Prezi is an alternative to Powerpoint and Keynote. As you can see from the video it’s a more artistic and entertaining presentation than what you create with the traditional presentation tools. It bills itself as giving you the opportunity to tell your story in a natural flow, and the audience no longer needs to sit through boring presentations.
I have seen enough powerpoint presentations as a student and working in a graduate program to know that yes powerpoint is boring. You can find any number of articles about how powerpoint is evil and ruining business, education and society. I’d have to agree. I think Prezi is a great way to tell a story rather than dump bullet points and statistics on an audience that wants to be educated.
Prezi could really make a difference in the way information is related to people. Of course the ability of the presenter to both create an entertaining story and tell that story are still important. Prezi has the ability to entertain and educate at the same time, but I don’t think it’s a sure thing. I would love to see these types of presentations, but how will I feel when i’ve seen hundreds of them like powerpoint, or just plain bad ones? As with most technologies in education, the potential is there, but it still relies on people committed to making it work.
Recently, a data-savvy patient known as e-Patient Dave blogged about data that was imported into his Google Health Account from his hospital in Boston, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Once he saw his data in Google Health, he saw diagnoses that were both alarming and wrong. Where did they come from?
It turns out that they came from the billing codes and associated descriptions used by the hospital to bill the patient’s insurance company. These descriptions, from the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9), often do not accurately describe a patient because the right ICD-9 code may not exist. So the doctor or hospital administrator chooses something that is “close enough” for billing purposes. In other cases, the assigned code is precisely what the doctor is trying to rule out, and if the patient turns out not to have that often scary diagnosis, it is still associated with their record.
The post goes on to say how they are fixing the issue and trying to work around the limitations to give patients the information they need without the alarming and wrong diagnosis. From an IT perspective this is a good example of what happens when legacy systems have inaccurate or incomplete information. The hospitals needed to put in something for billing so they chose the closest thing. This workaround was fine for what the system was meant to do, but when that data was taken to another system the process breaks down. Now a new workaround has to be made for Google’s Health Records to work as intended.
I’m sure there is a great deal of data that is inaccurate because the user had to choose the closest thing. With the ever growing amount of data, and ways to manipulate it, increasing each day how many more headaches will have to be worked around. It’s a great reminder to take the time to think about how to make your data more accurate , if not for you then for the next person.
Most of us here use obscure and sometimes expensive software to do our work. Alternativeto.net is a new site (still in Beta), who’s library you can search for alternative software to that which you may not be able to afford. You can look for Windows, Mac, Linux or Online alternative. There is even a ranking system and comments. A search for Photoshop alternatives produced a list of 18 applications.
I starting using Twitter to try and find out what it was all about so I could blog about it. I’ve only been using it for a couple weeks but today I had to post before I was ready.
Twitter is a social network which allows users to post 140 characters about anything they want. Originally it was to update friends on what you are doing but it’s morphed into more than that now. People can “follow” other users and receive all of their updates. It’s a quick way to find out what is going on.
I had to share this with you today, because of the twitter experience I have just had. One of the people I am following has an interest in Africa and posts about that area of the world. I (and everyone else following him) received a message from him this morning saying:
Watching, via twitter, what appears to be a coup in Madagascar. Follow @lrakoto for more. Fingers crossed that transition will be peaceful.
So as a good twitter user I added Irakoto to my follow list and have been getting live updates from Madagascar about what is going on. It’s truly amazing that I can sit here in Halifax and receive the ‘play by play’ of an apparent coup on the other side of the world.
#Madagascar Arrest of Rajoelina’s staff Betina Buno by armed forces in Toamasina ( east coast) (src: radio Antsiva) via @Carole)
As some of you know TED is one of my favourite sites. As part of my plan for 2009 (I don’t make new years resolutions) I try to watch one new presentation per day. This one by Juan Enriquez is both funny and interesting covering topics from the economy to evolution. I encourage you to go to the website and watch some more.
I was recently introduced to Sprocle. It bills itself as “mentally stimulating diversions”. It may actually be the devil. For those of you tired of mindsweep, this is the place to be. You can play any number of games ranging from naming the countries in Europe in 10 minutes (there are 47 by the way) to naming all the Charlize Theron movies. Most of it is fun and unfortunately addictive. But at least at the next party I can name all 76 Roman Emperors…in order… sad.