Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Free Images Databases (sorta!)

It's no secret that I work for the Department of National Defence (DND) in Canada. As such, I am part of the Canadian Federal Government. Any images created by staff of the Federal Government can be shared with other staff for the purposes of government business... copyright free! So when I design courses here at the Royal Military College of Canada, I sometimes consult image databases that are held by the Federal Government. So I contacted my buddy Darryl (see his blog here), who's a graphic designer, and asked him for a selection of the databases he finds most useful for this purpose. Here's what he said:

Probably the best site (quality images, supplied by DND so no copyright issue, usually with a full caption so you know the context, on an operation basis, with links to all three branches) is:

A site that also falls in the "safe and useful" category (usable and DND-sanctioned) is:

Of course, the various branches tend to have their own thing going on, such as Army's ...

And beyond that, even the particular brigades and fighting groups have identity sites (where you can sometimes find excellent pictures), for example ...

If you are lucky enough to be a reader of this blog who's in the Canadian Federal Government then the above links might be useful for your work.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Life by PowerPoint!

Ok, you've all heard by now the expression "Death by PowerPoint". Yup, it's a clever expression and it's also true. As teachers and instructors most of us have used PowerPoint in the classroom. It works for us, but sometimes it doesn't work for the learners. They just see too much of it... and lots of it is just boring and mind-numbing.

I need to constantly remind myself of this. In my teaching life I try to keep PowerPoint to a minimum. However, when I use PowerPoint I have to think of ways in which I can make the PowerPoint better for learners.... not just better for me as the teacher.

Vicky Davis, of 'Cool Cat Teacher Blog' fame, has recently cobbled together some information that provides a good refresher to educational practitioners about creating effective PowerPoint presentations. Everyone could use a refresher, including me.