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

Microsoft Whiteboard

Microsoft Whiteboard:  A Collaborative Learning Experience

Are you looking for ways to make your classroom or synchronous online lectures and activities more engaging?  Try Microsoft Whiteboard!  Microsoft Whiteboard is a new virtual, collaborative whiteboard app that can help increase student engagement and participation.  Microsoft Whiteboard is a free app that works with both Windows and iOS.  It allows users to collaborate in real time, using a virtual canvas.  Similar to the traditional classroom whiteboard, instructors project information for students to view; however, the Microsoft Whiteboard app also allows students to interact with the board from their mobile device or computer in real-time.   Also, unlike the traditional classroom whiteboard, instructors don’t need to erase information anymore.  Microsoft Whiteboard saves board annotations automatically to the cloud.  This means students don’t have to write everything down or take pictures of the board.  They can simply retrieve the information on their device during or after class as needed.

Microsoft Whiteboards can be annotated with a pen, keyboard or by touch.  Tools include sticky notes which can be annotated and stacked, and drawing tools such as a ruler and ink to shape feature.  Ink to shape takes your freehand drawings and immediately gives them a professional look.   You can also easily insert pictures or ink to table charts.  Microsoft Whiteboard also makes it easy to resize or copy content within or from your board as well as switch between boards.  Finally, Microsoft Whiteboard’s bird’s eye view option, allows you to zoom out or zoom in on displayed content as needed.  This can be particularly helpful when working with numbers, such as financial statements.

The collaborative nature of Microsoft Whiteboard makes it a useful technology tool for classroom brainstorming activities, mind-mapping, group work-out problems or integrating collaborative approaches to problem-solving and decision-making activities.  Best of all, Microsoft Whiteboard is easy to use.  Just download the appropriate app (Windows or iOS), then set up or sign in with a Microsoft account (Outlook, Hotmail, Live, Xbox, Office 365).  To start a collaborative, interactive session, simply select the “Invite” button, then write or type the invitee’s name or generate a link to share with the class.

To learn more about Microsoft Whiteboard, watch the overview video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hG91PYYPDto.  Then visit https://products.office.com/en-us/microsoft-whiteboard/digital-whiteboard-app to get started with your free account.

© 2018 Teaching and Learning Toolbox

Poll Everywhere Update: Poll Everywhere Competitions Now Available

Poll Everywhere Competitions-1

As we have previously written (August 2015), Poll Everywhere provides “free” polling to educators, which allows you to poll up to 40 students at one time.  It only takes a few minutes to set up a poll and students can respond to your poll in numerous ways, including by texting from their cell phones.  But now you have the capability to create Student Competitions within Poll Everywhere.  When you create multiple choice questions in Poll Everywhere, you now have the option for the students to play for points.  You determine the number of questions to include in the Competition and the students respond from their devices.  Points are earned for correct answers and for how quickly they submit their answer.  The leaderboard is updated after each question, which creates competitiveness and excitement in the classroom.  You can have students compete individually or in teams.  Typically, Cathy and I prefer utilizing a team environment within the classroom, which avoids having students being left out if they do not have a device with them to submit their answer.

This is a great way to introduce gamification into your curriculum.  Cathy and I use Poll Everywhere for first day of class activities, in-class exam reviews, homework responses and ethic case responses (to name a few).  Poll Everywhere has increased student engagement and classroom attendance within our courses.

For more information on how to use this “free” resource, go to the link below and watch the “Introducing Poll Everywhere Competitions” video for a quick demonstration:  https://www.polleverywhere.com/competitions

© 2018 Teaching and Learning Toolbox

 

Peer Evaluations Made Easy!

Peer Evaluations Made Easy!

Do you use individual or group projects in your courses?  Do you incorporate peer and self-evaluations?  Are you looking for an easier way to manage the evaluation process?  Then Peergrade may be just the solution!

Peer evaluations are a great way to engage students in the learning process but are often difficult to manage and produce less than helpful feedback. Peergrade is an online application that can simplify and improve the peer evaluation process.  It can also reinforce valuable workplace skills such as communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and constructive feedback.

Peergrade allows the instructor to create an online assignment link that includes a grading rubric. Students can then upload their assignments before the due date.  Once the assignment link closes, the submitted assignments are randomly and automatically distributed for review to other students in the class.  Assigned reviewers provide anonymous feedback based on the grading rubric.  The instructor knows who the reviewers are, but their classmates do not.  To ensure the quality of the feedback and improve the learning experience, students rate the feedback they received.  This allows the reviewers and the instructor to know if the feedback provided was helpful or not.  Self-evaluations and instructor evaluations are also possible.  Markus and I both use peer, instructor and self-evaluations in our courses.  Peergrade just helps to streamline the process.

Peergrade is fully customizable for individual or group submissions.  It also has an easy rubric creator if you need this type of assistance.  Additionally, Peergrade includes pedagogical assistance features for instructors, including tutorials, videos, research articles and personal assistance.  Best of all, Peergrade provides data driven insight into the effectiveness of your assignments, rubrics and student learning.

Peergrade has a free version of the application which allows the instructor to implement it in an unlimited number of classes and assignments.  Peergrade can also accept any type of uploaded file that the instructor allows.  Limitations of the free version involve the file size.  The free version is restricted to 50 MG per file. Paid versions of the application are also available for individual instructors and institutions.  The institutional option easily integrates with most Learning Management Systems (LMS).

If you are looking for a better way to involve your students in creating fair and useful evaluations for your projects or assignments, consider Peergrade.  To learn more about how to get started with Peergrade or to set up your free account, visit https://www.peergrade.io/ and watch the brief video.

© 2018 Teaching and Learning Toolbox

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s Get Ready for the New Academic Year!

Toolbox

It’s time to start preparing for the new academic year!  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 and Snagit https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2017/08/31/snagit/.

Cathy and I integrate many group team activities into our course curriculum.  Some of the technologies that we use to support the group workflow and grading are:  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 https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2017/04/30/tableau/ and PowerBI https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2017/10/31/microsoft-power-bi/ are very user friendly tools.

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/, 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.

© 2018 Teaching and Learning Toolbox

 

Recap

Are you looking for a way to make your online courses more interactive? Connect with lecture students outside of class? Help student prepare for a virtual workplace?  Then Recap by Swivl may be just the technology tool for your teaching and learning toolbox.

Recap is an educational chat tool enhanced by video.  It allows instructors to start discussions with either chat questions or a brief “Journey” video.  “Journeys” are instructor generated directions or overviews (60 seconds or less in length), which can be accompanied by links to recommended resources.  Students respond to “Queues” (chat questions) or “Journeys” with a “Twitter” like post, a brief video response or both.

Recap makes discussion boards come alive. It also helps students understand the difference between social media posts and workplace chat environments.  Additionally, if students are uncomfortable with public speaking or talking to a webcam, the Recap video feature helps students develop these important future workplace skills.

Recap is easy to use and best of all it’s free!  To get started, the instructor will “Queue Up” a moderated dialogue using the chat feature.  Dialogues can be started with a single question or a series of questions.  “Queues” can be enhanced with a “Journey”, which may benefit students who are more audio/visual learners.

Recap has privacy settings that can be controlled by the instructor and student.  Responses can be set to private (between the student and the instructor) or public so that the response can be shared with the entire class. Managing Recap is extremely easy.  Just set a due date for the response and use the built-in notification tools, or Recap links can also be inserted into in your learning management system.

Do you have multiple due dates for a project or activity?  Do you want your student to reflect on their progress?  Then sort student responses into folders by submission date.  This lets you track student progress as well as provides students an opportunity for reflection.

Recap is a simple technology tool that helps students develop many different workplace skills.  In addition to enhancing discussion boards in your course, Recap is also a great tool to create portfolios, encourage virtual collaboration for group projects or study groups, check the pulse of the class, collect pre-work questions about a topic, create virtual Day One introductions or make a student the class “expert” for the day.  Recap can also be used in conjunction with technology tools like Padlet (September 2016) for a scavenger hunt or mind-mapping activity.  Simply pose your question(s) in Recap, then have students share their findings with the class using the electronic post-it notes in Padlet.

Think of Recap as the “Twitter” for the classroom, enhanced by video.  It is one of those technology tools that can raise the learning bar.  Recap gives a voice to all students in the course, while encouraging them to interact in a concise and effective manner.

Are you ready to try Recap?  To learn more about how to get started or to set up your free Recap account, visit https://letsrecap.com/queue/.

© 2018 Teaching and Learning Toolbox

 

Flipgrid

If you are looking for a way to make your online, hybrid or lecture course come alive, Flipgrid may be just the new interactive technology tool you need in your teaching and learning toolbox.  Flipgrid is an easy to use application that gives every student a voice in your course.  It creates a vibrant learning community. Whether you want to increase engagement or create a collaborative, dynamic learning environment, Flipgrid may be just the tool to accomplish your goals.

To start using Flipgrid, create a new grid.  This will be your classroom or learning community hub.  Next, you will add a discussion topic. These can include text, videos from YouTube or Vimeo, diagrams, files (e.g. OneNote, Google Docs, Dropbox), documents (e.g. PDFs, Word, Excel) and/or weblinks.  Flipgrid also lets you embed a HyperDoc (a digital document containing all of the learning objective or learning cycle components in one central location such as Google Docs). In response to the discussion topic, students will create and post short videos that share their ideas and research about the subject.  Flipgrid is a great way to replace static discussion boards with dynamic virtual dialogue.

Flipgrid has a free version, is easy to use and it works on any device and with any browser.   The Flipgrid video response player is like other social media applications where participants can react or reply to their classmate’s posts.

As the instructor, you are always 100% in control.  You can moderate videos, provide custom feedback and establish privacy rules. Flipgrid’s ability to integrate with numerous learning management systems (Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle, and Schoology) as well as Microsoft Team apps like Sway or other classroom apps such as OneNote and Google Classroom are additional benefits.  Flipgrid also makes assessment easy, providing instructors the ability to create custom rubrics, and individualized video feedback.

Are you ready to try Flipgrid? To learn more about how to get started or to set up your free Flipgrid account, visit https://info.flipgrid.com/?action=signup.

© 2018 Teaching and Learning Toolbox

 

Microsoft Sway – A Collaborative, Interactive, Digital Storytelling App

If you are looking for a virtual collaboration tool or a way to make course content interactive, then Microsoft Office Sway may be just the new tool for your technology toolbox.

Sway is referred to by Microsoft as a “digital storytelling app”.  This interactive, collaborative alternative to PowerPoint lets you or your students share images, text, videos, audio and other media to “tell a story” about any course topic.   Sway is a great way to connect with online students or to provide a repeat and rewind activity for lecture students.

Best of all Sway is free!  For individual users, Sway provides a professional presentation format that is easy to create and share. Use the Sway images or import your own. There are also no limits to the number of Sways a user can create or store.  If you or your institution are also Microsoft 365 subscribers, then Sway’s enhanced features include administrative controls, additional organizational sharing limitations, and the ability to connect to or use content from OneDrive.

Additionally, Sway allows students full accessibility to this technology tool, as it works on all platforms and devices.  All you need to do is share the Sway link, embed the link on your website or LMS, or you can distribute your Sway through social media (Facebook or Twitter).

Concerned about privacy?  Sway has an array of privacy options, from private (only you can view), to public (where everyone can view).  For more controlled viewing, you can share a link with students and revoke viewing privileges at any time.  If you use Sway through your institution’s Microsoft Office 365, then you can also limit viewing to only members of your organization.

Make Sway more interactive by adding assessments.  Simply create a question or quiz by using Microsoft Office Forms and embedding the form link into your Sway.  If you are looking for a great collaborative tool, use Sway to let students work on their presentation in a virtual environment, or add Skype to your Sway activity and it becomes even more collaborative.  Sway is also a great tool for students to use for eFolio projects.

Looking ahead to 2018, start out the new year with this free, interactive, collaborative technology tool in your toolbox.  Sway is an easy way to add technology in your course.  For more information on getting started with Sway visit https://sway.com/education/ or https://sway.com/.

© 2017 Teaching and Learning Toolbox

 

 

 

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Microsoft Power BI

Power BI - 3

Do you already use Excel in your daily life?  Are you looking for an easy way to develop some Data Analytics skills?  Power BI is a Microsoft product that was originally developed as an Excel business intelligence (BI) solution upgrade and it may just be the tool to help introduce you to the world of business analytics.

Business intelligence encompasses the strategies and technologies used for data analysis of business information and 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/

NOTE:  For an additional Business Intelligence analytics tool option, view our Teaching and Learning Toolbox Tip of the Month – April 2017 –  Tableau

© 2017 Teaching and Learning Toolbox

Snagit

Snagit

Are you looking for a way to easily express yourself “visually” to students in an online environment?  Snagit may be the tool that you have been looking for.  With Snagit you can effortlessly utilize screen capture technology to create online lectures, demonstration problems or to help explain student questions.  Snagit allows you to create quick videos, imbed images and make edits before you share the link.  Anything on your screen can be captured, explained and shared to your students utilizing Snagit.  This allows students to instantly feel a personal connection to the course instructor.

Experience the benefits of Snagit by clicking on the following video link:

Snagit Screen Capture Software & Screen Recorder | TechSmith

Snagit software allows you to create recordings on Windows and Mac.  In addition, your school may already have Snagit available for you.  If not, you can start using Snagit for 15 days free or purchase Snagit for a one-time discounted educator price of $29.95 (Regular price $49.95).   Click on the following link for the educator discount:  http://shop.techsmith.com/store/techsm/en_US/buy/productID.289742700

What are you waiting for?  Become a superstar with your students today with Snagit!

© 2017 Teaching and Learning Toolbox