Learn the basics of using bSpace to enhance your course. Together, we’ll learn about the tools that bSpace provides and talk about best-practices in the use of them. Following our workshop, instructors are welcome to stay and work on their courses with the instructor present. Contact John-Mark Ikeda to sign up for a workshop or schedule a one-on-one consoltation, firstname.lastname@example.org .
PChelpsblog has a very informative article by Jenny Sweeney that provides tips on creating a Powerpoint file that will display nice on the iPad with Keynote. Keynote is the Mac/iPad equivalent of Powerpoint. It has many of the same features and works quite well. It also allows you to open, edit and save Powerpoint files. Occasionally, users notice that the format of their slides change, because fonts and styles available in the applications differ. This difference can be expected anytime you are switching from one program to another. Luckily Sweeney’s article, From PC to iPad: Creating Presentations that Work, provides tips to avoid these problems. Perhaps the most notable tip is that the default font in Powerpoint, Calibri, isn’t available in Keynote and is switched to Helvetica. It sounds like a small difference, but it can throw off the look of your presentation. She suggests using fonts such as Arial, Courier or Helvetica when make your Powerpoints to avoid this.
Another article that does a good job of providing tips for making Powerpoint files to be displayed on the iPad for Keynote is Dupont’s, What You Should Know Before viewing Powerpoint on iPad3 using Keynote. Both articles are very helpful. You can also make your slide presentations right on your iPad using Keynote and it works surprising well. For more information on this and other applications that can display slide presentations contact, John-Mark Ikeda at email@example.com .
The Verge, a popular technology blog, recently reviewed different styluses available for the iPad, iPhone and other touch screen devices. While touch screens have revolutionized computing, many desire to have the familiarity of a pen, especially while writing. Today there are many options available, but often it’s hard to know how they are different. The Verge’s post,The best stylus for iPad: we review the hits and misses, breaks down how each stylus feels to use and even selects which ones are best of writing, diagramming and “quick scribbling”.
Here at the law school, we have several faculty members that are using styluses on their iPads. For example, Professor Henry Hecht uses an Alupen stylus to write on his slide presentations during class. Also, Professor Herma Hill Kay uses the iPad as a digital whiteboard and while she opts to use her finger to write, a stylus could be very helpful in her situation as well. We in, Instructional Technology tend to favor the Alupen, the Griffen stylus and more recently the Wacom Bamboo Stylus, although we haven’t tested as many as the editors of The Verge. We tend to have one or two on hand, so if you would like to test one out, we encourage you to stop by our offices, or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Professor Henry Hecht stands in front of his Depositions class and displays a sample deposition question on the classroom projection screen. He asks his students to consider whether the question is objectionable. After they respond, he picks up his stylus and underlines the objectionable parts of the question, identified by his students, in bright red so that his students can easily focus on the words or phrases that are being discussed and why they are objectionable. But instead of writing on a transparency and projecting it with a document camera, Professor Hecht writes directly on the screen of his iPad and what he writes shows on the screen.
Co-taught by Professor Steven Weissman and Governor Jennifer Mulhern Granholm, Renewable Energy and other Cleaner Fuels, grapples with the complexity of a energy policy. As a class they discuss the current state of energy policy and law on the local, state and national level. Students learn about alternative energy, along with emerging areas and work toward producing a comprehensive, and practical national energy policy.
On Monday April 2nd, Vice President Al Gore joined the class as a guest speaker using our advanced classroom video conferencing tools. . Vice President Gore was able to see and speak naturally with students in the class from his home office in Nashville, Tennessee. After his lecture, students were able to ask questions to the Vice President and discuss some of his lecture points.
For more information on how you can have guest speakers video conference with your classroom, contact John-Mark Ikeda, at email@example.com .
Write on PDF’s or just jot down notes all while presenting in class. Notability is a easy to learn and versatile app for the iPad. In Notability you can take notes just like you would on a pad of paper. If you have a stylus for the iPad it feels natural to write our your class notes with the pen tool in Notability . Instead of erasing everything when you run out of space, like on a whiteboard, you can just add a new page. This makes it easy to go back to notes during class and to email all your days notes to students afterward. You can even record audio while you write. These features make Notability a good whiteboard replacement app. Connect it to the projector in class and you don’t have to leave your seat or podium.
Beyond using this app as a whiteboard replacement, you will also find its ability to write on PDFs to be very useful. Open a PDF in notability and you can underline text, highlight sections and add notes or new content. Go over sections in the assigned reading, make corrections or draw diagrams to help highlight and analyze the text.
Save your Powerpoint as a PDF, and Notability will allow you write on your slide presentations. Dissect part of a quote, add notes or just insert a blank slide and start writing. The simplicity and versatility of Notability has led Professor Henry Hecht to uses it in his Deposition course. Professor Hecht writes on his slide presentations during class, adding notes and underlining important text.
Notability does have some drawbacks though. You have to convert all your Powerpoint files to PDF before you can even open them in the app. The keyboard sometimes will pop up while you are navigating around unless you “lock it”.To be honest, it would be nice if we could turn off the typing feature all together. Also new pages are always in portrait orientation, which doesn’t work as well when adding blank pages to presentations. For the price though, Notability provides a fairly simply and versatile feature set. It works well after you learn a couple small quirks and can be an effective presentation tool in the classroom.
Notability costs $1 on the app store and is well worth the price. If you would like to try it out, stop by our office, rm 355. We test out apps, provide consultations and train faculty to meet their teaching goals through technology. For more information on this app or any other apps for teaching, contact John-Mark Ikeda at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dian Schaffhauser, of Campus Technology, has a great article on teachers that are using social media in their courses. While social media, is foreign to many instructors it holds a lot of potential for innovation in teaching. Many students use social media regularly in their daily lives, in place of more tradition technologies such as email. Schaffhauser’s article describes how taking a risk on technologies can pay off by improving student learning. Grisby, a teacher that used twitter in his course, offers his advice on how other teachers should approach technologies in the classroom.
“I don’t think there’s any really good reason in banning things. Faculty will say, ‘Let’s ban the laptops, or ban Twitter or Facebook.’ We have to figure out a way to use it engagingly and teach students when it’s appropriate and when it’s not appropriate to be doing that.'”
Another teacher, Sigman, is highlighted for using Google + to enable students to share articles and media. They also used a built in feature called, Hangouts, to allows students to video conference with one another to discuss their findings.
Both of these teachers used technology to meet their specific needs. Here at the law school, we in Instructional Technology can work with you to tailor these technologies to meet your specific teaching goals. Imagine using Twitter to take questions in class from students, or using Google+ as a place for students to share evidence, or work remotely on projects with video-conferencing. For a consultation on how you can you these, or other technologies to enhance teaching and learning in your class please contact John-Mark Ikeda, email@example.com .
To read Schaffhauser’s article click here
Prezi rethinks slide presentations. While Prezis can have a linear flow, they also can produce interactive and non-linear presentations. Presenters can zoom into slides for more detail and easily pan from one area to another. Prezis can also be far more creative with the way information is displayed.
Think of Prezi as more like a large canvas, with groups of information on it, rather than just a deck of slides. Images and graphics, even text can be displayed in ways that reinforce the concepts you are teaching. Animations and the ability to dynamically move between content on your Prezi, makes it also more interesting to watch as an attendee.
Presenting flowcharts or complex systems with a Prezi would transform a static image to an interactive and engaging learning experience. For more information on Prezi, visit www.prezi.com, or contact John-Mark Ikeda at firstname.lastname@example.org
LectureTools allows teachers to create slide presentations, with interactive tools to improve student engagement. Leveraging technology that students already own, LectureTools allows students to follow along with slides on their computers, take notes, respond to polls or quizzes and type questions to the instructor.
After class students can study with their notes and the slides that were presented in class and you can respond to student questions that you may have received.
LectureTools requires student to purchase a subscription, which is $15 for a semester. For more information on LectureTools visit, www.lecturetools.com.
If you are interested in using LectureTools in your classroom, we would be excited to support you in this endeavor.
For more information on this and other tools to improve student engagement through interactivity, contact John-Mark Ikeda at email@example.com