Feb 27

Fried Friday: Productive and Fun, Our Visit to Sitka

It was certainly wonderful to spend the week with our Sitka colleagues. Visiting with so many of you was a real treat for both Tina and myself. And, the entire team appreciates all the valuable feedback that you all gave us as we walked about the building meeting with you individually, and at our “campfire reception” Wednesday. Your comments, ideas and suggestions are  making a huge impact on our planning for the May and June iTeach/iCamp sessions for Juneau and Sitka. Sign up before the deadline so you don’t miss out. And, if you haven’t had a chance to put suggestions on our planning board or have other ideas– please come and share them with us soon.

And thanks too for the sunshine on Thursday! Wow. What a spectacular place.

Sitka February 25

photo credit: Tina

The Banff Mountain Film Festival on Wednesday was amazing. One of my favorite inspirational films was Cedar Wright and Alex Honnold, who biked and climbed towers all around the Southwest for Sufferfest 2: Desert Alpine. If your students think they are suffering in your classes, you might recommend that they watch these two young men as they climb and bike through beautiful and amazingly difficult terrains. And suffer. But through the suffering they show a compelling view of the rewards that hard work and hard playing can offer. Click the image below to read more about these two inspiring athletes and watch a portion of their video adventure.

click for video


And, if that isn’t enough to make you want to dig deep and do more with your own lives, how about Ellen’s showcasing some pretty amazing high IQ kids on “Is Andy Smarter than a Kid  Genius?”

Click for video


Fun stuff!

So, thanks for a great week and have a great weekend everyone.

Feb 25

Faculty Open House Today!

Faculy Open House Invite
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
11 am – 12 pm
Room 215 Sitka Campus

Feb 24

Tech Tuesday: Have You Tried VoiceThread?

VoiceThread is offering some free workshops in March and April to help you get started using VoiceThread and to focus on how this tool can enhance communication in your current classroom. These workshops cover both the pedagogy and the how-to aspects of the tool.

What exactly is VoiceThread? It’s a cloud-based tool(no software to download) that allows you to create a sense of presence with your voice. Students can speak using a headset, a telephone, or a mobile device. They can even upload an audio file. You and your students can annotate or draw on slides while speaking. Your VoiceThread can be private or public. Currently we have a license for faculty while students creating their own VoiceThread can use the free version.

Click on the Free Workshop image below to sign up for these workshops.


Feb 20

Fried Friday: National “Love Your Pet Day!” Really??

Seriously, who knew that today was National Love Your Pet Day. As if we don’t love our pets every single day of the year! In honor of this important day, we’ve unearthed a few pet videos for you (thank you Nicole and Tina). I had to try pretty hard to tie this post to education even very loosely.

Faculty often lament that their students want to be spoon fed information rather than thinking and forming their own connections to content and information. Actually, instructional designers often hear that some of the course design elements that we insist on are enabling students rather than assisting them to find information easily. Research tells us that there is a huge difference between creating a clutter-free course and spoon feeding students. And, as discussed in previous posts on learner feedback, we believe that instructors need to help students become self-reliant thinkers.

Clearly, the two videos below indicate a level of laziness far beyond anything we’ve observed! Lazy, but perhaps not intellectually lazy–these guys are pretty clever actually.


Click for Lazy Cat video
Click for Lazy Dog Video


Enjoy your Friday and your weekend!


Feb 17

Tech Tuesday – Healthy Computer Ergonomics

We all know that correct posture, regular breaks and proper adjustment of equipment can help prevent stresses on our bodies, carpal tunnel syndrome, vision problems, and back or neck pain. But we also get busy or lazy and forget these things until our bodies remind us! Tina found this quick YouTube video with basic tips for adults and children using laptops at home, work or school. Click play to see how a few, simple modifications can make a big difference!


Feb 16

Celebrating Presidents Day Today

As we celebrate Presidents’ Day, let us also remember the legacy of an amazing Alaska Native who pioneered Civil Rights decades before Martin Luther King. Today is Elizabeth Peratrovich’s birthday, and here is a link that beautifully honors her legacy. Alaska is better for her efforts. Let’s pause for a moment to reflect on how she has enriched our lives today.


A Brief History of Presidents Day

Feb 13

Fried Friday: Can Pheromones Really Get You a Date?

Valentine’s Day is soon upon us but the American Chemical Society wants you to think twice about using spray-on pheromone products that claim to help you attain love at first smell!

Check out their video Can Pheromones Get You a Date? and have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Click video to begin

Oh, and for those of you who need just a touch more silliness before this holiday, try clicking on CollegeHumor’s The Simpons 16-Step Guide to Finding Love on Valentine’s Day by Joel Stice from 2014.


Feb 11

Quick Course Checklist

Click for Full size
A checklist is a great way to make sure you haven’t omitted important features or elements in your class. Sometimes it is the obvious that we overlook.

Sometimes we don’t even realize that something important is missing until our students tell us, or we try to look back for a document or a link and realize that we never created it or uploaded it to Blackboard!

We created this quick checklist as a starting place for you to do a quick look at your course to make sure all essential elements are included. The Resources for further reading listed on at the bottom of the tip sheet highlight some other checklists that contain even more detailed course elements.

How does your course do against this quick list? Please let us know if you find this helpful.

Feb 10

Tech Tuesday – Google Search Tricks

How many hours a day or a week do you spend (or should we say waste) searching for something using Google? How often do you give up without finding the information that you were hoping to find? Check out the 13 tips below and see if your search results don’t hit the target with better accuracy and speed! And, if you have a search tip that you’d like to share with outhers, please comment below.

We’ve also posted this on the Tips for Student Success so you be sure to refer your students there to get this an other good tips for succeeding in college and work.

google search trick infographic

Feb 09

Finding the Time to Improve Your Courses

It takes time to implement change. It takes time to analyze your students’ performance so you can determine what worked well and what needs to be modified or improved, added or deleted. It takes time, and sometimes peer assistance to figure out how to make the changes that you know you want in your course(s).

iTeach 2015 might be the perfect solution for you! What makes iTeach so special?

  • Concentrated time to explore ideas and find solutions to your teaching needs with the help of instructional designers and peers.
  • Group and one-on-one assistance with building content for your course(s).
  • ln-depth, hands-on opportunities to try new technologies
  • NEW structure for week’s activities benefits newcomers as well as seasoned online instructors
  • Stipend AND time to work on your course(s)
  • iTeach 2015 is NEW–even if you’ve attended an iTeach in the past, you’ll find this week different from past experiences in both content and structure.

Come JOIN us for the new 2015 iTeach!!!


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