Zoom

Zoom logo

With the COVID-19 pandemic, many educators, including Cathy and myself, were displaced from our campus classrooms and then quickly adopted Zoom to deliver our course content in an online teaching environment.  Zoom has become the current leader in virtual collaboration classroom tools.  In addition, Zoom easily provides video communication across mobile devices, desktops, telephones, and conference room systems.  Its free version hosts up to 100 participants and allows unlimited meetings.  Zoom’s free version also allows unlimited 1 on 1 meetings; however, group meetings are usually limited to 40 minutes (NOTE: The 40 minute limit has been lifted during the COVID-19 crisis).  Zoom is a very easy tool to learn and set up.  All meetings include features like a conference call-in number, private and group chat, screen sharing, group collaboration, and an electronic whiteboard to name a few.

This new unprecedented Zoom learning course delivery has resulted in some problems and concerns.  Unfortunately, “Zoombombing” is a new form of cyber trolling that has emerged.  Zoombombing occurs when an uninvited participant uses Zoom’s screensharing feature to interrupt and disrupt meetings and classes, usually with inappropriate content.  Since Zoom was not originally created for the educational environment, the company is continually improving the virtual collaboration tool to increase security and privacy.

Below are a few tips that Cathy and I have implemented to keep our class meetings private and prevent ourselves from becoming “Zoombombed”:

  • Turn OFF the ‘Use Personal Meeting ID’ when hosting your class meeting. By turning off this option, Zoom will create a one-time unique ID for your class meeting.
  • Turn ON the ‘Required Meeting Password’ – select a simple password and share it with the invited meeting participants. If you have different classes that you are teaching, we suggest setting up a different password for each class.  This practice will help protect the FERPA rights of students.
  • Turn ON the ‘Enable Waiting Room’ – This option places everyone into a waiting room until you recognize them and allow them into the meeting. If you use this option, you need to keep an eye on the waiting room to see if anyone needs to join the class meeting late or had to rejoin due to technology failures.
  • Select ‘Allow Participants to Chat With’ to chat with ‘Host Only’ – this option prevents inappropriate side conversation chats.
  • Turn OFF the ‘Allow Participants to Share’ – this option only allows the host to share their screen.
  • Turn ON the ‘Mute on Entry’ – this option mutes everyone at the start of the meeting, which prevents unnecessary background noise. The participants have the option to unmute themselves if they need to ask a question.
  • During the class meeting you have the option to ‘Kick Out Unruly People’ by hovering over the participants name and selecting the option to kick them out.
  • Also, consider logging into your hosted Zoom class meeting as a participant through a different device. This will allow you to monitor what your students are viewing during your class session.

Cathy and I have utilized Zoom extensively throughout the past few weeks.  Zoom is a great option to enhance and expand classes with powerful collaboration tools, including video breakout rooms, multi-sharing, polling, and group chats. In addition, attendance and attention tracking allows educators to know who’s engaged in the online learning environment.  Zoom also allows a host to create and re-purpose video content into easy hosted videos that allow students to learn at their own pace.

Breakout rooms in Zoom are a great option to help with group project implementation.  Breakout rooms are sessions that are split off from the main Zoom meeting. This allows class participants to meet in smaller groups. Breakout rooms are a great way to replicate the classroom environment by engaging students in small group discussions and collaborative activities.  Instructors can join any group activity, which is very similar to walking around the classroom or students can “raise their hand” to request the instructor join their room.

In addition to hosting our virtual classrooms in Zoom, Cathy and I have utilized Zoom for virtual tutoring, campus hours, and faculty meetings.  This has provided our students with opportunities to learn beyond the classroom.  In addition, Zoom has allowed us to share our successes and challenges with our colleagues through weekly virtual meetings.

Do you need more help adopting and securing your Zoom classroom?  We suggest checking out these great Zoom created video tutorials:  https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/206618765-Zoom-Video-Tutorials?_ga=2.47859235.520390637.1586184035-254639170.1585840704

To learn more about Zoom and to set up your free account, click https://zoom.us/.

© 2020 Teaching and Learning Toolbox

 

Grammarly

Grammarly

Are you interested in a technology tool to aid your students (and you) to improve grammar skills and to help detect plagiarism?  If so, Grammarly may be the perfect solution for you.  Grammarly is a digital writing tool that uses artificial intelligence through machine learning and deep learning algorithms.  Depending on the level of service purchased, Grammarly offers grammar checking, spell checking, and plagiarism detection services.

Grammarly’s online writing assistance and plagiarism tools encourage good grammar and a more professional writing style.  In addition, Grammarly’s integrated plagiarism checker instantly catches plagiarism from over 16 billion websites.  From grammar and spelling to style and tone, Grammarly helps users eliminate errors and find the perfect words to express themselves.

Grammarly can provide real-time edits while writing or the live edit can be disabled, which then only provides feedback during the revision portion of the writing process.  This option allows an update as a final check for errors and inconsistencies.  Other features available include Goals and Performance.  Goals launches whenever you import a new document and it helps Grammarly adjust its edits based on the context of your writing.  The Performance score informs a user how accurate the new document is compared to documents written by other Grammarly users who set the same goals.

Currently, Grammarly Is Trusted by Over 1000 Educational Institutions.  Research has shown that a high number of high school graduates do not possess successful writing skills. Grammarly can help younger students prepare for college-level writing.  In addition, many college freshmen are not adequately prepared for college-level writing courses. Grammarly can work one-on-one with students to develop essential writing skills, reinforce proper revision habits, and prevent plagiarism.  Each week, Grammarly can send an email recapping a user’s writing activity, called Grammarly Insights.  The recap has the ability to provide a list of the three most common errors made and the number of unique words used.

Cathy and I have utilized Grammarly as a teaching tool for our students.  In the past, we have required students to submit written assignments to the following free Grammarly plagiarism detection link: https://www.grammarly.com/plagiarism-checker before the assignment is submitted to us.  The link provides students with feedback regarding how much of their written assignment is possibly plagiarized.  The premium service provides additional details regarding what specifically is plagiarized, which we can view as premium subscription instructors.

A great benefit of Grammarly is that it works in many places across your daily workflow.  Grammarly works seamlessly across several platforms including Gmail, Outlook, Messenger, Yahoo, Twitter, Google Docs, Slack, LinkedIn, Facebook plus many more.

Currently, there are a few improvements to Grammarly that could make it more appealing.  The premium plan is not free, but it can be purchased for under $12 per month.  Also, there is not an offline editing mode and there is not support for Office on Mac.  In our opinion, the benefits of using Grammarly greatly out weigh our noted limitations.  Furthermore, our students have greatly benefited from developing better writing skills by utilizing Grammarly.

For more information about Grammarly go to the following link: https://www.grammarly.com/

© 2020 Teaching and Learning Toolbox

2019 Year End Review

Toolbox

As our semester and 2019 come to a close, we feel that it is a great opportunity to reflect upon the fantastic technology tools and topics that we explored throughout the year.  A great resolution for 2020 is to integrate one of these tools into your classroom environment.

Doodlyhttps://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2019/01/

Integrating Data Analytics https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2019/02/

Google Keephttps://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2019/03/

Piazzahttps://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2019/04/

Sli.dohttps://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2019/05/

Identity Guardhttps://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2019/06/

Integrating Data Analytics #2 https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2019/07/

Let’s Get Ready for the New Academic Year – https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2019/08/

Go Soap Boxhttps://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2019/09/

Doceri (Revisited)https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2019/10/

Formative https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2019/11/

We look forward to exploring more teaching and learning technology tools in 2020.

© 2019 Teaching and Learning Toolbox

Doceri – (Revisited)

Doceri

Are you looking for a classroom tool to better engage your students?  Doceri is a terrific engagement tool that Cathy and I have utilized for several years in our on-campus and online class environments.  Doceri is a professional interactive whiteboard tablet app with sophisticated tools for hand-drawn graphics and built-in remote desktop controls. Doceri has the ability to transform your classroom projector into a moving interactive white board.  Doceri allows instructors to record and post lectures for flipped and online class sections, prepare online course orientation videos, and develop problem solution demonstration videos.  The recorded videos can be converted into an MP4 format and be uploaded into a Learning Management System or directly into YouTube.

In addition, Doceri offers The Doceri Certified Educator Professional Development Course. This course is a video training series created with the purpose of:

  • exposing the participant to all the features of the Doceri App and Desktop software.
  • show the participant how to use these features to teach live lessons as well as create Doceri projects for classroom presentation.
  • utilizing Doceri to create video lessons for student review or as part of a flipped classroom.

Also, Doceri will award a Certificate of Completion upon completion of the Doceri Training Course.

Doceri is available for both iPad and Windows.  The Doceri computer license, which includes the training course, is available for a one-time $30 fee.  The Doceri Desktop license key is a perpetual license and never expires, nor are there any subscription fees associated with this software.  Furthermore, Doceri provides a free trial version which allows users to evaluate Doceri for no cost for 30 days.

To view my course demonstration video, please visit the following link:  https://youtu.be/mwjkPLpbGco

For more information about Doceri (purchase and training course) go to the following link:  https://doceri.com/

© 2019 Teaching and Learning Toolbox

 

Are You Ready for the New Academic Year?

Toolbox

The new academic year is here and it is time to organize ourselves.  This is a great time to reflect and utilize technology that can help organize yourself and your classroom for the upcoming year.   Where should you start?  Cathy and I think that this is the perfect time to share how we stay organized and to recap some of our favorite and most useful technology tools.

To maintain easy access to our documents from anywhere or any device, Cathy and I utilize Dropbox for document cloud storage.  In addition, Dropbox allows us to easily share documents with anyone.  Other cloud storage services that we recommend are Google Drive (https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2016/01/14/google-drive/), Microsoft One Drive and Apple iCloud.

In addition, a great note taking app is a must have for increasing productivity.  Both Notability (https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2016/07/31/notability/) and Evernote (https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2016/03/30/evernote/) are tools that we utilize on a weekly basis.  Additional note taking tools that we recommend are GoodNotes, Notes Plus, Noteshelf and Apple Notes.

Furthermore, Cathy and I utilize technology to convert our typical classroom into an interactive whiteboard environment.  Doceri (https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2015/09/18/doceri/) allows our hand held devices to project images through the classroom overhead projector and to record our lectures.  Additional whiteboard and/or lecture capture technology that we recommend are Explain Everything, Educreations, ShowMe, Notability, Splashtop, Scoodle Jam, Camtasia, Tegrity ,Snagit https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2017/08/31/snagit/ and Microsoft Whiteboard https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2018/10/.

To increase student engagement in the classroom environment, Cathy and I utilize several polling and gamification technologies.  Poll Everywhere https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2018/09/30/poll-everywhere-update-poll-everywhere-competitions-now-available/, Kahoot https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/?s=kahoot, Piazza https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/?s=piazza, Sli.do https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2019/05/31/sli-do-a-student-engagement-and-data-analysis-tool/, and Socrative https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/?s=socrative are a few of our favorite polling options.  These  student engagement technologies work great for on campus or online learning environments.

Cathy and I integrate many group team activities into our course curriculums.  Some of the technologies that we use to support the group workflow and grading are:  Google Keep https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2019/03/, Slack https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2018/01/31/slack/ and Microsoft Teams https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2018/03/31/microsoft-teams/.  Another technology option to consider for team communication is Group Me.

If you are looking for technologies to introduce data analytics into your curriculum, Tableau and PowerBI https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2019/02/ are very user friendly tools.  In addition, Cathy and I describe how we introduce data analytics into our curriculum at https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2019/07/.

Finally, Cathy and I try to utilize technology to engage our students outside of our classroom lectures.  Some effective technology tools that we use to accomplish student engagement are: Kahoot Challenge https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2017/11/30/kahoot-update-now-available-create-out-of-class-assignments-with-kahoot-challenge/, Flipgrid https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2018/02/28/flipgrid/, Google Slides https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2018/04/30/engaging-students-with-google-slides-qa/, and Recap https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2018/06/30/recap/.

We hope that you take this opportunity to discover at least one technology that can help you become more organized throughout the upcoming year.  We recommend checking with your institution to see if they currently provide any of these technologies at little or no cost to faculty.  Many technologies provide similar benefits; therefore, we identified several tools within each organizational category listed above.  We suggest utilizing tools that compliment your teaching style and that can be acquired for the least amount of resources.  Good luck and have a great academic year.

 

© 2019 Teaching and Learning Toolbox

Protect Your Personal Information – Identity Guard

Identity GuardIt seems that every month we are informed of a new data breach at a retailer, bank, credit card company or insurance company.  Protecting our identity now is more important than ever.  What can we do to protect our personal information?  The first step is to protect our passwords.  The Teaching and Learning Toolbox discussed the importance of password protection in a previous Tip of the Month: https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2016/12/31/lastpass/

Next, we suggest keeping a close eye on your personal credit by enrolling into a credit monitoring and/or identity theft service.  These services offer a variety of layers to protect our personal information.  At a minimum we should be monitoring our personal credit reports.  Credit monitoring involves a regular review of credit reports for accuracy and a credit monitoring service allows us to keep an eye on our credit report and score.  We can receive early warnings of changes to our credit and respond quickly.  Credit monitoring also allows us to detect instances of identity theft.  Protecting our credit from identity theft is key to ensuring that others don’t open credit in our name and then leave us with a big problem to fix.  When we compare credit monitoring services we need to compare the fees.  Some services are free while others charge for their services.  Also, it is very important when choosing a credit monitoring service to choose one that covers all three credit bureaus, not just one.

If you’ve already been a victim of identity theft or a data breach, it’s worth it to pay for credit monitoring.  There are many services to choose from, but Cathy and I utilize Identity Guard.  According to Identity Guard, twenty years ago, our identity was our name and our social security number. Today it’s a complex web made up of hundreds of digital pieces we share on a daily basis.  For a reasonable annual fee, some of the features that we like with Identity Guard are:

  • Dark Web Monitoring
  • Risk Management Report
  • Safe Browsing Tools
  • Anti Phishing Mobile App
  • Monthly Credit Score
  • Address Monitoring
  • 3-Bureau Credit Monitoring
  • Tax Refund Alerts
  • $1 Million Identity Theft Insurance

You can get started today with a “free” trial period utilizing Identity Guard today at: https://www.identityguard.com/

 

CLASS NOTE:  This is a great topic to cover when discussing Internal Controls, Financial Literacy and Personal Finance.

NOTE: Other credit monitoring and identity theft services to consider are:  Credit Karma, Experian, ID Shield, ID Watch Dog, Identity Force, Identity Protect, Identity Works, Intelius, Life Lock, My FICO, Privacy Guard.  These companies provide a variety of services and fee structures.

© 2019 Teaching and Learning Toolbox

 

Increase Student Engagement with Piazza

Piazza

Do you strive to be a better teacher?  Are you looking for an easier way to communicate with your students or respond  more quickly to their questions?  Piazza may be the tool that can help you achieve these goals.

Piazza is a social learning platform that is used by over 50,000 professors in 2,000 schools and 90 countries.  Piazza was designed as a tool for students to ask questions and receive answers.  Students have the ability to ask questions privately, to the entire class or to groups.  Many instructors require all questions to go through Piazza instead of individual emails to the instructor.  This format allows all students to benefit from the question and answer.

Piazza’s wiki style format enables collaboration in one place.  Anyone in the class can respond to questions and the instructor has the ability to ensure that the responses are correct.  Piazza allows students to ask questions anonymously, which provides our quiet students the opportunity to submit questions within a safe environment.  The questions and answers are community edited, but there are separate student and instructor edited submissions.  The wiki style format allows the user to see only the high quality question and answer instead of reading through a long thread of submissions.  The questions and responses occur in a real time environment, which allows students to submit questions through Piazza during a class lecture.  The faculty response can even occur during the class session.

Some great features of Piazza’s “free” question and answer platform are:

  • Rich, group edited question and answers
  • All questions in one workflow space
  • Free iOS and Android Piazza mobile apps
  • Integrates with every major Learning Management System
  • Highly customizable real time online polls
  • Detailed participation statistics
  • Instructors can endorse answers to keep the class on track
  • Increase student collaboration

You can view a short video Piazza demonstration at the following link:  https://youtu.be/2jLSiN8E18w

What are you waiting for?  Get started for free at https://piazza.com/

 

© 2019 Teaching and Learning Toolbox

 

Integrating Data Analytics Into Your Accounting Courses

Are you looking for an easy way to integrate data analytics into your accounting curriculum?  Programs like Tableau and Microsoft Power BI combined with free educator resources provided by the Big Four Accounting Firms can aid in this task.  The Big Four Accounting Firms have developed data sets, projects that utilize Tableau and Power BI and a variety of class assignments and cases.  Educators can start with exercises that have students analyze data visualization results.  This allows students to develop critical thinking skills when analyzing trends from the provided data.  After students master the interpretation of the data visualization sets, they gain a more wholistic approach to utilizing the data sets.  The resources provided by Microsoft Power BI, Tableau and the Big Four Accounting Firms allow first-time users with simple step by step resources.

 

Power BI - 3

Business intelligence encompasses the strategies and technologies used for data analysis of business information and Microsoft Power BI is a tool which allows non-technical users the ability to assemble, analyze and share data.  Many individuals who currently use Excel have discovered Power BI to be a natural fit.   The interfaces of Excel and Power BI are very similar and simple visuals are easy to create and import.  Power BI is a natural migration for analyzing data sets when they become too large for Excel’s capabilities.  In addition, many extra analysis tools are available in Power BI compared to Excel.  Power BI allows users to create relationships between data sources and create various visualizations.

Review the following links to learn how Power BI can fit your data analytic needs:

Power BI Introduction Video:  https://youtu.be/_OOyJfszJXY

Power BI Frequently Asked Questions:

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/powerbi-frequently-asked-questions/

Getting Started with Power BI:

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/powerbi-service-get-started/

PowerBI VideoTutorial Playlist:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1N57mwBHtN0JFoKSR0n-tBkUJHeMP2cP

The best part is that you can get started for free today with the Power BI single user version, which includes 1GB of storage.  Create your free account at:  https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/

 

Tableau logo

You don’t have to be an expert to try Tableau.  To help you get started, Tableau provides free ready-made curriculum materials, including lecture notes, student handouts, and assignments.  Visit the Tableau Instructor Resource Page at https://community.tableau.com/community/teachers/overview

Benefits of Utilizing Tableau:

  • Free Instructor and Student Tableau Software
  • Free Start Up and Training Materials
  • Free Curriculum Materials
  • Free Learning Resources
  • Free Tutorial and On Demand Training Videos
  • Basic and Advanced Functionality for any Field of Study
  • Network Community for Tableau Academic Users
  • Allows for Cloud Based Document Sharing for Students and Instructors
  • Basic and Advanced Functionality for any Field of Study

Get started today with Tableau by completing the simple license request process at https://www.tableau.com/academic

 

Big Four Accounting Firm Resource Links

Deloitte  Deloitte – https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/about-deloitte/solutions/educator-resources.html#

EY  EY – https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=2ahUKEwiJ8duEg5ThAhWyZd8KHUFkBkIQFjAAegQICRAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ey.com%2FPublication%2FvwLUAssets%2FEY_Academic_Resource_Center%2F%24FILE%2FEYARC-brochure.pdf&usg=AOvVaw1rfm6VonL418WH8-Tm0d9m

KPMG  KPMG – https://www.kpmguniversityconnection.com/search

PWC  PWC – https://www.pwc.com/us/en/careers/university-relations/data-and-analytics-case-studies.html

 

© 2019 Teaching and Learning Toolbox

2018 Year End Review

Toolbox

As our semester and 2018 come to a close, we feel that it is a great opportunity to reflect upon the fantastic technology tools and topics that we explored throughout the year.  A great resolution for 2019 is to integrate one of these tools into your classroom environment.

Slackhttps://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2018/01/

Flipgridhttps://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2018/02/

Microsoft Teamshttps://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2018/03/

Google Slides Q&Ahttps://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2018/04/

Office Lenshttps://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2018/05/

Recap https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2018/06/30/recap/

Let’s Get Ready for the New Academic Yearhttps://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2018/07/31/lets-get-ready-for-the-new-academic-year/

Peergrade https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2018/08/31/peer-evaluations-made-easy/

Poll Everywhere Competitionshttps://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2018/09/30/poll-everywhere-update-poll-everywhere-competitions-now-available/

Microsoft Whiteboardhttps://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2018/10/31/microsoft-whiteboard/

Todoisthttps://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2018/11/30/todoist/

We look forward to exploring more teaching and learning technology tools in 2019.

© 2018 Teaching and Learning Toolbox

Todoist

Todoist - logo - 2

Do you have several classes or projects to keep track of?  Do you have too many due dates to remember without a list?  Have you ever missed a deadline because you forgot something was due?  Todoist could be the tool to help you organize all your tasks.  Todoist is a “free” to-do list app that works from almost any device.

Todoist allows you to easily organize and prioritize your tasks so you know what is due next.  Todoist allows you to set up Projects, Labels and Filters, which provides a great visual display of all your upcoming tasks.  Personally, I set up a Project for each course that I teach and then list each individual task and due dates related to the course.  In addition, I set up Projects for all committees, organizational and personal tasks.  Furthermore, Todoist allows you to set up recurring weekly, monthly and semester due dates.  Watch the following video and see how quickly and easily Todoist can get you more organized: https://youtu.be/8ZKq0r-g87M

What are you waiting for?  Download the “free” Todoist app today or visit https://todoist.com/ to learn more about the many features of Todoist.

© 2018 Teaching and Learning Toolbox