Technology Toolbox

A few of the technologies we use on a regular basis. The options for what tools you might use in your online classroom are virtually endless and ever-evolving. We only list a few here, but consider looking our Glossary to browse for other ideas.

Blackboard

Blackboard is UAF’s online learning management system by providing a platform to develop and deliver a course. Instructors use Blackboard to post documents, assignments, quizzes and exams and to moderate forums, provide virtual office hours, among other functions. Students using Blackboard as an LMS are able to check their grades, submit assignments, and interact with each other and the instructor.

Blackboard is used for distance education classes that are taught entirely online, and also to complement traditional face-to-face classes.

Users can request an account through the OIT Support Center at helpdesk@alaska.edu or call (907) 450-8300 or toll free (800) 478-8226. New and returning student accounts are automatically created daily at 10am.

Google Apps for Education

Google Suite for Education contains a group of tools that you and your students have access to for class, professional, or personal work. The collection includes Docs, Sheets, Calendar, Forms, Slides, and many more. Google apps are inherently collaborative, meaning you can share view, commenting, or edit with one or more other users. You can also link two types of documents so that updates to one will update another.

Screencast-O-Matic

Screencast-o-Matic is free software that allows you to create videos that can be delivered using the Internet.  Embedded the videos into Blackboard, WordPress, and Google Drive, or downloaded as a movie file. Creating video lectures, procedural instructions, or assignment feedback is a great way to use Screencast-o-Matic. Students will find it easy to create a presentation. Screencast-o-Matic allows up to 15 minutes per screen capture.

How can I use Screencast-o-Matic in my course?

  • Provide Feedback
  • Present Lectures
  • Provide instructions on complex topics
  • Capturing a video stream

How can students use Screencast-o-Matic in a course?

  • Presentation
  • Submitting assignments
  • Collaboration
  • Sharing work with other students

Twitter

Twitter is a social networking platform that enables people to post short messages, under 140 characters, to the web. Over time, the original question that Twitter “asked” when you logged in has changed from “What are you doing?” to “What’s happening?” This is a bit closer to the reality of the way Twitter is used as the number of people using Twitter has exploded and the variety of uses to which it is put has become accordingly diverse, including:

  • general social and topical conversation
  • real-time event reporting (conferences, seminars, product announcements, breaking world news)
  • “micro-blogging” of fresh links, news, and resources
  • standing, widely distributed topical chats

Before using Twitter in your class, it is a good idea to try it for yourself first. Doing this will help you understand not only how to tweet, but also how to connect with a network. There are already many communities of educators using Twitter who are sharing their resources and experiences. Try following the hashtags #astepln, #iteachak #edchat#lrnchat, and #EDUCAUSE to see what a distributed chat looks like around a particular topic. You can also follow individual tweeting educators, like @coolcatteacher, (or others in particular disciplines) to see how they use Twitter to share out to the community.

How can I use Twitter in my class?

You may wish to use Twitter to quickly direct student’s attention to something happening right now. Skip Via,  Joann Healy and Jennifer Meyer use twitter in their classes. See examples of course specific tweets  #ED677, #Nousion

Voicethread

Voicethread is a media photo album that can use all types of media: images, videos, audio (microphone or phone) text annotation. It allows visitors to make comments on stories in six different ways: 1) voice with a microphone, 2) or voice with telephone), 3) text, 4) audio file, or 5) video with a webcam, 6) annotation by drawing. Plus it allows for group interaction on an asynchronous basis. As with most social software, there is an option to make your presentations private or not.

How can I use Voicethread in my class?

  • Presentations
    Instructor discussion: http://voicethread.com/#q.b2580152.i13701923
    Student presentation involving sign language: http://voicethread.com/#q+art.b81021.i413324
  • Discussion 
    Often discussion questions are posed at the end of lectures/class sessions, by using voicethread commenting tools, specific points or questions can be brought up at appropriate times throughout a presentation
  • Calculation solving
    Assign problems and have different students explain how to solve an equation. Example: http://voicethread.com/#q.b8752.i68307
  • Digital storytelling
    A perfect medium for digital storytelling since you can upload various types of multimedia.
  • Creative writing/Historical Intrepretation
    Use voicethread as a story prompt for creative writing/poetry creation by providing images for students. Example: http://voicethread.com/#q.b425796.i2253596v
  • Language Practice or Proficiency
    Spanish Grammar Class goal: evaluate student oral performance

Wordpress

WordPress is a blog and website platform that we use at UAF eLearning for sites residing on http://community.uaf.edu.   Alternatively, you can use the commercial platform with a free or paid account.

How can I use WordPress in my class?

WordPress is an incredibly functional tool. We currently host WordPress sites that house entire courses, discussion blogs, and sometimes just supplementary articles, videos, or other media. To see the wide variety, take a look at the Community Home Page (be aware that some of the content is out of date and not all classes are currently running.)

Also, we cover the use of WordPress in our iTeach Workshops if you want a more hands-on detailed explanation of how to use it in your classroom.

YouTube Creator Studio

YouTube is a video-sharing website on which users can upload, share, and view videos.

How can I use YouTube in my class?

  • Demonstrations
  • Course Review
  • Extra Support Materials
  • Practice Language Skills
  • Capture Lectures
  • Student Projects
  • Group Work
  • Digital Stories
  • Virtual Tours
  • Presentations
  • Interviews

Browse Other Tools

 

Adobe Spark – open presentation and video

Diigo – bookmarking and annotation

Evernote – like a Trapper Keeper online

Explain Everything – Collaborative whiteboard for the iPad that records audio and video

Feedly – gather your favorite news sources in one place

Flickr – share and discussion images

Pinterest – save and organize images linked to other sites

Screencastify – Chrome extension for screencasting.