Office Lens

Have you ever been in a meeting, conference session or classroom and snapped a picture of a whiteboard or screen with your phone? Many times these photos can be blurry or off centered. An app solution to make this process substantially easier is Microsoft Office Lens.

Office Lens will automatically trim and enhance the pictures of whiteboards and screens into a readable format. The pictures from the app can be downloaded as pdf files, photos or as editable Microsoft Word or PowerPoint files. Office Lens is like having a portable scanner with you at all times.

Features and Mode Options:
– With Whiteboard mode, Office Lens trims and cleans up glare and shadows.
– With Document mode, Office Lens trims and colors images perfectly.
– Pictures can be saved to OneNote, OneDrive or other cloud storage.
– Business Card mode can extract contact information and save it into your address book and OneNote. This feature works best with the following business cards: English, German, Spanish and Simplified Chinese. Support for more languages is coming soon.
– Choose to convert images to Word (.docx), PowerPoint (.pptx) or PDF (.pdf) files that are automatically saved to OneDrive.

Scenarios:
– Capture and crop a picture of a whiteboard or blackboard and share your meeting notes with students or co-workers.
– Make digital copies of your printed documents, business cards or posters and trim them precisely.
– Printed and handwritten text will be automatically recognized (using OCR), so you can search for words in images and then copy and edit them.

With all of these great features, Office Lens has become one of our most used apps. The best news is that Office Lens is FREE and is compatible with IOS, Android and Windows. To learn more about Office Lens, visit https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/office-lens/9wzdncrfj3t8.

© 2018 Teaching and Learning Toolbox

Engaging Students with Google Slides Q&A

Google QandA Logo

Are you looking for a way to have students submit questions during class and have the option for you to answer those questions at a particular time during your class session?  Google Slides Q&A is the perfect technology tool to accomplish this goal.  Google Slides Q&A allows your students to ask questions online at any time during the lecture.  Then you can respond to all or select questions whenever you choose.

Google Slides Q&A provides students the opportunity to ask questions as they occur.  This allows you to know exactly what students understand or don’t understand at any point during your class. This technology tools also prevents students from forgetting questions as you move on to other topics.

While using Google Slides Q&A, students can submit questions from their phones, laptops or tablets.  If desired, questions can even be submitted anonymously.  Another benefit of Google Slides Q&A is that all students can vote on which questions they would like to see answered first, which helps you to prioritize which topics to address. In addition, you have the option to repeat and rewind during the class session or circle back at the end.

Google Slides can be presented from a computer, similar to Microsoft’s PowerPoint, or you can present slides from an iPhone or iPad using Chromecast, AirPlay or Hangouts.

Google Slides Q&A makes lecture time more engaging.  Students are actively participating throughout the entire lecture. Using Google Slides Q&A also gives the quietest students a voice in every class. Best of all, Google Slides Q&A is easy to use and it’s free!

Are you ready to try Google Slides Q&A? Visit https://bit.ly/2D29ztW  to get started!

© 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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Creating Engaging Animated Videos With PowToon

PowToons

Are you looking for a way to create engaging, animated videos that capture your student’s attention?  If so, PowToon may just be the answer!

PowToon is the PowerPoint or Prezi alternative that can make learning fun.  Creating a PowToon is as easy as 1-2-3.  In under 10 minutes, you can select a template, structure your storyboard, create your presentation and publish your PowToon video.  PowToon videos can be stored in your PowToon account or you can also export them to YouTube, Vimeo or Wistia.  Don’t see a PowToon template you like?  No problem! You can also create your own from a blank template.

Whether you want to spice up your course Welcome/Getting Started video, create lesson previews for your flipped classroom or recap a topic, PowToon is a fun and easy way to deliver the message.  You can also share this useful technology tool with your students who may want a creative project presentation alternative.

PowToon’s are used by many large companies such as Starbucks, Cisco, Coca-Cola, Pfizer, eBay, and Costco; therefore, introducing your students to PowToon technology adds another industry skill to their resume.

Not only are PowToon’s easy to create, edit and publish, but the PowToon library at https://www.powtoon.com/tutorials/ offers numerous helpful tutorials including a Quick Start Guide.  Best of all PowToon has a basic, free version or you can select one of their low-cost educational plans for more features.   Users who upgrade to the paid version of PowToon receive the added benefit of technical support.

To watch a short video about how you can “Bring Awesomeness to Your Classroom!” or to get started using PowToon today, visit https://www.powtoon.com/edu-home/.

© 2017 Teaching and Learning Toolbox

Using PowerPoint and Office Mix to Create Engaging, Interactive Videos!

Office Mix

Whether you are new to recording videos or an established pro, consider using PowerPoint with the Office Mix add-in to create engaging, interactive videos.  Office Mix can be used to enhance existing PowerPoint templates or you can create something from scratch.  Either way, you can use a familiar classroom technology tool to flip your classroom or enhance your online courses.

Office Mix lets the technology novice or guru easily add audio, video, screenshots, or web links to any PowerPoint presentation.  You can also annotate your slides as you record.

Are you concerned about recording a video in one setting?  No problem, Office Mix lets you start and stop the recording at any time, preview what you previously recorded, delete what you don’t like, and re-record any slide you desire.

Do you want to change slide information for a later semester?  This is easy to do as well.  Office Mix lets you modify previous recordings, and upload the revised version without changing the URL.

Office Mix also makes assessment easy.  With a click of a button, you can add assessments, such as quizzes, anyplace in your PowerPoint deck.  This lets you replicate your classroom’s interactive environment with a pre-recorded video lesson.

The data analytic tools in Office Mix provides the instructor with extensive information about the course.  Available data includes (1) which students viewed your “Mix”, (2) how much time students spend on each slide, (3) the average attempts per question, (4) the average hints used, (5) the percentage of students who correctly answered questions, (6) responses by student, (7) the most watched slides, (8) which student(s) didn’t watch the video to completion, and (9) data comparisons between class averages and individual students.  The data analytical tools can provide numerical output in Excel as well as visual output utilizing graphs and charts.

In addition to Office Mix making video creation and assessment easy, it makes sharing your interactive video lessons simple as well.  Within minutes you can upload your video to the Office Mix MyMixes web portal by logging into your Facebook, Google, Microsoft, or Office 365 account.  You can also share the video URL by email or embed it into your Learning Management System or website.

If you have privacy or security concerns, Office Mix works much like YouTube.  You can easily control the privacy settings for the recording.  Privacy settings include, private (only you can view your video), unlisted (share the URL to view) or public (anyone can find and view your video). Office Mix allows you to easily inventory and retrieve your videos by title, description, category, and tags.

Concerned about closed captioning?  Good news!  Closed captioning is available as well.  Simply use the PowerPoint closed captioning tools available in the 2016, 2013, 2010 and 2007 versions.

Whether you want to flip your classroom, enhance an online course or provide students with a free, project creation and presentation technology tool, Office Mix may just be the thing you are looking for.

To learn more about Office Mix or to download this PowerPoint add-in so you can try it today, visit https://mix.office.com/en-us/education.

© 2017 Teaching and Learning Toolbox

 

 

 

 

Use the Summer to Prepare for the New Academic Year!

Toolbox

Let’s get ready 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.

Other useful organization technology that we utilize and recommend are Future Me (https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2015/12/07/connect-with-your-future-you/), Remind (https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2015/11/26/remind/) and Group Me.

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.

© 2017 Teaching and Learning Toolbox

 

Expanding the Classroom Learning Experience with Virtual Field Trips

skype

Expanding the Classroom Learning Experience with Virtual Field Trips

Videoconferencing tools like Skype (www.skype.com) are an inexpensive way to expand the classroom learning experience with real-world applications. It has never been easier to create these real-world learning experiences for your students.  Tools such as Skype allow students to connect with industry experts from around the world, or participate in a virtual field trip activity. In comparison to taking your students on a physical field trip, virtual field trips are free and provide experiences that might otherwise be inaccessible. Virtual field trips are a great way to link class content to real-world applications.  A virtual field trip is simple to organize and can be coordinated by the instructor or students, as part of a class project.

If you don’t have the time to create your own virtual field trips, there are multiple videos available on YouTube (www.YouTube.com) that you can use instead.  These prerecorded, online virtual field trips can either be used in class or assigned as an out-of-class activity, which make them perfect for online courses.  Many times, textbook publishers also provide real-world video learning experiences, so don’t forget to explore those options as well.

If you teach accounting and want to expose your entry-level students to accounting industry experts, AICPA’s website, StartHereGoPlaces.com (https://www.startheregoplaces.com/students/games-tools/virtual-field-trips/) provides free virtual field trips, via live webcasts, a few times each year.  These types of virtual field trips are great opportunities to connect your students with CPA’s who discuss various topics, such as the field of accounting or the role of the CPA in industry.  Participants in the StartHereGoPlaces.com virtual field trips, can even interact in a question and answer session.

As with any learning activity, it is important to have students reflect on what they learned from the virtual field trip experience.  Therefore, having students “debrief” as soon as possible after the virtual field trip, helps students link their field trip take-aways to classroom content.

Whether you are looking for opportunities that allow your students to engage with industry experts or experience the real-world first hand, virtual field trips are an excellent way to enhance the classroom learning experience. For some additional tips on how to use Skype for virtual field trips, visit Microsoft Education at https://education.microsoft.com/courses-and-resources/courses/virtual-field-trips-with-skype-in-the-classroom.

 

 

Quizlet

quizlet

If you are looking for a great, interactive study tool that can reinforce basic concepts, both in and out of the classroom, Quizlet may be just the tool.  Quizlet is a gamification technology-based study tool that students can use anyplace, anytime.  Quizlet engages all types of learners, and its multi-language capability makes it the perfect study companion for ESL students.

Don’t have computers in your classroom?  No problem!  Quizlet provides six types of PDF printing formats (tables, glossary, small or large flashcard sheets and index cards), which lets you turn any Quizlet into a paper/pencil activity. You can even embed a Quizlet QR Code in your handouts, so that students can access the activity later from their smart phone, or tablet. Quizlet’s free IOS and Android mobile apps allow students to connect from anywhere, on any device, 24/7.

Best of all, Quizlet’s basic application is free.  The free version allows for the creation of study tools; including flashcards, learning activities, practice tests and games.  For instructors, Quizlet requires very little set up time, yet the adaptive learning technology provides students with hours of practice. Quizlet is also easy to share.  Simply embed the Quizlet URL or QR Code into your learning management system.

Getting started with Quizlet is as simple as 1-2-3.  First, create an account using your email, Facebook log on or Google account.  Second, create a learning set or import existing information from any Word, Excel or Google Docs file.  Third, establish your permissions and privacy settings, then your Quizlet is ready to use.

Don’t have time to create a Quizlet?  Then assign this task to your students.  Simply set up a class or groups, then give student participant’s permission to create or edit a Quizlet.

If you are looking to track student progress, or enhance a Quizlet with images or audio, then you can upgrade to the paid version of Quizlet for a slight fee.  The paid version also allows you to use Quizlet Live, which is an enhanced, collaborative learning tool.

For more information about Quizlet or to try it today, visit https://quizlet.com/.  To learn more about Quizlet Live, visit https://quizlet.com/features/live.

© 2017 Teaching and Learning Toolbox

Padlet

padlet

Looking for a versatile, collaborative technology tool you can add to your Teaching and Learning Toolbox?  Padlet may be just the tool.  Padlet is an electronic multimedia wiki that resembles post-it notes or “pinning” activities similar to Pinterest.  It is a great tool for your students to organize their thoughts about a topic, project or the course.  For the instructor, Padlet is simple you use.  You just set up a Padlet, share the link, and let the learning fun begin!

There are several ways you can use Padlet in your courses.  For instance, Padlet is great for ice-breaker activities, especially for online classes.  Students can post something about themselves on an electronic sticky note, add a picture and then other students can post reply comments by attaching an electronic sticky note to the original post.  I’ve also used Padlet in my courses to introduce a new concept.  Students can research the topic, and post additional information to the main topic note.  Padlet also works great for exam reviews.  The instructor can post review questions for students to answer or a student can post questions they may have about an exam topic for peer-to-peer tutoring.   If you assign group projects, Padlet allows students to easily mind map concepts and organize their project before getting started.  Sharing options include text notes, voice recordings, photos, documents and/or hyperlinks.  Sharing Padlets is exceptionally easy.  Students can connect through a shared web link or QR code embedded in your course.

Like many of the technology tools featured in this blog, Padlet has a free version available.  For $5.00 a month (or $45 a year), educators can upgrade to the premium “Padlet Backpack” account, which provides enhanced features and free, unlimited student access.  For more information about getting started with Padlet, visit the Padlet Virtual Tour at http://jn.padlet.com/article/252-padlet-tour.

 

 

 

 

Let’s Get Organized for the New Academic Year!

Toolbox  Welcome to a 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 and Tegrity.

Other useful organization technology that we utilize and recommend are Future Me (https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2015/12/07/connect-with-your-future-you/), Remind (https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2015/11/26/remind/) and Group Me.

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.

© 2016 Teaching and Learning Toolbox