May 04

MAGIC 2015 Videos Available

Thanks to all of the teachers, administrators, and technologists that attended the first meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Group Instructing with Canvas at Longwood University. We had a great turn out for this inaugural event with so many great sessions.

If you didn’t have time to get to all of the sessions you wanted to or want to refresh on some of the awesome Canvas knowledge that our presenters dropped, you can access all of the video recordings of the MAGIC session through the link below:

Click here to access the MAGIC 2015 Video Archive >>>>>

Apr 30

#TechTipThursday: SpeedGrader App

Canvas uses SpeedGrader as the tool through which instructors are able to grade student submissions. SpeedGrader is available to users both online (through Canvas directly) and as an app. Instructure recently updated the SpeedGrader app and this post will provide an overview of how instructors can complete common tasks within the new SpeedGrader app. Our focus is on the iOS app (as we have only iPads available in our loaner pool). For information on the Android app, please refer to Instructure directly.

If you have not done so already, download the app by searching “SpeedGrader” in Google Play Store/App Store. When you launch the app, begin typing “Longwood University” in the only field provided; select “Longwood University” and touch the right-facing arrow to proceed. SG1

You will be redirected to another login screen – enter the same LancerNet credentials you use to access Canvas regularly. SG2

Once you are logged in, you will see a screen that displays your “favorite” courses. You can adjust the courses that appear on this list either in Canvas directly or through the Canvas app. For additional information on how to change your favorite courses in a Canvas browser, click here. Please note that at the top of that page, directly underneath the clock, you have the option to touch-select “All Courses”. SG3

You can change the color of your course tags within the SpeedGrader app. To do so, click the drop-down arrow that appears next to the course name and select a color. Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 3.42.32 PM

The settings menu now allows you to report a problem, access Help Guides, and hide names when grading. To access these features, click the three bar icon in the upper left-hand corner. Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 3.56.18 PM

When you are ready to begin grading, click the course that you’d like to enter. The courses with assignments to be graded will have a number, encircled in red, to the right-hand side of the course color tag. SG4

Similarly, the assignments requiring your attention will have a number, encircled in red, to the far right-hand side of the assignment title. The number inside the circle refers to the number of submissions for that specific assignment. SG5

To switch sections within a course, click the “All Sections” button that appears in the upper right-hand corner of the first screen you see upon entering a course. SG6

Before you start grading, consider whether or not you want to mute the assignment. If you mute an assignment, students’ grades will not be visible to them (nor will they receive notifications related to the assignment) until you unmute the assignment. To mute an assignment, tap the speaker icon in the upper right-hand corner of the assignment window. Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 4.16.04 PM

To start grading, click on the assignment. To change which student’s assignment you’re viewing, click the drop-down arrow at the top of the page. Note the screenshot below has the students’ names hidden. SG7

To assign a grade to a student’s submission, click on the three-dotted icon on the far right-hand side of the screen. This will allow you to identify a numerical point value to the submitted assignment. Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 4.25.04 PM

If you designed the assignment to follow a rubric, you can select the point values for each section of your rubric. Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 4.27.27 PM

To make a comment on a student’s submission, click the “Comments” tab in the grading pane. Provide your comment(s) then click “post”. Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 4.31.14 PM

Be sure to save your grading process for each individual student. The following screenshot identifies the error that will appear if you attempt to navigate away from a student’s graded submission without saving your work. SG10

If you have any questions based on the information in this post, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Apr 23

Summer LOTI Dates Announced

The DEC is now accepting applications for LOTI during the summer of 2015. To apply, please submit an application and instructor worksheet to Brooke Greenbank (greenbankbl@longwood.edu) by 5 p.m. on Monday, June 1st. You can find the application and instructor worksheet on the LOTI page of the DEC main site.

If you are new to online teaching or haven’t heard of LOTI, you can find some additional information below.

Purpose

The Longwood Online Technology Institute (LOTI) houses professional development training for faculty and staff who will be working with online students and includes a preparatory program for students who will be participating in online classes. In order to be an online or hybrid instructor for Longwood University, faculty are required to become certified in online instruction. Faculty who have completed the previous iteration of LOTI will be considered certified, but will be encouraged to take elective classes within the institute to continue to develop their online teaching skills.

LOTI Training 2015-2016

Online Teaching Certification will be offered 3 times per year.  Certification consists of 4 elements: Online Teaching Proficiency, Pedagogy and Course Design, Shadowing, and Course Review/Live Teaching.  LOTI elective courses to continue development in online instruction and course design will be offered multiple times each semester.

Four Stages of Online Training Certification

 

We look forward to working with you!

Apr 23

#TechTipThursday: Guided Access

Guided Access is an accessibility setting that is helpful when working with children on a mobile device. This setting locks the iPad/iPhone in a specific application and can also disable a specific section(s) of the screen. This will prevent children from navigating around the device and accessing other applications. This post will offer guidance for enabling Guided Access. Please note this post is specific to Apple mobile devices.

  1. Access your device’s “Settings” then select “General” and “Accessibility”. GA1
  2. Under “Accessibility” select “Guided Access” to turn it on and open additional options.GA2
  3. Turn on “Guided Access” and “Accessibility Shortcut,” to allow access to Guided Access within any application by triple-clicking the home button. You do not need to set a “Passcode Setting” now because Guided Access will prompt you to enter a password when turning it on from within an app. You don’t need to set time limits because Guided Access can be easily turned off.GA3
  4. When you’re in the application you want the child to be in, triple-click the home button to open the Guided Access menu. After selecting “Start,” a pop-up will appear to set, and re-enter, the passcode. At that point, Guided Access has been enabled and the child will be unable to navigate away from this application (this includes clicking on advertisements).
    1. Note: Make sure you set a passcode that is easy to remember and try to set the passcode without the child watching. Children are quick to learn how to access the passcode bar and will type in the passcode they see you enter.GA4
  5. To leave Guided Access, triple-click the home button and the passcode box will appear. Enter your passcode to open the Guided Access menu then select “End” (top left-hand corner). You will then be able to access your device as usual. Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 9.40.37 AM
  6. In addition to locking a child inside one particular application, you can also disable part of the screen. For example, if there is part of the application you do not want the child to tap on, you can draw a box around that area to disable that part of the screen. To do this, triple-click the home screen to open the Guided Access menu and draw a box around the area you want to be disabled, then click “Resume” (or “Start” if this is the first time turning on Guided Access). The disabled section will then be grayed out (see calculator depicted on the right-hand side of the picture below). Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 9.41.04 AM
  7. To disable Guided Access, follow the same directions in step #5.
    1. Note: If the iPad/iPhone completely dies, Guided Access will be disabled and you will need to set it again when device is restarted.

If you have any difficulty replicating the steps detailed in this post, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Apr 16

#TechTipThursday: BetterSnapTool

In this post, we’ll highlight a particular Mac OS app (sorry, PC users!) that the ITC Program has found to be incredibly useful: BetterSnapTool. Many of us regularly find ourselves with many windows open and a need to view all of them in an organized fashion. While you can certainly manually adjust the windows’ sizing it may be more efficient to use the BetterSnapTool. This app gives you the ability to snap windows & applications to sections of the screen with just a quick click and drag or key combination.

BST1Following installation of the application, you’ll have use of its 7 basic pre-set snaps. You can adjust these (turn on/off) BetterSnapTool’s general settings. BST2

This app allows you to edit pre-existing, or even create your own, key combinations. A favorite among the ITCs is “command+arrow” keys to quickly snap to half screen, full screen, or original size. Because there are so many possible snap positions, the application can provide you with an overview menu. You can access the overview menu, and choose the desired snap, by designating a key combination as such.BST3

In addition to snapping windows to size, BetterSnapTool will allow you to change the way a window’s title bar functions. BST4

Additional features are available. It’s also worth noting that the app is extraordinarily customizable and highly compatible. For more information, take a look at what the Mac App Store has to say about BetterSnapTool. If you have any questions based on the information in this post, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Apr 09

#TechTipThursday: Maintaining Your Machine

CCleaner is a free tool for computer optimization and cleaning. This program removes unused files from computers thereby improving the machine’s performance, including processing time and power. CCleaner is the go-to tool for ITCs in maintaining our loaner pool of both Mac and PC machines. This post will walk you through how to set up and run CCleaner.

  1. The paid versions offer additional features not available in the free version, we use the free version of this software. You can download CCleaner here. (The screenshots included in this post are from a Windows machine but are similar to what you’d see on a Mac.) While there are a variety of configurations as you install, we suggest the following: CCleaner1
  2. Once the program has fully installed and opened, you’ll see the following interface: CC2
  3. To run CCleaner, click “Run Cleaner” and then “Okay”. Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 2.28.15 PM
  4. Once the program has finished, you will see a screen that indicates the cleaning is complete and identifies how much memory was freed on your machine. Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 2.28.32 PM
  5. For PC only: to check the registry, click “Registry” on the left-hand side of the interface then “Scan for Issues”. Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 2.28.54 PM
    1. Once the scan is complete, click “Fix selected issues”. Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 2.29.08 PM
    2. You will be prompted to backup changes to the registry. We do not but it is up to you to choose “yes” or “no”.
    3. CCleaner will prompt you, individually, to fix the registry issues identified. We recommend you select “Fix All Selected Issues”.Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 2.29.30 PM
    4. Once all issues have resolved, click “Close”. Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 2.29.39 PM

For the best results, we recommend running CCleaner every two to three weeks. If you have any difficulty replicating the steps detailed in this post, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Apr 02

#TechTipThursday: Google’s Read&Write

The Read&Write Google Extension is a great assistive technology tool for students with reading and writing difficulties. For students with reading difficulties, Read&Write offers text-to-speech technology, a dictionary, and a picture dictionary. For students with writing difficulties, Read&Write offers text prediction and a dictionary. This extension is used within Google Drive and comes with a 30-day free trial of premium features. After 30 days, the text-to-speech and translator features are still available. Premium features are available for purchase at $100 per user; teachers can obtain a free premium subscription. This post briefly describes how users can install and use Read and Write.

  1. Access the Chrome Web Store by searching for it in Google. RW1
  2. Search for “Read and Write” and select “Extensions”. Then click “+ Free” to download this extension. Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 9.09.49 AM
  3. Select “Add” to allow Google permission to use the extension. Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 9.10.05 AM
  4. When in the Drive, this below icon will appear; click on it to open the Read&Write menu/toolbar. RW4
  5. Select the icon on the far left-hand side of the toolbar to turn on the prediction feature, which can predict words based on word context or letter context. RW5
  6. To use the dictionary, first select the word whose meaning you want to explore. Then select the book icon, second from the left-hand side of the toolbar. RW6
  7. To access the picture dictionary, first select the desired word and then click the icon third from the left-hand side of the toolbar (immediately to the right of the dictionary icon). RW7
  8. The familiar set of play, pause and stop icons will have the predictable effect on the text-to-speech function. RW8

If you have any difficulty replicating the steps detailed in this post, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Mar 26

#TechTipThursday: WebEx Meetings Mobile App

WebEx is an interactive educational app that allows users to participate in online meetings and provides convenient features such as interactive and shared screen options. Users will be allowed to invite participants, present content and interact through audio and visual displays in such a way that simulates the typical classroom environment. An additional benefit is that meeting attendees are able to join without having an account with WebEx; the meeting host is the only individual who is required to have an account. Longwood University has a license agreement with WebEx and can create accounts for current faculty and staff.

This post will review the ways in which users can use the app to schedule (and record), start, and participate in a meeting. These directions, and accompanying screenshots, are specific to Apple mobile devices as we have many iPads available for loan.

Users have two options when the WebEx app is first opened: join a meeting or sign in. WebEx1

 

For users with a host account and/or to sign into the WebEx app:

  1. To sign in you will enter the user information, specific to WebEx, provided to you by the DEC.
  2. Once signed in you will see a screen similar to the one below. On the left-hand side of the screen you can view the calendar of scheduled meetings. You can also schedule a meeting from this screen. WebEx2
  3. Near the middle of the screen you may notice a little box with a plus sign. When you tap on this box you will be given the ability to either start a meeting instantly or schedule a meeting. WebEx3
  4. If you select “schedule”, you will have the ability to identify the name, time and date of the meeting as well as invite people and create a password.
    1. To select a date and time, touch the “Start/Duration” box. When satisfied with your conditions, tap “Save” in the top right-hand corner of that box. WebEx5
    2. Tap on “Invitees” to invite people to your meeting. You will be prompted to give WebEx access to your device’s contacts. If you deny access, you will still have the ability to manually enter email addresses of your invitees. Tap the blue “+” button to add invitees to your meeting. WebEx7
    3. You have the ability to add a password, which users will be required to enter, to join the meeting.WebEx8
  5. When you first start a meeting, you will see the screen below. WebEx9
  6. To show video, tap on the camera icon (looks like a square with a triangle immediately next to it) to the right-hand side of the screen. You will be prompted to allow WebEx access to your camera. In order to join the meeting with your video feed enabled, you must allow WebEx access to your camera. Denying WebEx access to your camera does not prohibit you from viewing the video feeds of other attendees. If you choose to allow WebEx to your camera, your video will appear at the bottom of the window. WebEx10
  7. You are able to view the meeting’s participants by tapping the person icon (to the right of the camera icon). Within this view, you will be able to chat with presenters and/or participants. WebEx12
  8. To participate verbally, you will need to share audio by tapping on the microphone icon near the center of the screen (to the right of the meeting’s title). You will be prompted to allow WebEx access to your device’s microphone. If you deny access, you will not be able to participate in the meeting with audio. WEbEx13
  9. Meeting hosts are able to record from the app; participants are unable to record meetings. To record the meeting, tap on the 3 horizontal dots on the far right-hand side of the screen and touch “record” to begin. WebEx14
  10. To share content with meeting attendees, the host can tap on the green “Share Content” button in the center of the screen or tap on the small box with an up arrow on the left-hand side of the screen. Either method will open a list of options from which content can be shared. WebEx15

To join a meeting:

  1. Tap on “Join Meeting” instead of “Sign In”. WebEx16
  2. Enter the meeting number, which would have been shared with you previously (most often via email), your name and your email address. WebEx17
  3. Then provide the meeting password – also found in the meeting information shared with you in advance. WebEx18

To ensure that your microphone and video camera are available to WebEx:

  1. Enter the settings on your mobile device.
  2. Scroll all the way down until you see “WebEx” on the left-hand side of your screen and tap it. On the right half of the screen you will see whether or not WebEx has access to your device’s contacts, microphone and camera. You can edit permissions as necessary.WebEx20

If you have any difficulty replicating the steps detailed in this post, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Mar 19

#TechTipThursday: Browser Extensions, part 2

Today’s post is the second in our series succinctly highlighting several optional browser extensions that the ITCs have found useful and would recommend to others. Last week’s post covered Adblock Plus and Web Of Trust. This post will focus on two browser add-ons with an increasing academic focus: one extension will automatically create citations and the other will allow you to take, annotate and share screenshots.

Our first add-on, Awesome Screenshot, is a great way to capture, edit and/or annotate images from the web. You’re also able to save and/or share your final product. Though you can do a great deal with the free version, such as upload local images for annotation, access to certain features (e.g., capture screenshots of your desktop) requires the paid premium version of the extension.

  1. To use, first navigate to the webpage you wish to capture and select the icon from the top right-hand corner of the browser.awesome1
  2. From the dropdown menu, select your desired choice for image capturing. If you would like to edit an image from your local drive, press the “select a local image” button.awesome2
  3. From the new screen, you may either click and drag an image into the field or search your desired image within your local drive.awesome3
  4. If you would like to capture the entire page, or a specific part, select from “Capture Selected Area” or “Capture Entire Page.”awesome4
  5. When you have outlined the desired capture field, select the “Capture” button.awesome5
  6. Once you have captured your desired image, you can edit and annotate using basic features from the tool bar at the top.awesome6
  7. Once you have completed editing your image, select “Done.”awesome7
  8. From the new window, you can preview your image and choose to save or print the image.awesome8

You can download Awesome Screenshot here: http://awesomescreenshot.com/.

Our second add-on, Cite This For Me, is a quick and convenient way for users to cite and compile a working bibliography. This tool offers various styles of citation (e.g., APA, Harvard, MLA) for all web-based pages including academic journals and articles in “.pdf” format. This add-on is great for research projects and a viable resource for anyone in academia.

  1. To use this extension, first navigate to a page you wish to cite, and press the extension button in the top right-hand corner of your screen.cite1
  2. From the pop-up menu, select your desired form of citation and then the “Cite this page” button. cite2
  3. The citation will appear on the same page. From here you can either copy and paste the citation or select the “Add to bibliography” button. cite3
  4. A new window will open where you can edit any details of the citation. When finished, select “Add reference.”cite4
  5. “Your bibliography” is a place for you to save all citations and import them to a document of your choice, such as Word. To export your bibliography, select the “Download Bibliography” button at the top of the page. cite5
  6. You can then choose the desired destination for your exported bibliography. cite6

You can access Cite This For Me here: https://www.citethisforme.com/.

If you have any difficulty replicating the steps detailed in this post, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Mar 16

Canvas Releases an Resource Sharing Platform

Today, March 16th, 2015, Canvas Commons was introduced to our University’s instance Canvas. We are among a select group of institutions who have access to the Commons through a pilot program.

Through the Canvas Commons, faculty will be able to create learning objects that can be used in multiple sections of a course or can be shared with an entire department. Faculty will also be able to pull shared learning objects created by other faculty into their own course. The sharing of learning materials is very granular and up to the discretion of each faculty member. With Commons, users can create a personal learning object repository; build a course from scratch with relevant materials shared by other Canvas users; and create a name for yourself and your institution as a subject matter expert.

This post will address the basics of how to use the Commons.

  1. To find resources in Commons, navigate to the Commons, using the new link in Global Navigation located between Calendar and Library. commons 1
    1. You can search using keywords, author, institution or title in the search bar. You may also click a specific resource title below to view only those types. If you use the search bar, you will also be able to further refine your search results by visibility (or ‘shared with’), type, grade level, and subject using the search filter on the results page. To search everything available to you in Commons, leave the search field and filters blank. Note: additional resources will become available in future releases. commons 2commons 3
      1. You can filter by who the resource was shared with: shared with the public (all Canvas users), within the University, or with only you (private resources). You may notice the options to include/exclude “Manually-Created Courses,” “Training,” and “Blackboard Imported Courses”. These options reflect sub-accounts, used solely for internal organizational purposes only, and can be ignored.
      2. You can filter by resource type (Courses, Modules, Assignments, Quizzes, Discussions, Pages, Documents, or Images).
      3. The grade/level filter allows you to select specific grades or level of education to narrow your search (K-12, Undergraduate, Graduate).
      4. You can also filter by subject.
  2. To share a course with the Commons, select settings from the course’s left-hand navigation menu.
    1. Once in the course’s settings, click the “Share to Commons” button on the far right-hand side of the screen. commons 4
    2. This will take you to a form for you to fill out the details about the course you are sharing. You can include tags and other information about the course to make it easier for people to find [using the search function]. commons 5
    3. At the bottom of the page choose a “Share With” option. You can either share with only yourself, the entire university, or all of Canvas Commons. Note: If you choose to share with the entire university keep the default check-boxes checked. commons 6
  3. Before you can share a file or image with the Commons, make sure you have “Better File Browsing” enabled. To enable this feature, enter your course’s settings, click the “Feature Options” tab and confirm that the “Better File Browsing” option is on.
    1. Go to the Files page and click on the gear beside the name of the file or image and select the “Share with Commons” option. commons 7
    2. This will take you to a form for you to fill out the details about the file or image you are sharing.
  4. To share any other Canvas resource, navigate to the page (i.e., modules, assessments, etc.) of the resource you want to share.
    1. Select the gear shift icon to the far right of the resource’s name. You’ll notice the “Share to Commons” option will appear in the drop-down menu. Select “Share to Commons”.
    2. This will take you to a form (shown above) for you to fill out the details about the resource you are sharing.
  5. Navigate to the Commons, from the global navigation bar, to import a resource from the Commons.
    1. Find the resource you want to use by searching or browsing available resources, and open the one you want to import. commons 8
    2. On the resource preview page, you will be able to look at a description of the resource, and preview some of the content.  Once you are sure you want to use it, click the green “Import Into Course” button on the right-hand side of the page. commons 9
    3. This will present a drop-down menu of all the courses you have permission to edit. Select the course into which you wish to import the resource. commons 10
    4. You will receive a notification that the import started successfully. It may take up to 30 minutes for the import to finish and for the imported content to be reflected in your course. commons 11

Need more? Here are some tutorials from Canvas on how to get started:

What is Canvas Commons: http://guides.instructure.com/m/4152/l/257492-what-is-canvas-commons

How do I use Commons: http://guides.instructure.com/m/4152/l/257493-how-do-i-use-commons

Interested in learning more about Canvas Commons? The DEC is hosting an introductory workshop on Tuesday, March 31st from 4-5 pm in the Digital Den in Ruffner Hall. Please RSVP to Brooke Greenbank. If you’re unable to attend, know we’ll post a recording of the workshop here on our blog.

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