Apr 14

Google Apps for Education on 4/15/14

Come join us for good food and great ideas!

12:15 pm on 4/15/2014 “Google Apps for Education” with Jeff Everhart

Are you interested in storing and editing documents in the cloud? Are you looking for ways to share, collaborate or communicate at a distance? Do you or your organizations need flexible ways to create schedules and collect data?

The Google Apps suite provides a variety of collaboration tools for the modern professional. Come learn about how these tools could be applied by educators and researchers.

 This session will be hosted in the Annex of Dorrill Dining Hall and will include lunch through the line.

Please RSVP early to reserve your seat. To register, please email Brooke Greenbank at greenbankbl@longwood.edu.

Apr 13

*New on April 16* Nights at the Library with the ITCs

Students: Are you concerned about the end of the semester? Do you need, or want, to know what final exam grade is needed to help you pass that worrisome class? Are you not sure what to do if you have trouble in the middle of an exam on Canvas?

We can help!

Join us for our 3rd and final session of “Nights at the Library with the ITCs” on Wednesday, April 16th, 2014.

Greenwood Library Atrium @ 6:00pm – 7:30pm

We will:

  • review best practices when using Canvas, particularly at the end of a semester;
  • discuss “What If” grades and how that feature can be used to inform your end-of-semester preparation efforts;
  • be available to answer any other Canvas-related questions you may have.

We hope to see you there!

Apr 06

Tech Tip: Combining Files

In this post we will highlight a free web-based tool for combining files, of various formats, into one file. No download necessary!

Mergefil.es would be great for giving students course documents. Instead of sending multiple files for a project or assignment, instructors can combine all necessary documents into one file for ease of reference.

This web tool allows you to take documents with different file formats and put them all together into a single file. In order to accomplish this, users must first make sure all files to be merged are in the same file folder. Once you are ready you can go to Mergefil.es and select “choose files.” From here you can select all the files you want to merge. This will work on almost all file types including Microsoft Office files, image and audio files, .txt, and PDFs. Once you have selected your files, you can choose the file order for the final document. You can also compress the file, which decreases the file’s final size. Next you can select the final file format for your merged files. Once selected, the merged file will download automatically.

Mar 19

Spring Bling DEC Event

Are you tired of boring and bland Canvas courses?

Have you ever wondered how to make your courses more visually appealing?

Are you trying to re/design a summer course but keep running out of fresh ideas?

If so, come check out our “Spring Bling” event on 4/11/2014 from 11AM to 1PM. Several faculty members will be there to show off the ‘bling” in their Canvas courses. Take this opportunity to get some creative ideas from your peers, and then use the DEC’s resources to create your own Canvas bling.

Space is limited, so reserve you seat now! Catered lunch will be served in the DEC space in Ruffner from 11AM-1PM.

To RSVP, please email Brooke Greenbank at greenbankbl@longwood.edu.

Mar 14

Web 2.0 Apps: 15 + Great Ideas in 45 Minutes


1. Google Apps- http://www.google.com

The Google suite of applications covers all of your technology needs, including email with Gmail, calendar and task applications with Gcal, video teleconferencing with Google Hangouts, cloud storage and document management with Google Drive, and a host of other helpfuls features.

2. Toggl- http://www.toggl.com

Toggl is an online tool that helps you keep track of how much time you spend on different tasks.

3. Stickk- http://www.stickk.com

Stickk is an online tool that helps users set and stick to goals. First, you set a goal that you want to achieve, and then you create stakes (possibly monetary) that will help you incentivize your goals.

4. Trello- https://trello.com/

Trello helps users get organized by using an intuitive card system to create actionable lists.


ToDo  helps users create actionable lists using the GTD (getting things done) methodology.


iDoneThis allows user to keep track of daily tasks by replying to automated emails.

5. Canvas and Speedgrader iOS apps- https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/canvas-by-instructure/id688577349?mt=8


Both of these iPad apps are helpful for the instructor on the go. Don’t lose class or grading time. Installing these apps on your device can help get you connected to what’s going on in your classes.

6. Doodlepoll- http://doodle.com/en/

Doodle allows users to simplify scheduling. You can create several open time slots, and members can fill in the best times for their schedules. This allows you to quickly see when the most people are available.

7. Canvas Scheduler- http://canvas.longwood.edu

The scheduling feature in Canvas allows you to easily manage time slots for your course. This feature is perfect for advising sign-ups.

8. Dropbox- https://www.dropbox.com/

Dropbox is a cloud storage solution that allows users to easily share files with one another.


9. Diigo- https://www.diigo.com/index

Diigo is a web annotation tool that plugins to your web browser. With it you can post sticky notes on web pages, annotate articles or take screenshots, which are all saved in your Diigo library for review later.

10. Video Notes- http://www.videonot.es/

Video Notes is an application that helps you take notes on YouTube, Coursera, or any other type of video. You can review these notes through the Video Notes application or store them in your Google Drive.


11. Coggle- https://coggle.it

Coggle is an interactive online tool that lets users create detailed and specific mind maps.

12. Text 2 Mind Map- https://www.text2mindmap.com/

Like Coggle, Text 2 Mind Map allows users to create interactive mind maps. These can be saved or downloaded as images or PDFs.

13. Screencast-o-matic- http://www.screencast-o-matic.com/

Screencast-o-matic is a screencasting tool that lets user quickly and easily create screencast tutorials or record narrated PPT presentations. Screencast-o-matic integrates directly to YouTube so publishing is quick and easy.

14. Soundcloud- https://soundcloud.com/

Soundcloud is an audio sharing platform that lets users quickly record and share audio with other members. This is a great platform for sharing music or podcasts.

15. Glogster- http://www.glogster.com/

Glogster is an interactive media creation platform that allows students to curate multiple types of interactive media, including text, video and images.

Mar 12

15 in 45: Web 2.0 Apps for Education

Come join us for good food and great ideas!


12:00 pm on 03/14/2014 “15 in 45: Web 2.0 Apps for Education” with Sarai Blincoe and Jeff Everhart

Over the last several years, the word ‘app’ has come to describe a variety of helpful applications for the web, mobile devices and smart phones. No one person has enough time to filter through all of the newest and greatest applications, so let us do some of that work for you. In this blistering session, your hosts will blaze through fifteen of the most helpful web and mobile apps on the market.

This session will be hosted in the Annex of Dorrill Dining Hall and will include lunch through the line.

Please RSVP early to reserve your seat. To register, please email Brooke Greenbank at greenbankbl@longwood.edu.

Mar 09

*NEW on March 12* Nights at the Library with the ITCs

Attention Students! 

 Curious about what other tools Canvas can work with, like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn?

Let’s talk about how we can make Canvas work for you…

Join us for our second “Nights in the Library with the ITCs” on Wednesday, March 12th, 2014.

Greenwood Library Atrium @ 6:00pm – 7:30pm

We will talk with you about staying connected with Canvas. We’ll review how to:

  • link various web services to your Canvas;
  • customize your notification settings;
  • and why some courses will appear differently from others in Canvas.
We will be available to answer any other questions you may have as well. Join us from 6:00pm until 7:30pm in the Greenwood Library Atrium! Hope to see you there!

Feb 21

Nights at the Library with the ITCs

Attention Students!

Do you have questions about Canvas? Are you wondering how to make it work for you?

Don’t be this person.

We can help.

Join us for the first of three “Nights at the Library with the ITCs” on Monday, February 24, 2014.

Greenwood Library Atrium @ 6:00pm – 8:00pm

We will be discuss all the different features of the calendar and customizing it so it works for you. We’ll also discuss how you communicate with others through Canvas Conversations. We will be available to answer any other questions you may have as well. Join us from 6:00pm until 8:00pm in the Greenwood Library Atrium!

Feb 19

Now hiring for fall 2014 semester!

The Digital Education Collaborative is currently hiring student staff workers to start this coming fall 2014 semester. Our student staff members, or Instructional Technology Collaborators (ITCs), assist the campus community in their use of various instructional technologies. If any of these focus areas interest you, then you interest us!

  • The future of instructional technology and modern advances in online learning

  • Support for Canvas, Echo 360 (personal and classroom capture), video conferencing, Promethean boards, educational resources (such as Dropbox and Google Drive), and troubleshooting technology issues

  • iPads and apps

  • Computer languages (Java, CSS, HTML, WordPress)

  • Multi-media such as iMovie, FinalCut, or Adobe Create Suite

  • Supporting office functions with small groups such as maintenance of computers, software, and public relations

After becoming a member of the student staff team, ITCs will complete an in-depth training so they are prepared for all assignments and appointments. ITCs will provide support, as requested, during one-on-one appointments. During a shift, you may also be assigned to complete interesting tasks like researching new apps, video production projects using our high definition cameras, and exploring new technology to recommend use in the learning environment. Offers will be contingent on the student’s ability to be available for training starting August 13, 2014.

If you want to nominate a student for application, please contact us and we’ll reach out to them individually.

Click here for more information.

Feb 19

5 Tips for Professional Podcasts

In this post we will look at five easy tips that will make your podcasts sound professional. In the age of information overload, it is simple for your audience to tune out or find another source. The best way to attract and keep an audience is to prepare a polished and professional sounding product.

1. Create a Script

It is always clear when someone is unprepared to give a podcast. Don’t let your audience catch you stumbling through the climax of your story. Be prepared and write down a script or some notes ahead of time. Remember to speak slowly and to avoid crutch words, like “um,” “uh,” or “like.” These are distracting to a listener and lower your credibility. Even if you are conducting an interview, it is wise to send that person the questions ahead of time so that they can prepare responses.

Writing an audio script is different than writing for the screen or print documents, so check out some tips on effective writing for audio programs.

2. Maintain a Stable Volume Level

Have you ever listened to a podcast where the volume rises and falls dramatically. This can be troublesome for a listener. Ideally, your volume level should be uniform enough across the entirety of the podcast so that the listener never has to adjust the volume level. This could take a bit of editing, but it is certainly worth the time to create a polished end product.

3. Add Music

Creating musical transitions is an easy way to make your product seem more polished. Although you can use a certain amount of copyrighted music, usually about 15%, I would recommend finding some royalty free music. Adding music also allows you to dictate the feel and tempo of your piece. This goes a long way to creating a professional piece.

Incompetech provides some good royalty-free music, and YouTube has also started offering royalty-free music to its users.

4. Create Unified Sections

When planning your podcast, think about how your audience will experience the piece as a whole. Typically, to create unity, people divide works of art into threes or fives. Think about the three and five-act plays, or the idea of a unified trilogy. For shorter segments, think about breaking your content into three sections: introduction, body, conclusion. For longer segments, break your content up into five different sections: introduction, exposition, climax, resolution, conclusion.

5. Humanize Your Subject

The best podcasts give a uniquely human perspective to each subject you document. Don’t ignore this aspect of the podcast. What makes your information different or more engaging than the nightly news. Do you conduct interviews with field experts, or find compelling human examples to illustrate your ideas? The human experience is what will motivate people to tune in and keep listening.    

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