Top 100 learning tools for 2014 – my top 10

Jane Hart is gathering votes for the Top 100 learning tools for 2014. Every year, this is a very interesting way of getting to know new learning tools and explore their possibilities.
This is my top 10, in random order:
  • Twitter: the best way to generate your own “information streams” about various subjects.
  • Tweetdeck: invaluable for organizing my twitter stream. I like the fact that it is cross-platform.
  • Microsoft OneNote: the best note-taking application on the Windows platform. Unbeatable in combination with SharePoint and a tablet pc with a digitizer pen. Now finally available for OS X!
  • Instapaper: with the “read later” button in your browser toolbar, you can save interesting articles for later, and read them e.g. in the iPad app.
  • WordPress: excellent blogging platform. Recent releases have been focussing on the usability for the writer, and it is setting the standards for usability. Administration is getting easier with e.g. the auto-update feature.
  • Fever: after the “death” of Google Reader, and the competition between various RSS platforms, I decided to choose a self-hosted solution. Fever is exceptionally easy to install and very stable.
  • ReadKit: excellent RSS reader for Mac, with support for Fever.
  • WebEx: a very reliable, easy to use and complete web conferencing tool.
  • Yammer: the enterprise social network in our company keeps us up to date of what is happening in the various locations and business units.
  • Office 365: the “swiss army knife” of productivity tools: enterprise-grade e-mail and calendar, SharePoint sites for collaborating or storing knowledge, and OneDrive that has 1TB of storage and that is slowly becoming a serious competitor of tools like Google Drive and DropBox.

You can still post your own top 10 and contribute to the list until September 19.

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Screen rotation on the HP Elitebook 2740p

The HP Elitebook is one of the best devices I ever used, but it has some serious issues with the screen rotation of the tablet. If you turn the screen around to use the pc as a tablet, you should be able to change the orientation of the screen with the rotate button.

In some cases, the screen rotates automatically, sometimes it does not, and the rotate button does not always work as expected.

This is what solved the issue for me:

  • install the latest Intel HD video driver from the HP support site
  • install or reinstall the HP Quick Launch button drivers from the same site
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Tax-on-web and Firefox 4

If you are trying to use the Belgian Tax-on-web application with Firefox 4, you might get an error message ssl_error_renegotiation_not_allowed when you try to log in with your Belgian eID.

This seems to be caused by a change in Firefox 4 regarding SSL authentication (more info on: https://wiki.mozilla.org/Security:Renegotiation).

It can be fixed by changing a preference in Firefox. Follow these steps:

  • Open Firefox
  • In the address bar, type about:config and press Enter
  • Confirm the security warning
  • Scroll down until you see security.ssl.allow_unrestricted_renego_everywhere__temporarily_available_pref
  • Double-click this line to set the preference to TRUE

Watch a brief demonstration of this procedure.

This should solve your issue. Changing this preference is a security risk, so it is a good idea to repeat the procedure and set the preference to FALSE once you are done with Taxonweb. Or you can add the URL of the sites to the preference security.ssl.renego_unrestricted_hosts to set this option for a specific site.

 

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Keyboard shortcuts for Tabs in IE

This morning, I was looking for the keyboard shortcut that allows you to switch between different tabs in Internet Explorer. Like ALT+TAB allows you to switch between open windows, CTRL+TAB allows you to switch between open tabs. But there are even more interesting shortcuts I did not know about, like ALT+ENTER. Little things that can save you quite some time. See the list below, taken from the IE Help:

To Press
Open links in a new tab in the background Ctrl while clicking the link
Open links in a new tab in the foreground Ctrl+Shift while clicking the link
Open a new tab in the foreground Ctrl+T or double-click an empty space on the tab row
Open a copy of the current tab in a new tab Ctrl+K
Switch between tabs Ctrl+Tab to move forward or Ctrl+Shift+Tab to move backward
Close the current tab (or the current window when there are no open tabs) Ctrl+W or Alt+F4
Open a new tab in the foreground from the Address bar Alt+Enter
Switch to a specific tab number Ctrl+n (where n is a number between 1 and 8 )
Switch to the last tab Ctrl+9
Close all tabs except for the one you’re viewing Ctrl+Alt+F4
Open Quick Tabs (thumbnail view) Ctrl+Q
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Teaching in the future with Microsoft Interactive Classroom

Sometimes you discover a great learning tool, hidden somewhere on the web. The Microsoft Interactive Classroom is such a tool, and it gives us a taste of what classroom training might be in the (near) future. If you have ever wondered if they was way you could avoid printing tons of paper manuals, if you are tired of distributing PowerPoint handouts that nobody ever uses, this is for you.

Basically, it is an add-on to PowerPoint and OneNote (2007 or 2010). As a teacher, you use PowerPoint to prepare your slides as usual, and you can use the Microsoft Interactive Classroom add-on to add question slides in your presentation. You get an extra tab in the ribbon for that:

Once you start giving your session, you click the Start Session button. This starts a broadcast of your presentation on the network. Your screen will look like this:

With the ribbon, you can annotate your slides (works great if you have a tablet!) but also start polls, display the results of the poll to your students…

But the best feature is yet to come. Your students connect to your broadcasted session with… OneNote! They automatically get a copy of the slides as a separate note page, they can take their own notes on the slides, they see the annotations of the instructor in their OneNote… and after the session they go home with their own annotated lesson material. Of course, they need to be connected to the same network (wired or wireless).

We tried it during an interactive session of one hour with 20 workstations and it was quite impressive. And what is even better: it’s free!

Update: this tool is now officially part of Microsoft OneNote and called OneNote Class Notebookhttps://www.onenote.com/classnotebook

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