The mobile application colorID, by Winfield & Co. LLC (and available for download from iTunes for $1.99), is a color recognition tool that allows users to capture, identify, and share colors on the go. A recent blog post by Austin Seraphin highlights a profound use of this application: used in conjunction with the iPhone’s standard VoiceOver screen reader and iPhone camera, colorID speaks the names of colors. This allows visually impaired users to hear a narrative of color as they experience it. Below is an excerpt from Seraphin’s blog; find the entire post here. Read more about accessible applications here.
The next day, I went outside. I looked at the sky. I heard colors such as “Horizon,” “Outer Space,” and many shades of blue and gray. I used color queues to find my pumpkin plants, by looking for the green among the brown and stone… I then found the brown shed, and returned to the gray house. My mind felt blown. I watched the sun set, listening to the colors change as the sky darkened. The next night, I had a conversation with Mom about how the sky looked bluer tonight. Since I can see some light and color, I think hearing the color names can help nudge my perception, and enhance my visual experience.
…back upstairs, and down the hall! Please come visit us in Suite 257 of the Cochrane-Woods Art Center.
The beginning of fall quarter is quickly approaching. Need help using ARTstor? Finding what you need in LUNA? Creating presentations? As a reminder, VRC staff are available for individual or group training sessions. We also provide in-class image searching orientation for students in the humanities. If you are interested in scheduling a session, please contact us.
Humanities Computing staff members have developed an application for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad called Chapbook. This “app” provides free access to all news, events, blogs, and podcasts currently available from the Division of the Humanities website (including our very own All Things Visual, as seen above). The program allows you to search the campus directory and view campus maps, as well as access articles from Tableau, the Humanities Division magazine.
To download the application from iTunes, click here.
Have you ever experienced difficulties opening PowerPoint presentations on a Mac after you’ve created them on a PC, or vice versa? Check out this website with plenty of helpful hints to ensure that your presentations look great no matter what computer you’re using.
If you have any questions about making presentation software work for you, please contact the VRC.
Here’s a quick way for PC users to add YouTube links to PowerPoint presentations:
Mac users have to download videos before inserting into a PowerPoint or Keynote presentation. This is easier with free software like Tooble. Here’s how it works in Keynote:
Please join us this Thursday (4/15, 12pm, Rosenwald 405) for a lunchtime TechTalk on “Geospatial Tools for Humanities Research.”
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are powerful tools which combine current information with historical and modern maps for analytic and presentation purposes. VRC student staff member Helen-Mary Sheridan will present an overview of fundamental GIS concepts and present a range of current examples of their use in the humanities, including annotated atlases, a map for tracking geospatial components in literary collections, and (geo)spatial analyses of paintings.
Humanities Computing TechTalks are informal, brown bag style events for learning more about current technology topics relevant to the humanities. TechTalks are free and open to all university faculty, staff and students.
For a current list of future TechTalks, please goto the Humanities Division events calendar and search by sponsor “Computing.”
Zotero is a comprehensive citation manager for Firefox, designed to facilitate research and aid in the creation of bibliographies. It can also go beyond managing citations to help you organize all different kinds of information found on the Internet. Check out this easy-to-follow overview of Zotero from Lifehacker, and keep an eye out for training sessions offered by the University of Chicago Library by subscribing to their workshops and events calendar. There is a Zotero training session today from 2-3:30pm at Regenstein Library, Room 127.
The New York Public Library’s Picture Collection uses a collaborative web-based discussion and presentation tool, VoiceThread, to show images from their collections to the public and to students in classrooms. VoiceThread allows users to make comments on presentations by webcam, computer microphone, text, or telephone. If leaving a comment by computer, users may also draw on an image to illustrate their opinions.
For more information about VoiceThread, click here.
Please note: to view these PowerPoint illustrations at a larger size, click on the images.
To create a simple Art History style PowerPoint 2008 theme, first open a new presentation. The Formatting Palette will appear on the right side; if it does not, click on the “Toolbox” icon from the menu bar. On the Formatting Palette, select Style 4, which is a black background with white text.
To ensure that any subsequent text added to the slide with a text box is formatted correctly (ie, in white font), create a “test” text box by selecting that icon from the menu bar.
Once you have created and tested the text box…
…you’re ready to save the slide theme. Select “Save Theme” from the Formatting Palette.
Select a name for your theme that will be recognizable to you later.
To apply your theme to any future presentation, select the “Slide Themes” tab.
Next, select the “Custom Themes” tab. You will then see your theme saved with the title you assigned. Click on its thumbnail and you’re set!
You can follow the above steps to save other types of Microsoft Office 2008 themes as well. If you have any questions, please contact the VRC.
Below is a list of software products recommended by Visual Resources Association (VRA) members for extracting, converting, and compressing clips from DVDs for your classroom presentations: