Aug 4, 2017

*Free* Fall MOOC's for Teachers/Educators

I like taking MOOC's to keep up with changes in Education (and Web Technologies) and I like to look at classes I could take for fun! Here's a few free courses for Teachers/Educators you may be interested in (I don't work for these companies, I just like to learn "free").
Two heads facing each other-with tons of different colored bubbles above their heads, filled with objects, such as computers, beakers,

Watch out: Companies have changed how they offer their "free" courses. Many courses are still free. But now, some courses are free, but there's a catch: you don't get to submit the assignments and/or tests (I've audited quite a few MOOC's in the last year, but was still able to access discussions and take tests "free"; so they vary). 

Just like there were previously, there are courses you can pay for, if you want a certificate. But there's now a new wrinkle: paid specializations and programs. Groups of individual courses are bundled, and available for a price. So if you want to take free courses, search for individual courses, don't sign up for specializations/programs.

Starting Aug 7 from Coursera:

Aug 3, 2017

Register for our Fall Instructional Technology workshops!

We've been working on updating the online Intermediate Sakai course this summer with all new Sakai 11 activities, videos, handouts, best practices, and quizzes; you can register for the course starting Monday, August 7! 



What will you learn about in the online Intermediate Sakai 11 course? You'll find out how to use the tools listed below as a student, create activities, grade activities and find out our best practices for each tool:


  1. Gradebook (the "new" spreadsheet style Gradebook)
  2. Forums
  3. Tests and Quizzes  
  4. Assignments (plus Turnitin)  

Register now for our hands-on workshops we are offering this Fall with the TLC:

  • Web Conferencing with Sakai Meetings (Aug)
  • Sakai 11 - Lessons Tool Intermediate (Sep)
  • Add Interactivity to Videos with EDpuzzle (Sep and Oct)
  • Creating Accessible Documents in Word/PowerPoint (Sep/Oct)
  • Narrate PowerPoints with Office Mix (Sep and Nov)

What webinar are we offering this Fall with the TLC? Turnitin's New Interface (Aug 10)

  • Join us in person or by webinar to find out from Turnitin what changes they've made to their plagiarism checking tool, which they call Feedback Studio. Check the TLC calendar for details.


Need to find out how to do something quickly? Check out our Sakai 11 Instructor video playlist, which now includes the videos that were just added to our Intermediate Sakai 11 course:


What videos are available for students?



    More Resources:
    -Can't make it to our workshops for EDpuzzle or Office Mix? Go to Tools for Teaching 
    -Need Sakai tool handouts?  Check out Sakai Tools, in Instructor Resources
    -Need more info for your students? Go to Sakai Help for Students
    -Want to take a workshop? Register now

    Jul 31, 2017

    Sakai Checklist: Get ready for Fall!

    It's almost that time again, and this is when folks look at the sky and wonder "what do I do first"?


    1. Get Training: Very soon, you can register for the new online Intermediate Sakai 11 course, to learn how to use the new Gradebook, and find out the latest about Forums, Assignments, and Tests and Quizzes (both Assignments and Tests and Quizzes had quite a few updates in Sakai 11).

    2. Copy Your Course: You'll probably want to import your previous Sakai course. You can now copy your Home Page (Site Information Display), too!

    3. Review the Course Guidelines: If you're wondering if anything's missing or if you're looking for ideas on what to add, check out the Curriculum Online Course Guidelines with Resources. Many of the guidelines will apply to any type of course.
      1. You really should look at the Resources, too. A number of the guidelines have extra ideas provided; to the right of a guideline, such as Engagement, number 6, click on the Expand link, to find lots of ideas on how to actively engage your students in your course
    4.  Use the New Syllabus Template (Fall/2017): If you haven't created your Syllabus yet, there's a new Template, with instructions, available on Durham Tech's Instructional Resources web page. Tip: If you're copying and pasting from the previous Syllabus, paste "Text Only", to make it easier for you to work with your text in your new syllabus.
    5. Check your Gradebook: Now that you have your Syllabus ready, make sure your Gradebook matches your Syllabus grading scheme. Not sure? Soon you can register for our Intermediate Sakai 11 course to learn about the new Gradebook, which looks like a spreadsheet; or check out our Sakai Gradebook resources, with info about both the new Gradebook and Classic Gradebook.
    6. Update those dates! You'll need to update dates in your Lessons subpages (if you use them), Tests and Quizzes (and publish the quizzes/tests), Assignments, Forums, and anywhere else you use dates.

    7. Email your Welcome message to Students: Students appreciate it when they know what to expect, such as where to meet, required textbooks, special tools or materials, how to logon to Sakai, and how to contact you, the instructor.
    8. Publish your course: On your course start date, publish your course, so it is available to students!
    Need Help? Check out:
    Or please contact us at sakaihelp@durhamtech.edu 

    Jun 5, 2017

    In Sakai Lessons: Are you seeing a Download file message? Here's the fix!

    Download file message?

    Sometimes after adding a link to a document in Lessons, such as a Word document or PowerPoint presentation in Lessons, a "Download file" link and "message" appear, similar to the image below. How do you fix this?

    Download file message sample


    Here's the fix: Add Content Links (not Embed)

    • In Lessons, after you click on Add Content or on a plus (+) symbol to add a document to your page, at the top you have four choices:  Add Text, Embed content on page, Add Content Links, and Add Subpage:
      Click on Add Content Links, after click on  Add Content or a "plus" symbol to the right of content

      • Click on Add Content Links, to get what you expected: a link created to your Word document or PowerPoint presentation:
      Correct Link to PowerPoint file


      Why did you see "Download file"? You tried to Embed content

      • If you click on Embed content on page for a Word document or PowerPoint presentation, you'll get the "Download file" link and  message
      • Why? Embed is a term used in technology. When you embed a file such as a video, you display or show the video, in a video player, with a start button. 
      • When you click on Embed content on page to create a link to your Word document or PowerPoint presentation, Lessons tries to find a way to display the file, but it can't. Since there isn't an easy way to display a Word document or PowerPoint presentation in a web browser, the "Download file" link (and message) appear.
      Click on Add Content Links to link to a document; click on Embed content on page to display videos and images

      When should you use "Embed Content on page"?


      • When you want to show or display an image, video, or a web page

      Resources


      May 9, 2017

      *Free* Summer MOOC's for Teachers/Educators

      I've taken a number of free courses in the past few years from Coursera and Canvas.net. I found a number of interesting Summer courses from these two vendors, and listed them below. FYI: I don't work for these companies, I just enjoy learning new things, and the price is right.



      Watch out: Companies have changed how they offer their "free" courses. Many courses are still free. But now, some courses are free, but there's a catch: you don't get to submit the assignments and/or tests (I haven't taken one of these yet). And just like there were previously, there are courses you can pay for, if you want a certificate. But there's now a new wrinkle: paid specializations. Groups of individual courses are bundled into specializations. So if you want to take free courses, search for courses, not specializations.

      Coursera courses