Google Keep – Another Great Tool from Google!

Over the years, several of the TeachingAndLearningToolbox blogs have highlighted some great Google tools for use in the classroom or to improve productivity.  Google Keep is another wonderful tool you can add to your Google Suite toolbox.

Google Keep is a free, simple and effective productivity and collaboration tool for both students and instructors. If you want to be more organized, productive and collaborative, Google Keep captures your notes and ideas, provides a collaborative sharing resource and offers a great To Do List feature.

Google Keep is available for your computer on the web or as a download through the Android or iOS mobile store apps. Google Keep also integrates with Google Docs [January 2016, Google Drive Blog, now Google Docs], which is helpful when collaborating.  Additionally, if you download the Google Keep Chrome Extension on your computer, you can save webpages, images, quotes, URLs, text, and your notes with a single click.

Google Keep is visually appealing.  It uses a sticky note, color coding format for listing projects, notes and activities.  The sticky note feature also lets you pin your most important tasks at the top of your screen or device, so they are not overlooked.  Google Keep’s note feature allows you to include text, lists, images, and audio. Voice recordings are automatically transcribed to text, which meets ADA compliance requirements, and text notes can be easily converted to checklists.

Need to pick something up for class?  Add a location-based reminder to your To Do List activity.  This feature sends a message to your mobile device when you are in the location area, saving time and consolidating trips.

Google Keep is similar to Evernote [March 2106, Evernote Blog], although not as robust.   Google Keep allows you to collaborate and share notes with others, which makes it a great tool for students to use for group projects.  It is easy to share, simply add individuals as collaborators.  Google Keep allows group members to see changes happen in real time, which makes it easy for everyone to track completed and outstanding project tasks. Google Keep also allows notes with images to be annotated, which is another great feature.  Evernote is still probably the best option if you want to organize your notes in files and notebooks, attach external files, or utilize work chat, but for Google Suite users, Google Keep may be just the tool you and your students need.

To review some of the other great Google Suite tools we have previously shared, click on the following links:

Google Slides Q&A (April 2018) https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2018/04/30/engaging-students-with-google-slides-qa/

Google Hangouts (May 2016) https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2016/05/31/google-hangouts/

Google Forms (April 2016) https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2016/04/29/google-forms/

To learn more about getting started with Google Keep, visit https://www.google.com/keep/.

© 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

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

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams

In January, we focused on using Slack to create and monitor classroom “teams” https://teachingandlearningtoolbox.wordpress.com/2018/01/31/slack/, but Microsoft Teams is another technology option.  If your institution subscribes to Office 365, you already have access to Microsoft Teams at no additional cost.  Furthermore, Microsoft Teams recently celebrated their first anniversary and they reported some very impressive statistics:

  • 200,000 organizations are using Microsoft Teams
  • Microsoft Team users span 181 markets across the globe
  • In the first year, over 3 million Microsoft Teams were created
  • Microsoft Team is available in 39 languages
  • 60% of Microsoft Team users reside outside of the United States
  • Almost 70% of Skype for Business enterprise customers are using Microsoft Teams

Like Slack, Microsoft Teams can bring classroom team communication and collaboration into one place.  In addition, the instructor can participate in and monitor the group activity.  The conversation experience in Microsoft Teams can make learning more accessible to your entire class. You can easily manage your class workflow while engaging the voice of every student.  Instructors can engage students in project-based learning with text, video, and voice over integrations.  If you are trying to connect with your students through social media, Microsoft Teams allows you to integrate emojis, stickers, and GIFs.  Educators can also feel confident in building a safer, more productive environment in Microsoft Teams.  The instructor has the ability to delete posts, mute students or pause class conversations.

As mentioned in our January post, employers and recent college graduates have informed us that we need to increase the number of team activities within our courses.  As educators, we tend to focus on individual student grades and grading group activities can be difficult.  As a result, new graduates can be unprepared for the large amount of team activities and projects that are imbedded into daily activities within many organizations.  Microsoft Teams can help educators achieve the goal of implementing and monitoring classroom team projects.

Watch the following video link to observe how organizations have successfully implemented Microsoft Teams into their work culture:  https://youtu.be/nKU-FMzZFF0

In addition, the Microsoft Teams Interactive Demo:  http://teamsdemo.office.com/ provides a hands on demonstration which can help determine if Microsoft Teams can work for you.  As a reminder, there are many options available to choose from, but you will need to determine what will work best for your team structure.

Best of all, you may already have “free” access to Microsoft Teams if you or your institution subscribes to Office 365. To learn more about the many features of Microsoft Teams, visit  https://products.office.com/en-us/academic/compare-office-365-education-plans.

© 2018 Teaching and Learning Toolbox

Slack

slack_logo1

Have you been searching for an easy way to create and monitor classroom “teams”?  Slack may be the app that can help make this happen.  Slack can bring classroom team communication and collaboration into one place.  In addition, the instructor can participate in and monitor the group activity.

Employer’s and recent college graduates have informed us that we need to increase the number of team activities within our courses.  As educators, we tend to focus on individual student grades and grading group activities can be difficult.  As a result, new graduates can be unprepared for the large amount of team activities and projects that are imbedded into daily activities within many organizations.  A bonus to using Slack in your classroom is that Slack already has a market presence in many organizations where team activity is vital to their success.   Therefore, it is an easy transition for students to utilize the same technology tools in their future jobs that they used in the classroom.

When using Slack in the classroom, each group will be assigned their own “team” channel.  The channel tracks the conversation and progress of the group activity or project.  Having access to the “team” channel aids in grading student contributions to the activity or project.  Also, Slack has migrated from being only a communication tool into a community platform.  Slack has the functionality of a message board and social media tool. Furthermore, it is easy to set up topic channels and have students provide input for the class topics that interest them.  Slack provides all your team communication in one place.  You can instantly search key words or topics and the information in available on any device.  Slack can be used from a computer or mobile apps compatible with iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

In addition, most organizations that utilize Slack have created some best practice rules of engagement for their team members.  Best practices might include: emphasizing appropriate behavior that will be read by others, no gifs, and setting snooze or do not disturb options when team members are unavailable.  There are many options available to choose from, but you will need to determine what will work best for your team structure.

Best of all, the “free” version of Slack works well for the classroom environment.  To learn more about the many features of Slack and to set up your free Slack account, visit  https://slack.com/features.

© 2018 Teaching and Learning Toolbox

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

Tableau

Tableau logo

Are you looking for a way to easily provide your students with a marketable Data Analytics skillset?  Many of us already use Microsoft Excel and/or Microsoft Access in our Accounting and Business courses to organize, sort and analyze data.  We know that Excel and Access work great for smaller amounts of data, but Tableau can analyze larger amounts of data very quickly.  In addition, Tableau is easy to use and it can incorporate visual analytics into your curriculum.  Tableau allows a user to keep asking questions of the data until they find the root cause of an issue.  Furthermore, Tableau has the ability to display a bigger picture of the data by creating powerful interactive dashboards.  An advantage of using Tableau is that we have the ability to make better decisions by quickly finding trends and identifying opportunities for improvement.

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

What are you waiting for?  Get started today with Tableau by completing the simple license request process at https://www.tableau.com/academic

© 2017 Teaching and Learning Toolbox

Don’t Use Technology Without a Backup Plan

Cathy and I promote and use a lot of technology on a daily basis. Whether we are on the road presenting at a conference or utilizing technology in our classrooms to engage our students, we ALWAYS have a Backup Plan for the unfortunate event of when our technology fails. The question is not “if” we will encounter technology issues, but “when” will our technology fail? For several years, Cathy and I have promoted technology use within the classroom to increase student engagement, but we always encourage an environment of being prepared for technology failure with a solid backup plan.

How would you react if technology failed in your classroom? Our philosophy is that “the show must go on”, therefore, having a paper backup copy or reverting to a group textbook exercise can insure that your classroom momentum is not stalled when technology fails. Typically, students do not demand instructors to be technology experts, but they do have an expectation that we will not panic, but rather adjust to unforeseen technology issues. Each time that Cathy and I enter a classroom or presentation situation, we always have a “Plan B” in our back pocket.

Cathy and I have had to react to technology failures within our classrooms (even once during a faculty evaluation classroom visit). In addition, we have had to respond to technology disasters when presenting at conferences. Throughout the years, internet failures, lack of cell phone / hot spot service, app crashes and equipment breakdowns have afflicted us. Having video clips downloaded and web screen shots imbedded into our presentation materials have aided in a smooth presentation. In addition, having a presentation file backup is a requirement before we hit the road or enter the classroom.

No one can fully anticipate every possible technology failure, but entering a presentation situation with a “Backup Plan” can provide you with the confidence to react quickly and deliver a great lecture.

© 2017 Teaching and Learning Toolbox