Category: Jane Hart’s Top 100 Learning Tools

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Teaching Tools: SPSS, InStat, StarQuiz, Camtasia, and Research Randomizer.

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I am moving towards requiring that all my students demonstrate to me minimal mastery of the use of the technology-based teaching and learning tools I introduce into the classroom (e.g. Quizlet,  Starquiz). My esteemed student research students do the pilot work.

I asked Tia and Ariana to show me that they could use Camtasia to create a screencast of how to access two statistical packages I introduce in PSY205 (InStat  and SPSS) and one piece of software (research randomizer) that allows students to perform random assignment and random sampling.

Take a look:

I now will assess whether each of my forty-four students can access these tools (based on Tia and Arianna’s lessons) and use them to enhance their learning. Here is a benchmark for what they should know.

 

 

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15 Minutes in My Digital Life As a Professor

Cap and Gown

I’ve been so busy lately that yesterday I almost didn’t have time to change out of my academic regalia before beginning my PSY205 Statistics and Experimental Design course. Thanks to Jenny Percy for capturing this “precious moment”.

My social media day usually begins at 5:30 a.m. with a quick look at my Carroll email, my Twitter feed, my Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. If I see an article from the Chronicle of Higher Education or Inside Higher Education worth sharing, I pass it on to  Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook followers. My restricted “Twitter feed” often appears on the left of the window of applications I am using like this WordPress software.

Here is what I mean (courtesy of my Snagit capturing software and Screencast.com).

Click me: 

Twitter primarily serves me as a personal professional development tool. Facebook is a rich source for my staying in touch with alumni (NO, Kim and Ryan, I DO NOT WANT a party in 2019). LinkedIn has proven to be a wonderful way to reconnect and stay connected to Alumni —So great reconnecting with you recently, Dave Verban!—, Members of the Board of Trustees, and Schneider Consulting Clients.

Time to meet with my colleague and FB “friend” Peggy Kasimatis.

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Changes: How much tinkering should one do with a course that seems to work well?

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Carroll has become a special place to me. I have been influenced greatly by its students, faculty, staff, administration, and alumni. By its traditions, theater productions and its music.

There are lots of changes these days occurring at Carroll. Some of them are physical, others organizational. Some things never change (read between the lines:); some things never should change.

I asked research assistants Alison and Lizzy to document some of the physical changes. Here is what they produced:

I continue to experiment with my “best” course (Statistics and Experimental Design) to make it better by finding the right balance of technology-assisted and personally- delivered instruction. Here is how I have taught it in the past. I have been pleased at the helpfulness, useful feedback and receptiveness of students past and present as I experiment.

This semester I was influenced in what did the during the  first week of class by a Chronicle of Higher Education thought piece about making best use of the first class day.

I began the class wanting to test the sound systems so I shared this amazing tribute to David Bowie:

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Instead of calling out the class list to take attendance I give a quiz every day with immediate feedback which goes into a student portfolio. I also call upon a random group of students (selected by students using random sampling software to select the lucky students). Two students won free copies of my workbook!

Since then I have introduced them to SPSS and InStat (i.e. that the latter software exists) and to Survey Monkey.

Here is something Lizzy and Alison produced illustrating one of these tools:

I have also shown them Quizlet, started urging them to read germane articles from the Chronicle of Higher Education, and attempted to alert them to ethical issues about research by sharing lessons I have learned from Diederik Stapel.

To date, I seem to have highly engaged students learning and eager to learn. The first exam is February 10.

I am now invite their feedback and yours.

 

 

 

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Why Twitter is Rising in Importance in My Personal Learning Program

DSCN8780It’s my research day. I just helped Leo the Great Pyr onto his Central Bark Doggie Day Care bus

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and had a team meeting with Lizzy and Alison, two of my student research assistants. Before I gave them research assignments, I shared with them my Christmas ritual of opening up Jacquie Lawson’s marvelous Advent Calendar App. Thank you, Jacquie, for giving us reasons to smile and be in awe.

While we are working I receive a Facebook communication (and feedback) that Katerina and Tim Miklos, now in England, enjoyed the wedding video that Alison produced with Imovie as one of her research projects with me on Tuesday. I hope in the near future to research and develop with my students global communication tools such as Skype by communicating with Katerina in England, Ben in Hungary, Maren in Madagascar, Andrew in Switzerland, and Hersonia in Mexico. Who else abroad is willing to help us learn together?

I’m monitoring my Twitter feed as I write this blog piece and find 10 ideas, resources, and thought-leaders worth following. The dross is outweighed by the nuggets as I refine my Twitter filters and make better use of Twitter applications. I still am not quite ready to explore Twitter Chats. Just because a technology learning tool HAS capabilities, doesn’t mean that I need them –or that I should change my teaching to accommodate them.

Thank you Teri Johnson and Jane Hart for firmly but gently nudging me into exploring the use of Twitter.

Here are 10 tweets that informed me or guided my personal learning today:

  1. I see that Maria Konnikova has a new book out in January. She writes so well about psychology and pseudo science. I preorder the book and send her a brief note. Thank you, Maria, for your clear thinking, your lucid writing, and your thought-provoking ideas.
  2. Alec Couros recommends a Ted Talk about “Where Good Ideas Come From.” If I can find time, I’ll take a look at that before teaching my research Seminar. Thank you, Alec, for the inspiration.
  3. The indefatigable Richard Byrne alerts me to some free Technology Tools for Teachers.
  4. While I am data mining resources from K-12 I take a quick glance at my Edutopia feed.
  5. A colleague on LinkedIn suggests reposts an article about skills every young professional should have. I see value in sharing this with my advisees.  Thank you, Rebecca!
  6. I see a Mac 911 MacWorld piece about how to incorporate special characters into documents. I’ll need this as i try blog pieces in different language. I snag it (oops, gotta be careful. I own that App and I am starting to use my Dictation software as I write blogs).
  7. Richard Kiker’s use of Paper.li motivates me to return to exploring its utility as a curating tool. I assign that protect to Arianna.
  8. I am reminded and convinced that it is important that I incorporate thinking about climate change—and doing something about it into my life.
  9. I take a quick look at a recent EverNote blog post since I continue to struggle with most best to master its features.
  10. I glance at recent posts from LifeHacker—always fun to read and read one about how there just doesn’t seem to be enough time.

YIKES! Tempus fugit (or as Mrs. Bode, my Howland  High School Latin teacher often punned, Time fidgets!)

Time to protect myself against Internet Distractions.


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Retrospective Thinking: How much tinkering should one do with a course that seems to work well?

I continue to experiment with my “best” course to make it better by finding the right balance of technology-assisted and personally- delivered instruction. I have been pleased at the helpfulness, useful feedback and receptiveness of students as we “experiment.”

I just made a Screenflow screencast of what I taught in lab this week (using SPSS to create a scatterplot, calculate Pearson’s r, and do simple linear regression).

This time I published it on YouTube rather than on Vimeo.

I also, in response to student feedback, created some Quizlet study materials. Click the Quizlet link to try them.

A next step will be to involve students in the creation of such materials—rather than my doing so. That may wait until next year, however, since I want to  introduce this year’s students to instruction in using Survey Monkey survey creation software.

Please go here to evaluate the video shown above

It would be fun to teach an entire course on these topics.

 

 

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Random Thoughts (Teaching Tools Used)

Continuing my reflections on cascading into the classroom technology learning tools I’ve explored the past 7 years thanks to influence of Jane Hart

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A wonderful tool for teaching about random sampling and random assignment is available through the generosity of Scott Plous who created the invaluable online resource Social Psychology Network. I introduce students to Research Randomizer in my Psychology 205 “Statistics and Experimental Design” course where I require that they go through the excellent online tutorials.  I often have students subsequently draw random samples from my class list who are the designated students-to-be-called-upon for the day. I see Research randomizer as a valuable teaching tool in almost any course where students and faculty are interested in an easy to use, valid, way of drawing random samples or to randomly assign participants to conditions. Much superior to drawing mixed numbers from my hat!

Here is a brief screencast one of my research assistants and i made illustrating how I introduce Research randomizer to my PSY 205 students.

Random Thoughts from David Simpson on Vimeo.


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Retooling and Sharpening the Saw

An_Outline_of_Basic__Cover_for_KindleLearning never ends. I am continuing to explore the value of technological learning tools to make my best course, PSY205, even better. Initial student feedback has been quite favorable.

In the past two weeks I have experimented with Quizlet and SurveyMonkey. Tomorrow I shall introduce screencasts using Screenflow and Vimeo.

IntrotoScreenFlow from David Simpson on Vimeo.

Does introduction of these tools add value to the learning experience? Time may tell.


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Reading, Writing, and Watching User Manuals

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Maybe it is my aging. Maybe it is a lack of motivation. Maybe it is a lack of focus on my part. Gone are the times when I used to master a new piece of software or a new computer in a few hours—exploring every drop down menu. Gone is my ability (or the time needed) to write a succinct user’s guide for the new machine and feel comfortable being a resident expert of its capabilities. Ah, my TRS 80 Level I machine—sometimes I miss you!

Fortunately now there are increasingly available excellent screencasts which clearly explain features of software. I find of special value MacMost Videos, Screencastsonline.com, and the superb presentations by David Sparks. When I am producing my own screencast I find most useful Screenflow though I am becoming impressed with Clarify‘s didactic potential.

Just downloaded the new OSX Yosemite Operating System onto one of my Mac’s. I find that it is worth the investment to purchase online tutorials that hand-hold one through the different features. I’ll have my undergraduate research assistants go through them before we install it on one of my office machines. In the interim I need to cycle through all my apps and see which ones work with the new OS, which don’t but are essential for my needs, and which ones I no longer need or have totally forgotten



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USING Jane Hart’s Top 100 Tools for Learning

I hope I never find myself in the position of this monk where I need to call in technical support to figure out how to read an object called a “book.” In my judgment there IS a danger, however, in becoming too dependent on “technology learning tools.” My favorite tools remain a # 2 pencil with an eraser, a Pilot G-2 broad ink pen, some writing paper, and my mind. Nonetheless, this blog post is a heart-felt mini-festschrift to an Internet visionary.

I’ve written numerous blog posts about the tremendous value I find from Jane Hart’s annual identifying top learning tools. I have unbridled admiration and respect for her vision, willingness to share, and thought-provoking ideas. As I wind up (or wind down) my teaching career over the next few years, I am making an intentional, concerted effort to use things I have learned from Jane (directly or indirectly) over the past seven years. Thank you, Comrade and Mentor across the Pond!

  1. I have incorporated into my Experimental Social Psychology class use of a Ning (or see Julie Lindsay‘s superb utilization of a Ning). If you would like to visit this Ning, especially if you are a former student or classmate of mine or are also an experimental social psychologist, let me know. I would welcome incorporating into the Ning your thoughts about the course or your thoughts about being a social psychologist or using social psychology.
  2. Jane has influenced (favorably) my extra-classroom university academic life (e.g. I maintain alumni contact through Linkedin, and by my cross-posting my WordPress blogs across Facebook and Twitter.
  3. Jane’s influence has transformed the way I conduct my committee work (e.g. I recently began a Planning and Budget Committee meeting which I co-chair with a screenflow screencast which explained to colleagues how to access budget and planning information).
  4. Jane has transformed my daily interaction with my student research assistants who annually pilot test all tools on Jane’s list.  Among the tools we currently use or are bench-marking for student learning utility are Google Drive, Class Owl, and WordPress. These research assistants continue to revitalize me with their intelligence, playfulness, eagerness to learn, and youth. I have invited this year’s S -Team to identify what Top Tools they find most valuable and which they’d like to learn. Stay tuned.



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Stop the Internet—I want to get off!!!

Commencement 2014 was a month ago. I have already begun preparations for teaching in the Fall (how the years have flown by since February, 1978 when I taught my first class here).

Ryan and Phoumany

From time to time I disconnect and disengage from my seemingly always being online and from focusing on productivity. Try it —-you may discover that you are more addicted than you think. Can you enjoy the twittering of the birds without thinking about this wonderful Twitter guide?:)

It is easier to so do during the summer, since I opt NOT to teach or to commit myself to grant work during that time. As author Naomi S. Baron acknowledges in her thoughtful book Always On: Language in an Online and Mobile World, one needs to be alert to the personal, cognitive, and social consequences of “24/7” connectivity.

Is Google making us “stoopid” (sic) or smarter? How can I ever find time to explore, evaluate, merge into my teaching the 2000 + learning tools which Jane Hart has alerted us to? I resolve these questions by stepping back, engaging in intense physical activity, reading widely, playing, and consulting the Newf!

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