Thursday, August 25, 2011

Course Design for Learning

I recently uploaded a presentation I created as an overview of the course design process--iterative steps/considerations (to both authorSTREAM and to SlideShare.) The authorSTREAM version below maintains the custom animations.

Learning to Change--Changing to Learn

Monday, August 22, 2011

Research the Mendeley Way

According to their website, "Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network that can help you organize your research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research." Here’s some background from Wikipedia:
Mendeley was founded in November 2007 and is based in London. The first public beta version was released in August 2008. The team comprises researchers, graduates, and open source developers from a variety of academic institutions. The company’s investors include the former executive chairman of, the former founding engineers of Skype, and the former Head of Digital Strategy at Warner Music Group, as well as academics from Cambridge and Johns Hopkins University.
Mendeley is a free desktop tool that indexes and organizes all of your PDF documents and research papers into your own personal digital library. Import from your computer, EndNote™, Papers, or Zotero. Mendeley also looks up PubMed, CrossRef, DOIs and other related document details automatically, importing papers quickly and easily from resources such as Google Scholar, ACM, IEEE and many more at the click of a button.

Mendeley gathers document details from your PDFs allowing you to effortlessly search, organize and cite. Generate citations and bibliographies in Microsoft Word, Open Office, and LaTeX. You can capture your thoughts with highlighting and annotations using sticky notes. You can then share your papers, thoughts, and annotations with your colleagues.

Mendeley (Lite) for the iPhone and iPad syncs seamlessly with your Mendeley research collection.  This means that you can now carry your personal digital library with you wherever you go.  The iPhone app keeps your documents organized in just the same way as your online collection, with easy access to all your collections, recently added items and favorites.  Combined with search over titles and abstracts you can get to the paper you need quickly. If there is a paper that you want to let your colleagues know about, you can share the citation to that paper from within the app via email. No more copying and pasting citations, it all gets taken care of at the touch of a button. You can even download a paper and read it offline later. NOTE: To use the Mendeley (Lite) for iPhone you need to have an account with Mendeley Web, and you need to add to your library either through Mendeley Web or via Mendeley Desktop.

Learn Central Webinar (if you miss the session, it is archived)
Fri August 26, 2011, 2:30am-4:00am, US/Eastern

Friday, August 19, 2011

Designing Effective Writing and Research Assignments

In a perfect world, first-year students would arrive on campus with a solid foundation of research and writing skills that you get to build upon with true college-level assignments. Unfortunately, that's often not the case.

As a result, writing assignments are time consuming and, at times, frustrating to grade. Of course, they also are vital to furthering student learning and an important part of the academic experience. In other words, they're not going away anytime soon.

Download Keys to Designing Effective Writing and Research Assignments »

This Faculty Focus special report was created to provide instructors with fresh perspectives and proven strategies for designing more effective writing assignments, including how to thwart "cut and paste" plagiarism.

Here are just some of the articles you will find in this report:
  • Revising the Freshman Research Assignment
  • Writing an Analytical Paper in Chunks
  • Designing Assignments to Minimize Cyber-Cheating
  • Chapter Essays as a Teaching Tool
  • Writing (Even a Little Bit) Facilitates Learning
  • How to Conduct a ‘Paper Slam’

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Followers Missing

All my followers seem to have disappeared. I have a heading by no bright, shining faces. I noticed that several bloggers commented way back in May that they were having problems, but this is now August. Anyone have any suggestions?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Game Based Learning - An Introduction

During this webinar, Patrick will be introducing the concept of Game-based Learning, explain how it can be employed in instructional settings, and provide practical information on how to harness this engaging medium.
This is the first in a planned series of webinars from partners, MissionV Education Limited, a not for profit organisation specialising in the use of virtual worlds technology for the support of primary and post primary students and iGBL (Game -Based Learning Research Group) based in Waterford Institute of Technology.
iGBL organised a highly successful Symposium on Game-Based Learning (GBL) in Waterford Institute of Technology in May 2011.  This symposium brought together teachers, lecturers, students and researchers, and provided insights from different perspectives such as educational psychology, sociology, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Artificial Intelligence, Game Design, or Instructional Design.

Friday, August 12, 2011


I generally upload my PowerPoint presentations to SlideShare; however, I recently found the AuthorSTREAM site which allows more flexibility for uploading my presentations and inserting YouTube videos into my PowerPoint presentations straight from the desktop (using a free plug-in). The presentations also maintain the animations and custom transitions when I upload them.

You can also create your own channels in order to categorize your presentations. I created the Technology in Education Channel in which I plan to include presentations designed to support faculty and student integration of technology to enhance teaching and learning. I added my first presentation, Wake Up to the Wonderful World of Wikis and Blogs, today.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Effective Webinars: Some Tips

A webinar allows a presenter or a group to conduct live presentations over the Internet via a web-conferencing software such as Adobe Connect or Blackboard Collaborate (Elluminate). Webinars can include many features, but generally include a series of PowerPoint slides. The audience members can ask questions and often interact in the chat window provided. Audio is usually received via phone lines or through the computer speakers. Webinars are often recorded and can be accessed later for just-in-time viewing and review. Although Webinars may not be as effective as a face-to-face session, with today's economic climate, they allow organizations to save time and money while still meeting the needs of their faculty.
I just found this blog post by Maria Anderson in which she references an article she wrote for eLearn Magazine called Tips for Effective Webinars.  She goes through a “Before, During, and After” set of tips for giving a good, effective, and engaging webinar. Unfortunately, because the article has been archived, many of the examples and images did not come through. The suggestions, however, are very helpful.


Here’s topics list for the tips that appear in the article:
  • Recording and distribution
  • Presentation design
  • Engage often
  • Animation
  • Hyperlinks
  • Video clips
  • Trial run
  • Arrive early
  • Clear directions
  • Desktop sharing
  • Webcam sharing
  • The echo
  • After the Webinar
Additional related articles:

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Educational Uses for Animoto

I've been playing around with several new online tools over the summer and experimenting with how to use them in the classroom. This post highlights the online tool, Animoto.

Animoto provides a unique way to incorporate images, video clips, music, and text into a short video which you can share via E-mail, blog/website, YouTube, or downloaded to a computer for use in presentations. You don’t have to know much about technology: simply upload your pictures and movie clips, chose a soundtrack, and Animoto does the rest.

Educators can apply for a free Animoto Plus account for use in the classroom. The Animoto Plus account expands the features available for educators and students--one being that you are not limited to only 30 second productions.

Andrew Marcinek at Classroom 2.0 provides a number of ideas for using Animoto in his Language Arts classroom to help students understand themes, characterizations, setting, and symbolism. As Andrew points out, Animoto uses an "MTV style" of editing the clips and images to match the music selection, so it is perfect for highlighting main elements in a novel or chapter.

Both the teacher and the students can utilize this technology. You can introduce a topic, vocabulary words, period in history, study skills. You can also have your students demonstrate understanding by creating a video or review for finals or midterms by producing a video. You could show the videos on the first day of class next year/semester to get a new batch of students excited about what you will be doing in class.

Teach Web 2.0 provides a SWOT analysis for using Animoto in the classroom as well as a variety of ideas for how to use Animoto.

Animoto are showcasing many of these great uses on their own website to try and inspire creativity in their members. Click here to see examples of how teachers are using Animoto in the classroom today. Scroll down to the bottom of the page.