Thursday, April 30, 2015

Supporting Autism Research at WVU

As the month of April is Autism Awareness Month, I felt it fitting to post this video that iDesign-visual helped create for Associate Professor James Lewis, Ph.D, and Neuroscience Graduate Student Paula Webster. 

The video is being used for a crowdfunding page ( in order to generate funds for Autism research being conducted by Webster and Dr. Lewis.

This is a good example of how we often get to collaborate with different departments to help support academic excellence here at WVU.  

Friday, April 24, 2015

Need A New Camera?

There are dozens of camera options in each of the four
drop-down menus which you can select to compare.
Photo Credit: Digital Photography Review 

Purchasing a new camera is a tough decision, with so many options and intricacies with each model. Determining what your needs are and now they will be best met can be overwhelming, especially when so much money is thrown in the mix.

There’s a great website, Digital Photography Review, that allows buyers to do a side-by-side comparison of cameras on the market. You can also read reviews, look at sample galleries, but the comparison tool is one of the best out there.

You can select a primary camera, and then select up to four cameras you would like to compare it to. An image appears, where you have a selection box that allows you to select the part of the image you want to preview. Each of the four cameras you select will show you the piece of the image you’ve selected. You can change cameras at any time, change the ISO, and choose between a JPEG and a RAW file to preview.

Another nice feature about this website is that each time you make a change, like messing with the ISO or selecting a new camera to compare, the URL is automatically updated. Meaning, you can send the URL to anyone so they can see exactly the choices you are looking at.

This website can be of great assistance if you aren't sure what exactly you need! With so many options to choose from, a great resource like this makes it even easier to be assured you are making the best decision for your needs! 

Take a look at some photos from Digital Photography Review to get a feel for how it works: 

Photo Credit: From Digital Photography Review

There are dozens of cameras to choose from to compare
models. This is only a small sample of what is
available. Photo Credit: Digital Photography Review

Friday, April 10, 2015

Manage your PowerPoint Presentations on Android Office Remote

Microsoft has brought the Office Remote features from Windows Phone to Android. Microsoft's latest Android app let you control a PowerPoint presentation that is on a PC with your phone or tablet. This app really has two parts:

  • A Desktop Office Add-In, which you install on the PC your projector is connected to (NOTE: The PC must have Bluetooth for this to work.)
  • A mobile app that you install on your Android device.

If your PC does not have Bluetooth built in, you can buy a USB Bluetooth adapter to plug into the PC.

Office Remote allows you to navigate slides and view speaker notes for PowerPoints. It also allows you to navigate through Excel worksheets by swiping on your phone. You can also navigate through Word documents from your phone.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A New Live Streaming App

Apple has recently launched a new live-streaming app, Periscope, which is owned by Twitter. Periscope allows you to live-stream video to the world, anywhere, at any time. As soon as you start live-streaming, the app notifies all of your followers, who can join in your stream and experience the world through your eyes.

A screenshot of what the Periscope
app looks like opened inside an
iPhone. Source:
With all types of customizable options, like privacy, notifications, and how long your want your archived broadcast to appear to other viewers, Periscope really opens doors in terms of two-way communication and sharing.

Users have the ability to press the "lock" icon on the screen, which essentially makes your broadcast private. You can choose who you want to invite to watch your broadcast (like a professor, inviting his/her students), but it is important to press this button before every broadcast that you want to be private. Much like other social media platforms, Periscope offers a search box to find users, but also gives suggestions and hints on who to follow, to get you started.

As with any new app, it is most important to explore all of the settings and configure them to what will work best for you - the user.

Of course it’s new, so technological bugs are still being worked out, but this could change the way professors interact with their students, and how students can share news with one another. In a university setting, the options really are limitless with a mobile application like this. In terms of sharing information, knowledge, and course material, an app like this could really aid in teaching when used appropriately. It might be worth a look in due time!