Thursday, November 16, 2017

Voice Typing in Google Docs - a Reminder

Did you know that you can talk to your computer and it will type what you say?

Coding in the Classroom

Coding in the Classroom: If you’ve been considering coding with your students, now is the perfect time to start. As part of Computer Science Education Week (Dec 4-8), thousands of educators will try coding with their classrooms for the first time. You can join them using free programs from Google, including our newly launched coding activity from CS First, where students can create a their own Google logo and personalize everything from dancing letters to accompanying music.
Explore Resources

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Google Updates the Calendar App

Google Calendar’s updated interface will be available at the University of Minnesota beginning Tuesday, November 28. The new interface will be optional for you to use until February 28, 2018, when it will become the University’s standard Google calendar interface.

New Features

  • See event details at a glance: including the entire guest list and responses.
  • Add new events more quickly: easily add the event name, time, and more when you click on an empty space on your calendar.
  • New view options: calendar events look different depending on your response

Steve Nguyen, Service Owner
Collaboration & Web Content Services

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Incorporating Canvas Tools: Helping Students Keep Up

As instructors, we want students to come to class prepared, complete assignments on time and know about any changes to assignment deadlines. Key Canvas features can help you communicate your expectations to students and help them keep up with your course. The auto-populated Calendar and To Do List along with automatic Notifications can provide students with timely reminders. In addition setting Requirements and being able to list an assignment in multiple places allow instructors to more clearly indicate their expectations.

Read the entire article at:

Techniques in Learning and Teaching (TILT)

Friday, October 13, 2017

Transitioning from Moodle to Canvas?

Instructional and Media Technologies

Technology for Teaching and Learning Banner for Documents.jpg

Upcoming Canvas Training

October 25 & 26:  Onsite (UofM) and Online Canvas Training

This full day training will be an introduction to Canvas that cover the basics and beyond.  A trainer from Canvas will be visiting the Twin Cities campus (and streaming on YouTube Live) to provide attendees a solid foundation to begin using Canvas to its full effectiveness.
Where: Wednesday, October 25 - West Bank, HHH 50 & Online
Thursday, October 26 - St. Paul Campus, Cargill 105 & Online
*Both days will cover the same content. Feel free to come and go as needed on either day.

  • Hour 1: Create and organize course content
  • Hour 2: Communication and discussion
  • Hour 3: Assess, grade, and monitor student work
  • Hour 4: Lunch (on your own)
  • Hour 5: Facilitate collaborative learning with groups
  • Hour 6: Advanced topics
  • Hour 7: Questions & Canvas work time

Canvas Nights at UMM

Open labs where you may bring your work and help will be on hand.  4 to 8 p.m.  Bring your syllabus and your content. Come and go as you wish.
  • Thursday, November 9, 4-8 p.m., Imholte 11    
  • Wednesday, December 13, 4-8 p.m., Imholte 11

November 28:  An Evening with Canvas at UMM

When: Tuesday, November 28, 5-8 p.m.
Where: Imholte 11
(See agenda below)


Part 1 - Canvas Fundamentals

  • Navigating within Canvas
  • Adding/Organizing Content
  • Creating an Assignment
  • Grading an Assignment - SpeedGrader
  • Using the Gradebook
  • Communicating with Students

Break and Light Refreshments

Part 2 - Building Your Canvas Course Site:  Hands-On

After a brief introduction to the Morris Canvas Course Site Template, we take a rapid course development approach. Participants begin building a Canvas course site using the Morris Canvas Course Site Template. Bring your content on a thumb drive or access via online storage (such as Google Drive).

Wrap-up and Final Remarks

Recorded Past Trainings

Custom Canvas Training - September 12

Led by a trainer from Instructure (the creators of Canvas).

Topics covered:

  • Communication inside of Canvas
  • Integrating Google and Canvas
  • Using the Canvas teacher mobile app
  • Exploring the student experience on the Canvas student mobile app
  • Using the gradebook
  • How to request Canvas help

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Instructure's Canvas Training - View the Recording

Instructure, the vendor for Canvas, held an online Canvas training session on September 12, 2017.  If you missed it that day, they have made the recording available to us. 

The recording is two hours in length, but it covers some great information and shows us things that we can do in our Canvas course sites.

Monday, October 2, 2017

UMM's Technology for Teaching & Learning - New Website

The NEW Technology for Teaching & Learning Website

Please visit our new website!  You may use the links at the top or the buttons below the banner to access the site's contents.

I welcome your feedback on the new site:

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Discover Canvas - August 17th Faculty Workshop

The University of Minnesota is transitioning all course sites from Moodle to Canvas -- the new centrally supported Learning Management System (LMS) -- over the next two years. Canvas is available for you to begin building your Fall 2017 or Spring 2018 course sites. 

Moodle will continue to operate as usual for the next two years; however, all course sites starting in the fall of 2019 will be required to use Canvas.

We, in Instructional and Media Technologies, are offering a “Discover Canvas” Workshop on August 17, 2017 from 1 to 4 pm in the Imholte Hall 11 Computer Classroom. The workshop will include both informational presentations and hands-on sessions. Please see the attached detailed schedule.

If you would care to join us, please register your intent by filling out this registration form

The registration deadline for this workshop is 11:59 AM August 11, 2017. A Canvas course site will be created for all registered participants.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Something to work on now for Fall Semester: Creating an Accessible Syllabus

Working on your courses for Fall Semester?  Why not start by creating an accessible syllabus?

Creating an Accessible Syllabus – YouTube playlist featuring 12 “how to” video shorts (averaging 2 minutes) to demonstrate applying accessible document design to a sample syllabus.
Sample Accessible Syllabi – one that’s a bit more “ordinary,” and one that’s a bit more “visual.”

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Five 3-Minute Videos - Teaching with Technology

EdPuzzle 3 Minute TOOL-torial
Add Questions to Videos, Monitor Progress, etc. EdPuzzle is an awesome free tool that makes it a breeze to embed questions in YouTube and Vimeo videos. When students log in and watch the videos on EdPuzzle, you can then see their progress. Did they watch it? How did they do on the questions? This is one of the most useful and powerful edtech tools I've come across, making videos a much more powerful teaching construct, engaging students in the videos as they watch and learn. Perfect for flipped and blended learning.

How to Add “Time Tags” to Youtube Vids (so Viewers can Jump to Tagged Sections)It’s Super Easy to Create These Simple ‘Bookmarks’ so Viewers Can Pop to Different Section of Your Video

Blendspace: Create Powerful Lessons in Minutes with Blendspace.Blendspace Makes it Incredibly Easy to Combine Web Pages, Files, Pictures, Videos, and Text into a Slick, Easy to Consume Online Lesson Resource, and it's Totally Free! Teachers love Blendspace for hybrid, digital, blended, or flipped learning.

Snip: Create Annotated Digital Lessons Based on Screen Shots in a Snap with Snip!
Snip is a screen capture and annotation tool (or just a ‘whiteboard’ if you want it). It makes it really easy to create instructional videos by writing or drawing on a screen ‘snips and saving the resulting video as an MP4 file.

Screencast-o-Matic: The Original Free Screencasting App!There are a number of free screen casting tools available. One of the mainstays is Screencast-O-Matic, which is available as a web app, or as a download for your PC or Mac. The free version limits users to 15 minute videos and it does not provide editing capabilities, but you can upgrade and get editing functionality and unlimited video using the licensing purchased by UMM's Instructional and Media Technologies. Contact Pam Gades (

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A New Learning Management System for the University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota will be adopting a new learning management system (LMS) next month.  Will it be Canvas, or will it be MoodleRooms?

The Academic Technology leadership at the U of M submitted a proposal to ULTA (University Learning Technology Advisors) that UMN continue as a member of Unizen and move to its chosen learning management system (LMS), Canvas.

The proposal suggests a timeline for a transition to Canvas of 18 months-2 years, to be determined in consultation with academic units. OIT will also provide transition services and support to academic units, to be determined in consultation with academic units.

View the U of M Learning Management System (LMS) Review - 2017 Report. 


I participated in both the Spring 2017 and Spring 2016 Canvas Pilots and created course named, "Teaching with Technology - A faculty development course.

Read the Syllabus for the course.  If you are interested in exploring the course and would like to have access, please let me know.

If you would like to explore how others have designed and used Canvas, please check out these Sample Canvas Courses by Subject.


The other LMS solution that the U of M is considering for adoption, is Moodlerooms.  

If the Uof M chooses Moodlerooms, there will be a second transition to the Snap Theme in the near future.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

New Google Slides Feature: Insert Videos from Google Drive

NEW in Google Slides! You can now insert videos from Google Drive

How To Insert videos from Google Drive in Google Slides
Insert and play your Google Drive videos in Google Slides, in addition to videos from YouTube.

Once you’ve added a Drive video to your presentation, you can choose when to start and end it, whether it should autoplay when presenting, and whether it should be muted or play with audio. Simply right-click on the video and select Video options.

If a person viewing your presentation doesn’t have permission to view a video embedded within it, they’ll be prompted to request access.

Note that while you can play Drive videos in Slides on the web and mobile, you can only insert them from the web application. For more details, visit the Help Center.