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.
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).
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.
Recently there has been a campus-wide discussion about the need to include writing experiences across the curriculum and across a student’s learning years here. I’ve become a strong believer in giving students opportunities to use blogging software and to give them mentored practice in writing thoughtful, civil responses online to articles which are published online.
I asked two of my research assistants (Alison and Lizzy) , before I left today, to create for me a screencast tutorial using the Camtasia software they just had learned about a basic student guide about how to use WordPress. In their guide they show how to create an account, how to follow someone else’s blog pieces, and some of the many capabilities of WordPress.
I am quite impressed how on short notice, with no supervision from me, they were able to exceed my high expectations. How fortunate I have been across the years from my first student assistant, Larry Jost, until now to work closely with such wonderful fellow learners!
Here is Alison and Lizzy’s tutorial:
Any comments or feedback would be much appreciated.
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.
I began the class wanting to test the sound systems so I shared this amazing tribute to David Bowie:
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:
With baseball season approaching (and a vague but definite retirement date in sight of no later than May, 2019), it is time to focus on accomplishing a number of things in the near future. One goal is to better master the capabilities of WordPress. A good way to do that is to write a lot. I’ll be experimenting with different WordPress “themes” (and different widgets). I welcome your feedback or advice.
I also want to master creating screencasts and to “publish” electronically some student-written guides to the use of internet learning tools. I envision continuing to write, to teach, and to learn even after I formally leave “Carroll Land”.
I’m discovering that one can indeed teach an “old dog” new tricks:
This semester I have much more time to reflect, to learn, and to finish tasks (some of which I began up to 10 years ago!) because my Research Seminar was canceled for not having at least 10 students. Hence, I am teaching only one class PSY205 (two sections) with its two laboratories. Fortunately I have four VERY good student research assistants who are willing to learn with me so we’ll have fun, learn much, and be productive. Right now two of them (Arianna and tia) are next door preparing a Camtasia Studio screencast. Let’s see what they have produced. What I am sharing below is TOTALLY their “production” after my giving them guidelines of what I wanted. I am impressed.
We’ll see what the other two team members can do when they come in shortly.
Voila is a great screen casting software that can be downloaded on your iMac, iPhone, and iPad. Since Evernote is getting rid of the software, Skitch, this new feature was created in place of it with more features that are very beneficial.
When using this app you are able to take a screen shot of your full home screen, or capture a certain section of your home screen with the different screen shot tools. You are also able to overlap multiple screenshots in the software as well. In addition, if you would like to record your voice or anything on the computer while using the device you are able to do a recording. After you have taken the recording, it will open up in Voila and you can trim your new video and have the recording play over the screen casting. One flaw of Voila, is that you must download an additional app to have noise with your recording. You also need to export your recording to an app like Imovie to complete and edit your recording. Here is an example of our research team using Voila and Imovie to show people how to use Survey Monkey.
Voila allows you to edit your screen shots in multiple different ways. Some really nice features that Skitch doesn’t have is that you are able to add stickers to your screen shots as well as add a spotlight to a certain part of the screen shot. The spotlight helps a section you select stand out and blur out the rest of the background of the screen shot as much as you would like. Another feature that you are able to do that Skitch can’t is blur out in different ways. You can do motion blurs, the static blur, a pixelated blur, and etc. Also, there are different kinds of arrows you can use in Voila to lead someone from one spot of your screen cast to another to show them instructions, like where to go from point A to point B, and etc. Voila allows you to marquee the pictures as well. This means that with any of the shapes they have or what you create, you are able to put that shape on a certain part of the screen shot and duplicate it. So that part you’ve chosen can be more bolded, or put in another screen shot. Below is an example of the different effects and borders that Voila has available to us.
In Voila, you can paint the background of your screen shots so they are in a different color other then the default gray. Also, you are able to change the color of every option that you use besides the blurs. So, you can change the color of the arrows, the background, the stamps, and etc. In addition to changing the color of the background, you can change the outlining of the background. So, instead of just having a straight outline around your picture, you are able to have a different look such as dashes.
However, Voila still has the same great features Skitch does. You are still able to put a text box in different shapes on your screen shot, so that you can write something that you may want to specify. Also, you are able to change the coloring of the text if need be. If you rather not type in the text box, but still want to write on the screen shot, then you are able to use the pencil feature and use free hand on your screen shot. Voila does not have the highlighting feature, but that is why they have the new spot light feature.
In Voila you can create shapes or add certain shapes in the picture that you are able to write text in. You are able to change the coloring of the outside of them which will not change the text that you type on the inside of the text box. Also, there is a feature called, Callout. This feature is one that has more text boxes in different shapes, but it also includes certain memes that you can put in your screen cast as well.
Another fun feature Voila has is the ability to take screen shots of any website directly through the application. This is efficient to all users since you do not have to leave the application to complete your desired task. Also, you are able to import your own photos from iPhoto and edit them with Voila. Once you are done editing your desired photos, you can then import them back into your photo library. Here is an example of a screenshot taken directly through Voila, and then edited after the screenshot was taken.
Overall, Voila has many new features and old features that Skitch once had. Voila seems to be more user friendly, as well as having more options for editing and screen casting purposes.
Despite the semester only being a month old, I have been unusually busy with other Carroll matters at times when I ordinarily would be working side-by-side with my research assistants. Fortunately, they are reliable, competent, and motivated enough to delight me with independent work. I assigned to several of them the task of investigating the relative strengths and weaknesses of several kinds of screen-casting software. Here is what they produced as part of an e-book project we are about to engage in.
Dog tired as I try to bring the semester to a soft landing, I rely more and more on my student assistants to provide support in my research efforts.
I invited student research assistants Alison and Arianna to investigate the usefulness of Scoop.it.” as a teaching/learning tool. Here are their preliminary thoughts.
Scoop.it is a curating media web tool that allows individuals to find content for any topic imaginable. From these topics, it then creates an organized online magazine format. The components of Scoop.it are users, topics, and scoops. The potential users are anybody that has a Scoop.it account and can share articles about any topic. The topics can consist of anything, your favorite sport, a paper for school, current news events, and multiple endless possibilities. The scoops are the articles that are stored under the topic board/page for that specific topic. The free account for Scoop.it allows users to create two topic boards, connect two social media accounts, and scoop 10 articles a day.
To create a topic, one selects the “create a topic” button that is located on the user’s profile page. Once the button is selected, Scoop.it will then prompt you to fill out information about your topic. One inserts the name of the topic, selects the language, and then inserts a couple of key words about the topic. Inserting these key words allows Scoop.it to search for content that may be germane to your topic.
To find content yourself, a search bar in the top right corner allows one to type in keywords. The search will then produce three tabs related to the keywords; posts, topics, and users. The posts tab finds articles and content that is related to the keywords that were searched. Based on the keywords, topic boards that are created by other users will also be pulled up. If one wishes, one can follow a topic board which is then added automatically to one’s “follow” list. By following a topic board, one will be notified of the new content the user scoops into that topic board.
The topic board is a page that displays all of the curated content on the selected topic. In an organized fashion, the topic board arranges all the content you selected for that specific topic. By default, the content and articles are published in chronological order on the topic board.
When one finds an article that they want to scoop into their particular topic board, there is a scoop.it button on the article. This button allows one to select which curated topic board to add the scoop in, add additional text to the article, share this article with other social media sites, select a schedule of publication for the article, and add tags to the article.
Scoop.it allows individuals to share scoops with other social media sites without publishing the scoop under one of their topic boards. On the bottom right of a scoop is an arrow button that give you options of your other social media platforms to share the article with. Some versions of Scoop.it also provide the embedding code to include in a blog piece or to a website.
For convenience, Scoop.it has a web based platform and an app for mobile devices which syncs everything automatically across devices and platforms (e.g. desktop, iPad, iPhone, and Android).
There is an education version of Scoop.it that allows for 30 co-curators or groups to collaborate on a project. One is able to search for topics that may aid in papers, research projects, and class presentations. Teachers can create topic boards for a class and attach additional readings of articles that may enhance understanding of the material for the students. It can be used in conjunction with other learning tools such as SlideShare and PowerPoint.
We welcome any feedback or experience with Scoop.it.
A new learning tool that Dr. Simpson introduced us to recently is Skitch. From what we have discovered so exploring the capabilities of this app it is very useful for easily creating visual aids. You can take a screenshot or upload an image you already have. One can either take a screenshot of the entire screen (full-screen) or select what part of the screen will be in the screenshot (screen snapshot). You can edit the picture by adding arrows, highlighting, and adding annotations.Text boxes can be added to the images for further explanation. One can also add ovals, circles, or squares on the image to emphasize where you wish the reader to focus. The pixilate feature on Skitch allows one to blur out sections of the image. One can also use the “marker tool” to draw lines, words, or shapes on top of the image. The highlighter tool allows one to call attention to the main points of the image. Words that are highlighted will not be covered up by the highlighter but rather will be emphasized. Moreover, the highlighter, marker, text, and shapes can be customized with different colors, including red, yellow, blue, green, white, black, pink, orange, or even a customized color.
Once one has completed the image, the file can be saved in multiple formats including JPG, Skitch JPG, PNG, PNG Skitch, TIFF, GIF, BMD, and PDF. One can also share their image on social media such as Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr. In addition the image can also be saved to your computer, your Evernotes, or emailed to other individuals.
Here is a video that was created by Evernote illustrating some of the features we described above that one can use with Skitch.
We are in the process of making our own more detailed Skitch and Evernote student guide which will be included in our forthcoming e-book. Do let us know if you would be interested in it.
We would appreciate any feedback from personal experiences using Skitch or Evernote.
Rapidly growing and expanding, LinkedIn is a social network for professional collaboration that facilitates connecting with classmates, faculty, and colleagues. Users create an online profile and can provide as much information about themselves as they see pertinent. To this profile, users can add “connections” to other individuals and build their online social network. LinkedIn creates a profile comprised of an individual’s professional history, education, and achievements. Similar to a resume but in an online format, this allows other individuals to review your professional endeavors. Through LinkedIn, users potentially are more able to find jobs, locate other individuals in their field of study, and discover business and volunteer opportunities.
Individuals are able to build their image in their professional field by constructing and maintaining professional relationships. Especially for college students looking for connections in the real world, LinkedIn is a valuable tool for individuals searching for internships or for positions in one’s desired career path or to make connections with other individuals who may give them advice or guidance for their future.
To create a LinkedIn profile, an individual can go to the LinkedIn website and create their profile with an email address and password. An individual is then prompted to insert information about themselves such as a brief autobiography, past education experience, and professional work history. Additionally, individuals can enter volunteer experiences or organizations they care about, organizations they are affiliated with, certifications they have received, and a listing of their personal skills. LinkedIn will then organize all of the information onto a profile page. The user can customize where each section of information will fall (e.g. either at the top of the profile or lower down). Other individuals can also endorse the skills you have listed on your profile. This feature is a quick way for connections to validate that the individual is well qualified in the skills they have listed.
One should make a concerted effort to complete as much of their profile as possible. This includes adding a professional profile picture of oneself and even, if one chooses, adding a cover photo that will be displayed behind the profile. LinkedIn provides multiple sections of personal information that allow individuals to demonstrate and expand on who they are. Some of these sections are education, contact information, professional industry, volunteer experiences, and certifications. Completing all the LinkedIn sections both allows one to keep track of their experiences and accomplishments in their life and also helps showcase these talents and skills to other individuals. But remember, do not just throw down quick information to complete each section. Instead, think strategically about word choice and the way you want to communicate your information to others.
Once the profile is up and running, it is time to make connections. By adding connections with other individuals, others will be able to see and explore your profile. What kinds of connections should you make? Some individuals add anyone to increase their connection numbers. Others prefer to make connections only with individuals whom they personally know. The answer is really what you plan to do with these connections. If one simply has hundreds of connections but does not take advantage of what these connections could offer, it defeats the purpose. Connections help individuals stay in contact with old classmates, colleagues or friends, make professional connections for future jobs, receive advice from others in their field of study, explore connections of friends, and share information among groups. With the email address used to create a LinkedIn profile, LinkedIn will automatically suggest connections to individuals in your email list who have a LinkedIn account with that email. One can also look for connections by searching for their name, a company name, a specific industry, or a school name to make further connections. There are so many benefits that LinkedIn provides, but it is up to the individual to leverage how best to take advantage of these features.
LinkedIn also allows individuals to create a custom URL to their profile. The URL that comes with a profile is normally a group of random letters and numbers. In just a couple minutes, one can create a custom URL, such as their name. If the name is already taken, one can try to add a middle initial or add their middle name completely.
One way to get involved in LinkedIn is through groups. Individuals can join professional groups which share information, share advice among members, and post or search for jobs. Groups allow individuals to communicate between one another and to expand their knowledge. It is a great way to meet new individuals and make new connections. Anyone with a LinkedIn profile can create a group that can be customized to the topic they are interested in.
LinkedIn provides a free service but it also has an option for individuals to pay for more features. For college students, the free version of LinkedIn is a great way to put together an online resume but also get a start in exploring the professional world for after graduation.