Saturday, January 31, 2009

Best Free APA Cheat Sheet References

Thanks to crowdsourcing my colleagues in my cohort I have put together a list of some good free online APA Crib Sheet References.

APA Style Essentials
APA Reference Style Guide
APA Formatting and Style Guide
APA Style Primer
APA Research Style Crib Sheet

Or you could buy the commercial laminated 6 page reference guide here. (see figure to the right)

Don't forget about going straight to the source at

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Video: Web 2.0 Us/ing Us

Web 2.0 Us/ing Us

The rising trend of Web 2.0 is shifting from a human to computer interaction to human to web interactions. As the new web platform behaves more like desktops and software applications, we should shift our paradigm on how we view technology.

To read the transcript of the video click here

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

HCI Spotlight: Seymour Papert

Seymour Papert's inspiring mission statement on his site states "Empowering youth worldwide to create and collaborate online because all of us are smarter than one of us." During the 1960's Semour Papert worked under Jean Piaget and is considered his most successful protege. He is one of the most well know education and technology pioneers. Some of his greatest contributions are developing logo programming language and lego mindstorms robotics kits.

I distinctively remember during my elementary school years when Papert's Logo Tuturle art software swept into the schools. Here is some info about the Turtle Logo Language and free opensource software you can download or play in your web browser.

Unfortunately in 2006 Papert was hit by a motorcycle while he was crossing a road in Hanoi, Vietnam resulting in severe brain damage. He is now using some of the same learning tools he invented to rehabilitate his brain. For more info see In search of a beautiful mind

For more resources:
Click here for his Wikipedia entry
Click here for a collection of his writings

Friday, January 23, 2009

HCI Spotlight: Marissa Mayer

Human Computer Interaction Spotlight: Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer joined Google in 1999 as the company's first female engineer (19th overall) and led the user interface and webserver teams at that time. She was the first person at Google to work exclusively on the user experience, starting in 2000. She is now the Vice President, Search Products & User Experience.

She gave a SIGCSE '08 Keynote Talk "Innovation, Design, and Simplicity at Google." You can watch the video of her presentation here

My favorite quote: When asked about Google's secret in maintaining such a simple and clear user experience she replied...

"I think Google should be like a Swiss Army knife: clean, simple, the tool you want to take everywhere. When you need a certain tool, you can pull these lovely doodads out of it and get what you want. So on Google, rather than showing you upfront that we can do all these things, we give you tips to encourage you to do things these ways. We get you to put your query in the search field, rather than have all these links up front. That's worked well for us. Like when you see a knife with all 681 functions opened up, you're terrified. That's how other sites are - you're scared to use them. Google has that same level of complexity, but we have a simple and functional interface on it, like the Swiss Army knife closed.

The utmost thing is the user experience, to have the most useful experience. It's important to differentiate between "usefulness" and "usability." At Google, we make a *useful* tool, and then we put a *usable* interface on top of that. One has to precede the other. If you have usability without a useful product, you don't really have much." -From an interview by

What Why & How to Screen Cast/Capture

Screen Casting 101

What is Screen Casting?Screen cast also called screen capture is video recording of your computer screen with commentary.
Watch a What is a Screencast Screencast
See also:
Check out Wikipedia's definition
Check out Google's definition

Why Screencast?

Think about how long it takes to explain something, wouldn't be easier to just show them. Screencasts give you a shoulder to shoulder private tutor experience. In the past few years I have ditched the instruction manuals. Now I search for a how to screencast on Youtube if I want to get oriented or learn a new software application.
*Software/Webware Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials
*Product/Service Demo
*How to's: see Mathcasts (coming soon)
*Concept: see In Plain English Series & Web 2.0 Us/using Us(coming soon)
*Usability Testing: see Remote Beta Testing via Screencasts

How to Screen Cast? (For Free)

Step 1:
Pick the tool

Screentoaster Webware (Free)
*Webapp no download, easy upload to Youtube, can export and save as .mov file so you can edit

CamStudio Freeware-For Windows and Linux
Resources: How To Use Camstudio Tutorial and Review - Excellent how to on youtube

Step 2: Record/edit the video

*Turn your powerpoints into multimedia movies with narration
*Use an animated whiteboard like paint or draw
*Open up a text editor and type to add subtitles
*Open up a webcam drag the window in the region to have video of you accompanying the screencast
*Use google earth/maps to zoom in and give a virtual fieldtrip experience

Step 3: Upload/publish the video on a video host like Youtube

Other Screencasting Resources:
15 Places to Find Great Screencasts: Or just type in "How to..." or "... Screencast" into Youtube
Screencasting Primer Wiki: A collection of good resources
What Is Screencasting: A classic article by Jon Udel who coined the term "screencast"

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Remote Beta Testing via Screencasting

I saw this video and it opened up the possibility of doing interface usability testing for beta software remotely. A user could use screencasting software to record and share their impressions and thinking process as they use software or webware.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Video: History of the Internet

History of the Internet from PICOL on Vimeo.

History of the Internet from PICOL on Vimeo. An animated documentary explaining the invention and evolution of the Internet.

How to Get Started with Google's Blogger

Google worked very hard to make it very easy for anyone to create a free blog in 5 minutes.

Start with the tour walk through by clicking here.

If you want their guide click here

Also check out their video tutorials on the Blogger's youtube channel