bCourse Basics Workshop (Summer 2014)

This summer all courses will be moving into our new learning management system, bCourses. To provide training and support to those of you that have not used bCourses, I will be offering workshops throughout the summer. If you are unable to make any of these dates, I am happy to schedule a training with you in person or via video conference.

In this workshop you will learn how to upload materials into your course, use course modules to organize your content and send class announcements.


bCourses Basics Workshops:

  • May 6th, 10-11 am
  • May 28th, 10-11 am
  • June 18th, 10-11 am
  • July 15th, 10-11 am


To schedule a workshop or personal training, please RSVP at least 24 hours in advance to, jikeda@law.berkeley.edu .

Visit our Instructional Technology website to learn more about the bCourses migration and view online guides and tutorials.

bSpace Basics Workshops (Spring 2013)

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, jikeda@law.berkeley.edu .

RSVP is required for this event. To “drop in” for support, please stop by during drop-in hours.

Workshop Dates:

Date: Thursday, Jan. 9th from 1-2 pm
Location: Boalt 355
Sign up  – (Please provide date and time in email)
Date: Monday, Jan. 14th from 1-2 pm
Location: Boalt 355
Sign up   – (Please provide date and time in email)
Date: Tuesday, Jan. 15th from 2-3 pm
Location: Boalt 355
Sign up   – (Please provide date and time in email)
Date: Wednesday, Jan. 16th from 2-3 pm
Location: Boalt 355
Sign up   – (Please provide date and time in email)
Date: Thursday, Jan. 17th from 1-2 pm
Location: Boalt 355
Sign up   – (Please provide date and time in email)

bSpace Drop-in Sessions (Spring 2013)

bSpace drop-in sessions are times that a open for faculty to stop by to ask questions and get support and training for bSpace. Faculty and support staff are encourage to stop by at their convenience for quick answers. If you are unable to stop by, please feel free to also call in during this time. No reservation is required and no question is too small.


For a comprehensive walk through of bSpace please sign up for one of our workshops. To schedule a one-on-one consultation please contact John-Mark Ikeda, jikeda@law.berkeley.edu .


Drop-in Sessions:

Date: Thursday, Jan. 10th from 2-3 pm
Location: Boalt 355
Phone: 510 642-2991  (John-Mark Ikeda)


Date: Monday, Jan. 14th from 2-3 pm
Location: Boalt 355
Phone: 510 642-2991  (John-Mark Ikeda)


Date: Tuesday, Jan. 15th from 1-2 pm
Location: Boalt 355
Phone: 510 642-2991  (John-Mark Ikeda)


Date: Wednesday, Jan. 16th from 1-2 pm
Location: Boalt 355
Phone: 510 642-2991  (John-Mark Ikeda)


Date: Thursday, Jan. 17th from 2-3 pm
Location: Boalt 355
Phone: 510 642-2991  (John-Mark Ikeda)

Digital Teacher’s Tool Kit: Create, Store and Collaborate with Google Drive

google drive logo

A few months back I wrote about “The Cloud”, and in the near future all Berkeley faculty, students and staff will have their own cloud storage in the form of Google Drive. Google Drive is part of our bConnected roll out on campus, meaning if you have a bCal account right now, then you already have Google Drive (sometimes also called Google Docs). Like other cloud storage websites such as Dropbox, Google Drive allows you to save files to their servers, so that you can access them anywhere you have internet access.

It’s more than just a storage space though, because Google Drive can open most file types right in your browser, so you can view Microsoft Office documents, PDF’s and Photos and videos without downloading them. You can also can create documents using Google Drive’s suite of tools Document, Presentation, Spreadsheet, Form. While these tools offer less functionality than Microsoft Office, they provide a useful set of features at no cost.

One of Drives best features is its ability to collaborate and share your work with others. Simply create a document in Google Drive and share it with others using their @berkeley.edu email address. If you allow these users to edit the document, you can all be editing the same document at the same time and Google backs up all the changes and saves the document automatically. Now instead of trying to find the most recent file in your downloads folder, you can just log into Google Drive to see the most up to date changes. For those of you that bring a flash drive with your class presentation on it, why not upload it to Google Drive, so you can access it from any computer. Even if you bring your own laptop to class, you can upload your files to drive just in case something goes wrong at the last second.

Collaborate with Google Drive
Use your laptop, tablet or smartphone to access Google Drive

Drive is also a great tool for student collaboration. Create a document and share it with a group of students to work on. You’ll not only be able to see the latest version, but you can quickly see who contributed to the document, when they contributed and even see older version of the document quickly.

There are some things to be careful of when you use Google Drive though, especially when you start to upload sensitive information. To find out more, visit the bConnected’s FAQ on privacy at, http://bconnected-project.berkeley.edu/faqs/bcal-and-bmail-privacy-faqs/ . There is also a useful video that discusses the features of Google Drive that can be seen at the following link, http://youtu.be/o0Go4IrNJR0.For more information on how you can use Google Drive in your teaching, contact John-Mark Ikeda at, jikeda@law.berkeley.edu.

Powerpoint Best-Practices

Learn how to effectively use slide-presentation during class. We’ll discuss practical tips on formatting slide, controlling audience attention and promoting learning and engagement. For more information, to sign up or to schedule a one-on-one consultation please contact John-Mark Ikeda at jikeda@law.berkeley.edu .
Date: TBA
Location: TBA

Polling in the Classroom

During this workshop, we’ll learn how polling in the classroom can be used to improve student engagement. Since polling is anonymous and includes all of your students, faculty have found it to be a great tool for starting discussions and preparing for exams. Learn what the entire class thinks about a topic or understands about a concept, rather than relying on a couple vocal students. We’ll also talk about best-practices for using polls and discuss how they can be tailored to your teaching style. For more information, to sign up or to schedule a one-on-one consultation contact John-Mark Ikeda, jikeda@law.berkeley.edu .

Professor Henry Hecht Uses an iPad to Write on Slide Presentations

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.


Vice President Al Gore Video Conferences with Students at UC Berkeley Law

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 jikeda@law.berkeley.edu .

iPad App Review : Notability

notability icon

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.

mark up a pdf file

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.

mark up ppt pdf

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 jikeda@law.berkeley.edu.

Social Media in the Classroom

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, jikeda@law.berkeley.edu .

To read Schaffhauser’s article click here