Student presentations & social media


We’ve had a fascinating few weeks in CT231 Professional Skills! For our past four sessions, students have delivered in-class presentations, using Ignite or Pecha Kucha formats. Students selected their own presentation topics, and chose whether they wanted to work individually or in pairs. Presentation topics have ranged from Augmented Reality to the Future of Motoring, and Identity Theft to the Integration of IT in Sport. The use of timed presentation styles as a design constraint has proved to be a great success. Students have used compelling images and metaphors to tell their stories — with hardly a bullet point to be found. :)

With each new set of presentations, we are learning about different IT-related issues — as well different presentation skills and styles. However, as part of their efforts to share and engage beyond our own our CT231 class community, most students are opting to assign Creative Commons licenses to their presentations and to post, tag and share them online. Students use both #ct231 and #icollab hashtags, in order to engage with their peers in the #icollab community of practice, as well as with wider networks.

For the past few years, CT231 student work has been shared via the CT231 Student Showcase on This year, presentations also are being curated using Flipboard — click the cover image below to go directly to the online magazine:

Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 16.47.37

Some students have also agreed to be filmed while delivering their presentations — a great way of learning about their presentation skills as well as getting feedback from others. All of these videos area available on Bambuser using the #ct231 hashtag.

Over the coming weeks, additional presentations will be added to the and Flipboard collections, and students also will be sharing their final Digital Media Projects. We look forward to 5 more student presentations this week, as well as a visit from Bea de los Arcos, of the OER Research Hub project. There will be live tweeting on Thursday, February 27th, from 1-2pm (GMT). Please join us via #ct231.

You can find current updates at any time at any of these links:

Effective Presentations (part 2)

Last week we discussed the requirements for the in-class presentations (see Assignment #4 below): an Ignite or Pecha Kucha presentation, consisting of 20 slides, automatically timed to advance automatically. Guidelines for preparing and delivering the presentation were discussed last week in Effective Presentations (part 1), also shown below.

This week we went on to discuss good practice in creating presentation slides. In any presentation, but particularly in formats such as Ignite or Pecha Kucha, it’s important to use high-impact images to get your message across. As much as possible, let’s ban bullet points and death-by-PowerPoint! The goal is to create image-rich slides which communicate your message powerfully and quickly. The first presentation shared in class discusses why and how to use Creative Commons-licensed images:


If you haven’t watched them already, please view the Creative Commons videos shared in class last term. When you want to reference a Creative Commons-licensed image in your presentation, you’ll need to include 3 elements: the CC license information, the creator name, and a link to the original work. Let’s say you use to search for CC images on Flickr and you find the following photo you want to use: .

  • The license info can be found by clicking “License” in the right-hand information bar. In this case, the license is CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 (i.e. Creative Commons 2.0 license which the creator has specified as Non-Commercial and No Derivatives, i.e. the image cannot be altered).
  • The creator’s name is Will Lion (shown immediately to the right of the image on Flickr).

The CC license you would specify in your project would be CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Will Lion (i.e. link to the original image on Flickr is embedded in the creator’s name).

The second presentation shared in class gave some examples of slides used in image-rich presentations… these are just some ideas to get you started. Have fun creating your own presentation style!

Presentations – sample slides from ct231

Assignment #5: Digital Media Project

Assignment #5 is your final Digital Media Project. There are three milestones: the project proposal, the 1st draft of the project, and the final project. Detailed requirements are explained in the assignment document — please review these carefully.


30th January – Submit your project proposal by posting on the wiki in Blackboard. I will provide feedback there.

3rd March – Complete the 1st draft of your project; share it to receive feedback.

27th March – Complete the final version of your project, share it online and submit a 1-page report on Blackboard.


Assignment #4: Presentation

Assignment #4 is due on the date assigned to you — please see the schedule on Blackboard (presentation dates are spread between late January and late March).

Assignment #4 is an in-class presentation based on your research topic from the 1st term. Please see the presentation resources in the post below (or click the tag presentations) for plenty of helpful advice. Post questions here in the blog, on Twitter (using #ct231) or contact Catherine.

During class on January 23rd, students collaborated in class to create the presentation marking guidelines which will be used to assess the presentations:


  • clear structure: beginning – middle – end

  • ideas flow from one to another


  • accurate, true and up-to-date

  • aimed at appropriate level (2nd year IT)

  • original (not someone else’s presentation/story)


  • relevant images/pictures (not text-dense)

  • Creative Commons-licensed  images (citing CC license information)

  • no bullet points

  • colour
  • 20 slides – no more, no less


  • interactive / engage the audience

  • speak clearly

  • show your in-depth knowledge & your interest!

  • don’t learn the presentation by rote (can use brief notes)

Effective Presentations (part 1)

In our first class of the 2nd term, the main topic was Presentation Skills. Each student will give an in-class presentation this term (Assignment #4).

You may develop and deliver your presentation individually, or you may work in a team of two. In both cases, you’ll be required to deliver your presentation in a timed format:

  • If you work individually, you’ll prepare and deliver an Ignite presentation. An Ignite presentation or Ignite talk is simply a 5-minute presentation of 20 slides, with the timer set for 15 seconds per slide.
  • If you work as a pair, you’ll prepare and deliver a Pecha Kucha presentation. Also called Pecha Kucha 20×20, this format is very similar to Ignite — only the timing is different. Each of the 20 slides is shown for 20 seconds. The length of a Pecha Kucha presentation is 6 minutes & 40 seconds.

The slides advance automatically so you will  need to design your presentation for that format and practice delivering your presentation within those time constraints. The requirements of the presentation and some tips on presentation skills will be discussed in class:


During class we watched Scott Berkun’s excellent Ignite talk: “Why and How to Give an Ignite Talk” — this is a great place to start. Watch it as an excellent example of an Ignite talk, as well as a source of useful advice for how to prepare one.

Some other useful presentation resources are listed here:

This article was written by presentation expert Olivia Mitchell on creating an Ignite or Pecha Kucha presentation. This is terrific, visual article — very helpful.

This blog post has excellent advice on finding relevant, potent images for your presentation.

Useful checklist for ALL presentations — not just PowerPoint.

Prezi videos, examples and templates.

Nancy Duarte is the author of the excellent books Resonate and Slideology – excellent sources for all presenters. This 25-minute video is worth viewing (and bookmarking) if you want a deeper understanding of what makes a presentation which truly connects with an audience.

Google image search: filter by usage rights

It’s great to see that Google is making it simpler to search images by usage rights. In addition to searching for open access and Creative Commons-licensed images on Flickr, you can now do this easily on Google. When searching for an image on Google, just click the ‘Search tools’ option, then select an option under ‘Usage Rights’. This may be useful for finding images for your blog posts and digital media projects.

cccScreen Shot 2014-01-14 at 14.35.51

Cooperation, Collaboration & Creative Commons

In the past two weeks, we’ve explored cooperation and collaboration, as well as copyright and Creative Commons.

Cooperation & Collaboration

There is a growing body of work and literature around cooperation and collaboration, and the distinction between them. Both are important concepts to grasp as programmers, creators and networked individuals. In essence, collaboration (co-labor) means individuals acting together towards a common goal; cooperation (co-operate) means individuals sharing with one another, without any direct benefit. Collaboration happens in groups; cooperation happens in networks.


CC BY-NC-SA Harold Jarche

Both collaboration and cooperation are essential for creativity and effective problem-solving. We need effective teamwork skills in order to collaborate in groups, and we need network literacies and Personal Learning Networks in order to work cooperatively in networks. In this module, we are developing literacies in both areas through our participation in the #icollab community of practice.

See readings by Howard Rheingold and Howard Jarche in our course reading list (link above right) to explore these topics further.


CC BY-NC-SA Harold Jarche


Copyright & Creative Commons

If you create and/or share information online, it is important to have an understanding of both copyright and Creative Commons. You retain the copyright (an exclusive legal right) to everything you create — a photograph, video, music, blog post or software program. However, by assigning a Creative Commons license, you can determine the rights by which your work can be shared, used and remixed. Whether you create your own work to share online, or share information created by others, the following resources will help you to do so with greater awareness. These two short Creative Commons (CC) videos are a good place to start:

Creative Commons License A Shared Culture by Jesse Dylan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike (CC BY-NC-SA) license.

Creative Commons License What is Creative Commons? Wanna Work Together RG Remix by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike (CC BY-NC-SA) license.


If you need an image to illustrate a blog post, for example, you’ll need to search for Creative Commons-licensed or open access images. This requires a bit more work than simply searching in Google images, but it is essential in order not to violate copyright. Fortunately, there are some great tools which help you to find Creative Commons-licensed images and other materials. Here are a few:

  • Compfight – excellent search tool for Creative Commons-licensed Flickr images
  • CC Search – powerful search across a variety of platforms (e.g. Flickr, Google images, YouTube) to help you find content you can share, use, remix
  • Flickr images – enter search term, click Advanced Search, then tick the box “only search within Creative Commons-licensed content”
  • Flickr CC bluemountains – search for CC images on Flickr, returns images and CC license information
  • Content Directories – extensive list of directories of Creative Commons-licensed materials (audio, video, image, text)
  • Creative Commons Wiki – a Creative Commons image directory

Finally, you can keep up-to-date by following @creativecommons on Twitter and keeping an eye on the Creative Commons blog. Please share any additional resources on Creative Commons resources on Twitter, using the #ct231 hashtag.

Assignment #3: Social Media Reflection

=> Link for Assignment #3  due on November 22nd

Assignment #3 is a social media reflection, based on work you have done over the past several weeks.

You have two options for Assignment #3 — a Social Media & Digital Identity reflection or a Creativity and Collaboration reflection. Please read the options carefully and contact me if you have any questions. Post a tweet to @CT231, send a DM, or email me directly.

iCollab Google map, geotagging & Wikitude

Over the past few weeks, members of the #iCollab community of practice have been adding points of interest (POIs) to an iCollab Google Map. Initially, we are adding our own profiles, but this will extend over the coming weeks and months to include other geolocated data, e.g. images, video, audio, etc. We are also using the mobile app Wikitude to create mobile augmented reality worlds, providing opportunities for collaboration by linking geotagged content.

icollab map

iCollab Community of Practice (CoP) – click for interactive map

CT231 students: following are the instructions for adding yourself to the iCollab CoP map and using the Wikitude app:

Step 1.  Add your profile POI to the iCollab Google map

Step 2.  Create a Wikitude World and interact with other iCollab students

That’s it!

Now, what ideas do you have for sharing geotagged content with the iCollab Community of Practice — and beyond?

Creating a professional online presence

Second-year IT students are preparing CVs in preparation for interviewing for placements in 2014. While creating a great CV (and cover letter) used to be the main focus when searching for a job, things are much different today.

Firstly, it’s worth considering your digital footprint (as we did earlier this term). Type your name into a few different search engines — what do you find? Think about creating and sharing your work online, perhaps via a blog or other social media. If you share your work online, then you can link to it from your CV and LinkedIn profile, and others may be able to find it when they search for you online.

Start building your Linked In profile and begin connecting with people. Connect with your classmates and lecturers first, then build from there. Check out the power of LinkedIn by connecting to companies, groups, alumni and others. The following presentation on creating a professional online presence was shared in class — with plenty of information on LinkedIn. Many thanks to Sue Beckingham for most of these slides: thanks, Sue, for sharing your work online with a Creative Commons license so that we can learn from you!


Finally, here are a few tips, as discussed in class, for creating your CV:

  • Make sure your CV is clear, well-structured and without any errors (you’d be surprised how many typos appear on CVs — making them easy candidates for discarding!). Use a clear, readable font.
  • Put your contact details in the top and centre of the page.
  • The top 1/3 of the page of your CV is prime real estate! Use this space wisely, e.g. by including a Profile, List of Accomplishments, or other summary of your key skills.
  • When describing your skills and past employment, use action words and focus on your accomplishments. Omit all unnecessary words; be a ruthless editor.
  • You can find evidence for your skills and competencies not only in past employment but in your academic work (projects, etc.) and in your hobbies and voluntary work. Give examples of your skills where you can; potential employers are looking for evidence.
  • Finally, it’s your task to connect YOU to your ideal job. When describing yourself, use words from the job description (if they apply to you), sequence your list of skills/accomplishments to focus on the ones most relevant to the job you are applying for, etc.

There are many other resources to help you in preparing your CV here:

I am continuing to tweet items that are relevant to what we are discussing in class, using the hashtag #ct231. You can do the same! Please check Twitter — there are often events posted which you might find interesting.

Remember: no class next Tuesday (October 29th), we’ll meet instead next Thursday (October 31st), 2-4pm, in IT106. Halloween sweets may make an appearance :)