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.

iTeach Sitka is Coming Soon, and It’s Going to ROCK!!

Is your application in for iTeach 2013? Here’s a preview of what we’ll be doing together:

  • Using the latest iPad and sharing the best educational apps
  • Learning about some Google Apps that can enhance your classroom experience
  • Learning some great story-boarding tips and techniques that can be used when designing instruction
  • Creating video tutorials or video lectures
  • Using Blackboard and online design best practices
  • Collaborating with faculty from UAA
  • Playing with nationally known presenter, Diane Elkins
  • Designing and building your online course
  • Learning more about Jing, Camtasia, SoftChalk, VoiceThread, Blackboard, AdobePresenter,  and lots of cool web 2.0 tools

It is sure to be a fun and productive week. Please join us!

Click for Complete iTeach Sitka Information.

Feeling “Google-y”?

workshop photo

Kathi, Lori, Maureen, Marian, Nicole and Sarah (along with 22 others from around the state) immersed in Google Apps for Education training last week. It was pretty amazing how much we learned in two days. Even when you use something like Google every day, there are so many tricks and shortcuts to learn! Thank you *so* much Molly Schroeder for your great Google Apps for Educators Boot Camp!

Here are some keyboard shortcuts that I found quite useful for Chrome and Google:

  • Control or Command T will open a new browser tab
  • Control or Command F will bring up a search bar to search your document for something
  • Command Shift 4 (on mac) will grab an image
  • If you are using Google Sites, “e” will put you quickly into edit mode

A few good tools or websites that you might be interested in checking out are: Continue reading

Diane Elkins Joins the iTeach Sitka Team in June!!

Elkins from artisan eLearning

Diane Elkins

(1) We are very excited to announce that Diane Elkins, co-owner of Artisan E-Learning, will join our iTeach training team. Our team this year includes, Mary, Maureen, Lori, Kathi from Sitka campus and Madera from UAF!

Diane is a trainer in the fast-growing field of “rapid development tools” and has written books and trained diverse clients in the use of products like Captivate, Lectora, Storyline, Jing. She is a master of story-boarding and managing training materials, videos and e-learning projects. Most recently Diane has created training materials with easy video production using whiteboards. (Have you ever looked at a “In Plain English” YouTube? These videos are a lot like those). We have a lot we can all learn from Diane.

Diane is excited to share her knowledge and work with you during the June 3-7 iTeach week in Sitka.

(2) Remember iTeach is your week to work on your online course(s), get 1:1 help from Sitka and Fairbanks Instructional Designers, learn and collaborate with colleagues and have fun while constructing your online materials! There is a stipend attached to the week. Be sure to apply soon.

(3) This year some UAA faculty will be joining our iTeach week. This should enrich your learning environment to work with people from other campuses.

(4) Even if you have attended an iTeach in the past– you CAN APPLY AGAIN! Join us in June. We expect the week to be great.

For full information on how to apply for our iTeach, please check out:

iTeach Information

Kathi

SoftChalk Learning Page for UAS Faculty

UAS has a SoftChalk Learning Page for faculty where prior webinars and additional video tutorials are posted. If you missed a webinar or want to review the content again, please visit the page. (Please note – some videos do not play in the Chrome browser.)

The following videos are currently available:

 SoftChalk video tutorials
  • SoftChalk overview (recorded webinar; 50 minutes)
  • SoftChalk introduction (recorded webinar; 3 hrs)
  • How to create a connection between Blackboard and SoftChalk 7 (3 minutes)
  • How to manually upload a lesson created in SoftChalk 7 to Blackboard (4 minutes)

 

Assessment and Alignment

We’ve added a new category to our web-based resources and included the content below. Find these resources and more on our web-based resources page.

Professor Dancelot and the Perils of a Misaligned Course

No one would really teach a dance class this way, would they? This video takes a humorous look at what can go wrong when a course’s learning activities do not align with the intended outcomes and assessment. Although this is an exaggerated example, it reminds us to look at the courses we teach to see if any of the elements are out of alignment.

Assessment & Instructional Alignment – An Online Tutorial for Faculty

Learning assessment is more than testing students and assigning grades. It is a system that provides feedback about student learning. This tutorial introduces an assessment approach using the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy. Using the taxonomy can improve your assessment system and improve student learning by aligning course objectives, activities and assessments with each other. In this course you’ll learn how to:

  • Write observable learning objectives.
  • Choose learning activities that support your learning objectives.
  • Choose assessments that match your activities and objectives.
  • Use a taxonomy to align learning objectives, activities and assessments.