Wednesday, October 28, 2009

All about PowerPoint

I found these articles are really helpful. Since we use PowerPoint pretty often for assignments and other activities, it is important to know what we need when making a presentation using PowerPoint and what to avoid. I summarized a list of five guidelines I think are the most important, as well as the what is annoying when people do not follow them.

1, have limit text on your PowerPoint.
Since you are the one who is presenting, the audience will pay more attention to you then your powerpoint. So if you have too many words on your slide, then people will not know if they should take time to read them all. Also, your font should be big and clear, and the smallest size you should ever use is 28. In the article "Really bad powerpoint", it says no more than 6 words on a slide. I think that is a bit too strict and the information would not be complete sometimes. Therefore, my suggestion would be try to include all the key words only, and make it simple and easy to read.

2. Do not read from your slides.
People tend to read from their slides when they cannot remember what to say, and it is really annoying. The audience can read, so they do not need you to read for them. It is also one of the disadvantages of having too much text. You should have interaction and eye contact with your audience in order to let them be engaged with your presentation and be interested in your topic, as well as sending the information effectively.

3. Use nice color.
I have seen some people use weird colors in their powerpoint, which is very distracting and hurting your eyes. Also, the color of font should have strong contraction with the background in order for people to see clearly and get the idea more easily.

4. Include suitable graphs/charts/videos to help you present.
Sometimes people can get bored if there is only text in your powerpoint. Nice charts for data and graphs of your topic can effectively increase people's interest and help to visualize. Video is good as well but be careful with the lengths and relevance with your topic. Get it ready to go, which means to load it before hand and do not make everyone wait for you.

5. No distracting photos/backgrounds
The point of presenting your powerpoint is to help you communicate better with the audience but not to entertain or distract them. Unsuitable photos can destroy a good presentation since people will not pay full attention to you by looking or discussing about the pictures in your slides. Same thing for the background. Do not use fancy pictures as background unless it is closely related to your topic or you need it for visual effect.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

visit to CLT

I remember passing by CLT during new student orientation, but I did not really pay any attention to it and never thought there are that many things can be useful for us.

There are not usually too many people there so it is a quiet place to study and use computers. I noticed there are many different areas and rooms for different purposes. For example, the audio and video area can be used for making projects such as short video clips and editing. There are all sorts of equipments available besides computers, such as tape and DVD players. The studio area is for publishing and pictures editing. There are plenty scanners (which I have been looking for since school started), and there are many useful programs on the computers that students can use for doing their projects involving photographs.

The CLT can be used for our class since we are doing Photoshop and we can go there when we have questions about it or just go there and work if you do not have photoshop on your computer.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What I learned about Excel

I have learned about using Excel before, but I can never remember to use it for classes when I am dealing with numbers, tables and graphs. Now my knowledge of Excel becomes more solid and I know it well enough to handle many things and I think I will use it more often.

I learned a great deal that I did not know before. For example, I learned how to use the functions and got to know that there are so many more we can use such as "if", "min", "max", and "StDev". I wish I knew these before and it could help me so much for my calculus class. I also learned conditional formatting which could show a specific number differently in many ways according to the criteria you gave. I got to know how to choose a theme and layout for your spreadsheet and as well as different templates you can use and create your own. In addition, there are many useful tools I learned to use including sort& filter, format cells, create graphs, view borders, color cells, and the list goes on.

It is a useful application for many academic fields and there will be tons of opportunities that I can use Excel in the future. I can use it for math class for calculations, and for science, economics, and communication class I can use it for creating graphs for a presentation or research paper. Businesses can use it to keep track of their employee's payment and profits they made. Furthermore, people can also use it personally, such as monthly budget, tuition fee plan, spends and incomes, etc.

I think Excel is a very useful and helpful program, and I will take advantage of it in the future.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Searching the Internet

I learned a lot from Chris Nolan’s presentation about how to make high quality search on internet which we will need to use almost everyday.
First of all, I got to know what “I’m feeling lucky” on google is for, although I have been using google for years, I have never known what is that button for. It is nice to know the function is that it takes you to a webpage which they think is what you are looking for and you can find a lot of information there.
I used to be wondering about how google sort the order of its results, since most of us would only look at the first two to three pages even though there are more than millions of results. I learned that Google sorts results by the popularity of the sites, of how many clicks are there, but not by how much they pay.
You can tell the origin of the websites by looking at the URL of it and determine whether it is trustable.
There are many things google search can do besides search for websites. It also contains definitions, maps, images, news, formulas, etc.
Something that surprised me is that google has a function called google scholar, which is a tool for searching for scholarly journals. I have never known that we can actually find scholarly or peer-viewed journals on google, so I only go to academic research complete to find those articles. Now I know that google can take us there by filtering its results and makes it much more convenient for us.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Picture that lies

This is the picture I chose. It looks appealing to me at the first sight. Because it gives a very strong comparison of the photo before/after it has been manipulated and immediately gives us a different feeling toward the picture.
The photo at the left side is an original mug shot of O.J.Simpson that has been published on the cover of Newsweek, but the picture at the right side is the same mug shot appeared on the June 1994 cover of Time magazine after Simpson's arrest on murder chargers. This picture was manipulated by making it much more darker and appears on a shadowed background. It stimulates a negative feeling toward Simpson since he has committed a murder and the magazine imposes that on his picture in order to show his current image and status.
I do not think the manipulation is that harmful even though Time magazine was subsequently accused of manipulating the photograph. As Simpson has been convicted of murder which already destroyed his reputation, so it does not really matter how bad his photo looks on the magazine.