Tag: Technology Learning Tools

Curious David

Adventures in Dr. Simpson’s Neighborhood: Four Reasons Why I Continue to Teach

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Some of my most joyful teaching moments occur outside the classroom playfully interacting with my student research assistants. Today as I experimented with teaching capabilities of Vimeo and YouTube I invited two members of my research team to join me briefly to help me test the Voila Screencasting application. Our shared laughter is invigorating.

And here is the wisdom of my other youthful team members. They provide me many positive Carroll learning moments!

Team2016b



App GenerationCamtasiaCurious DavidScreencastingScreenflow

In Search of the “Best” Screencasting Software

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When I am especially busy, I encourage my student research team to use their creativity to surprise me. Here is their preliminary work for an ebook we are writing that will give student guides to software we are using. I am delighted by their work. For other guides to Screencasting tools see the excellent compilation by Richard Byrne and his Free Technology for Teachers blog.

Group Photo

 

As a student research team for Dr. Simpson we always try to find the best software to use on the task at hand  which allows us to be most efficient and successful. Here we are going to compare three different screencasting tools we have become familiar with over the past few weeks: ScreenFlow, Voila, and Camtasia. All have the same purpose, but have differences. Which screen casting tool is best for you depends on the type of screen cast you want to make.We will show you screen casting examples from each of the different softwares.

When we used Voila to create a tutorial on how to use SurveyMonkey, we realized we were missing some necessary additional software. Without the additional software we could not hear our voice recording in our video. As a work-around solution we converted our video into ScreenFlow. To resolve the problematic issue with Voila,  Tia, Arianna, and Dr. Simpson later downloaded the necessary additional software which automatically presented itself upon our request to record using a microphone. Once this software was installed we ran a trial video in order to ensure sound could be heard. Success, at last. Having discovered how to properly use Voila, Dr. Simpson asked his research team to make a video in order to compare Voila to the video made using ScreenFlow.

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.

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.

Below is the video we started out by using Voila, but turned to using ScreenFlow.

ScreenFlow is one of the first screencasting tools we have used as a team since the the announcement of Skitch being discontinued.  ScreenFlow is the most simple screen casting tool out of the three when you are directly recording. When creating your screen cast, you can have as many or few screens open while you are recording. There are also options to have a window showing you creating your recording as well. ScreenFlow is primarily used for Mac users whereas Voila and Camtasia can be used on many different types of computers. The best way to start and end your videos in ScreenFlow is by using shortkeys, which holds true to Voila and Camtasia as well.

In addition, Voila has many perks to it. Instead of just creating screen casting recordings, you can also create snap shots of your screen. They have many editing options for both photos and videos. With your photos, you can edit both your screen shots as well as photos in your library. Voila has the best organization for your photos and screen casting videos you create. They have many folders you can organize your creations into with easy access to all. One cool thing you can do is while in Voila, there is a button where you can go on the web. In reality, you do not even need to leave the application to take screenshots of a certain webpage you would like to add to your screencast, which also helps maintaining organization.

Camtasia is more similiar to Voila in complexity of the software. While using Camtasia, it is more used for the video aspects of screen casting. You can add many different types of transitions or textboxes as you go. One cool thing with the different transitions is that you can have them fade in and out at any time frame in your screen cast. This helps create a more exciting and organized screen cast. One thing that Camtasia has that neither Voila or ScreenFlow has is the ability to layer both videos and pictures into one screen cast. Also, Camtasia is accessible on either Macs or PCs. Camtasia allows one to film a video using their software, which will then automatically be accessible to edit. One does not have to save the video and download it to another software to edit.

On the upper left hand side of Camtasia, there are the categories Media, Annotations, Transitions, and Animations. The Media button allows one to access all the videos filmed using Camtasia or download videos saved onto the computer. Under the Annotations tab, text bubbles, arrows, shapes, highlight, symbols, or keyboard keys are located and can be added to the video. Theses options come in multiple different colors which can be adjusted on the video to be different sizes and in different locations on the video. The Transitions tab allows one to add effects at the beginning or the end of a video. Animations can also be added to the video to zoom in or zoom out, fade in or out, tilt left or right, and even create a custom animation. As a side note, if one applies the zoom in feature, to return to the way the video was originally, a zoom out animation must be applied.

The other features that one can apply to the video are Video FX, Audio FX, Cursor FX, and Gesture FX. To change the color of the screen, add a glow to the screen, add a device frame around the video, and many more are features that are located under the Video FX tab. Audio FX allows one to change the volume of the video, the pitch, reduce the background noise, and change the speed of the clip. Cursor FX will highlight, magnify, or spotlight where the cursor is throughout the video. One can also highlight right or left clicks that are made using the computer mouse during the video. Under the Gesture FX tab, one can double tap, pinch, swipe, and tap certain areas during the video.

Each of these features can be customized to show up for different lengths and times throughout the video. Camtasia has two lines of recordings on the bottom lines to edit. The first line is the Webcam recording while the second line is the video of the screen. If you want to add an effect to the entire video, such as a transition, the effect needs to be added to both lines.

We would appreciate any feedback or personal experience using Camtasia or any video editing software.


Carroll ReflectionsCurious DavidJane Hart's Top 100 Learning ToolsPersonal Learning Toolstechnology tools

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:

.

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.

 

 

 

Curious David

Preliminary Thoughts on Jane Hart’s 2015 List of Top 100 Learning Tools (Part 2)

As I wrote earlier my revered “across the pond” virtual mentor and friend Jane Hart has recently shared her compilation of Top Learning Tools.

This year the 2nd tier of Top 10 Tools on Jane’s list are:

  1. Prezi
  2. Wikipedia
  3. Pinterest
  4. LinkedIn
  5. Moodle
  6. IPad and Apps
  7. Kahoot
  8. Blogger
  9. Powtoon
  10. Slideshare

I have asked two of my talented student research assistants, Alison and Lizzy, to take a look at this list and let me know a) whether they are familiar with them, b) whether they thought these particular tools be useful to them as students or in the future in the workplace, and c) how best they could be taught (e.g. in the classroom, as a special course, or on their own). Here are their thoughtful responses.

From a student’s perspective, we focused our thinking on  which tools we have personal experience and which tools work best in the classroom environment.

Neither of us has used Twitter before, but we know something about it from our peers and from Dr. Simpson. For students between the ages of 15 to 22, we see Twitter as a personal filter of their thoughts and ideas not related to academics. We see older individuals with more experience using Twitter to share and connect ideas about the news, business, and educational works.

YouTube proves to be useful and frequently used in the classroom setting. Students are able to bring video examples into the classroom to share with students. Our teachers also assign students additional out of classroom work to watch videos that pertain to class to aid in understanding or classroom discussions.

Personally, we use Google search on a day to day basis as a starting tool to begin any kind of investigation. Google is useful for any student or teacher wanting more information on any topic imaginable.

When doing a presentation or group collaboration, one of the best tools to use is Google Docs/Drive. This software allows individuals to be working from multiple computers and locations and share automatically the material they are working on together. It is also very useful that Google Docs/Drive will automatically save your information and allows one to pull it up on any computer connected to the internet. We believe that Google Docs/Drive should be more cascaded into the classroom due to its usefulness in group collaborations and projects.

PowerPoint is a useful tool that aids in following along when teachers are giving class presentations or lectures. Teachers often assign students presentations using that software. However, students do not take full advantage of all the features of PowerPoint or do not understand how to properly present using PowerPoint. From our personal experience, most students in the classroom tend to just read off the slides or put together slides loaded with complete sentences that are hard to read and follow along with. PowerPoint workshops would be useful to have students reach their full potential while presenting with PowerPoint. Here is a workshop recommended by Dr. Simpson click me: LOL.

While neither of us have experience with Dropbox, we both agree that Dropbox seems to be a useful tool that could aid the classroom setting. Dropbox would be a good tool because files can be easily saved and accessed on any device. Both of us in the future want to further explore the features of Dropbox.

Facebook is a great tool to stay connected in the lives of classmates or individuals that live far away. The group chat option provides to be useful when scheduling meetings between groups, sharing information, or making plans in general. Personally, we don’t see it as a top tool for learning because of how much it is advertised and used as to express everyday thoughts, not related to academic purposes.

Prior to working with Dr. Simpson, neither of us had experience working on WordPress. From using WordPress with Dr. Simpson both of us have grown in our knowledge of WordPress but also our appreciation of the software. WordPress would be useful in the classroom environment to aid in easy access to multiple features. Students would be allowed to add videos, add links to outside sources, compose their own works, and comment and interact between one another.

When wanting to interact face to face with individuals across the globe or even a short distance away, Skype helps solve this barrier. By using Skype, employers can conduct interviews with applicants across the country for possible positions. Also, Skype can be used in the classroom to have guest speakers present their ideas to the class without having to be physically present. Skype also has the unique feature that allows for Skype conversations between more than one individual at a time, kind of like a group video chat.

Neither of us has experience using Evernote. Once again, this is a software that we would like to explore more in our futures and see how we can incorporate it into our academic and personal lives.

In conclusion, these Top 10 Tools for Learning are all good resources each in their own unique way. Although we have more experience with some tools than others, these are our thoughts and applications to how we see these tools working in our learning environment.


Curious David

Preliminary Thoughts on Jane Hart’s 2015 List of Top 100 Learning Tools

She’s done it again! My revered “across the pond” virtual mentor and friend Jane Hart has recently shared her compilation of Top Learning Tools. I still struggle with how best to use these tools in the classroom, in my own personal learning development, and in my consulting business.

This year the Top 10 Tools on Jane’s list are:

  1. Twitter
  2. YouTube
  3. Google Search
  4. Google Docs/Drive
  5. PowerPoint
  6. Dropbox
  7. Facebook
  8. WordPress
  9. Skype
  10. Evernote

I have asked two of my talented student research assistants, Alison and Lizzy, to take a look at this list and let me know a) whether they are familiar with them, b) whether they thought these particular tools be useful to them as students or in the future in the workplace, and c) how best they could be taught (e.g. in the classroom, as a special course, or on their own). Here are their thoughtful responses.

From a student’s perspective, we focused our thinking on  which tools we have personal experience and which tools work best in the classroom environment.

Neither of us has used Twitter before, but we know something about it from our peers and from Dr. Simpson. For students between the ages of 15 to 22, we see Twitter as a personal filter of their thoughts and ideas not related to academics. We see older individuals with more experience using Twitter to share and connect ideas about the news, business, and educational works.

YouTube proves to be useful and frequently used in the classroom setting. Students are able to bring video examples into the classroom to share with students. Our teachers also assign students additional out of classroom work to watch videos that pertain to class to aid in understanding or classroom discussions.

Personally, we use Google search on a day to day basis as a starting tool to begin any kind of investigation. Google is useful for any student or teacher wanting more information on any topic imaginable.

When doing a presentation or group collaboration, one of the best tools to use is Google Docs/Drive. This software allows individuals to be working from multiple computers and locations and share automatically the material they are working on together. It is also very useful that Google Docs/Drive will automatically save your information and allows one to pull it up on any computer connected to the internet. We believe that Google Docs/Drive should be more cascaded into the classroom due to its usefulness in group collaborations and projects.

PowerPoint is a useful tool that aids in following along when teachers are giving class presentations or lectures. Teachers often assign students presentations using that software. However, students do not take full advantage of all the features of PowerPoint or do not understand how to properly present using PowerPoint. From our personal experience, most students in the classroom tend to just read off the slides or put together slides loaded with complete sentences that are hard to read and follow along with. PowerPoint workshops would be useful to have students reach their full potential while presenting with PowerPoint. Here is a workshop recommended by Dr. Simpson click me: LOL.

While neither of us have experience with Dropbox, we both agree that Dropbox seems to be a useful tool that could aid the classroom setting. Dropbox would be a good tool because files can be easily saved and accessed on any device. Both of us in the future want to further explore the features of Dropbox.

Facebook is a great tool to stay connected in the lives of classmates or individuals that live far away. The group chat option provides to be useful when scheduling meetings between groups, sharing information, or making plans in general. Personally, we don’t see it as a top tool for learning because of how much it is advertised and used as to express everyday thoughts, not related to academic purposes.

Prior to working with Dr. Simpson, neither of us had experience working on WordPress. From using WordPress with Dr. Simpson both of us have grown in our knowledge of WordPress but also our appreciation of the software. WordPress would be useful in the classroom environment to aid in easy access to multiple features. Students would be allowed to add videos, add links to outside sources, compose their own works, and comment and interact between one another.

When wanting to interact face to face with individuals across the globe or even a short distance away, Skype helps solve this barrier. By using Skype, employers can conduct interviews with applicants across the country for possible positions. Also, Skype can be used in the classroom to have guest speakers present their ideas to the class without having to be physically present. Skype also has the unique feature that allows for Skype conversations between more than one individual at a time, kind of like a group video chat.

Neither of us has experience using Evernote. Once again, this is a software that we would like to explore more in our futures and see how we can incorporate it into our academic and personal lives.

In conclusion, these Top 10 Tools for Learning are all good resources each in their own unique way. Although we have more experience with some tools than others, these are our thoughts and applications to how we see these tools working in our learning environment.



Curious David

Behind the Scenes: Vibrancy and Change on Campus

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The sound of the bagpiper at Opening Convocation has almost settled. I’m proctoring the 2nd of two two-hours exams I am giving today—and reflecting as I begin teaching year number 38 at Carroll.

I first got into the habit of awakening at 5:30 am. and being on campus by 7:00 a.m. when I was Faculty and Assembly President.  The sun-rise colored, dewy campus is beautiful in the early morning and bustling with activity. The football team is often practicing. The physical plant staff are inspecting their hard work before heading to the Campus Center for some much needed and deserved coffee and heading home after an eight hour shift. In those earlier days of my Carroll experiences, I got to know many of our physical plant staff personally and friendships developed that continue today (Thank you Dennis W. and your Dad, “Ott”). I had a number of their children as students (thanks for sending Heather my way—and yes, you have reason to be proud that she graduated summa cum laude).  I  learned much from them about the challenges they faced in making the campus a welcoming, safe, environment conducive to working and learning. They play an especially vital role right now polishing the campus in anticipation of our imminent Home Coming weekend.

Of course, there are others on campus already. If I so wanted I could text John G. or many other colleagues to join me for a quick coffee and conversation—either now or later in the day. Some of my staff friends are already working in their offices.  Some are no longer here, having retired after more than 25 years of service. I miss Jean Olsen’s red car parked by Voorhees.

A stream of student nurses (identifiable by their uniforms) passes me as I walk up the hill from the theater building where I must park my car because of the new science building construction. Construction cranes tower above Rankin Hall and where Maxon Hall used to be. Hours ago the construction workers restarted their work from the day before. A chorus of their hammering accompanies me as I climb up the stairs to my office.

I send an email invitation to the daughter of one of my former students suggesting that she stop by and say hello. I promised her Mom (Kit V.) at an Admissions’ Day event that I would be an unobtrusive guardian angel for her daughter if she was attended Carroll. I give my research assistants (I am again blessed with talented youth) some unsupervised tasks to do for me and head off to my morning classes.

So much positive activity goes on “behind the scenes” and keeps me here. I have been afforded numerous on and off-campus and virtual interactions with Board of Trustee Members. Thank you trustees and former trustees Charmaine P., Cathy D., John R. and Jim S. for enlarging my perspectives about this institution which you love. I appreciate your support across the years that we have worked together. Thank you, PE MacAllister for your recent guidance about when I should retire.

Regular interactions with former and present students continue to enrich and inspire me. Michelle B. informs me that she just started a five-year position as an oral examiner for the ABPP neuropsychology boards and that she will soon start a position as a national advocacy liaison on behalf of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology. She will be starting the APA Women in psychology leadership training program in DC next month.

Current student Davis E. stops by to share an idea for an honor’s thesis for his English Communication major He modestly shares that he had recently published a Milwaukee Journal “article“. We make an appointment for him to teach me what he knows about EverNote. Once he has taught this Old Dog, I’ll probably add it to my list of learning technology tools I use.

Current student Kevin S. stops by to drop off a thank you letter for my Uncle James Stover for funding his summer research (which was recently recognized as best in its class). These two world-wise military veteran students enrich the campus and my life through their unique perspectives. Uncle Jim is so pleased by the return on his investment in Kevin that he decides to invest again, this time targeting deserving freshmen and sophomores. Fortunately we have many needy and deserving students who meet our criteria.

Thanks to all members of my extended Carroll Community for sharing, caring and daring to preserve the integrity of the institution while being aware of where there might be a need to change.


Curious DavidMiscellaneoustapedecktechnology toolsTwitter

Too Many Terrific Tempting Apps

The transition to OS-X Yosemite seems to have resulted in minimum messups. A few incompatibility issues but none that warranted my reverting back to an earlier version. I really would do myself a service by committing to one browser (I favor Chrome) and a manageable number of regularly used browser extensions (say, 7 to 9 so that I would remember what they do!). In addition, I need to resist adding applications just because they are free and neat. Alternatively, since I seem to collect laptops and tablets, perhaps I should devote each to a different browser and sets of applications and extensions. Perhaps in the summer—though summer is a time to be outside.

I’m going through my applications that begin with “T” as a sip a cup of tea. I just rediscovered “Tapedeck” which I had forgotten about until recently the creators contacted me with news that they were thinking of revising it.

App GenerationAppsCurious DavidJane Hart's Top 100 Learning ToolsPersonal Learning Tools

Reading, Writing, and Watching User Manuals

whetting-my--app-etite----too-many-apps

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



Curious David

I asked my research assistants to indicate their Top Learning Tools: Here is what they told me…

1. Amy’s List of Top Tools:

“Like Air” that I don’t even think about:

  • Google Search
    • It goes without saying
  • Facebook
    • Key to staying in touch with friends
  • Youtube
    • Mostly for entertainment or “life” tutorials
  • Google Chrome
    • My primary web browser
  • Skype
    • Key for communication
    • My home internet is slow. This is a problem, but I also live in rural Wisconsin.
    • School is a little better.

Tools I use as a student:

  • Notability
    • This should be  higher on the list. It may charge you 3 dollars to get it, but it pays for itself.
    • Don’t need to carry a notebook because I can take notes on the app, organize and divide by category and class.
    • Highlight, type, draw, insert graphs and pictures. download powerpoints.
    • This app meets all my needs as a student.
  • Google Docs/Drive
    • Two words: Group Projects
  • Google Translate
    • More for Tutoring than Student now that I’ve completed my minor.
    • It’s like a dictionary.
  • Powerpoint (But I resent that I have to use it)
    • Most Professors expect it. You have to use it most of the time

It meets needs but lacks in presentation creativity. You follow a script.

Annie’s List of Top Tools:

Everyday Life (‘Like air’)

  •  Google Search
  • Never use Bing.  Google is everything.  If I don’t know the answer to a question, I will to be guaranteed to use Google search.
  • Youtube
  • The website I spend most of my time on anyway…
  • The best way to keep in touch with friends, especially as a freshman.  I still have a connection to many of my dear friends from high school, and I can see what they are doing, how their college experience is developing, etc.
  • Facebook
  • Wikipedia
  • Usually, when I do a Google search, the first link I click directs me to Wikipedia.  I know Wikipedia is criticized because it is content that can be edited by supposedly ‘anyone.’  However, I dare anyone to make a ridiculous change to a Wikipedia page and watch how quickly it gets deleted.  Especially on celebrity or historical figure pages, they do have people who monitor the information put forth on Wikipedia and they will change it if it is inaccurate/crude/stupid.
  • Buzzfeed
  • Useful as both a tool of entertainment and also highly informative on up-to-date issues (if you look in the right places).  They reported on the ebola case in Texas before most other news outlets.  However, it has a very heavy liberal bias in most of their articles.

As a College Student

  1. Microsoft Word
  • If there is any software that I feel like an expert it, it is Microsoft Word.  Formatting is easy, it looks very professional, and I have never had any issues with lost files or data.
  1. Google Docs/Drive
  • However, it is sometimes easier to use Google Drive, especially if you need to do a group project.  It also saves automatically, which is very useful, but it did have a tendency to crash when I used it in high school.  I did also occasionally lose information from my Google documents, which is always devastating.
  • While doing a group presentation in Google Drive is easy, it is pitifully uncreative and formulaic.  Still, it is easy and useful.
  1. Wikipedia
  • Most professors prohibit using Wikipedia as a source BUT if you scroll to the bottom, you can click the blue citations and find your way to more reliable content.  That is an excellent way to locate good material for a research project.
  1. Easy Bib/Bib Me
  • Out of all of the bibliography makers I have used, Easy Bib and Bib Me are the most user friendly and accurate.  However, between the two, only Bib Me allows free use of APA formatting.  For Easy Bib, you have to subscribe.
  1. TED Talks

Highly informative, always powerful and revelatory

Jamie’s Top 5 Learning Tools:

  1. Google (Everything in Google)

As a student, having access to the internet is extremely important and efficient.  I really like Google because not only does it provide you with a search engine, it also gives you options to share your research with friends and colleagues via Google Drive or Google Hangouts.  In my opinion, everything relating to Google should be wrapped up into one massive tool because if you use one, you’re most likely to use them all, or at least another aspect of it.

  1. PowerPoint

I find PowerPoint extremely useful, especially when giving presentations.  It is organized serially which is pleasing to the eye and easy to follow.  The program, itself, is easy to use and make changes.  Also, there are plenty of settings to mess around with when trying to create your own spin on the design of the final project.

  1. WordPress

I am familiar with WordPress and have used it a little bit with the Writing Center.  I think it is a very good tool to use when blogging.

  1. LinkedIn

I have a LinkedIn account and I think it is a great tool to use when you want to extend your networking.  As students, we want to build connections outside of our university in order to “land a job” or get hired right after graduation.  However, it is also useful to stay in contact with former professors and peers, as well.  In a way, LinkedIn is a shorthand, quick, glimpse of a resume for potential employers to get a sense of who they are about to incorporate into their companies.

  1. TedTalks

I just really enjoy these.  They are short (most of the time) videos about new and innovating ideas and research that people are currently working on.  I find them fascinating and extremely helpful.  I can draw connections from the content I learn in the classroom setting and then have something to apply that new knowledge to in a modern setting.

*I am also trying out Diigo, I will keep you posted about what I think of it…

Gracie’s Top 5 Tools

“Like air” tools:

  • Google Search- Although this tool is very helpful, and I google everything. You never know what can come as result for your search and does not have many credible sources.
  • Youtube-. Who doesn’t like to look up cute dog videos? Has many useful tools but can be highly distracting rather quickly
  • Facebook- The world’s best way to procrastinate. A way to communicate. Especially with those you do not have daily interactions with.
  • Instagram- Documentation of hobbies, likes, and dislikes by photo.
  • Skype- I like the idea of skype but I have had been confronted with glitches. I prefer google hangout.

Tools I use as a student (Gracie):

  • Google Docs- I find google docs to be extremely useful. It makes group projects and communication between multiple people easy.
  • Prezi- Prezi it the cooler version of powerpoint. Most of my newer and younger teachers/professors enjoy prezi over powerpoint.
  • Word- I could not get through college without word. I use it daily.
  • Powerpoint- Although prezi is extremely eye catching and interesting, powerpoint is very professional and a less distracting visual aid
  • Ipad/Apps- My ipad is put to more use that my computer. It has saved me a lot of time and money by just downloading a few apps.

Maxine’s Top Tools:

  • iPad and Apps– The iPad along with its many apps appeals to a wide range of individuals. The iPad is easily transportable and has become a common tool used in school settings today. The apps span a multitude of subjects from games, to educational tools. The apps are endless and can aide individuals in everyday life. For example, there is a Common Core app that allows me to easily access the standards on my iPad that I can apply to the lessons that I create.
  • Pinterest– Majoring in Educational Studies with a minor in Early Childhood, Pinterest is a great resource for finding ideas that I can incorporate into the classroom. This site, which is also an iPad app, allows me to browse through a plethora of lesson ideas. Within this site/iPad app I can create boards that allow me to organize the ideas that I find.
  • Facebook– I have learned that Facebook allows people to communicate as well as collaborate with one another. Especially with the various group pages, communities are able to share common information with each other. For example, I follow a page called Collaboration and Inclusion that allows my classmates as well as other educators to share information that they find on the topic.

  

  • TwitterAlthough I do not use Twitter on a daily basis, I hope to utilize it more often. It is a great tool in staying connected to people as well as causes. It provides quick updates as well as links to information that one chooses to follow. I follow the New York Times as well as educational organizations that keep me up to date on the current state of education.
  • All Things Google– Google Docs/Drive, Google Search, Google Scholar, Gmail are all tools that I use on a regular basis. Google Docs/Drive is a great tool to use when collaborating with others. When working in groups, this tool allows individuals to work on the project without necessarily meeting. This is important because finding a time when everyone is free to work on a project is difficult. Whenever I want to find information, I use Google Search as a first stop to finding out information quick. When researching, Google Scholar is a great tool to researching higher quality information. For my school email, I use Gmail and I really like formatting.



Carroll ReflectionsCurious DavidJane Hart's Top 100 Learning Toolstechnology tools

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!

Newf1