Welcome to the site

Kenrick is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Alaska Anchorage. This blog is about his thoughts on technology with an emphasis on tablets, UMPC's, and other technologies applied to education.

Office 2013

01/18/2013 - 22:44

I installed Office Professional 2013 and haven't quite formed impressions yet. But it was running horribly slow. Disabling hardware graphics acceleration seemed to help - it is in File, Options, Advanced, Display.

Click a location from a map in a Qualtrics Survey

09/23/2011 - 22:57

A grad student recently asked me for help developing an online survey. All of the questions could be created by something like SurveyMonkey or Qualtrics, except for one question. For this question the student wanted to pop up a Google map, let the user click on a location (or locations), then store the GPS coordinates of those locations with the survey.

We were on the verge of writing our own custom web survey application, like this one by Nick Bearman and Katy Appleton: http://www.env.uea.ac.uk/crs/

Speaker Notes on the HTC Flyer for classroom lectures

06/13/2011 - 23:25

When I'm giving a lecture in my class that involves lots of handwriting I will typically print out my notes on paper so I know what I'm supposed to be saying or writing. With the HTC Flyer, I've been pulling up my notes electronically instead of printing them out. The picture below shows the setup with my notes on the Flyer and I'm inking on the Fujitsu Tablet connected to a projector all on top of a lectern.

Attending a Workshop with the HTC Flyer

06/13/2011 - 21:43

I purchased the 16GB HTC Flyer from Best Buy on May 22 and immediately put it to the test by using it exclusively when traveling to a workshop in Portland later that week. There are plenty of reviews about the device elsewhere on the Internet (for example, ViolaJack's or Chippy's extensive videos), so here I'll focus primarily on how I used the Flyer on my trip. Overall I've been quite happy with it, although there are a few niggles that would make it more usable.

Visualizing CS Attrition

01/02/2011 - 22:57

Attrition in Computer Science at UAA is horrible. Officially we have somewhere around 150 majors but lately we've only graduated around 10 students a year, so we know it's bad. But where do all the students go? Some faculty suspected students switch to the more profession-oriented MIS major. Or maybe they just drop out? To get answers to some of these questions I've been interested in visualizing CS attrition, and I finally made some time this winter break to put together a prototype program that allows some visualization and data mining, based on initial work done by one of my undergrads (O. Korobova). This outlines the idea behind the program and how it can be used. I'm hoping to put it together and write about it more coherently for a conference paper at some point.

PenAttention v1.4

12/25/2010 - 00:18

Merry Christmas!
I've updated PenAttention and CursorAttention to version 1.4. See http://www.math.uaa.alaska.edu/~afkjm/PenAttention/ for the details and to download.

There are two new features:
1) Hotkey to turn the highlight on or off. You can use either CTRL-F9 or CTRL-ALT-F9. This can be handy on a Tablet PC if you map the hotkey to one of the hardware buttons.

2) Option to use a custom image in place of the default pencil. Create your image file as a PNG and name it CustomPen.png and put it in the program installation folder. Restart PenAttention and it will use the new image if you select the pencil tool.

Personalized Learning

11/27/2010 - 15:12

Take a look at Maria Anderson's idea for a personalized learning system, SOCRAIT.

Tablets need Java for Higher Ed

08/20/2010 - 21:54

There has been lots of conjecture as to whether a tablet/slate can become the main device in education. The iPad and upcoming gaggle of Android-based slates are compelling, but the lack of active digitizer ink support makes them more appropriate as eBook readers than note-taking devices. There are other issues too, like the time it takes to switch books, flip pages, refer to the same page if the fonts are different sizes, etc. The Kno might change that, if the size is acceptable.

eLearning Tools in Computer Science

06/22/2010 - 21:33

I wrote an article for eLearn Magazine, which is published by the ACM, on eLearning Tools for Computer Science. It just went live online, take a look at:

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