Aug 15

Fried Friday: Life After Death by PowerPoint

As we get ready for the new semester, it’s time to insert a little humor and perspective into the week. We hope you enjoy this ‘oldie’ but realize that his message is just as relevant today as when this first came out.

Click for Video


Nicole and I look forward to seeing you at Convocation next week. We will be presenting on our new WordPress blog site and will be sharing information on:

  • What Learning Spaces is going to be used for
  • A Quick Look at Academic WordPress Sites
  • Advantages of Joining us at Learning Spaces
  • Policy and Security Issues (Including FERPA and Intellectual Property)
  • Let’s Start Clicking– How to Create Your WordPress Site

We hope to see you Tuesday, the 19th, at 3:50pm.

Aug 13

The Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know Were in Blackboard Learn

Top 10 calloutWhen Kathi and I were at the Blackboard World conference 2014 we were amazed and excited by many Blackboard features that will be available to the University of Alaska once we upgrade to the latest version of Blackboard (without any additional costs!). Some features you may have access to right now and are unaware that they exist. Take a few minutes and see what’s currently available in Blackboard and you’ll know why we’re excited to get the latest version installed at UAS!

Register for a free webinar on what faculty can use today and what’s coming down the road.
Date: August 26th, 2014
Time: 2:30PM ET/11:30 AM PT

Jul 30

Tips for Online Instructors Gleaned from Bb Conference

Nicole and KathiNicole and I recently attended the Blackboard World 2014 User Conference (yes, Vegas in July) and came back with a number of ideas that we’d like to share with you. Here are some of the usable best practices that could easily be implemented this semester:

  • In Blackboard’s discussion forums, use the setting “Participants must create a thread in order to view other threads in this forum”. This forces the student to create a post before any other post is visible.
  • In Blackboard’s discussion forums, allow students to rate each other’s posts. You find this in the “additional options” area.
  • Use Blackboard’s video anywhere feature to create short (3-5 minute) video introductions every week. These videos are uploaded to YouTube and can be posted from the Announcement page, a folder or learning module, even the discussion board, blog or wiki! You’ll find the little red video “Record from Webcam” on every text box editor, third row of icons, on the left. Jason Rhode, PhD, presented on this topic and made his slides available and provided some resource links.
  • At the close of every module, take a few minutes to prepare students for the next week’s material. In other words, your wrap-up should include a brief, where you are going next.
  • Make sure you have some low, medium as well as high stake assessments. The low and medium assessments (like challenges, puzzles and self-check activities) help students build confidence.
  • Include the student’s name whenever you write to him/her. For example, replying to a blog post write “John, I didn’t quite understand your point here….”
  • Remember, you are the “mother duck”– model the behavior you want your students to display!

Pretty simple ideas but they can really pay off in a big way. Give one or two of these a try and let us know if you notice a difference in your classes.

A few other interesting things we encourage you to follow-up or take a look at:

  1. The keynote speaker, Geoffrey Canada was amazing. You might want to check out some of his talks. Worth the time.
  2. Another keynote speaker, Joe Ito from MIT Creativity Lab had some pretty remarkable ideas. You might want to catch his Ted Talk on bottom-up innovation and see what he and others did after the 2011 Japan earthquake.
  3. Interesting website: the Internet in Real Time.


Jul 29

We’ve Moved — Bookmark our New Address!

Faculty Learning Corner Has a New Address!

You’ve landed on our new home – all the same great content just an updated look and new url! We’re excited to announce that the Faculty Learning Corner has moved to this new address within Be sure to bookmark the new URL.

LearningSpaces is the new UAS WordPress home. Please visit LearningSpaces to find out how you can apply for a blog for your course. We are excited to be able to use LearningSpaces to build community throughout UAS.

Be sure to sign up today to subscribe to the blog via Email to stay up to date on all the news!

Important: If you previously subscribed to the blog, your subscription should have transferred over in the move. If you do not receive updates you will need to resubscribe.



Jun 24

Enlighten Us, But Make It Quick– IGNITE

What happens when over 36 Instructional Designers from around the university system gather in one location? It’s a creativity fest where all participants walk away with new friends and new ideas. Thank you Dave Dannenberg and the UAA group for hosting this event this year.

One of my favorite take-aways from the conference was shared by UAF campus, and it’s called Ignite. Ignite is a way to present information, clearly, concisely, effectively and briefly!  There are Ignite events all over the world. Each presenter is permitted 20 slides which are advanced automatically after 15 seconds. That gives each presenter exactly 5 minutes.

Think about it — a subject you are passionate about, 20 slides and only 15 seconds per slide to tell your story. Exciting! Here are some tips:

  • Do not create a script or use notes to practice — rather, focus on the key points of each slide
  • Choose four or five key points that you want to make, then create your 20 slides
  • Your slides should support what you are saying, and have images flexible enough for you to gain or lose some time during your talk (you can even put the same image in twice if you need more time!)
  • Practice giving your Ignite talk

Match ignitingAt iTeach Juneau and Sitka this summer we talked about presenting our course and/or course objectives in more interesting ways. Why not try Ignite to explain to students the big idea of the course they are about to take? After all, isn’t this a topic that you are passionate about? Shouldn’t you be able to describe to them why this topic is so interesting and important with 20, 15 second slides?

THE CHALLENGE: Create an Ignite that describes YOUR course to students. We’ll record it for you!! You can use it at the start of your semester, you can use it to advertise for your course or we can have a UAS Ignite Event!! Let’s do it.

Image credit:

Jun 13

Technology Tips from eCampus News

thumbUPDownfrArticleWe talk alot about using technology in both online and face-to-face classrooms. But we don’t want the technology to overshadow the learning and we don’t want to push technology on either our faculty or our students.

This week eCampusNews shares 10 Tech Do’s and Don’ts for Every Campus. It’s a good article and we encourage you to click the image and read it. There are a few on the list that I found particularly resonated with me.

  • We are seeing a lot about mobile learning in the news. This list encourages you to use mobile phones in your classroom, but use them wisely. Research is still indicating (at least for now) that the serious learning in classrooms still takes place on larger devices.
  • Don’t be afraid to introduce students to new and exciting technologies, BUT, don’t expect them to be tech-saavy enough to jump right in. You may have to explain and show them how to use these tools.

The article lists other good points so be sure to click the link and read through it. What do you think? Have you other tips you’d like to share on the do’s and don’ts list? Feel free to add these to the comment area.

Jun 12

Copyright Simplified

Infographic on Copyright

Maureen came across a great article today on making the complexities of copyright easier to understand. We encourage you to click on the Infographic here to read the article Copyright Flowchart: Can I Use It? Yes? No? If This… Then …

And, speaking of infographics– aren’t they popping up everywhere? Don’t you enjoy using them? Well, they really aren’t difficult to make. Nicole gave us some great resources during iTeach Juneau and iTeach2 Sitka for making your own infographics. Many classroom applications. Why not give it a try?

You might start by using Piktochart and you might want to follow or subscribe to eLearning Infographics, a blog that shows some really interesting eduational infographics. We’d love to see some examples of things you create–so share your infographics with us so we can celebrate your creations.

Speaking of sharing– did anyone make a good or photo collage that they would like to share? We’re still waiting for your submissions. If you missed May 23rds post, it’s not too late to give it a try!

Jun 10

iTeach Sitka, Phew!! A Great Week

iTeach2: What a fabulous way to learn new skills, talk about pedagogy, look at what your colleagues are exploring, pick up new tricks, get feedback from experts, learn mobile technologies, and so much more, all packed in 5 fast and furious days. Wow. It’s hard to believe that we all survived!

We thank all of our faculty participants for enthusiastically joining us and sharing some great creations. And, in addition to the Title III and IDC crew, we want to thank our guests, Katie Walker, UAA, Susan Mircovich, KPC, and Madara Mason, UAF for making this week so successful.

If you want to see some of the great observations and creations from faculty last week you can search our twitter feed at #iteachak and you can visit our iTeach blog at

application documentTina created a nice Mobile App Listing PDF which you might find helpful when evaluating or trying new apps. I found it helpful to use these categories to organize my iPad. See what you think. Click the image to view and print.

We’ll be sharing more resources soon– keep your eyes open this summer. There’s lots coming your way!



May 23

Fried Friday: A Weekend Photo Challenge!!

We hope that everyone is going to have a fantastic holiday weekend and we’re throwing out a challenge– share your weekend with us using either the photo collage app that we recommend below (and have examples here for you), the cool video app that we’ve demo’d below, OR an equivalent product of your choice. Remember, we’ll be posting any submissions publicly so be sure you send us material that’s appropriate! And have fun.

Tina made each of these collages from iTeach Juneau photos taken last week. She used the Pic Collage for ipads/iphones. It’s so easy to use and fun to create some beautiful photo collages. Click each to enlarge.



Collage w Mary Tina and Kathi


Those are our sample collages. Email with YOUR weekend collage.

OR, if you’d like to try a really cool 360 and more video creation tool, download bubbli to your phone or ipad and make a bubble video. This app makes a dynamic spherical photo video clip. Quite unique and fun.

Here are a few examples taken in Juneau by Tina, CLICK EACH BUBBLE BELOW:

Watch bubbli video

classroom bubbliEvar Walk near airport


OK, don’t forget this is a competition! Have fun and please send ( us your weekend photo collages or bubbles so we can post!

May 19

iTeach Juneau–phew!

We just completed an intense week of faculty development in Juneau and I’m sure all would agree, it was stimulating! Don’t take my word for it, feel free to browse our week’s blog and pay particular attention to the Resource Links page (last link on menu bar). We’ll be moving these resources to this blog after iTeach2 next month.

360 view of iTeach Juneau

A quick recap of some of the highlight of the week include:

  • Fun with iPads creating videos, 360 photos, ‘bubbles’
  • Creating interesting teasers with Pixton and Powtoons and other products
  • Honing in on the big idea and learning objectives in interesting and creative ways
  • Learning about the newest features in our latest Blackboard upgrade
  • Seeing Collaborate used by a pro (thanks for joining us Katie Walker, UAA) and learning about file sharing tools and the cloud
  • Good discussions on the use of video in the classroom, intellectual property and copyright laws

There was a lot more going on, but that list gives you a glimpse of the activities we engaged in. We thank everyone who participated and hope that they took away lots of useful ideas.


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