perspective that is new to MindManager 8 is the ability to Export to Mindjet Player in a PDF or Flash File (SWF) format. Now I'm able to share my MindManager maps with just about anyone who has access to Flash or Adobe Acrobat Reader- which are found on nearly 98% of all computers. In this post I am going to embed a MindManager 8 maps which has been exported as a SWF file. You will see below the results of me embedding the map. You have complete control over opening and closing the topics and you can click on the links to take you out to the web sites. This is going to be a tremendous feature for me when teaching my graduate course. I will now be able to post my visual maps as a Mindjet Player PDF file and post it to BlackBoard for all my students to access. What is really great is that the links and Notes are preserved. This alone is worth the price of an upgrade.
One of the key design decisions that was made at Mindjet is clear once you start using MindManager 8; that is that you can work within MindManager 8 without having to leave the environment to view URL’s or for that matter viewing or editing Microsoft Office documents. That’s right now when you click on a URL it opens a Browser window right within MindManager 8- pretty cool. I’m sure you will agree-but it gets even better in that now when you click on a Microsoft Office document (Word, Excel, Project, PowerPoint) it opens in a window within MindManager 8 and can be viewed and edited. No need to have Word or Excel open- just edit and view within MindManager 8. For those of you have been using MindManager for awhile- I had always enjoyed using the Google search API which allowed me to do live searches within MindManager. Somehow along the way of new versions the API no longer worked- but now you can do live Google and Yahoo! searches can be directly inside a map, with mapped and editable search results that can be refreshed with one click, or automatically updated each time you open your map. MindManager 8 can also search Amazon, Facebook, MySpace, Microsoft Live Search, eBay, and StrikeIron. I’m confident that with this new ability that other 3rd party developers will build new search parts that we can use with MindManager 8. MindManager has become an extremely important tool for project planning and in the latest version Mindjet has answered our call and really beefed up its task management capabilities. MindManager 8 now includes automated task management that provides instant summations of task start date, end dates, level of completion, and exception management. It is now easier than ever to set dependencies and watch how MindManager 8 is able to instantly calculate the dates when tasks are due- if a task falls behind schedule MindManager 8 will color code the task to visually show you where you need to focus. And last but not least, MindManager 8 can now incorporate real time information from spreadsheets and databases with the new Database Linker feature. MindManager 8 can now access data from MS Excel, Oracle, IBM DB2, MS SQL Server, MS Access, and MySQL. I’m sure you will agree that this is a very substantial upgrade and one that I’m really very excited about. To find out more information about MindManager 8 please click on the link.
- Task Management
Many more features for easier task management in MindMeister, including start date and duration, email notifications, iCalendar feeds, WunderTasks and a task overview from all maps.
- Search and filter, better tags
The new map search - you'll find it in your map list view - makes managing many maps a lot easier. You can search for titles and contents, and even use Find in maps (CTRL-F). Also, managing tags was enhanced with a new overflow dropdown.
- Resize ideas and wrap
Overlong idea labels always created problems. In the new release you can now resize them via drag and drop, and your maps will also keep the wrappings when exported e.g. to PDF or as image.
- History View
We completely revamped the version history to make viewing and replaying the collaborative changes of a mind map a useful and fun experience. Clicking on the coloured bullets starts "replay" mode. See also our tutorial video.
You can now turn any public map into a WikiMap. This will make it editable for everybody (well, everybody who has a MindMeister account, to avoid spamming). Quite useful to gather input from many people at once!
- Import text files
In addition to Freemind and MindManagerTM formats, you can now also import plain text files into MindMeister.
- Emailing attachments
Geisesblitz Email now supports attachments which will be inserted as attachments to your ideas into MindMeister.
- Many more key shortcuts
Our users say they love them, so we've added quite a few more for common operations. See a complete list.
- Other enhancements
New user interface, revamped "My Account" section, Offline mode for Safari, recommendations in map view, new export dialog and options, better printing (via PDF), clone public maps, larger note previews and much more.
For the first part of the class, I connected with my friend Laura at Inspiration, Inc. and my class had a chance to meet her via videoconferencing. We had a very good connection and the class marveled in just how easy it was to accomplish the connection. After Laura introduced herself, we connected via Glance so that we could share her screen. Laura and I have done this before with some other classes but it was the first time we were using Glance to share her screen. Using the latest version of Glance and my account I was able to Start a session and view Laura's screen. As I have noted one of the things that I like most about Glance is just how easy it is to use. Today was a perfect example- within seconds of starting the session, Laura's screen was up and my class was viewing her computer. Laura did a great job of demonstrating InspireData which continues to impress me. Just this past week I modeled for a fifth grade teacher how to set up a mock election by using the eSurvey feature within InspireData. Glance was really fast and the screen redraws were nearly instantaneous. It was a great session and Glance worked flawlessly. My students were very excited to participate in the webinar and began to see just how these tools could be used together to deliver professional development and instruction.
After the short webinar- I had a chance to show them OoVoo and connected with Philip Robertson from OoVoo. We had a great conversation and the students remarked on the clarity of the image and the quality of the audio. We also had a chance to record the session which is another benefit of OoVoo and I had a chance to replay it for them. The session was a big hit and once again Philip came through and provided some great information and his great sense of humor. In in all it was a great day of teaching!
I like the post processing features and I believe that many students will find this a more natural way for them to check their work. At the present time, Ginger Spell does not support text to speech but this something that the developer will be adding when it is officially released. I found the user interface very intuitive and rather straightforward. Making changes to the text was very easy and Ginger Spell in 90% of the cases made the right suggestion without me having to make any changes. Give it a try by downloading the beta now of Ginger Spell.
Just today I mailed out an issue of Inclusion Times that was past due and worked on the Fall issue. For the past 4 years I have written and published Inclusion Times, which is geared towards educators who are working with students with disabilities. Over the past two year, I have expanded the coverage to include new and innovative technologies that are important for educators to know about. Because it is a traditional newsletter that goes out to individual educators and libraries I have printed, collated, and mailed out this newsletters via the post office. This process is more time consuming than you can imagine and because it is a niche newsletter I decided this year that I would produce Inclusion Times in an electronic version (PDF file) that my subscribers could download. This will not only save me time, energy but a will allow me to get the newsletter out that much quicker. To get a free sample of Inclusion Times click here or you can view the embedded PDF right within the blog post. If you like what you see let me know and I can get you set up with a subscription. I will let you know how this process works- in any case this is the way of the future!