Friday, September 5, 2014

So Many Apps! So Little Time!

With iPads and Apple TV sweeping the campus, many faculty are trying to just keep up with what's happening in the app world.  If you turn to your colleagues and ask them what are their favorite apps, each one will likely provide you with a list of their top picks.  So the question becomes, how do I really know what's out there and available?

While the ProfHacker in The Chronicle of Higher Education will periodically publish a piece on iPad apps, eliciting recommendations from its readers, there are also a few web sites that I have found particularly helpful when exploring the wonderful world of iPad Apps.

One can always turn to the Apple iTunes Preview Apps Store or iTunes for Education through your favorite browser for lists of popular educational apps.  Not to be outdone, Google Play also has its site which can be browsed for apps for android devices. Excellent descriptions of each app is available with a simple mouse click. 

PadGadget (http://www.padgadget.com/ ) is the self-proclaimed “…premier iPad focused website for iPad news, apps and accessory reviews.”  While the site is not specifically focused on educational technology, those of you who want to know what's happening in the wonderful world of the iPad will find this web site appealing.  It is a great site for to help you keep up with what is happening in the iPad world and the latest apps and gadgets that you can use to extend your iPad's functionality.  In addition, the Apps Tracker tab allows one to filter the top 200 apps by category and cost.  The results can be sorted by number of downloads, rating, trends, etc. Clicking on any app in the list will pop up a more detailed app description. You can also follow PadGadget on Twitter.


Another excellent site, EducationalTechnology and Mobile Learning, provides several pages with links to iPad resources, Ed Tech Resources, and a number of other tools for educators.

Happy exploring!

Monday, August 25, 2014

C3B4Me Policy

A new semester is upon us.  I try to do one new "thing" every time I teach a class.  This summer, CTE hosted a Flip It! Workshop.  One of my take-aways was the C3B4Me Policy.  I decided to refer to it as the C3B4Me practice to avoid confusion with "real" institutional policies.  Essentially, this policy encourages students to be self-directed and reliant.  Read the article by Dr. Honeycutt, the founder of Flip It Consulting.

I plan on discussing it briefly during my first synchronous chat.  Here’s what I have posted in my classroom as an announcement:
"Sign Note Thumbtack Pin Reminder Thumb Notes" image by Nemo, public domain C3B4Me Practice
Have a question?  Before emailing me, please try to locate your answer on your own by checking three different sources.  Consider contacting a classmate, reviewing the syllabus, reading the assignment directions or checking the announcements.  If you can’t locate the information you need, please feel free to contact.  I’m here to help!

If you decide to use it this semester, please share your experiences with this practice/policy.  Tried something new this semester?  We love to hear about it too!  Have a great semester!

Monday, August 11, 2014

On the search for videos

“Search To Find Magnifying Glass Hand Finger Thumb” by geralt, public domain
In my last two blogs, we discussed tools that we can use for creating your own videos.  This time I would like to share a few sources for videos and searching tips. The sources are primarily open educational resources (OER) that have licensing designed to make it simple for users to reuse, rework, remix and redistribute materials.  For more information, visit Creative Commons (CC) for a short video with information regarding their open licenses.
So, what are OER?  There are many definitions of OER.  In simple terms, OER are any type of resources (videos, images, tests, software, textbooks and much, much more!) that are in the public domain or licensed to permit free use and re-purposing by others.
Whew…finally, I’m onto the video sources I mentioned earlier. 

YouTube
The best way to find a video that is licensed under the Creative Commons license on YouTube is to use the CC Search tool described above in the General Search and Photo/Image Search sections. Unfortunately, YouTube does not provide a filter or advanced search capability on their home page for finding all YouTube Creative Commons licensed videos. However, http://www.youtube.com/creativecommons lets you see the most viewed and most reused Creative Commons licensed videos.

Tip:  If you are on the YouTube home page and type in your search term followed by a comma and then “creativecommons” the videos returned are CC licensed.  Also, when uploading videos, by default, the licensing is set at “Standard YouTube License”, which essentially means the creator is granting YouTube the right to broadcast the video.  See the Terms of Service (specifically, Section 6.C.) for full details.
Let’s you easily upload and find CC licensed videos.  This site tends to be used by businesses and organizations.

The Internet Archive has a collection of old video and movie footage.  Check out site for old cartoons, sports videos, ephermal films and news footage.
Tip:  This site allows you to download video and you burn them to a DVD or thumb drive to avoid slow internet connection (not that the internet is ever slow!).
TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. In 1984, it started out as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. The best talks and performances from TED and partners are made available to the world, for free. More videos are added on a regular basis.  All of the talks are subtitled in English, and many are subtitled in various languages. If you’re wondering, there’s an app too!

Do you have any go-to sites for videos?  Please share them with us.



Attribution:  “Video Search” in open4us.org, CC BY 4.0

Monday, July 28, 2014

More Video Tools

Last time, I shared a few ‘video’ tools that I have used.  However, there are many video tools out there.  You may also want to check out the following tools that others have used to create materials for their classrooms, as well as student productions.  Please let me know what you think of them and feel free to share more!

This iOS, Android and Windows compatible app ($2.99) is an interactive white word and screencasting tool.  Check out these short videos, which highlight the commonly used features.  One example that I found, was that a student recorded how he was trying to balance a chemistry equation.  (Using the 'Explain Everything' App in the classroom YouTube video).  

Create animated videos.  The basic features are free. They also have premium features for a cost.  Consider using it as an alternative to PowerPoint.

A video sharing site with multiple levels of membership and yes, there’s a free one too!  Vimeo is comparable to YouTube, but there are some differences.  Do you have a preference?  Let us know what you think.

This freeware converts videos to multiple formats and has editing features.  There is a Windows and Mac version. 

I invite you to share a tool and your creation with us (whether you think you're creative or not)!
  
Looking ahead…I’ll share a few tips and resources to search for videos created by others.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Video Tools

The CTE recently hosted a workshop on the Flipped Classroom.  We spent a day eating yummy food and snacks, as well as sharing instructional strategies and modeling a flipped classroom experience.  To supplement the workshop, I thought I’d share three video tools that can be used in a flipped or your current classroom.  I have used these tools in my online courses.  Essentially, screen capture refers to a process that records audio and video components on your computer screen.  (However, it may also refer to a still image of your computer screen.)


This is a free web based screen capturing tool for up to 15 minutes of recording time or feel free to purchase for more features.  I use the free version.  Screencast-O-Matic allows video creation in multiple formats (mp4, avi and flv) for uploading to its site or YouTube.

Student Strategies:  
  • Use Screencast-O-Matic to provide a video introduction of yourself or a course, whether it’s online, hybrid or face-to-face.
  • Need to respond to a student question, but it would take too long to type it out or need to "show it", use this tool to personalize your response or keep it general and use it again later.
  • Keep your first video short until you become more familiar with the tools and process.  
  • Don’t sweat the small mistakes-the show must go on!

Most of you are already familiar with YouTube.  But…did you know that YouTube has editing capabilities and an automatic text captioning feature?  It’s not perfect-but it’s a start.  You may also upload a transcript.   Check out this YouTube video that quickly walks you through closed captioning.  Also, you can categorize your video files as public, private or unlisted. 

Tech Tip:  Use “Mashups” in Blackboard to easily view and share YouTube videos.

Here’s an example of how I used the videos tool to provide my students a tutorial for formatting Microsoft Word for a College 101 type course.



This is my first attempt at blogging.  I hope you found it helpful.  Is there something you’ve been wondering how to add to your classroom?  Need help with any of these tools?  The CTE is here to help you!  Send an email to cte@triton.edu or call extension 3371. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Announcing the Blackboard SP12 Upgrade!

Blackboard Learn SP12 has been installed for our Blackboard Learning Management System.  What are some of the new features for faculty?
  • The Global Navigation Menu provides one-click access to your Courses, Settings, Blackboard Help, and the new My Blackboard tools.
  • A new "My Blackboard" where critical information from all your courses is consolidated in a simple, modern, easily consumable way.  This includes Posts, Notifications, and Grades for students.
  • A new and improved Content Editor
  • A redesigned Discussion interface
  • A completely rebuilt Calendar system which automatically synchs course due dates, supports drag and drop changes, provides customizable views, and can be exported to other third party calendars
  • The Retention Center that highlights retention factors and student engagement
  • Inline Assignment Grading where you can review and grade student submitted files in the Blackboard environment
  • Test Enhancements that improves the design and deployment of tests.
This video will quickly show you some of the new key features that may change the way you work...



There's definitely more to Blackboard Learn!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Apple TV and the New Smart Board Rooms

Apple TV
The second generation of Smart Boards have a new feature: Apple TV! This will serve as a media hub through which you can share materials and apps from your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch on the Smart Board.  What are some of the uses?
  • Annotate documents
  • Display pictures
  • Use and demonstrate apps
  • Walk the room while still remaining connected
  • Creative project presentations
  • Use as a document camera

Attend a training session in the CTE to learn how to link your mobile device to the Smart Board through Apple TV!