Analyze my Writing

Analyze My Writing

Thanks to another mention by FreeTech4Teachers.com, I have looked into this Analyze My Writing engine. In the past we have talked about Wordle and Tagxedo, which are both fine word cloud generators, which in addition to making long pieces of text look pleasant, highlight most commonly used words in a chunk of text. The idea behind these is that you…

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May 14, 2015 |

Hypothesis Pop-Up

Annotate the Web with the Hypothesis Tool Extension

One of the most powerful differences between printed text and digital text, as we’ve already covered, is the ability to annotate in the margins as you would a physical book. We’ve talked about tools that allow you to annotate screenshots, and tools that allow you to curate, then annotate, webpages and articles–now, I want to cover a tool, and point…

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April 3, 2015 |

online student time management

Using Google Docs as Online Student

Among the things that online students point out as the most important to success are time management and staying motivated (see all the seven factors listed in this Educause article). Clearly, it’s easy to get side-tracked if you don’t have to go to a class at a particular scheduled time – remember this was actually the best thing about asynchronous classes…

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March 31, 2015 |

Reading Glasses

Protect your eyes: a particular concern for online students

While online students face many of the same problems as traditional students on the ground, a different sort of concern can be raised out of the convenience that a fully online degree program can afford. What is it? It’s called CVS. Computer Vision Syndrome, not to be mistaken with the lines of pharmacies, is the name for any host of optical…

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March 26, 2015 |

Audio Recordings

Audio Recordings

Over the last year, with the smoother integration of YouTube videos into the Blackboard system (such as Vide Everywhere, aka Record from Webcam), we have used the video features extensively and in an increasing number of courses. There are admittedly lots of advantages to taking courses online, but cultivating a robust community remains a challenge in distance education. So, using…

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March 26, 2015 |

Google Cultural Institute

Google Add-ons: MailChimp, HelloFax, EasyBib and Many More

At first, I wanted to write about Arts and Social Work, but that was quite a bit of a stretch as I was only going to tell you guys about a very cool Google Chrome extension (only works in Chrome, of course) called “Google Art Project”. It can enrich your web browsing experience by opening a beautiful piece of art…

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March 19, 2015 |

How to Read SafeAssign Reports

Understanding SafeAssign Reports

Watch the complete webinar recording on Preventing Plagiarism and SafeAssign.  

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March 13, 2015 |

Feedback

Feedback

We have already touched upon the subject of feedback, and its peculiar and often subjective qualities and content. Today we resume the topic of feedback and challenge you to an exercise in feedback. We know that good feedback is always contextual, and is often tricky. Some of the trickiness is in the object of the feedback. Usually, it’s easy to…

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February 26, 2015 |

Edit Group Set Enrollments - New Student Orientation

Randomize Group Enrollments

Instructors often like to have control over student group assignment. Sometimes, it matters not who is where, but a rather quick assignment is needed. While there is absolutely no way to change the type of the group set already created (at present), it’s possible to have the system randomly assign all the students (more or less evenly) across all the…

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February 23, 2015 |

Illustration of a man collecting coins as he goes up ladders to signify gamification

Gamification - An Implementation of Immersive Role Playing

Former colleagues of mine, Robert Prince and Owen Guthrie of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, developed a journalism course wherein the professor constructed the lesson plan to mimic the internal organization of a struggling newspaper. The students in the course were new hires looking to climb the professional ladder he’d constructed for them, from intern all the way up to…

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February 19, 2015 |

International Social Work in the Carribean

A New Paradigm: An Integration of Online Social Work and International Trav

We will be shifting gears today a bit, and will feature a social work article authored by Leslie Yaffa and Amy Storch on their ‘Social Work in the Caribbean‘ course and their experiences in Jamaica with a cohort of online students who came together for the first time. http://www.nyu.edu/classes/keefer/waoe/yaffal.pdf If any of you would like to share a social work…

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February 12, 2015 |

Bartle Test

Gamification: The Bartle Test

In academia, “Gamification” is the (lately hyped) practice of applying game design to instructional design. The basic idea behind it is that well designed games motivate players to spend inordinate amounts of time learning the system of the game and boatloads of extra lives and respawns trying to beat/win/“game” the game. If one were to effectively align the artificial system…

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February 5, 2015 |

Timeline of construction of Eifel

Timelines as Creative and Attractive Projects

We are all very familiar with the basic presentation tools and formats. Oftentimes, projects are envisioned as white papers, an  MS PowerPoint presentation, or an alternative, such as Prezi or Keynote, and a website project. Recently, we have been adding YouTube videos as either oral testimonials, “sales pitch” presentations for grants, or weekly video check-ins. Sometimes the reasons behind these are…

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January 22, 2015 |

icloud

Types of Cloud Storage Tools Pt. 2

(This is Part 2 of a 2-part survey of the various cloud storage tools you can utilize in the classroom. For Part 1, looking at Dropbox, Box and Copy, click here.) Some cloud storage tools have evolved beyond offering storage on their own. The advantage of using the same tool to create your media as you use to store it…

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January 13, 2015 |

Box Logo

Dropbox or ...?

Types of Cloud Storage Services – 3 and 3 – Part 1 (In Part 2, I’ll return to talk about Drive, OneDrive and iCloud) Box, Copy and Dropbox This group of cloud services is simpler than the group I will cover in this two-part series, “Types of Cloud Storage Services.” Box, Copy and Dropbox provide some ancillary services, but their focus is…

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December 18, 2014 |

canoe line drawing

Interactive Stories

We have already talked about writing, let’s talk about writing interactive stories. In online courses, writing is often the predominant activity. It’s not just styles, grammar, and perfect APA citations that matter, of course. There are lots of skills that students must demonstrate when writing academic papers. What we don’t include as much is this dimension of interacting with writing…

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December 11, 2014 |

Blackboard Features

Look at all these Writing Tools in Blackboard

One of Blackboard’s strengths is the variety of tools it has that allow students to express themselves in writing. I’ve divided these tools into two camps, Individual and Social. Tools in the Individual camp are designed for writing projects that only the student and the teacher see; tools in the Social camp are designed to engage the class as a…

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November 20, 2014 |

global navigation

Customizing your preferences for course notifications settings

With the recent developments, it looks like we are now able to set up email alerts for the events in your course that you want to keep track of. The switch happened to be turned on on Tuesday without a warning and your inbox may have been affected: all of a sudden, instructors and teaching assistants started receiving alerts from…

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November 5, 2014 |

monosnap window

Monosnap and Skitch - Screenshot Palimpsests

You know the word palimpsest? It is one of my favorites. It refers to a document on which more recent writing appears over older writing. The intent of such writing isn’t defined by the term itself–sometimes the newer writing is meant to deface the older writing (as with graffiti), sometimes to supplement it (as with JJ Abrams’ new book) but many…

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November 3, 2014 |

feedback

The Craft of Good Feedback

Contributing good feedback is a craft, and like any craft it is simultaneously distinct from and defined by the tools we use to practice it. Quality feedback can go through any communicative medium—text message; youtube comments section; a waxed string strung tautly between two paper cups—because the properties of good quality feedback are universal… Good feedback is honest Good feedback…

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October 24, 2014 |

word cloud

Why Use Word Clouds?

Word Clouds You may be quite familiar with word clouds (by Wordle or Tagxedo, although lots more options also exist: thing 1 and thing 2). A whole bunch of text is popped into a word cloud engine and then – boom! – you only get a handful of words (you control the number) which are usually the most frequently used…

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October 16, 2014 |

spell check icon

How do I check spelling in Outlook Web Access?

Spell checking is available in Internet Explorer 10 and later versions, and current versions of Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. Check the options for your web browser to learn more about how to use it to check spelling. To learn more about the browsers that are compatible with Outlook Web App, see Supported browsers for Outlook Web App. Spell check in…

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October 2, 2014 |

iPad and teapot

Tips and Practices for Creating Effective Online Learning Experiences

If you have an hour, you will enjoy spending it going through this BB/QMa Conrad presentation on Tips and Best Practices to Create Effective Online Learning Experiences. It’s straightforward and clean, and addresses the following concepts: The Instructional Design Process (Formulate Objectives/Competencies>>Develop Assessment>>Specify Content and Strategies>>Choose Tools) tips on dealing with each the 21st Century Learner skills 10 Core Learning Principles Guiding…

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September 25, 2014 |

Oranges

Another Safe Source of High Quality Copyright-Free Images

It’s amazing how generous people can be with their creations! Pixabay is a website that hosts and allows you to download high-quality copyright-fee images that you can use and reuse any way you want! They don’t even require attribution, although that is always nice to mention. If your students are creating web pages or any other publishable materials, they may…

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September 18, 2014 |