Thursday, November 3, 2011

Publish Interactive eBooks for the iPad


"The rise of the iPad (and, to a lesser degree, other tablets) has led to myriad new kinds of apps that are flourishing. " Check out this video about Moglue:

Video demonstration

See Sam Gliksman's article here.

Don't stop there, either!

5 Apps for Creating Interactive Books on the iPad

Thursday, August 18, 2011

How to Twitter Effectively

"Twitter has come a long way since it first began back in 2006. From such humble roots as "found some fluff in my navel this morning" to "had cornflakes for breakfast, rather soggy", it is now the default source for news networks looking for a quick "public opinion" as well as the place where news actually breaks first before the established networks get a hold of it. Journalists and politicians now also consider it absolutely essential to have Twitter accounts so they can inform everyone of their opinions and what they're up to.

Twitter can be quite addictive but you have to do it the right way to get the most out of it."

How to Twitter Poster:

The Complete Guide to Twitter:

Teaching Students to be Smartphone-Literate

In this month's episode of Tech Therapy, The Chronicle's monthly technology podcast, Ronald A. Yaros, an assistant professor specializing in mobile journalism at the University of Maryland at College Park, describes an iPhone app he developed for his courses. He also talks about his vision for helping students prepare for a business world in which smartphones will very likely be the norm.

Info 3.0 App

Monday, June 20, 2011

QR Codes - Have you seen them on TV commercials yet?

I saw my first television commercial featuring a QR code this past week. I don't know how useful it really was, though. In a 15 second commercial, the QR code was only displayed for a few seconds -- not enough time for me to grab my cell phone, start the scanner app, and get it scanned! I suppose I could have paused my HD DVR/Cable Box at that moment and then grabbed my phone and performed the scan, or if I had been viewing a recording of a program, I could have paused and scannned the code. Still though, it doesn't seem real effective or practical to be including QR codes in television advertisements.

I searched the Web for additional thoughts on this subject:

QR Codes in Television Advertising (Technorati)

Shin-B Music Video Featuring QR Codes (Quite interesting, and the codes work!)

Designer QR Code -- this one made TV history:


View the clip and you'll see exactly how quickly the QR Code appears and clears!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Google Calendar Adds Appointment Slots

We've found Google Calendar to be indispensible for organizing our time and sharing our schedules with friends and coworkers. Now we can let others know about our preferred availability!

That's right! Set up blocks of time you'd like to offer as appointment slots. Simply click anywhere on your calendar and then on "Appointment slots." From there, create a single block of time or automatically split a larger block of time into smaller appointment slots.

Every Google Calendar has its own personal appointments sign up page; you can embed it on your website or give the URL to students and clients. You can find the URL for your appointment page at the top of the set-up page, which you can access via the Edit details link.

When someone visits your sign up page, their calendar is overlaid for convenience and they can sign up directly for any available appointment slot. When they sign up, Google Calendar conveniently creates a new shared event on both of your calendars.

Google Help on Using Appointment Slots

Thursday, June 9, 2011

One University's Key to Sucess: Investing in people, not just technology

Interesting read today (June 2011, eCampus News): Louisianna State University is being recognized for its commitment to staff IT training and support. "Campus leaders have combined an online knowledge base with face-to-face assistance to help faculty integrate technology into their teaching and research" (June 2011, 8).

Brian Voss, LSU's vice chancellor for information technology, described that LSU has invested in the people necessary to train and provide one-on-one technology support to facilitate the transition to new technologies. They also created the online knowledge base which houses step-by-step instructions for those interested in self-paced, individual learning. Their Faculty Technology Center provides face-to-face assistance to faculty across campus interested in utilizing technology for their teaching and research. This Center provides training as well as opportunities for faculty to demonstrate to other faculty their use of technology.

Says, Brian Voss, "Invest in the people to support the technology used on campus; it is the best way to maximize the investments you make in the technology itself."

Even though the University of Minnesota, Morris hasn't been recognized for its efforts in faculty technology support, I can tell you that we have a very personal, supportive unit on the UMM campus that is committed to providing assistance and training to faculty, staff, and students -- the Instructional and Media Technologies department. This is my unit, and I am proud to say that we focus on the individual and provide customized service and support to all of our clients. We offer campus training to faculty, staff, and students. We also hold events that give faculty and staff the opportunity to share their knowledge with the campus through demonstrations and discussions. We provide online resources, including step-by-step guides, screencast tutorials, and recorded seminars. And, in this fast-paced, ever-changing digital world, we investigate emerging technologies and offer demonstrations and seminars to share our discoveries.

I ask you, is UMM eligible for the "eCampus of the Month" award? I say, "Yes!"

eCampus News Current Issue

Note: Brian Voss will assume his new position as Vice President of Information Technology and CIO at the University of Maryland in August 2011. Thank you to Neil Tickner, Senior Media Relations Associate, University of Maryland, for this notice.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What Year IS This?

Remember the early 90's and how we were discussing "the new literacy" and how we were going to change education by making technology an integral part of instruction? Don't you think it's interesting that after 25 years, we're still faced with students who need digital literacy skills and instructors who still aren't using technology in their teaching?

At a campus technology seminar last week, one faculty member posed the question, "What can be done to address the problem that we still have students who are coming to our institution without basic technology skills?"

Do we need to look at high school curricula and graduation requirements? Do we need to have a required entrance-level literacy skills course? or entrance exam?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I've Discovered QR Codes

I used the KAYWA QR-CODE website to generate QR Code for the Instructional Technology website:


Have you seen these in your world? They are appearing on publications, building signs, maps, and billboards.

What are QR Codes?
QR Codes (= Quick Response Codes)are 2D Barcodes (two dimensional Barcodes) developed by Denso and released in 1994 with the primary aim of being easily interpreted by scanner equipment in manufacturing, logistics and sales applications.

In comparison with other Barcodes, QR Codes combine several advantages:

* they can hold a very large capacity of numbers or letters in any language
* their printout size can be very small
* they offer high speed reading
* they can be read from any side (omnidirectional or 360° scan)

Japan, the first country with a highly developed 3G network and high usage of the mobile internet, was also the country where telecoms like NTTDoCoMo and KDDI achieved a breakthrough by bringing QR code readers to mobile phones. By installing QR code readers on consumer phones, if was suddenly possible for everyone to create and read QR codes and to connect easily to mobile sites.

Today QR Codes are so pervasive in Japan that it's almost impossible without seeing one. You can find them in advertisements, mobile campaigns, on maps, in magazines, on billboards etc. and nobody want to miss them anymore.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tips for Using Streaming Media in Your Blended or Online Courses

If you are thinking of adding streamed audio and/or video presentations to your blended or online course, here are some things to consider.

1. Post complete text versions of the audio portion of the streamed presentations. My limited study suggests that student learning is most enhanced when students can study both streamed presentations and transcripts of the audio. You should encourage students to study both the presentations and the transcripts and advise them to avoid studying only the presentations.
2. Keep your presentations relatively short. I suggest keeping them under 15 minutes. If this is not sufficient to cover all the content for a given topic, then the content should be chunked at appropriate spots into several presentations. Each presentation should come with a table of contents that students can click on to navigate within the presentation.
3. Plan out the slide or video portion of the presentation first. This will allow you to focus on the main ideas that you want to emphasize, and it will provide you with an outline for developing the narration. You should make use of images to illustrate and represent ideas and arguments. This will allow you to present content in several modes.
4. Write out a script of the narration. Doing this will help you to organize your thoughts. It will also result in fewer audio mistakes, since you can add the narration by simply reading the script. Writing out the narration beforehand will also provide you with a text version of the narration that you can post to the course website.
5. Choose presentation software that allows you to easily edit the separate video and audio portions of the presentation and that in a few simple steps converts the presentation into a format for streaming over the Web.

By: Jerry Kapus, PhD in Asynchronous Learning and Trends

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Four Things You Can Do THIS WEEK to Make Your Course More Student-Friendly

The four things that every professor can do "THIS WEEK" to make each course more student-friendly include:

1. Ensure that all readings, articles, presentations and videos (all course material) are available in the course management system.
2. "Create a weekly reading assessment that asks students to formulate or discuss the most important things you wanted them to get out the this week's articles."
3. "Make your syllabus a living document and let students know about changes via class emails - it will put your class in the forefront of their minds."
4. "Use technology to help students engage with one another - create peer review groups for papers or discussion groups online."

Lucretia Witte's research on Technology and Teaching: