Sep 21

#TechTipThursday: Using the Canvas App

As we are settling into the fall semester the Digital Education Collaborative wants to offer students a reminder of the free and handy way to manage academic deadlines and communicate with professors. Taking Canvas on-the-go with the Canvas app, by Instructure, can be easy and convenient! Students are able to receive notifications, reply to messages, and participate in their courses through the app just as they would online. This post provides a brief video tutorial on navigating, as well as tips for using, the Canvas app. You are welcome to follow along and can find the app for download in Apple’s App Store or Google Play.

Canvas: Mobile web browser vs app
There’s a difference between using the Canvas app and pulling up Canvas on a browser on your mobile device. Accessing Canvas through a browser on your mobile device will pull up the Canvas you are familiar with on a computer – same login and general format – and can be used the same way. Be advised that Canvas is not supported on mobile web browsers. Users are encouraged to use the app when accessing Canvas on a mobile device. With the Canvas app you are able to utilize Canvas through a more mobile-friendly display and the app will remain logged in even when you close out of the app window.

Clearing cookies and cache in the app
To clear cookies and cache you will need to sign out of the app, then delete and reinstall it on your chosen device.

What not to do in the Canvas App
The Canvas app is very user friendly and provides similar capabilities as students can find online. There are, however, certain functions we do not suggest users complete in the app. Through the app, students are able to take quizzes, submit assignments, respond to messages and discussion boards. However, the DEC recommends against using these functions as we are limited in our ability to provide support for difficulties with the Canvas app. For a smoother experience we recommend using the mobile app as a means to check notifications and respond to messages and using a computer to participate in, and submit to, the course.

Canvas offers a more in depth look into the iOS version of the app as well as the Android version. You may contact us directly if you have questions or concerns with your use of the Canvas app. If you experience difficulty while using the Canvas app, please stop by the Digital Education Collaborative (136 Ruffner Hall) with your mobile device.

   *This post was drafted by Emmy, an Instructional Technology Collaborator.

Sep 14

#TechTipThursday: PodBean

Podcasts have been available for several years but are becoming increasingly popular in educational settings. Instead of listening to the same few songs on the radio you can enjoy a podcast for entertainment or to gain new knowledge on a plethora of topics. PodBean not only provides a platform for you to listen to your favorite podcasts, it also simplifies the steps required for you to create your own. This post will focus on using the PodBean app on Apple devices, but it can be downloaded on Android devices. To begin you will need to download the app on your device and then the podcasting possibilities are yours!

The app will first prompt you to sign in. On this screen you can choose if you want to authenticate through an existing Facebook or Google account, or sign up with an email address.

Once you are signed in you can select different topics. PodBean will make suggestions on the next screen based on the choices you select on the screen below. Don’t worry, you are not limited to these options; the app allows you to search for various podcasts. 

In addition to seeing popular podcasts, you will notice four option icons at the top of your screen (refer to the red rectangle below). Each option icon’s description precedes its screenshot, below The first icon, appearing in black, is where you see popular podcasts and recommendations. 

The second icon is where you can find a list of episodes that you have downloaded, “liked”, or added to a playlist; this screen also gives you the option to search for podcasts. 

The third option icon is the app’s search tool that you will use to search available podcasts, specific episodes, or keywords. 

Tap on the person/avatar icon, on the far right-hand side, to start having fun; this is where you can become famous! PodBean allows you to create a 90-minute podcast right from your phone or tablet using the red microphone on the screen below.

After clicking on the microphone you can begin to record. You will notice that PodBean gives you the option to add music to your podcast. Don’t like what’s there? No problem! You can import you own audio using the three dots located in the top right of the screen (highlighted in blue, below). 

While recording, you can tap on the red microphone to pause the recording; this is also used when ending a recording. At the bottom of your screen you will notice the four options highlighted in red. This is where you can play, re-record, edit, and save your recording. Once you tap on the option to save, a box will pop up that allows you to rename your recording; it will default to the date and time the session was recorded. 

Your recordings will automatically save to the “My Drafts” folder located in your settings. Tap on the desired draft’s title to add a description and you are ready to publish. 

If you’re new to the world of podcasts, PodBean makes the process easy and convenient. If you would like to learn more about podcasting and how it can enhance the academic environment, stop by the Digital Education Collaborative (136 Ruffner Hall) or contact us directly if you have questions or issue duplicating the steps outlined in this post.

Sep 07

The DIGILab Comes to Longwood

The Digital Education Collaborative and Greenwood Library are happy to announce that the DIGILab will be opening September 11, 2017! The name DIGILab was selected by campus vote of student suggested names that took place in the Fall of 2016. You can find the DIGILab on the first floor of the Greenwood Library, where the Mac Lab and green screen were formerly located. Look for directional signage to direct you to the space or ask any member of the library staff.

 

What is in the DIGILab?
The DIGILab is a makerspace. Makerspaces are designed to allow users to experience different technologies and tools that they might not have access to normally. This can include anything! The DIGILab has: sewing machines, 3D printers (coming soon!), Sphero robots, Arduinos,and more! Don’t think this is all the DIGILab will have, however! We’re striving to be a user-focused makerspace and are looking to you, our users, for suggestions for what to have in the DIGILab in the future.   

What do I need to know before I come to the DIGILab?
Nothing! The DIGILab is designed to be a self-guided learning experience for technology that you are unfamiliar with. Each piece of equipment will have written instructions and/or a video set of instructions that you can use to learn to operate the technology. Before you’re able to use each piece independently, you’ll need to complete a DIGILab orientation and show a staff member that you are confident in terms of operating the equipment and are knowledgeable about the safety standards associated with the DIGILab.

When is the DIGILab open?
The DIGILab opens on Monday, September 11th. The hours are:

Day Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
 1PM-3PM  Closed  9AM-11AM  2PM-4PM  By appointment only

Does the DIGILab cost anything?
Usage of the equipment in the DIGILab is free! They only thing you’ll need to bring is specific fabric you’d like to use for your sewing project or the vinyl/paper you’d like to use for your vinyl/paper cutting project. If you’d just like to learn how to sew, we do have some scrap fabric you can use.

Stop by the Amelia Room for the Lancer Tech Expo on September 12th from 10AM – 2PM and see our presentation to learn more about the DIGILab (Longwood’s own MakerSpace), a joint effort between the Digital Education Collaborative and the Greenwood Library. Learn more about what will be in the DIGILab, how you can use the DIGILab, and more! Questions about the DIGILab can be sent to Ashlyn Honor at honorad@longwood.edu.

*This post was drafted by Ashlyn, an Instructional Technology Specialist

Aug 31

#TechTipThursday: If This Then That

If This Then That (IFTTT) is a free service which allows users to create “applets” that automatically complete certain tasks. These applets work together with many different services including Google Drive, YouTube, Slack, and even smartphones. A full list of services which work with IFTTT can be found here. IFTTT is available for download on iOS and Android devices.

Ready-Made Applets
Users have the option to access a list of applets that IFTTT has already created. Once you find an applet that you want to use, simply select it and “turn on” the applet.

IFTTT will ask for permission to access the appropriate services on your device. Here, you have the choice to accept those terms or decline.

Manually Created Applets
Don’t see anything that you’re interested in? IFTTT allows users to create their own applets. To begin, navigate to the “My Applets” tab at the top of the page that appears once you have signed in. To the right, the option for “new applet” will appear. Click on this to begin designing your personalized applet!

You will start by choosing a trigger, event which cause the program to run, for your applet. Choose the light blue “this” on your screen.

Next, select the service from which the trigger will come. For example, if you want to create an applet that runs every time you save a file to a specific folder in Dropbox, your trigger will come from Dropbox. You will be asked to sign in to the trigger service if you have not done so already.

Select the trigger which matches your identified goal, then input any information you’re prompted for. In the case of our example, you would be prompted to input the name of the folder for your trigger.

You will be redirected back to the “if this then that” page once you select “Create trigger”. This time, you will see the icon for the trigger service before the word “this”. Select the light blue “that”.

On the next page, choose your action service. This is the service which will be changed or targeted when your trigger occurs. For example, if you would like to send yourself an email every time you save a file to a particular DropBox folder, you can select Gmail. You will be asked to sign into the action service if you have not already.

Choose the action which matches identified goal, then input any information you’re prompted for. In the case of our example, you would be prompted to enter a subject, body, and file attachment. These items can be left on their default settings or changed.

Select “Create action” and you will be shown your applet’s contents. Review these to ensure that the applet is accomplishing your identified goal. If so, select finish.

IFTTT and the Teaching and Learning Environment
IFTTT makes organization a little easier with an applet that adds tasks with due dates  to your Google Calendar. If you receive an email, IFTTT has an applet that allows you to “star” it and that same message is copied to Evernote.  If you’re looking to enhance your vocabulary for writing or speaking, this applet will send a weekly vocabulary list to your email.

If This Then That offers unlimited opportunities to streamline the processes you complete every day. IFTTT integrates with many services that you may already be using for course content including WordPress, Dropbox, Fitbit, and LinkedIn. You can also use it to post content from news sources to a feed, which may be very useful in classes which address current events.

If you have any questions, or difficulty duplicating the steps detailed in this post, please contact us directly.

*This post was drafted by Paige, an Instructional Technology Collaborator.

 

Aug 24

#TechTipThursday: What is Canvas?

Welcome to the start of a new academic year! As you enjoy all we have to offer in support of an individualized Longwood experience, do not forget that the Digital Education Collaborative partners with you to support use of learning technologies. We provide the support and structure behind the University’s commitment to academic success and pedagogical excellence through the effective application of instructional technology. Though we support a variety of solutions, Longwood’s learning management system is, by far, our most supported technology. This post provides a brief video introduction to use of and navigation in Canvas.

Introduction to Canvas

Paths to Access Canvas

Canvas can be accessed through a web browser or an app that can be downloaded when you are on the go. The app is available for iOS and Android devices. Note the DEC is limited in its ability to troubleshoot difficulties with the app. Accordingly, you may want to use the most recent version of Google Chrome on a computer to guarantee full functionality of Canvas and its features; Canvas is not supported on mobile web browsers.

Instructors, Canvas also allows you to work on-the-go with their SpeedGrader app for Apple and Android devices. This allows for easy grading and providing student feedback.

Other Helpful Resources

Canvas has a great community that you can search when needing to find answers. In addition, our office is located in Ruffner 136 and we are available for phone and walk-in support Monday-Thursday, 8AM to 8PM and Fridays, 8AM to 5PM. Feel free to contact us directly as additional questions or concerns arise.

Apr 21

*Videos* from 2nd Semi-Annual Student Tech Showcase


Screen Shot 2017-04-13 at 2.03.14 PMWe held our second, semi-annual, Student Tech Showcase earlier this week. 
Four (4) members of the Instructional Technology Collaborator team spent approximately 15 minutes, each, connecting a DEC-supported technology to the teaching and/or learning experience. These presentations were part of the 4th tier of the ITC Badging Program and serve as the implementation component of a 3rd tier badge, Presentation Design. Each of the 4 ITCs spent the fall 2016 semester designing these presentations, working with DEC professional staff for feedback. Intended to serve as an introduction, Longwood instructors are welcome to work with the Digital Education Collaborative for further assistance on any of the technologies presented.

Videos are linked below and follow the description for the corresponding presentation. Unfortunately, we do not have a recording of Kyle’s “3D Printing in Education” session. Kyle, and Paige, will return to the team in the fall 2017 semester and can be available to work with instructors as a follow up to their sessions. Though Kristin and Michael are graduating, other ITCs will be available and are trained to assist instructors with Kahoot! and the Google Apps for Education suite.

A Kahoot! and a Half!
Kahoot! is a free, web-based platform that makes learning fun for students through its use of games. Players can join a Kahoot! game from any internet-enabled device. Professors can capitalize on existing games, or create their own, to customize the learning experience to meet specific learning objectives. Kahoot! games provide students the opportunity to interact with course content, each other, and the instructor in ways that enrich the learning environment by enhancing engagement across all domains.

Presented by: Kristin, Instructional Technology Collaborator
To view Kristin’s presentation, click here.

3D Printing in Education
Due in part to its broad applicability, 3D printing has been on the forefront of innovation in a variety of realms. This presentation will review and demonstrate the basics of 3D printing, as well as showcase sample prints previously created. Examples of 3D printing projects supporting the student learning outcomes will be provided and attendees will be encouraged to brainstorm disciplinary-specific connections.

Presented by: Kyle, Instructional Technology Collaborator
Watch Link: not available

Collaborate with Google
This session will highlight the benefits of using Google Docs as a tool for assisting collaboration on group projects as well as for individual projects that require feedback and revisions.  Topics such as how to help students create documents that are shared with other classmates as well as the instructor, in addition to the particular advantages Google Docs provides for projects that require some collaboration, will be addressed.

Presented by: Michael, Instructional Technology Collaborator
To view Michael’s presentation, click here.

Getting the most out of Canvas
Canvas has a number of built-in options to enhance the online learning environment. While these built-in options remain available to instructors, many may not know that additional options are available through Canvas apps. Working with our campus Canvas administrators, instructors are able to identify and implement pedagogically sound applications within their Canvas course(s). This session will discuss how instructors can connect an app to identified student learning outcomes, thus qualifying as pedagogically sound, ways apps can enhance the teaching and learning experience, and how to gain access to implement an app. 

Presented by: Paige, Instructional Technology Collaborator
To view Paige’s presentation, click here.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns as a follow up to what was covered at the Student Tech Showcase.

Apr 13

2nd Semi-Annual Student Tech Showcase

Screen Shot 2017-04-13 at 2.03.14 PM

*Special post for Longwood’s faculty and staff!

We are excited to announce our second, semi-annual, Student Tech Showcase! This event will be held on Wednesday, April 19th, in the Digital Den (Ruffner 148), from 12pm – 1pm.

 

Four (4) members of the Instructional Technology Collaborator team will spend 10-15 minutes each, connecting a DEC-supported technology to the teaching and/or learning experience. This event is geared toward members of the Longwood University faculty and staff community who teach but may be applicable for those who facilitate co-curricular experiences. Guests are invited to the Digital Den (if you enter Ruffner through Blackwell, walk down the hallway to the right of the Joan of Arc statue and you’ll see our logo at above our suite door) for a catered lunch. Guests are welcome to arrive for lunch as early as 11:30 am; student presentations begin promptly at 12 noon and will run until 1:00 pm. Reservations are not necessary. Presentation descriptions are below.

 

12:00 pm – 12:15 pm A Kahoot! and a Half!  Kristin
12:15 pm – 12:30 pm 3D Printing in Education Kyle
12:30 pm – 12:45 pm Collaborate with Google  Michael
12:45 pm – 1:00 pm Getting the most out of Canvas  Paige

A Kahoot! and a Half!

Kahoot! is a free, web-based platform that makes learning fun for students through its use of games. Players can join a Kahoot! game from any internet-enabled device. Professors can capitalize on existing games, or create their own, to customize the learning experience to meet specific learning objectives. Kahoot! games provide students the opportunity to interact with course content, each other, and the instructor in ways that enrich the learning environment by enhancing engagement across all domains.

3D Printing in Education

Due in part to its broad applicability, 3D printing has been on the forefront of innovation in a variety of realms. This presentation will review and demonstrate the basics of 3D printing, as well as showcase sample prints previously created. Examples of 3D printing projects supporting the student learning outcomes will be provided and attendees will be encouraged to brainstorm disciplinary-specific connections.

Collaborate with Google

This session will highlight the benefits of using Google Docs as a tool for assisting collaboration on group projects as well as for individual projects that require feedback and revisions.  Topics such as how to help students create documents that are shared with other classmates as well as the instructor, in addition to the particular advantages Google Docs provides for projects that require some collaboration, will be addressed.

Getting the most out of Canvas

Canvas has a number of built-in options to enhance the online learning environment. While these built-in options remain available to instructors, many may not know that additional options are available through Canvas apps. Working with our campus Canvas administrators, instructors are able to identify and implement pedagogically sound applications within their Canvas course(s). This session will discuss how instructors can connect an app to identified student learning outcomes, thus qualifying as pedagogically sound, ways apps can enhance the teaching and learning experience, and how to gain access to implement an app.

Apr 13

#TechTipThursday: Learning Immersion with Google Cardboard

TTT_DEClogoGoogle Cardboard is an easily accessible form of virtual reality. There is a growing trend around the intersection of virtual reality (VR) and educational technological pedagogy. VR technology assists with traveling the world and having experiences that are normally out of reach due to variables such as cost and time. Google Cardboard can be used to experience sites from around the world, in the comfort of your own classroom. Consider learning outcomes that can be achieved if students are able to visit ancient ruins or explore location-based cultures. The application of virtual reality opens the door to enhance the breadth and depth of the teaching and learning experience.

How does Google Cardboard work?

Google Cardboard makes use of what many individuals already have access to – a smartphone. Placing your phone at an optimal distance (which is predetermined once you place your phone in the cardboard) provides the best view, shown below. The lenses create a three dimensional effect, when placed over your eyes, when using compatible apps. As you move your head, the images respond as if you are actually there. Street Vue, one of the compatible apps, allows you to explore streets in other countries while viewing your surroundings in virtual reality that reacts to your actual position in space. 

cardboard3

Getting started with Cardboard (adapted from Google’s Support Page)

  1. Once you have purchased your Cardboard Viewer, down the Google Cardboard app from the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store;
  2. Open the app and follow the setup instructions:
    1. Scan the QR code on the Cardboard viewer using your phone’s camera;
    2. Remove the viewer from the sleeve and open the top flap;
    3. Take out the side flaps and then, pull the flaps up and press against the fasteners on the siders of the viewer;
    4. Put your phone inside the Cardboard Viewer and look through viewfinder to continue.

cardboard1cardboard2
The Digital Education Collaborative has one Google Cardboard, and associated smart phone, in our inventory. If you have any questions, or want to talk with an instructional designer about using Google Cardboard to fulfill learning outcomes, please contact us directly.

*This post was drafted by Kyle, an Instructional Technology Collaborator.

Apr 06

#TechTipThursday: GitHub as a Collaborative Tool

TTT_DEClogoGitHub is a tool fairly new to the Instructional Technology Collaborators although some of us have used GitHub in support of academic requirements. Today’s #TechTipThursday will introduce users to the set up and initial use of GitHub as a collaborative tool for coding projects.  This post focuses on the tool’s web interface but there are other options for working with a GitHub repository. To enhance the collaborative efforts possible through GitHub, users may wish to explore the list of tools available in the Integrations Directory.

Creating a GitHub repository

To start a GitHub project, you must first create a repository in which to store the files for your code.  In general, a repository should store all the files needed for a project, but should also only store the code for a single project.  To create a repository, click the plus icon in the upper right hand corner of the screen and select “New repository”.

Github1

Setting Up Your New Repository
This will take you to a screen where you name your repository and fill out the type of repository you want.  If you want to make a private repository, you must pay to upgrade your GitHub account.  This page also lets you initialize your repository for a README, a .gitignore file that will cause files listed in that file to be ignored by commands like “git add *” from the command line or when uploading all the files in your local directory to your repository, and a license file if you want your code to be associated with a particular person/production company.  *Note: you cannot have two repositories with the same name.  In order to start working with your repository, you need to have at least one file in it, so we recommend initializing with a README file.

Github2

Adding Collaborators
In order to add people to work on your repository, go to the settings tab in the upper bar, then select collaborators from the left hand bar.  This will take you to a screen where you can add collaborators, by username or email addresses once they’ve created a GitHub account, to edit the project.

Github3

Working in a Git Repository
Once you’ve added the collaborators, you can start working on your project.  From the main screen you can add new files, click on the name of a file from the file list at the top of the page to edit it and commit your changes when you’re done.  The “Clone or download” button lets you duplicate all of the files in the repository on your own desktop.  You can use this along with a command line interface to keep an actively updated directory in an environment where you can compile code.  When working from command line, the general workflow is to, from within the cloned directory: git pull, edit files, git pull, git add <edited files or *>, git commit, git push

Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 12.04.11 PM

If you have any questions, or difficulty duplicating the steps detailed in this post, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.

*This post was drafted by Michael, an Instructional Technology Collaborator.

 

Mar 23

#TechTipThursday: Introduction to Task Labels

TTT_DEClogoTask Labels is an app that allows you to organize just about every aspect of your life into ‘labels’. You can separate different extracurricular activities, courses, occupations, and even tasks for your everyday life. Within each ‘label’, you can insert various tasks. This app helps you keep your busy life in order; you can access the web version here. The app and the web version sync so you will never lose your data. Both the app and the web version look similar, making toggling between the interfaces seamless for the user.

This post includes screenshots from the web version but, because the user interface is similar you should not notice a difference if you’re following along in the app. To begin you’ll need to create an account, on either the app or web interface, with an email address and password.

Navigating Task Labels

Once you are on the website, click the ‘+’ icon on the toolbar located in the top left on the screen. Once you do this, you have the option to create a ‘task’, ‘label’, or ‘label group’.

For your reference,

  • A task is something you need to do;
  • A label is a category in which you wish to place a task; and
  • A a label group is two or more labels you wish to group together.

tasklabel

On the Road to Organization

You can create a ‘label’ by selecting the ‘+Label’ option. The screen seen below will appear. You can select a color and an icon to set your labels apart. Once you have chosen these criteria you can click ‘Save’.

tl2

To begin adding tasks, click on the ‘+Task’ button. You will see a screen like the one seen below. Here, you can give your task a name, add additional notes, set the priority, and decide which label specific tasks should go under.

tl2

Kristin, one of our Instructional Technology Collaborators, created this video overview of Task Labels as a supplement to this post.

 

If you have any questions, or difficulty duplicating the steps detailed in this post, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.

 

*This post was drafted by Kristin, an Instructional Technology Collaborator.

 

Older posts «