Feb 08

Now hiring ITCs for Fall 2016!

200x200 (1)The Digital Education Collaborative is currently hiring student staff workers to start this coming fall 2016 semester. Our student staff members, or Instructional Technology Collaborators (ITCs), assist the campus community in their use of supported 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, screen capturing, interactive classroom tools, video conferencing, smart technology, educational resources (such as Dropbox and Google Drive), iPads and apps
  • Computer languages (Java, CSS, HTML)
  • WordPress blogging
  • Graphic design
  • Public relations (physical and digital)

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, via phone calls, emails, and during one-on-one appointments. During a shift, you may also be assigned to complete interesting tasks like researching new apps, program planning, program-specific badging tasks and exploring new technology to recommend for use in the learning environment. Offers will be contingent on the student’s ability to be available to complete training. Online training, to be completed in advance of face-to-face training, begins in early August. Face-to-face training on campus begins August 15, 2016 and runs through August 19, 2016.

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 on how to become an ITC.

Feb 04

#TechTipThursday: Reminders for Canvas due dates


Many of us are aware of Canvas’ calendar feature which offers a filtered display of course deadlines. The calendar can be access from the horizontal blue global navigation bar at the top of the screen (see below).


Additional information about the Canvas calendar can be found in the Canvas Guides, here: student perspective; instructor perspective. What you may not know, however, is that you can arrange to receive reminder notifications for upcoming deadlines. This post will detail how you can accomplish this task by integrating your Canvas calendar with your Google calendar. Though this post will not offer instruction, you can integrate your Canvas calendar with iOS and/or Outlook calendars as well. Reminders will need to then be established within the respective calendar.

  1. Go to your calendar in Canvas and click on “Calendar Feed” on the right-hand side of your screen. ttt1
  2. This will open a new, small window containing a link to your individual calendar feed. Copy the link and then access your Google calendar.
  3. Under “Other Calendars” on the left-hand side, click on the drop down arrow and select “Add by URL”. The events on your Canvas calendar will now be on your Google Calendar.ttt2
  4. To set up notifications/reminders, click the drop down arrow for the new calendar (your Canvas feed) and select “Calendar settings”.ttt3
  5. Go to the “Edit Notifications” tab and click on “Add a Notification”.
  6. Here is where you can select when you want to be notified of assignments on your calendar, and how you’d like to receive notification (email or a popup notification).ttt4

Now you should be set up to receive Google calendar alerts for any upcoming assignments in your Canvas calendar. If you have any difficulty replicating the steps provided in this post, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


Jan 27

LOTI: Online Teaching Certification- Professional Development AND Participation Stipend!

Questions about LOTI or advanced LOTI? Please contact Jenny Quarles at quarlesja@longwood.edu or via phone at 434.395.4332

Planning on teaching online or hybrid classes for Longwood? Has it been a while since you’ve had professional development in online and hybrid learning? If so, please apply for LOTI: Online Teaching Certification. Certification in online/hybrid teaching is required for all faculty teaching online/hybrid courses and is strongly recommend for anyone who has not had training since 2012. Training is completely online and can be completed at your own pace during an 8 week period. Successful completion of training also comes with a $500 stipend. Applications must be submitted by February 19th. Click here for additional information and links to the application forms.

Taken LOTI and ready for the next step? Advanced LOTI is a customizable course design program where you build a course one on one with a course designer. Advanced LOTI participants must have completed the current iteration of LOTI and must have at least 3 semesters of experience teaching online or hybrid courses. Spaces for Advanced LOTI are limited, please contact Jenny Quarles if you are interested in applying or complete an application online.

Additional information about LOTI may be found here.



Jan 21

#TechTipThursday: “Assign To” Canvas Feature


Canvas released a new feature that enhances instructors’ ability to set due dates for course work. Before this new feature was released into production, assignments, assessments, and discussions had to be assigned to an entire section. But, with this new feature, professors can assign an assignment to a specific student(s). This can be useful if you have a student who needs to take an online exam the day before the rest of the class: you can assign the exam to that specific student for the day before and the rest of the section/class will still take it the day it was originally due.

Even though you can use this feature in assignments, assessments, and discussions, this blog post will demonstrate how you can use this feature in assessments. Know that you’ll follow the same process to assign varied due dates for assignments and discussions.

  1. Within your course, navigate to the desired assessment/discussion/assignment requiring multiple due dates. Click “edit” in the upper right-hand side of the screen. 
  2. Within the settings section scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page. canvas2
  3. After verifying your intended due date for “Everyone” in the course in the “Assign to” section, click on the “+ Add” to add another assign box. canvas3
  4. Type the name of the student(s) to whom you want to assign the assessment and then select the date desired. After making your adjustments, be sure to click the blue “Save” button at the bottom right-hand side of the page. canvas4
  5. You should now see that there are 2 different “available from” dates, allowing that one student to take complete the graded work on a different date. canvas5

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


Dec 10

#TechTipThursday: Google Voice Typing


We have several prior posts highlighting Google’s tools or features that we’ve found useful in enhancing the teaching and learning experience. Adding to the repertoire of free tools, Google Voice Typing is a helpful feature, found within Google Docs, which can improve the efficiency with which you create documents. This, too, can allow thoughts to flow with increasing freedom as you can say thoughts aloud instead of trying to connect thoughts to typing.

This post will guide users on utilizing this tool to its fullest potential. These steps assume that you have already created an account with Google. If you have not yet done so, you’ll first want to establish a Google account so you can access the Google Drive.

How to use Google Voice Typing:

  1. Navigate to drive.google.com and sign in with your login information google1
  2. Click “New” then “Google Docs” google2
  3. Go to “Tools” in the new Google Doc google3
  4. Select “Voice typing” google4
  5. Once the microphone appears, you’ll click on it to begin recording google5
  6. Note: you will need to grant Google Docs access to your microphone for the feature to work properly google6
  7. When you are ready, begin talking. A colored circle will appear around the microphone indicating it’s hearing your voice successfullygoogle7
  8. Google Docs will automatically save changes to your document, so you can speak your thoughts to text without worrying about losing your work. When you’re done adding information to your document, be sure to add a title so you can easily locate it within your Google Drive files.

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


Dec 03

#TechTipThursday: Form recovery

TTT_DEClogoIn past posts, we highlighted several browser extensions we’ve found useful in the teaching and learning experience. This post discusses “Lazarus: Form Recovery” which is an extension that auto-saves content written in text boxes. This can be useful in many academic, and personal, scenarios. Consider a situation in which you’re responding to a discussion board in Canvas, or as an instructor you’re providing directions for an assignment in a text box, and the session times out. If you have this add-on enabled, you can go back to the page with the discussion board or assignment in question and recover all past versions of the text. *Note: this extension can only be used in Chrome or Firefox.


For Google Chrome

  1. Click on the menu button in the top right-hand corner of your browser window Untitled
  2. Select “settings” from the menu that appears Untitled2
  3. Click on “extensions” on the left-hand side of the screen Untitled3
  4. Scroll to locate and select the “Get More Extensions” option Untitled4
  5. In the resulting search box, type “Lazarus form recovery” Untitled5
  6. Find the correct extension, pictured below, and click “Add to Chrome” Untitled6
  7. Chrome will prompt you to confirm; click “Add extension” Untitled7

For Mozilla Firefox

  1. Click on the “Options” icon in the top right-hand corner of your browser window Untitled8
  2. Select the “Add-ons” button in the menu that appears Untitled9
  3. Click on the “Get Add-ons” button on the left-hand side of the screen Untitled10
  4. Type “Lazarus: Form Recovery” in the search box and press enter Untitled11
  5. Locate the add-on and select “Install” Untitled12

Once the add-on is successfully installed, you’ll see an outline of the Lazarus symbol in the corner of most text boxes. To display all available options for text recovery, click on the icon; options will appear above “Lazarus Options”.Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 2.12.52 PM

To display all application settings in a new tab, select “Lazarus Options” from the same dropdown menu. Untitled15Watch this short video to see Lazarus Form Recovery in action.

YouTube Preview Image

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


Nov 19

#TechTipThursday: Basics of Audacity


Audacity is a free open source software that enables users to record live audio, playback, or convert recorded audio into CDs, fulfilling a variety of needs both recreational and pedagogical.

Consider adding a voice recording to supplement a visual presentation on Canvas: this could be a viable option whenever unforeseen situations arise that require an instructor’s attention elsewhere. Professors can quickly record a narrative of instructions/presentations for students, keeping the course current despite an inability to provide in-person instruction. Audacity is also a great tool for recording podcasts, which can add variety to instructional methods and cater to different learning styles.

For students, Audacity is an excellent resource for creating project presentations with voice overs especially for online or hybrid courses. This could also provide students the option to record lectures as a study tool throughout the semester.  For the arts, Audacity offers a way for students to create and record original music compositions, practice characterizations or record inspirations behind art exhibits.

This post will walk readers through basic use of Audacity. To begin, you’ll need to download the program. Navigate to audacity.sourceforge.net/download/ and select the “download” button. The download should start automatically and, when finished, will launch the Set Up Wizard to prompt you through the installation process. Launch Audacity to follow along below.

  1. You can start to record by pressing the red circle Capture
  2. Once you’ve started the recording, you should notice a scrolling grey field displaying your audio input in blue. To stop a recording, you can press the blue pause button and continue recording when ready. To end the recording of your current track, press the yellow stop button Capture2
  3. Note that you can record multiple tracks and adjust their placements and volumes using the tools in the menu at the top of your screen Capture3
  4. Please watch our instructional video on the functions of the Select, Envelope, Draw, Zoom, Time Shift, and Multi-Tool functions located in the top menu of your screen YouTube Preview Image
  5. Once you have completed your recording, you can save and/or edit the audio by navigating to “File” then “Save” or “Export Audio” Capture4
  6.  When saving or exporting, simply select the destination and desired name of the track and click “Save” Capture5

Our team is able to offer assistance as you learn to use this program or are ready to take the next step in finding a way to connect this technology to predetermined student learning outcomes. If you have any difficulty replicating the steps given in this post, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


Nov 12

#TechTipThursday: Google Alerts

Google Alerts allow you to set up notifications to follow specific topics.  Google will email you updates with news and online postings about the keywords you set, as frequently (or infrequently) as you like.  This may not sound much different than countless other news sites, but Google Alerts allow you to do some unique things:

  • If you have family far away, you could set an alert on their town to stay up to date on local news in their area.
  • Set an alert for coupon codes from your favorite company to save money.
  • If you are job hunting, you could set an alert for openings in your area, or in your dream company.
  • If you are conscientious about privacy, or your online image, set an alert on your name to see what is being said about you.

You can also use all of the Google Search Operators to customize your search. Follow the steps below to create alerts for your favorite topics.

  1. To create an alert, go to www.google.com/alerts. Enter the term you want to receive alerts for. 01
    1. You can also browse through a list of suggested topics that many people have alerts set on.02
  2. As you search through terms, the site will show you a preview of what alerts you would receive for different terms. When you’re ready, click on Create Alert. You will be prompted to enter an email address at which to receive the alert. You do not need a Google account to take advantage of Google Alerts.03
  3. Once you create it, your alert will show up on the front page. 04
    1. You can use the gear icon to set your general alerts settings. You can set the time of day you want to receive the alert, and if you have multiple alerts set, you can choose to receive them all in one email instead of individually.05
  4. Use the pencil icon on your alert to edit settings for that specific alert. You can set how often you want to receive notices, and what sources to search for the keywords.  You can also specify to only give results in a certain region and to give all results, or only the best. These options are useful if you are following a major news topic so you don’t get flooded with notifications.


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

Nov 05

#TechTipThursday: Google Chrome’s Remote Desktop Application

The Chrome Remote Desktop Application allows you to access another individual’s computer from your own, over the internet. This application can be used to reach items on your own device from another computer, or to give others temporary access to your computer; this can be helpful when troubleshooting, for example. To use this program, your computer must have Google Chrome (to download, click here) installed and you must have a Google Account (to create an account, click here). The application must be installed on both the computer you are using as well as the one you intend to access. This post will walk you through installing and using the Remote Desktop application on a Windows-based machine.

To install the application:

  1. Visit the page for the Chrome Remote Desktop Application
  2. In the upper right-hand corner, select the +Add To Chrome button to add the application to your desktop 1
  3. Select Add in the pop-up that appears. This application will now download and appear in your Google Chrome App Launcher. You will need to authorize the application 2

To authorize the application:

  1.  Once you open the app, you will see the prompt below; select Continue3
  2. A new window will open, along with a pop-up menu; select Accept 4now

To allow another computer to access your own:

  1. With the app open, under “Remote Assistance”, select the green Share button. This will immediately start a download necessary for the program 5now
  2. Open the installer you just downloaded and proceed through the installation process. Once this is complete, return to the Remote Desktop Application and you should see the dialog box below; select OK6now
  3. A box will open with an access code that should be used by the computer accessing yours 7now

To access another computer using an access code:

  1. On the computer to be accessed, follow the steps (above) for allowing another computer to access your own
  2. In the Chrome Remote Desktop Application, under “Remote Assistance”, select the grey Access button 8now
  3. In the pop-up box, enter the access code from the computer to be accessed and select Connect9now

To access your own computer from any other device:

  1. In the Chrome Remote Desktop Application, under My Computers, select the grey Get Started button. The section will expand 10now
  2. In the expanded section, select Enable Remote Connections. This button will immediately start a necessary download for the program
  3. Open this downloaded installer and it will proceed through the installation process. Once this is complete, return to the Remote Desktop Application, where you will see the following prompt. Select a numerical PIN of 6 or more digits which will make connecting from another device secure. Enter it once in the box next to PIN and re-enter the same PIN in the box next to Re-type PIN. Select OK and be sure to record this PIN for later use 11now
  4. You will receive a confirmation message. Your computer can now be remotely accessed from any other computer with the Chrome Remote Desktop Application installed
  5. To access this device from another device with the application installed, simply open the application and under the My Computers section, select the name of the device you would like to access, enter the PIN of 6 or more digits you created, and you will be connected to that computer
  6. To stop accessing the computer from another device, at the top center of the page select the drop down menu and then select Disconnect

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

Oct 22

#TechTipThursday: Request a Canvas Feature

You may recall our #TechTipThursday on this topic from earlier this year. As we shared in January, Canvas is a versionless platform. This means that Canvas updates on, approximately, a 3-week cycle. Interested in user feedback, Canvas has a system through which users can request new or adjusted features.

All users are able to submit a feature request to the Feature Discussion Forum. This post details the steps you can take to submit your feature request directly to Canvas.

  1. Log into Canvas by navigating to canvas.longwood.edu
  2. After your successful login, click on “Help” in the top right-hand corner Untitled
  3. Click “Submit a Feature Idea” Untitled2
  4. Click “Log in” Untitled3
  5. You will see a screen that looks like the one below. Choose “canvas.longwood.edu” from the drop-down menu Untitled4
  6. *If you have already created an account, skip to Step 9* The account information may autofill from your Canvas account. If it did not autofill, fill in all of the required fields using your Longwood email and also using your email as your username. Make sure all the fields are correct then click “Log in” Untitled5
  7. Click “Share Ideas” Untitled6
  8. Click “Feature Ideas” Untitled7
  9. Click “Share a New Idea” Untitled8
  10. You can complete the feature request form, which asks for a title and description of your idea Untitled9
  11. Fill in any relevant tags or keywords and then click “Publish” Untitled10

Canvas provides additional information on the voting process for feature ideas in the Canvas Community. If you have any questions based on the information in this post, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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