Mar 24, 2015

Hot News: Meetings (BigBlueButton) New Version Available!

We have the latest version of Meetings (BigBlueButton), 0.9.0, of our open source, online web-conferencing tool. 

What can you do with Meetings? You can upload files (pdf's), chat, display webcams, work with a white board, share your desktop, and share the Moderator/Presenter role with others.

What is new?

For Instructors/Moderators:
Displayed upper left corner buttons: share desktop, headset, webcam and new record button
  • Stop/Start Recording: Once you start a meeting, your meeting will record from the time you press the record button to the time you press the record button again. You can start and stop the recording as many times as you like-yet only one recording will be created. 
  • Lock Viewers: You can now lock (restrict) viewers from using the following: Private Chat, Public Chat, Layout, Webcam and Microphone.    
For all participants:
  • Meetings now highlights the web browser’s request for permission: When either Chrome or Firefox asks your permission to access your meeting -you get a big warning from Meetings, too, so you don't miss the request.
  • Audio test: Before you get into the meeting, you can also test your headset, by saying a few words.
For students:
  • Listen Only Audio: Users can join the meeting as a listener, so they don't have to deal with getting permissions from their web browser.
  • Register for the Meetings workshop, being held March 26.
  • Want to learn how to create and use Meetings? Check out Meetings Handouts, Videos and instructions for setting up your meeting with your students-all handouts are being updated later this week for the March 26 Meetings Workshop. 
  • Want to see screen shots of the latest updates? Here's BigBlueButton's overview of the latest version of Meetings.

Jan 30, 2015

Starting Feb/March: Free (MOOC) Courses for Teachers and Educators

There are a  lot of excellent MOOC's (Massive Online Open Classes) available starting in February, as well March, that are free and easy to register for. Most courses last  4-6 weeks, but some are short, others are longer. You decide how much you want to contribute to your course, too. 

In the past, you could easily get a variety of free course certificates. Now, you may have to pay for a certificate, but I haven't, since I'm mainly interested in the content. It's totally up to you.

I really have enjoyed my courses at Coursera and, so check out the courses listed below. Even though they don't offer classes very often,  I've liked courses I've taken from Open2Study and Desire2Learn Open Courses. I haven't taken edX courses-but they are supposed to be excellent MIT, Harvard, and other university courses, in a variety of topics. 


Jan 25, 2015

Starting Jan 26: Free (MOOC) Courses for Teachers and Educators

There are lots of MOOC's (Massive Online Open Classes) available that are often free and easy to register for. They usually last 4-6 weeks, and you can contribute as little or as much as you want. 
MOOC (Massive Online Open Classes)
MOOC Poster (no border) by Mathieu Plourde (CC By 2.0)
I often find good and great courses at Coursera and, so check out the courses listed below. Plus, I've liked courses I've taken from Open2Study and Desire2Learn Open Courses.
MOOCs Directory: Higher Education MOOC Providers
MOOCs from Great Universities (monthly calendar provided)

Jan 15, 2015

Why use Jing to Record Videos? How-to's and Feedback

If you're not teaching a computer class, instructors wonder why they'd want to use a tool such as Jing, that records what you're doing on your computer screen.

TechSmith's Jing product web site

I found articles and posts by many different types of instructors describing and demonstrating how they are teaching with Jing:
  • In the article, Show Me!On Demand: Budget Friendly Instructional Videos, a science instructor described how she used Jing to answer the constant student questions that started with "How do I.."
  • Another instructor posted an example of his writing assignment feedback he provides his students using Jing: Student Assessment using Video Feedback
  • In an article with many examples, titled A few ways you might use Jing.., an algebra and statistics instructor uses Jing to record short videos of problems she goes through in class and posts them online so students can review different ways to solve the problems, whenever they want to.
What are other ways instructors use Jing? Instructors:
  • Demonstrate the strengths of a sample work or project
  • Highlight important or commonly misunderstood aspects of an assignment or project
  • Explain concepts and demonstrate how to perform English, math, science or computer lab assignments
Tools for Teaching: Jing: How to download Jing, create a video, and add it to Sakai 
Register for the Jing Workshop: Intro to Recording Jing Videos for Instruction (and Feedback)
Tools for Teaching: Screencasting: What is it and what tools can you use to create videos?

Jan 13, 2015

New Sakai Instructor Videos, Resources and Tools

We've been working on the online instructor Intermediate Sakai course, which we hope to have available in the next month. But if you can't wait, we've been adding new instructor (and student) resources over the last few months that are available right now.

Sakai Videos:
New Sakai Resources: Our online Sakai Help for Instructors web site has been reorganized with new info, in the Sakai Tools area:
  • Assessments (Tests and Quizzes): Includes Best PracticesImporting Tests, Question Pools, Surveys, and Advanced Topics 
  • Assignments (Turnitin) and Drop Box: Includes Best PracticesResubmitting assignments, Feedback and Turnitin 
  • Communication Tools - Forums: Includes the Basics, Best Practices, and More Info 
New Version of the Meetings Tool:
Need Statistics?
What is new for Students?
More Resources:
-Need more info for your students? Check out Sakai Help for Students
-Want to learn more about Screenshots, Screencasting and creating videos? Review Tools for Teaching 
-Want to get help with your course or learn about new tools? Register for a workshop