VoiceThread 5 of 5

Last One!!!  Here is the 5th of the 5 part series.  In this episode we look at “Advanced Skills” such as integrating Google Drive, changing the speed of auditory comments, and changing text size of text comments.  It also looks at changing presentation settings, and much, much more!


This video is about 34 minutes long, so watch in it multiple sittings, or skim through the whole video and then come back to sections to refresh your knowledge as needed.

Here is a list showing the start times of each section.  Just go to the time listed below, and that will take you directly to that section in the video.

Beginning – Intro to Video

0:43 – Cover Art (and VT Review)

4:56 – Adding to/ Merging VoiceThread Presentations

8:37 – Google Drive Integration

10:31 – Adding a Video File

13:08 – Speeding Up / Slowing Down Comments

14:17 – Resizing Text Comments

15:11 – Accessibility-Editing Closed Caption Files

18:41 – Searching for a Comment

19:40 – Changing Comment Methods

21:21 – Changing Presentation Settings

22:48 – Display Preferences and Languages

24:25 – Allowing Students to add slides to the VoiceThread

26:15 – Video Commenting

28:08 – Notifications

30:34 – Public Browse Page and Training Menu

Thanks for watching this series of videos, and Happy VoiceThreading!!

VoiceThread 4 of 5

Here is the 4th of the 5 part series.  It is focused on VoiceThread in our Learning Management System (LMS), Blackboard.  There is a lot of great information in this video about building links that are graded and ungraded, the grading interface with Blackboard, copying a VoiceThread to a new semester, and even shows an example from a student point of view.


This video is about 24 minutes long, so this is another video that you might want to watch in multiple sittings, or watch the whole thing and then come back to sections to refresh your knowledge as needed.

Here is a list showing the start times of each section.  Just go to the time listed below and that will take you directly to that section in the video.

Beginning – Intro to Video

0:31 – LTI Links

2:59 – Overview-6 Types of Links You Can Add

5:01 – Home Page: Non-Graded Link

7:03 – Course View: Non-Graded Link

8:08 – Individual VT: Non-Graded Link

9:03 – Review of Ungraded Links

10:09 – Watch a VoiceThread: Graded Link (Assignment Builder)

11:41 – Quiz/Submit a Comment: Graded Link (Assignment Builder)

13:11 – Student Presentation/Create a VoiceThread: Graded Link (Assignment Builder)

14:45 – Copying the VoiceThread to Another Semester

17:06 – The Student Perspective

20:49 – Grading Interface

23:14 – Training Menu

VoiceThread 3 of 5

Half way there!!

Here is the 3rd of the 5 part series on VoiceThread.  This episode is focused on moderating comments, different types of replies, and copying a VoiceThread.


This is another video that is about 23 minutes long, so you might want to watch in multiple sittings, or watch the whole thing and then come back to sections to refresh your knowledge as needed.

Here is a list showing the start times of each section.  Just go to the time listed below and that will take you directly to that section in the video.

Beginning – Intro to Video

1:05 – Review / Creating a VoiceThread

2:37 – Review / Commenting

3:50 – Comment Moderation

6:16 – See What Comment Moderation Looks Like

8:32 – Recording Private Replies

11:18 – Getting a Link to Share a VoiceThread

11:49 – Copying a VoiceThread

15:14 – Making Responses–Threaded Comments

19:05 – What if the Internet is Down

20:05 – The Browse Page

22:49 – Training Menu

VoiceThread 2 of 5

Here is the 2nd of the 5 part series on VoiceThread.  This video’s main concentration is on Groups and Sharing your VoiceThread.


This video is about 25 minutes long, so you might want to watch in multiple sittings, or watch the whole thing and then come back to sections to refresh your knowledge as needed.   If you have questions be sure to contact your campus instructional designer!!

Here is a list below showing the start time of each section.  Just go to the time in the video and that will take you directly to that section.

Beginning – Intro to Video

0:27 – Review – Creating a VoiceThread

3:14 – Create a Group

7:53 – Sharing a VoiceThread with a Group

10:12 – Permissions

13:05 – Deleting VoiceThread and Groups

15:27 – Sharing a VoiceThread with an Individual

19:23 – Subgroups

22:48 – Tutorials / Help Tab / Training Menu

VoiceThread 1 of 5

Today I thought I would give a shout-out to the new UAS tool VoiceThread (Do we still give “shout-outs” in 2018?).  Here is a 30 minute video with a lot of information about VoiceThread and how to use it.  It is actually the first of five videos that I’m planning on sharing over the next couple weeks.  If you have questions, be sure to contact your campus instructional designer!!


As an Instructional Designer, I already know that this video is way too long, so you might want to watch in multiple sittings, or watch the whole thing and then come back to sections to refresh your knowledge as needed.  To help out with this, I have a list below showing the start time of each section.  Just go to the time in the video and that will take you directly to that section.

Here are the segments in this video:

Beginning – Intro to the “workshop.”

1:40 – Tour of the VoiceThread Homepage

3:34 – Creating a VoiceThread (Overview)

5:07 – Creating a VoiceThread from a File

8:07 – Browser Info

8:36 – Pointers on Adding a Powerpoint

9:24 – Making Comments

13:23 – More on Making Comments

14:08 – The Sound of Your Voice

14:39 – Advantages of VoiceThread over Other Forms of Media

15:30 – Adding Comments and the Comment Channel

15:54 – Sharing Menu (Sharing a VoiceThread)

18:41 – Basic vs Secure Sharing

19:58 – Media Sources

24:27 – Commenting on Video

E-Learning and Thanksgiving

The holidays are upon us, and Thanksgiving for many means food!!  Here is how Justin Ferriman from the company LearnDash describes his Thanksgiving dinner.

The Turkey – Everyone knows this is the reason why you sit at the table to eat. The turkey is the center of attention at the dinner table during Thanksgiving. It only makes sense that the elearning equivalent to the turkey are the learning objectives – it’s what you came for!

The Stuffing – The turkey is one thing, but it isn’t complete without stuffing! While the learning objectives are why you came, the stuffing adds quite a bit of flavor. In my view, the stuffing is the tool you use to deliver the elearning. Be it Articulate 360, Adobe Presenter, or even VoiceThread.

Mashed Potatoes – Usually taking the spot right next to the turkey, mashed potatoes are always on the Thanksgiving menu… the same way you will find a quiz associated with almost every elearning course. Mashed potatoes are the quiz.

The Gravy – Mashed potatoes without gravy? Never! If mashed potatoes are the quizzes in our elearning courses, the gravy is the reward at the end. This can be a certificate, credits, points, or any other form of recognition. It’s gravy so it’s all good!

Green Beans – Every Thanksgiving dinner needs a little color, and that color is often green (be it green beans or collard greens). Greens are highly versatile and take different forms at every dinner table. They can be in a casserole, fried, sauteed, or steamed. The versatility of green beans is quite convenient – just like elearning is versatile and convenient. Take it on your phone, tablet, or laptop… and at the time of your choosing!

Pie – Be it pumpkin or pecan, many dinners are bound to have some sort of pie. It’s often the last thing eaten when you have room for nothing else, but it’s always so good and sweet. The elearning equivalent to the dessert at Thanksgiving are the bells & whistles available in elearning. The clickable elements, streaming videos, gamification, various learning paths… pretty much anything you do to add a little fun into your learning!

Have a great Thanksgiving with friends and family and enjoy the long weekend!!

Creating Great Online Learning

This week I wanted to share with you a article from the eLearning Industry on 4 tactics in creating online learning experiences.  The following was written by Peter Schroeder who is an eLearning expert.


Craft Unforgettable Online Learning Experiences Using These 4 Tactics

A great online course is set up in a way that encourages participation and interest. Since learners that enroll in your course often need to move through it on their own, a great course must be informational and intuitive. Use both these principles to motivate your users to create unique online experiences.

What tactics can you use? I’ve included 4 ideas that will spice up your online learning experiences.

1) Gamification

Games are a great way to engage learners online. Depending on your subject matter and the demographics of your learner audience, you can decide where you go to create online games. Once you understand what motivates your learners, check out these areas below to get started.

Games in education is a multi-day symposium that focuses on the intersection of online gaming pedagogy, and they serve as a good starting point for online educators beginning to experiment with games.

Simulations can also be a form of gaming. I, once, created a game for a college course on classroom management where learners were presented with a scenario and provided several possible response options. They discussed the situation in a forum, then voted on the response they most supported. The following week, I created a situation that was built on the decision made the previous week.

Scavenger hunts and contests are another simple forms of gaming. There are game-based sites like Free Rice, Brain Pop, and Sheppard software that you can use to help learners learn without requiring you to create anything too complex.

2) Stories

Stories have become increasingly important as people innovate at alarming rates. Our personal stories are what differentiate us from others and make us different. Communicating these interesting and unique stories is memorable, and learning experiences need to be memorable.

Incorporating story into your delivery of content can increase engagement. It can be equally meaningful to require learners to share stories that relate to learned concepts. Assigning reflections, asking learners to blog, or posing forum prompts that allow focused sharing of personal stories can be ways of allowing learners to make meaning through their own stories as well as through reading coworkers’ stories.

Educating through stories hit home for me a number of years ago when I read Daniel Pink’s book A Whole New Mind. For a gist of the concept, hear it from Pink himself in this short video:

Related article: The Neuroscience of Storytelling Will Make You Rethink the Way You Create

3) Design

Creating a user-friendly online environment can help learners access information in a way that makes it more consumable. The curriculum design of the course should flow from one topic to the next in a way that makes sense and builds on learned ideas.

In addition, the visual design of the course will be more inviting if it not only looks appealing but functions well. 21st-century learners are more impacted by design as creativity becomes more important in differentiating ourselves, and individuality becomes more valued socially.

As a result, it will more likely impact how learners consume your content. This doesn’t necessarily mean more complicated course design where a more simple approach would do the trick. However, taking into account the visual and functional appeal of the online environment should be a factor as you build your online environment.

4) Social Media

Social media is being used by even the less tech-savvy on a regular basis, and rightfully so—social networks can function as amazing tools for communication of ideas and new learnings.

For instance, Twitter can be used by learners to participate in chats on various topics, or as a place for educators to post bite-sized lessons and synthesize big ideas. Since Twitter has a 280 character limit, it forces learners to condense their ideas into only the most necessary parts.

Hashtags can be used to track ideas or assignments which also allows learners to organize information. Facebook, Reddit, Google Plus, Google Hangouts, Instagram, Pinterest, and Skype (and a host of others) are other examples of technologies and social networks that enhance communication in online environments.

Learners can post to any social network on the go as well as when they are in study mode and near a phone or a computer. So, find ways to encourage and motivate your learners to post what they’re learning about in your course on social media. Making this a regular part of class allows learners to consume your learning material, even when they’re not logged into any of your online courses.


Although I’ve discussed these 4 tactics individually, many of them can be combined to create interesting and unique learning experiences. Combine storytelling with social media, group work with storytelling, or social media and games.

The options are literally endless, and it is increasingly important that, as educators, we think more creatively and be ready to react to changes in technological trends in order to effectively engage 21st-century learners.

What actionable step will you take to make online learning experiences more interesting, fun, and unique for your learners?

Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you next week!!


Racial Inequality

Restaurant in 1908 Juneau advertising that there is no Native staff

Restaurant in 1908 Juneau advertising that there is no Native staff

Here at UAS Sitka, we are in a continuing conversation about inclusion, colonization, and indigenous learning.   We’ve come a long way since 1908, but after a “Power and Privilege: Racial Equity Training” that happened this week in Sitka, I thought it would be good to take a few minutes to review a video that was shown in the training session.

The video attached to this post (below) is on “Deconstructing White Privilege” by author Dr. Robin DiAngelo.  Many times we equate Racism with individual racism, or the pre-judgment, bias, or discrimination by an individual, which is based on race.  This video addresses this, but also takes a look at institutional racism, which is defined as policies, practices, and procedures that work to the benefit of white people and to the detriment of people of color, often unintentionally or inadvertently.

The video is 22 minutes, but I urge you to take the time to watch.  We need to start understanding and dismantling the system that continues to perpetuate racial inequity.

Remember that racism is a system that we are all part of, but we can start making changes by:

  • Actively receiving feedback
  • Reflecting
  • Trying to change the behavior

Have a great weekend and I look forward to seeing you next week for another FLC!

Election Day 2018

It’s election day today, November 6th, 2018, and because I’m sure you haven’t heard this enough, I thought I would give you one more reminder to get out and vote.   Voting is a right you have to help shape our future.

Here is a brief history of voting  from Scholastic:

: The founding fathers of the United States establish the Electoral College. The American people do not directly elect the President. Instead, the Electoral College elects the President.

The Electoral College votes are divided among the states. Each state gets two votes for its two Senators and a vote for each of its Representatives in Congress. The number of congressional representatives varies from state to state depending on the state’s population.

If a candidate wins the popular vote (a vote cast by a citizen) in a state, they win that state’s Electoral College vote. It is possible, mathematically, to win the popular vote and lose the presidential election if the candidate does not win enough Electoral votes.

1789: The U.S. elects George Washington as its first President.

1820–1830: As states join the union they create their own state constitutions outlining who is allowed to vote. Eligible voters are mostly white males who own property. A small number of free black men are allowed to vote but no women either white or black.

1840: Women begin to organize to petition for suffrage, or the right to vote.  Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Stanton are two of the most famous leaders of the Suffragette Movement.

1848: Wisconsin enters the union and has the most liberal voting laws. They allow people living here from other countries the right to vote if they had lived in Wisconsin for one year and plan to become citizens of the United States. But even in Wisconsin, women do not have the right to vote.

1850: Groups like the “No-Nothings” create literacy laws that state that those who wish to vote must pass a literacy test. Since many blacks and immigrants cannot read or write they are denied the right to vote. This was an attempt to keep the vote in the hands of the white male population.

1866: The 14th Amendment to the Constitution is passed by Congress. It states that men age 21 and over who are residents of the United States have the right to vote. Any state preventing these rights will lose electors in the Electoral College. Women still do not have the right to vote.

1869: Congress passes the 15th Amendment to the Constitution. That amendment grants all men the right to vote regardless of race, color, or if they were formally slaves. The Amendment does not give women the right to vote.

In Wyoming Territory women are given the right to vote, and those rights continue after Wyoming becomes a state in 1890.

1870: Utah territory gives women the right to vote.

1878: An act to amend the Constitution and give women the right to vote is introduced into Congress but does not pass.

1890: Many states begin to use secret ballots so that voters cannot be bullied into voting for candidates they do not support.

1896: Idaho grants women the right to vote.

1911: California gives women the right to vote.

1920: On August 18, Congress passes the 19th Amendment to the Constitution giving women the right to vote.

1964: On January 23 Congress passes the 24th Amendment to the Constitution outlawing poll taxes. Poll taxes, or tax fees for voting, have been used to discourage poor people from voting.

1965: The Voting Rights Act is signed by President Lyndon Johnson. The act enforces the 15th Amendment by explicitly stating that obstacles, such as literacy tests or complicated ballot instructions, are against federal law.

1971: On July 1, the 26th Amendment is passed by Congress lowering the voting age from 21 to 18. The law is meant to resolve the disparity that 18-year-old men are old enough to be drafted to fight in the Vietnam War, yet did not have the right to vote.

1975: Congress expands the Voting Rights Act to protect the voting rights of those people who do not speak or read English.

2000: For the first time in United States history, in a close and controversial election, the President of the United States is chosen based on a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Al Gore wins the nation’s popular vote, but George W. Bush has the lead in the Electoral College. The vote in Florida is too close to call and plagued with voting irregularities. Vice President and Democratic candidate for President, Al Gore, requests a recount. The recount must be done by the state’s deadline to cast their Electoral College vote, so the Florida Supreme Court votes to extend the deadline. The U.S. Supreme Court suspends the recount and enforces the state’s deadline. George W. Bush is declared President-elect on December 13, more than one month after the November 4 election.


In Florida, they had a mechanical voting system, and the recount was complicated by ballots where the “chad” was not completely punched out, making the recount difficult.  By 2004 many precincts in Florida had electronic touchscreen voting machines, that lead to this classic voting parody:

Thanks for getting out and voting!!!

Intelligence – Is it the same for everyone?

This week we are looking at intelligence.  How do we judge students, and if they are doing poorly in our classes do we look at them differently?  Do we label them as stupid?  It may be that the student is brilliant, but may be in the wrong field of study.

In the following article we look at Howard Earl Gardner’s “seven intelligences.”  It is interesting to note that only 2 of the 7 intelligences on the list are valued in school.

Comic showing animals that need to take "climb that tree" exam

For a fair selection everybody has to take the same exam: Please climb that tree

Click on the picture above or this link to get to the article.

As faculty lets help each other to remember to be less judgmental based on schoolwork.  We need to give students every chance to discover where their talents lie.  Look for brilliance outside of their classwork and help them discover their true intelligence.

Have a great weekend!!