Apr 24

Fried Friday: MakeUseOf Best Websites

MakeUseOf.com is a  blog that is very popular for learning to “make use of” technology and discover cool tools and sites on the internet.  This post titled, The Best Websites On The Internet, lists the websites their experts consider to be the best (most useful) in fourteen categories including: Learning, Social, Searching, Books, Productivity, and more. They also update this list regularly which is extra helpful so bookmark it for future reference.

If you look under the “Social”  listing you will see Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc., which brings me to the “Fried” part of this post.  BuzzFeed shared a post this week titled, If The Characters of “Friends” Had The Internet.  If you are a fan of “Friends”, you can imagine Monica on Pinterest and Ross on LinkedIn!

Monica pinterest

Check it out for a little entertainment and take a look at MakeUseOf and consider following them on social media or subscribing via RSS or email.


Apr 21

Tech Tuesday: Overview of Presentation Authoring Tools

We talk a lot about creating engaging presentations for our online students. Many faculty start with Microsoft’s PowerPoint as a creation tool. UAS supports two tools that easily convert or re-purpose PowerPoint content into slick presentations that can be viewed online and/or from within your Blackboard course. These tools are Adobe’s Presenter and TechSmith’s Camtasia.

Here’s a nice article by Siegel titled Camtasia Studio vs Adobe Presenter: Working with PowerPoint Presentations. Siegel also has created a great training video that walks you through BOTH taking a PPT into Camtasia to record a presentation and using Adobe Presenter to create a presentation. This 10 minute YouTube can be found at eLearning from Microsoft PowerPoint using TechSmith Camtasia Studio or Adobe Presenter. In this video he discusses pros and cons between the two programs. He seems to have a slight bias towards Adobe Presenter.

Watch YouTubePowerPoint isn’t the only show in town however. You might want to check out CustomShow’s 27 Presentation Software and Power Alternatives for 2015. They list quite a few alternatives! Let us know what you prefer.

Resources for Adobe Presenter can be found at: Presentation Tools

Resources for TechSmith’s Camtasia can be found at: UA Keyed Software

Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 20

Peer Review Rubric 1.1 Course Navigation and Overview

Have you examined the UAS Peer Review Rubric, Standard I Design of the Course recently? Here’s a snippet from the rubric:

Overview: The overall design of the course including navigational, course information, and course content, is made transparent to the student from the beginning of the course and presented in a coherent learning context.
Principle: Construction and layout of units or modules combined with graphical and textual cues by the design of the course help structure student learning and make the course more unified and coherent. Students will move logically and easily between areas of the course.

By concentrating on the Start Here or Getting Started section of your online course you can get your students off to a successful course start. We had a good discussion last week with faculty using Google’s OnAir Hangout. Below is the recorded session. Thank you all for joining us and sharing ideas and strategies for kicking off your online course.

On Air YouTube


If you missed these resources from the April 6th post you might want to view and bookmark:

Start Here for English 101 Mike Smedshammer has used Jing to capture elements of his orientation module.

Start Here: Welcome to the course! Click the NEXT button to view all pages of this online module.

Start here Quick Reference Tyler Junior College created a template for faculty that can be modified.

If you need help designing or improving your course start-up, please contact one of us for help.


Apr 17

Fried Friday: Fun With Memes


group3 vertI attended a session at the DevLearn2014 conference this last fall titled, “The Future of E-Learning in Memes.” Five presenters each did a PechaKucha style presentation using memes.  My brain was a little mentally overloaded at the time and this was just what I needed to end the day with a smile.

If you are not familiar with PechaKucha or Ignite (20 slides, 15 seconds each) presentations, they consist of 20 slides and the presenters spend only 20 seconds on each slide. For this conference session the slide images were all memes. You have probably seen several memes even if the term is not one you regularly use.

I think you will find the following Slideshare presentations from three of the presenters very entertaining:

The Future is Now by David Kelly

Meme-ing the Future of e-Learning by Cammy Bean

The Future of Learning: The Meme Vision by Jane Bozarth

Memes are simple to create using one of several online sites available.
Try imgflip.com/memegenerator or search online for meme generators.
Most include the popular memes to choose from and you can also upload your own images.

groupof2 horiz

Apr 14

Tech Tuesday – Article Clean up

saulifyFor all of you Breaking Bad fans…and everyone else!
If you encounter a hard to read web site or a mobile mess; you better call Saul!

Send cleaned up articles to your students and colleagues. They won’t be confused about what it is they are supposed to be reading and they won’t getting sidetracked by all the surrounding ads and links.  Great for reading on mobile devices as well!

Just copy and paste the URL of an online article to clean it up and share using saulify.me


Go from this:


To this:



In seconds with… Saulify.me

Click here if you are interested in the article used in the images.



Apr 13

Sign-up TODAY for Wednesday’s Roundtable

lonely professorBest-selling authors know that the first sentence of a book sets the stage for the rest of the read. In fact, a bad first sentence may entirely discourage readers from continuing on. The start of your course is actually very similar.

How do you make sure you aren’t the only one in the classroom? That your students are there, attentive and responsive? How do you get things off to the best start possible?

Join us Wednesday, April 15th  at 1 PM for a roundtable discussion on creating a powerful and engaging “Getting Started” or “Start Here” module for your next online course. Those of you in Sitka will meet in room 230. The rest of us will join via Google Hang-out. PLEASE JOIN US. Share your ideas, suggestions and concerns and let’s compile a great Getting Started Kit for the future. We’ll use Peer Review Standard I to guide us as we discuss options.

We’re using Google On-Air Hangout for this round-table and we need the email name that is associated with your Google account (the email you log into for G-Mail, or Google docs/drive or YouTube). Please submit via this link and we’ll make sure you get an invite to our Roundtable discussion, April 15 at 1 PM.

Image credit: clipart.com


Apr 10

Fried Friday: Google Feud

Just what we need! Another time distracting web site!

Google Feud is a web game based on the Google API. Google selects the questions, then the results are pulled directly from Google’s autocomplete. You can choose from four categories: Culture, People, Names and Questions.

**Beware, certain results may be offensive and/or incomprehensible!


Apr 08

Faculty Copyright Discussion April 9

copyright Faculty Copyright Discussion
Copyright or Copy=wrong?
April 9, 2015
12 pm

Join us for a discussion of issues related to Copyright, Fair Use, and Creative Commons Licensing.

Juneau: Glacier View Room
Sitka: Room 110
Ketchikan: Ziegler 114 Conference Room

Phone information
PIN: 6960850
Online: http://www.uas.alaska.edu/online/portfolio/maohalloran/webmeeting
Sponsored by TLTR & Egan Library

There will be a short introduction to copyright and fair use then discussions on topics of interest to participants (e.g., linking to library resources, locating images, etc.) Your input will help us in planning additional meetings next semester.

You may also attend remotely via Collaborate (Webmeeting):

If you haven’t attended a Collaborate Webmeeting then please visit this page in advance:
http://www.uas.alaska.edu/idc/webmeeting/ and click on the link for Blackboard Collaborate First Time Users.

In addition, recent security updates have caused problems for some using Collaborate – see FAQ#1 on this page
http://www.uas.alaska.edu/idc/webmeeting/faq_webmeeting.html for information on adjusting your security settings or contact the helpdesk for assistance.

Image source: clipart.com # 32251041

Apr 07

Tech Tuesday – 78 Google Things

78googleA quick Tech Tuesday post today! Here are 78 things you didn’t know you could do with Google. You’ll find tips and tricks in the following categories:

  • Do More
  • Save Time
  • Have Fun
  • Be Secure
  • Ask Google


Apr 06

Roundtable Discussion: Getting Started

Roundtable discussion

Coming soon, mark your calendar, the Getting Started Roundtable Discussion: April 15th at 1 PM. Join us to discuss the elements of a “Getting Started” or “Start Here” module that can improve the performance of your students and meet the standards for best practices for online courses.

Why is this important? Students who get off to slow or late starts in online courses are at higher risk of failure. Here are a few examples of Getting Started or Start Here modules from faculty at other universities:

Start Here for English 101 Mike Smedshammer has used Jing to capture elements of his orientation module.

Start Here: Welcome to the course! Click the NEXT button to view all pages of this online module.

Start here Quick Reference Tyler Junior College created a template for faculty that can be modified.

We’re using Google On-Air Hang-out so please be sure to sign up above if you are joining us from a distance.


Image Credit: istockphoto: MachineHeadz

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