Should You Use WordPress?

WordPress is a publishing platform that provides flexibility for course materials, facilitates open teaching practice, and serves as a public platform for student work. The flexibility of WordPress is one of its strengths, but it also means that the learning curve may feel steep for those using it for the first time. Is it right for your course?

Apply Universal Design to your course

Universal Design is a collection of principles for making an experience inclusive for a range of users with consideration to age, ability, size and any other condition that causes them to be more or less successful interacting with the world. It is an approach to design that intentionally means to benefit many individuals and it can be applied to course design.

Pick up Slack

There is no shortage of discussion platforms to choose from if you’re interested in implementing one in your class. Among the available platforms is Slack, a third party communication app that blends elements of chat, discussion board, and social media.

Three ways to manage WordPress contributions

If you’ve ever used WordPress in your class as a space for student contribution, you’ve likely wondered if there is an optimal way to see what is being published and who is making contributions. This information is vital in an online course where post and comment activity often happens asynchronously. In this Teaching Tip, we’ll discuss strategies that allow you to track student engagement and interaction.

3. LMS: Learning Management Systems

EPIC: Home Activities Discussion Builds Case Studies Resources When we teach online, the classrooms around which many of us are used to centering our courses are gone. So where do we go? Decades ago, some of the first people to ask this question created an answer that...

Go offline with Google Drive Stream

Google has released Drive Stream to help you more efficiently manage your Google Drive files offline. The new features make more intelligent use of space on your computer and help reduce the amount of file syncing over network connections.

An Introduction to Open Educational Practices

Open educational practices incorporate Wiley’s 5 Rs of open content – retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute – into ways of teaching that encourage co-creation and sharing amongst learners, teachers, and a community.

Try Voice-to-text Apps for Audio Transcription

Audio transcription tools enable listeners to give their undivided attention to a speaker and free up hands and eyes from note taking. These apps can help to foster a more engaging group dynamic in the moment and are becoming both more precise and affordable thanks to the advancement of voice-to-text technology.

Find Open-licensed Media for Your Course

Engage your students by incorporating polished, open-licensed, stock media in your course to help build interest and garner attention. The curated resources in this Teaching Tip will show you where to find eye-catching images, video and audio.

Advanced Collaboration in GAFE

Alternative Uses Activity Based on an activity designed by J.P. Guilford in 1967, this activity is meant to exercise creativity (old idea, see what I did there?). Activity: In 2 minutes imagine as many new uses for an everyday object (provided) by exploring beyond...

How to use podcasts in class

Podcasting has been a pedagogical player in the education arena for a number of years. Both face-to-face and eCampus-supported Instructors can use podcasts to provide students with on-demand listening materials.

Creating Templates with Google Apps

Similar to Microsoft Word, Google apps support the creation of templates for documents with particular pre-formatted layout and style requirements. Templates are a simple—often overlooked—tool for saving time by eliminating the repetitive processes of formatting and layout. Templates help reduce cognitive overhead by allowing users to focus on creating content.

Navigating nonstop news

How do you follow news online? We have so much access to information we can’t possibly read it all. Do you remember the episode of “I Love Lucy” where Lucy works at a candy factory? She has to wrap all the chocolate coming down the belt but it keeps moving faster and faster. The pace of news today can feel like this.

Untangling Google’s growing Chrome universe

Have you noticed Google has been growing their list of Chrome-related products? The names are similar but the features are notably different. I was losing track of this growing Chrome universe. This article is an attempt to explain each tool and how you could use it in a classroom.

Get to the point using animated GIF instructions

Is it possible to distill instructions to mere seconds using an animated GIF? While reading the Google product blog, I noticed they use this strategy to illustrate new functionality within their apps. These short demonstrations helped me understand new functionality without requiring me to launch the actual application and click around.

Weave meaning and media with interactive maps

Maps are a natural and efficient way to communicate spatial information. More than serving as tools to help us think about physical space, they are useful for visualizing and organizing information within the context of a particular place. Maps provide a concrete landscape on which to present a story tied to a place that can provide visually compelling interpretation of data.

Creating Khan Academy-style screencasts

There may be times you need to explain concepts that are visual in nature, for which you might want to annotate or diagram ideas for your students who are not physically in the room with you. This can be the case, for instance, if you are teaching an elearning course or if you are using a flipped classroom model in your class.

Downloading web video

Elearning classes sometimes require students to watch a prohibitive amount of web video in terms of bandwidth availability, yet it’s no secret that access to inexpensive broadband internet access is almost unheard of here in Alaska. The reality is that the majority of us pay high fees for very limited bandwidth. With these constraints in mind, there are a few strategies you may be able to employ to watch web video economically.

Exploring interactive video

When streaming video was a new technology the capabilities to control volume, speed and resolution were novel. Could you imagine not being able to rewind and replay a video today now that these sorts of interactive features are standard? Video interactivity has come a long way since the early days.

Simple semester checklist

Now, here we are at the beginning of the new semester. How time flies! In expectation of this new semester, this week’s Teaching Tip includes a handful of items to check off your list as you prepare your courses for the first day of class.

Course revisions

Course development is an ever-evolving process. We tweak and adjust for many reasons. Maybe we decide an activity didn’t quite work the way we intended, or we discover new content to share with students. Early planning can make the revision process more efficient and less stressful.

Email notifications for Google Form submissions

If you use Google Forms for surveys or to quiz your students in class, you may have found yourself wishing that you could get notifications each time someone submits your form. Logging into Google and checking your Results Sheet often can take a lot of time. Fortunately, there is a way to set up notifications and eliminate unnecessary checks on your Results Sheet.

Interactive video

PopcornMaker is a free to use, drag and drop video editor that makes mashup-making easy, even with multiple types of media. This is no ordinary video editor. It goes beyond basic edits, enabling creators to augment video and audio files by layering media resources on top of the timeline.

Share folders

If you’ve been using Google Drive for some time you may find your “Shared With Me” file list feels more like clutter than a productive space for collaboration. Maybe that’s even a bit of an understatement, but there’s no need for file frustration. You can manage the madness a couple of ways, and they both start by sharing folders not files.

Accessibility and online course content

Not everyone accesses online content in the same ways. This is true across various media including text, images, audio, and video. Planning your online course content to be accessible to as many people as possible ensures that more student can benefit from the information you share. Thinking proactively about the accessibility of your course content can also make the process of working with Disability Services faster and easier when a student in your class requests accommodation.

Using YouTube’s Caption Editor

Many of us use video in our classes, but sometimes we forget that video is a media format that is not as equally accessible to all viewers. Viewers who are hearing impaired will not be able to hear the voices, music, or background audio we include in our video. It is our responsibility to take steps to ensure that we make video content accessible for as many of our viewers as possible.

Virtual worlds

Do you remember virtual worlds? They haven’t gone anywhere, but back in the middle of the last decade, 2006-2009, they were getting a good deal more attention than they are now. Names from the automotive industry, news agencies, music labels, and even universities jumped in to see what all of the hype was about. Worlds such as Second Life, Open Sim, Kaneva, and Blue Mars were just some of the virtual spaces people could walk into.

Planning your Prezi

Prezi separates itself from conventional presentation platforms by breaking free of the linear nature of slides. That being said, how do we effectively take advantage of its unique capabilities? One of Prezi’s greatest features is the way in which it presents multimedia content. It enables presenters to guide viewers through images, text, video, and audio media in a way that highlights the relationships between the information and ideas presented.

Collaborative maps with Google Maps

Google has recently added sharing features to its Maps tool, making it easier than ever to collaborate on building custom map-based resources. With these new features you can build your own information into a Google map, share it with others and embed it in your web site.