Jul 11, 2014

Nov 7th: Sakai Virtual Conference 2014: "Bridging Education with Technology"

Mark your calendars for the first ever online Sakai Virtual Conference, with a focus on teaching, learning, sharing, best practices, and community building. This is a faculty-friendly event. Plus, no need to travel-the whole day's workshops will be online.
Sakai logo by Sakai Foundation (CC by 3.0)

The Sakai Virtual Conference web site already has information about:
  • Proposals: Submit now. Due by August 22. 
  • Six Conference Tracks: Faculty Course Showcase, Instructional Design/Support, Effective or Innovative Practice, Birds of a Feather, Student Experience Lightning Talks, and a Technical Session (listed on the Proposals web page with descriptions) 
  • Registration: Starts August 1
  • Updated Cost: $50. If you are a presenter: $25.  
  • Schedule: Tentative list is provided
  • Sponsors: Longsight, Asahi Net, Unicon

Save the Date! November 7th, 2014 for: 
Sakai Virtual Conference 2014 "Bridging Education with Technology"

"See" you there!

Jun 18, 2014

Want a Badge? Play "games" to prove your Sakai know-how

Longsight, a Sakai vendor, has set up a Sakai Badging course as a "game" for Sakai instructors, trainers, and administrators to "play", to demonstrate their knowledge of Sakai. If you successfully complete self-paced questions or challenges, you'll get a Sakai badge. What kind of badge? A digital badge, via Credly
openbadges by Anyashy  CC BY-SA 3.0

What are digital badges? Just like Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts get badges for demonstrating skills, digital badges are an online symbol of knowledge/skills you possess.Your badges will be available from Credly, which offers an online location where you can store and share your badges. 

What can you do with your Sakai badge? According to the Sakai Badging course: "After you earn a Sakai badge, you can display it to others in a personal Badge Backpack or via social networks, such as LinkedIn or Facebook."
What do you have to know to get a Sakai badge? According to the Sakai Badging course:
  • Instructors have to have a working knowledge of major Sakai tools and tasks.
  • Trainers have to have an advanced knowledge of Sakai tools, workshop planning and presentation skills.
  • Administrators have to have an advanced knowledge of Sakai tools, and behind the scenes system administration skills.
How will your Sakai skills be assessed?
  • Randomized multiple choice questions for some criteria and
  • Individualized assignments 
What if you already have badges?  According to Credly FAQ's: You can share your Credly badges via the Mozilla Open Badge project, which offers a free online badge "Backpack", where you can store your digital badges from different issuers. Plus you can import your badges from other locations to Credly.
Interested? Register now: http://www.longsight.com/sakai-badging

Durham Tech Sakai Instructor Resources: Sakai Tools 

May 19, 2014

Register now for *new* June workshops and work sessions!

Durham Tech's Instructional Technologies staff will host work sessions and new workshops this summer.
tech tools
What is a work session? It's a chance for you to bring your materials, work on your Sakai sites, get help (if needed), and ask questions. Register now for a June work session 

Who can attend? Work sessions are open to those who have completed the Intro to Sakai workshop.
What aren't the work sessions? These are not instructor-led training workshops, but a time for you to work on your courses with helpers nearby. 

What if I haven't completed the online Intro to Sakai workshop? Register now for the workshop 

Will there be additional workshops available? Register now for the following three June workshops (space is limited):

  • Narrating PowerPoints with myBrainshark
  • Sakai Meetings (web-conferencing)
  • Record videos with YouTube's MyWebcam Tool 

Will there be an online version of the Gradebook (and Discussion Forums), Lessons (and Assignments), and Test and Quizzes workshops? Yes. We're working on it now. Check our Sakai blog or our Sakai Training web page for updates.

Want to get started now? Check out these workshop handouts:
Gradebook (and Forums), Lessons (and Assignments) and Test and Quizzes workshop handouts 

May 5, 2014

Favorite Tech Tools: How to use the Snipping Tool, Jing, myBrainshark and YouTube MyWebcam

At our May 2014 6th annual Favorite Tech Tools workshop, our focus this year was on audio-visual tools. We pointed out why and how instructors use these primarily free tools, and demonstrated how to create and add the media to your Sakai courses:


  • Windows 7 Snipping tool: Quickly create screen shots or pictures of what is on your desktop
  • myBrainshark: Easily add voice narration to each slide and interactivity to PowerPoints 
  • YouTube MyWebcam: Create a short "selfie" video to introduce yourself or course lessons
  • Jing: Create a 5 minute or less screencast or video of actions that occur on your desktop, such as a video tour of your course site to orient students or create screenshots.
 Snagit: For $30, add lots of annotations to your pictures and create videos of any length.
All of the tools are loaded in Tech 952 and we have webcams you can borrow for short periods of time.

Apr 26, 2014

How do you set up a flipped/hybrid/blended course?

English: Blended learning methodology graphic; classroom, online, & mobile learning
English: Blended learning methodology graphic (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you're interested in setting up a Blended Learning course (a hybrid/ flipped class), you should check out the current Canvas.net course sponsored by EDUCAUSE and the University of Central Florida: Blendkit2014-Becoming a Blended Learning Designer.

I enjoyed the first week's reading which explored what is blended learning:
"Blended courses (also known as hybrid or mixed-mode courses) are classes where a portion of the traditional face-to-face instruction is replaced by web-based online learning."
The instructors also made sure we were aware of excellent reasons for implementing "blended learning":
 "When properly implemented, blended learning can result in improved student success, satisfaction, and retention."
We know that designing any course can be difficult, so we were offered three key points to consider, before setting up our blended course:
  1. "What’s the best mix of traditional, live, teacher-led presentation and synchronous or asynchronous, technology-driven methods of teaching?”
  2. "It is important to determine your role as a teacher in the learning process. Should it be one that is primarily directive or facilitative?"
  3. "Decide the importance of interaction amongst the students. In any event, blended learning lends itself to learner-centered, teacher-guided (as opposed to teacher-directed), interactive, and student-collaborative learning."
Where do you start?
    1. What is the first step? Design your course as a face-to-face class first, making sure it meets your learning objectives.
    2. What's next? Now you can figure out what works best face-to-face, and what would work better online.
    3. How do you know what would work better online? According to our instructors: "Students should be able to perform required tasks online with little or no prompting by the instructor."
    4. Still not sure what to do face-to-face or online? The instructors brought up the five ingredients Carman (2005) identified:
    1. "Live events. These are synchronous, instructor-led events, in which all learners participate at the same time, such as in a live "virtual classroom".
    2. Online Content. Learning experiences that the learner completes individually, at his own speed and on his own time, such as an interactive, internet-based or CD-ROM training.
    3. Collaboration. Environments in which learners communicate with others; for example, e-mail, threaded discussions, and online chats.
    4. Assessment. A measure of learner's knowledge. Pre-assessments can occur before live or self-paced events, to determine prior knowledge and post assessments can occur following scheduled or online learning events, to measure learning transfer.
    5. Reference Materials. On-the-job reference materials that enhance learning retention and transfer, including PDA downloads and PDF's."
    We were provided with a general and specific first-person case study, but what really helped were the two Do-It-Yourself files we were given:
    1. A course blueprint with instructions, a sample course template completed for an American History blended course, and a blueprint we could use to set up our blended course
    2. A blended learning mixed map with instructions, a sample of a blueprint completed for a Training and Development blended course, and a mixed map we can use to organize our blended course   
    I'll try to post more about the course as it progresses!

    Related Blog Posts:
    Flipping Learning in Higher Education
    A Flipped Class: What is it? Why use it? How do you do it?