In the News

googleMod

We’ve been hearing more and more about Google Apps in Education and Google tools lately. Google Drive, Hangouts… and what’s in that Cloud anyway?? Here are a few articles worth checking out.

Online Collaboration with Open Tools: The Case for Google Drive & Hangouts – Brian Janz, WCET Frontiers Blog Post

The Staggering Number Of Schools That Have Gone Google – Jeff Dunn, Edudemic

Summertime Fun with Videos!

mobile devicesThis summer the Instructional Design team has been experimenting with quick, easy to create videos. Because so many of your students have cell phones, iPads, Surfaces, and/or laptops with video capabilities, these web tools can be used to quickly engage students. Consider a 6 second Vine or 15 second Instagram movie as a student introduction. You also might consider one of these movies as a quick and fun introduction to your class or a “meet the instructor” video.

If you haven’t tried making one of these videos, we encourage you to take 15 minutes and try it out. It’s quick, it’s free, and it’s fun! Remember, these don’t have to be professional– they are merely quick snapshots. If you are still skeptical, you might enjoy reading this article: Vine in Education.

Image: ©iStockphoto.com/supergenijalac

Copyright Basics

A quick post to pass along a great video (and only 6 minutes) explaining Copyright Basics from the Copyright Clearance Center!
copyrightbasics

iTeach Juneau 2013 a Success

We recently completed a very productive iTeach 2013 in Juneau. Twelve faculty participated. You can read some of our posts by searching Twitter with the hashtag: #iteachak.

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Guest presenter from UAF, Heidi Olson

Some of the tools that were explored and enjoyed included:

  • Adobe Presenter
  • Voki
  • Pixton
  • Jing
  • Google Apps for Educators
  • Creating movies with YouTube
  • Elluminate Live

We had great discussions around choosing teaching strategies and tools that best help students meet their learning objectives while at the same time are engaging and fun both for content creation and content viewing. We also had good dialogues about the importance of writing attainable goals and objectives and aligning them to assessments and activities.

It was an intense week and the iTeach staff thank all the faculty attendees for their participation. As always, we learned lots from our faculty participants, and we hope our faculty had a challenging and productive time. Next, we’re gearing up for iTeach Sitka!

ED593 Faculty Win Award!

Last year Mary Purvis, Faculty Support Specialist, and Kathi Baldwin, Instructional Designer, created a course for all UAS Faculty called ED 593: Designing and Teaching an Online Course. They wanted the course to not only teach faculty about the things they need to know, but to also model the best practices that they know make a difference to student success. Among the creative approaches it uses are Alaskan fish, which serve as metaphors for the important parts of a successful online course that maximizes student learning and enjoyment.

BbProfilePicThe course was entered in the Blackboard Catalyst Awards program and Mary and Kathi were recently named winners of a Blackboard Catalyst Award for Exemplary Course Program, which honors members of the community who design and develop exciting and innovative courses that represent the very best in technology and learning.

Part of the annual Blackboard Catalyst Awards program since 2000, the Blackboard Exemplary Course Program Award highlights technologically rich, engaging, well designed, and pedagogically sound courses that showcase best practices for the user community. Over 160 entries were evaluated in a rigorous peer-review process by more than 300 faculty and instructional designers. Submissions were judged on the following components: course design, interaction, collaboration, assessment and learner support.

The Blackboard Catalyst Awards program annually recognizes and honors innovation and excellence in the Blackboard global community of practice, where teachers and learners work every day to redefine what is possible when leveraging technology.

“Catalyst Award winners represent some of today’s finest examples of leveraging technology to improve the education experience,” said Ray Henderson, Chief Technology Officer and President of Academic Platforms at Blackboard. “Each winner has established best-in-field approaches in critical areas including online learning, course development, school communication and mobile education. We congratulate the winners on their vision and their excellent work, and we celebrate this accomplishment with them.”

Mary and Kathi, will be honored alongside other Blackboard Catalyst Award winners during BbWorld®, Blackboard’s annual user conference to be held in July in Las Vegas, Nev.

Blackboard is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard’s solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online.

For a complete list of Blackboard Catalyst Award winners please visit: http://blackboard.com/catalyst.

Image: ©iStockphoto.com/DNY59

Does Social Media Make You (and Your Students) More Self-Aware?

There is an interesting post What is a Learning Technologist (part 9): Ignorance is bliss? which makes a good argument for social media. The author of this blog post, David Hopkins states that regardless of whether anyone comments on his blog, regardless of whether anyone even reads the blog, just by publishing, by contributing to Twitter or Google+ or LinkedIn or Facebook, or some form of public platform you are thinking and learning more than if you operate in a vacuum, all alone. He quotes Semple, 2011, from “Organizations Don’t Tweet, People Do: a Manager’s Guide to the Social Web” stating:

“There is something about the process of blogging that makes you more self-aware. You become more thoughtful about yourself and your place in the world. In the reactions of others to your writing you get a different perspective, possibly for the first time, on how others see you.”

I think David is right. When we share out with our colleagues and when our colleagues respond with comments or links or photos, we’re engaged thinkers. We begin to establish our personal learning environment, our connections to others that help shape our thinking, revise our opinions, and shape our ideas.

I’d love to hear from you– what are the tools in your personal learning environment that make you a better learner, that engage you, and make you question and think, or as David puts it, more “self-aware”?

Guest Post from KPC Faculty

Susan Mircovich

Susan Mircovich, KPC

Susan Mircovich, Chemistry Faculty for KPC, recently attended the Sloan-C 6th Annual International Symposium for Emerging Technologies for Online Learning in Las Vegas. She shares the following resource links with us. Lots of good information here. Thank you Susan!

Emerging Technologies for Online Learning Whitepaper and presentation slides, Veronica Diaz Educause – http://tinyurl.com/worktech

Affordable Learning Solutions California State University – Find free textbooks and course materials; you can type the isbn of a text you are using or a topic to see if there is a related free book! http://als.csuprojects.org/

(Have not tried all of these yet – this is just a list of what other faculty presented, not an endorsement of these tools!)

Polleverywhere – Free polling, audience response system that uses mobile phones (texting), twitter, and the web. Responses are displayed in real-time on charts. Free for up to 40. http://www.polleverywhere.com/

Layar – Augmented reality creation tools. This is for print media. Interact with print media on your mobile device. Pricing to create pages. Free with ads and free if you are an educator and you apply. http://www.layar.com/

Parwinr Gamification Tools – Turn any video into an online game. Not sure about pricing. http://www.parwinr.com/company_pages

Piazza – For student discussion and communication online. (This looks really good – lots of features!) “Piazza is a free platform for instructors to efficiently manage class Q&A. Students can post questions and collaborate to edit responses to these questions. Instructors can also answer questions, endorse student answers, and edit or delete any posted content.”  Free for educators. https://piazza.com/

Photovoice – Assigning students to create a “participatory photo” from daily life relating to the topic. Examples at http://www.photovoice.org/

Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy Pyramid Infographic – http://faculty.indstate.edu/spenney/bdt.htm

CrazyTalk Animator – Create scenarios. Not sure about education pricing (not free). http://www.reallusion.com/crazytalk/

Mobisitegalore – Make your own mobile website in minutes. Students can use for assignments with free 30 day trial. http://www.mobisitegalore.com/

Goose Chase – Mobile scavenger hunt games. Says it’s free for small games but I’m not sure what the means – have to sign up to find out! https://www.goosechase.com/

App-ucation – For iPad users this is great. Integrating Apps into Education (Check out Bloom’s taxonomy for iPad apps infographic)

Blooms Taxonomy

App for iPads

Summer Training Opportunities For Faculty

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One of Title III’s most important goals is to contribute to the professional development of our distance faculty in a variety of ways. To support that goal, we have a number of out-of-town training opportunities listed below which you can apply for.

Basically, you qualify for travel on Title III funds if you’ve been involved in Title III activities over the last year or are willing to commit your involvement in one of our current projects (iTeach Sitka, Peer Review, or the Fall ED593 course). For more details on how to apply for travel funds visit our Apply For Travel Funds page.

Take a look at these conferences and see if any of these would be right for your needs!

May 31 – June 2:  The Teaching Professor Conference, New Orleans LA

The 10th annual Teaching Professor Conference provides an opportunity to learn effective pedagogical techniques and interact with colleagues committed to teaching and learning excellence. The plenary and conference sessions will renew and energize you.

July 7-11: BbWorld 2013, Las Vegas NV

Relevant sessions by expert speakers, hands-on training, all centered around the Blackboard CMS.

July 8-9: 10th Annual Sloan Consortium Blended Learning Conference and Workshop, Milwaukee WI

A conference devoted to the purposeful, strategic and comprehensive approach to blended teaching and learning.

July 29-August 1: Campus Technology, Boston MA

This conference leverages technology to improve performance in education. Aimed at Provost/Directors/Faculty/Instructional designers – there are sessions here for everyone.

August 7-9: 29th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching & Learning, Madison WI

This conference is for elearning practitioners. You will network with instructors and online innovators.

Image: ©iStockphoto.com/vm

What College Students Really Think About Online Courses

thinking Original post: 4/3/2013. Reposted with permission.By Tanya Roscorla

A group of student leaders has tried online classes, talked with other college students about their experience and traded their insight with educators. And as more colleges expand their online offerings, education administrators and policy-makers could learn something from these students.

Thirty-two percent of higher education students took at least one course online in fall 2011, according to the Sloan Consortium report Changing Course: Ten Years of Tracking Online Education in the United States, released in January. At NorthWest Arkansas Community College, 42 percent of its 8,069 students enrolled in at least one online class, an increase of 17 percent since last spring.

“When we see those numbers increasing or see feedback from the students saying that they want more online options, we take that very seriously, and have responded with resources and more online opportunities for our students,” said Todd L. Kitchen, vice president for learner support services. Continue reading

UAS Online Has a New Tool!

UAS Online has added a new block to the UAS Online Blackboard LMS – Set Grade Center Due Dates. Due dates can now be changed on a single page in UAS Online. Instead of having to edit every assignment, quiz or discussion board column, you can now just select the Set Grade Center Due Dates and change the due dates on this page. It can be a real time saver!

Heidi Olsen, an Instructional Designer at UAF, created a great tip sheet (pdf) on the tool. If you need any additional assistance please contact Maureen O’Halloran, Kathi Baldwin or Lori Cheezem.