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

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*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. 

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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.

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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”.

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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

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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’.

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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.

 

Mar 02

#TechTipThursday: Staying Connected with Canvas

TTT_DEClogoRecently, the Canvas servers experienced a widespread outage that reached far beyond Longwood University. While we are hopeful that these situations will continue to be minimal, there are ways in which you can stay connected with Canvas. The Digital Education Collaborative is always a resource; know we utilize resources from Canvas directly as we monitor system status among other tasks. This post introduces several resources provided by Canvas to its user community.

How to Check Canvas’ Status

Canvas maintains a website devoted entirely to know system issues. Here is where each tool in the Canvas platform is associated with it current status. Refer underneath the component checklist for a key.

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Users can subscribe to updates using the button seen below. It is located in the top-right corner of the page just above the component checklist.
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At the bottom of the same page, Canvas provides a synopsis of each step that has been taken in the resolution process. This also lists, by date, actions taken to resolve Canvas server-related incident reports. You can visit http://status.instructure.com/ and read, in detail, about Tuesday’s outage.

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Staying Connected on Social Media

If you use Twitter, Canvas regularly posts updates regarding issues they are experiencing and new releases. You can follow them using the handle @CanvasLMS. Canvas’ platform is hosted by Amazon Web Services, so you can also follow @awscloud for more updates.

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Submitting a Feature Request

Canvas encourages its user community to submit requests for features not currently available. While there is no guarantee that your request will be addressed in an upcoming release, there is a process by which Canvas solicits input from its user community as it makes decisions regarding feature updates. Not only can you access https://community.canvaslms.com/community/ideas to search for ideas that other users have submitted, you can vote on them or add your own. To submit a feature request, scroll down the page and choose the ‘share new idea’ option located on the right side and highlighted with a red rectangle below.

submit feature

Canvas Community and Updates

The Canvas Community can be accessed using https://community.canvaslms.com/welcome. The Community offers answers to just about anything related to features in Canvas, a space to share your ideas and thoughts about the Learning Management System, and review documentation explaining updates made to Canvas.

Release Notes keep users informed about new changes to Canvas and the likely impact that it will have on functionality and the user experience. Anyone can access the Canvas Release Notes but know the DEC creates (when classes are in session) an FAQ for each set of Canvas release notes. These will be highlighted on our blog and available to users within Canvas directly. A schedule for Canvas Release Notes may be found here as well.

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If you have questions or concerns about anything described in this post, or believe we can be of assistance, please contact us directly.

Feb 23

#TechTipThursday: Overview of Bear

TTT_DEClogo

Bear is a flexible writing app for composing anything from notes to prose to blogs. It works on all OS devices so you can write whenever, wherever. You can link notes to each other to build one comprehensive body of text. Its functionality is beyond Apple’s built-in Notes application and offers a, free, simple white theme. Users can upgrade to the pro version and unlock access to additional themes and features. You can download the app here! A brief video introduction is included at the conclusion of this post.

To start composing notes choose the red “plus page” icon, shown below, located on the left of your screen.

Screen Shot 2017-02-15 at 4.41.19 PM

Tap the icon in the top right corner of your screen to quickly view your word count, number of paragraphs, and a list of ways you can export your note.
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Bear has markup shortcuts that allow you to add style to your, and other elements to your note, with just a tap or keystroke.

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When you use a hashtag (#), the Bear app treats it as something comparable to a folder. For example, everything with #Bear would be stored and searchable together. This is a great way to group multiple notes on a similar subject, such as a class or research project.

Emmy, one of our Instructional Technology Collaborators, created this video overview of Bear 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.

 

 

Feb 08

MakerMondays Come to Longwood

TTT_DEClogo

The Digital Education Collaborative is excited to announce that we are hosting a series of MakerMondays this semester! The DEC is currently developing its makerspace, called the DIGILab, in partnership with the Greenwood Library. While we continue to put the finishing touches on the DIGILab, we want to give you a preview of its possibility. The DEC will host bi-weekly MakerMondays through the rest of the semester. See the schedule at the bottom of this post.

Each MakerMonday gives you an opportunity to be creative, imaginative, and explore something new in responding to the challenge of the day. MakerMondays will take place in the future home of the DIGILab, room 147B on the first floor of Greenwood Library. Walk in and to the back of the atrium; take a left at the stairs and we’ll be on your left. Look for our logo on the door!

Join us for our first MakerMonday next week, February 13th, at 4pm. You’ll be challenged to explore and master the use of a Sphero, a small robot that can be programmed to move, turn, change color, and even talk in various ways! Do you think you can rise to the challenge?

Join us for one or all MakerMondays this semester!

Date Time Location
Monday, 2/13 4pm 147B, Greenwood Library
Monday, 2/27 5:30pm 147B, Greenwood Library
Monday, 3/13 4pm 147B, Greenwood Library
Monday, 3/27 5:30pm 147B, Greenwood Library
Monday, 4/10 4pm 147B, Greenwood Library
Monday, 4/24 5:30pm 147B, Greenwood Library

Want to know more about what a makerspace is? Check out this article.

If you have questions about the DIGILab, or want to learn more about what we’re doing with MakerMondays, please contact the Instructional Technology Assistant.

Feb 07

LearningLabShow | Season 2 Ep 1 Life at LU after 2016 VP Debate

Welcome back! We are excited to be starting Season 2 of the LearningLabShow! In this episode, new host, Chuck Faison, interviews the Chief of Staff and Advisor to President Reevley, Justin Pope, about his thoughts and perspectives on what the Vice Presidential debate means to Longwood and how it will affect Longwood in the future.

Feb 06

Now hiring students for fall 2017!

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Did you know that the Digital Education Collaborative employs undergraduate students to assist us in supporting the university’s commitment to academic success and pedagogical excellence through the effective application of instructional technology? We are currently accepting applications for new student workers to start in the fall 2017 semester.

We are seeking students who are detail-oriented, self-starters, highly responsible, effective multitaskers, strong written and verbal communicators. Applicants do not need a technical background but must be willing to learn; we’ll provide in-depth, comprehensive, and ongoing training that supports student success in this position.

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.