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I had the pleasure of attending the Campus Technology conference at the Hynes Convention Center on August 2,2016. My main goal was to gather CE credits for my InfoComm CTS certification, but to also network with colleagues from various colleges in the area, as well as investigate emerging classroom technologies that may be of interest to BU. The talk I attended was a day-long conference on the “Classroom of the Future”, and had several representatives from regional colleges and universities detailing some of the work they have done at their respective instititutions. Highlights included a fully digital, automated studio space for faculty to create video, as well as a ‘Pinterest’-like application for the sharing of ideas in room design and construction. Later in the day, I perused the exhibit hall and met with several vendors including Top Hat, Wacom, and FocalCast. We will be exploring these vendors and their products for possible solutions to many of the issues and ideas we come across in Educational Technology. In particular, the Wacom tablets seem especially promising, as I have been using a few demo units the vendor sent me over the past 2 weeks and am very happy with what they have to offer.
The Blackboard Content Collection is an area of the blackboard server where files are stored. A unique characteristic of the Content Collection is that the files “saved” and/or “stored” on the server are accessible via the Internet. If you were to upload a file, e.g., a syllabus or a paper that you are writing to the content collection, you would have access to those documents as long as you have access to the Internet. These files can be linked into courses and/or shared by the owner with other users on the system.
Instructors use the Content Collection to store, share, and publish content within personal user folders, course folders, and Institution Folders throughout Courses in Blackboard. In Blackboard Content Collection, you can
• Store content for multiple courses you teach.
• Share content across courses and with other users.
• Students may have access to store or share files.
The Content Collection contains multiple repositories for users and courses to organize and share their content. Detailed information about the about the structure of the Content Collection is addressed in Blackboard Help. If you’d like an in-person consultation on how to do it, you can contact us to ask.
Turnitin is providing BU with a free-of-charge training session on Turnitin Feedback Studio, Turnitin’s newly revised user interface. The new system promises to make it easier for faculty to streamline and speed up their grading of written assignments. The demonstration will be held on campus on Tuesday August 30 from 12:30 to 2:30. It will also be streamed and recorded; you can watch the stream through an Adobe Connect link. BU faculty and staff are welcome to attend in person; please contact Amod Lele (information available via the BU Directory) if you would like to attend.
QSR, the makers of NVivo, offers a variety of free webinars for those interested in learning more about qualitative data analysis with this software. As well as regular introductory webinars, there are sessions on using NVivo for literature reviews, students using NVivo to organize course information, and analyzing social-media content. You can see a listing and sign up on their website.
Interested in recording video lectures and other digital content but want higher quality than what you can make on your phone? As BU faculty, you have access to a studio in Mugar Library with high-quality recording equipment and software such as Camtasia. You can learn to use it by signing up for a consultation with an educational technologist. Once you’ve done that, you can book and reserve the room to use it at your convenience.
If you’d like your students to use ePortfolios but you don’t want to go through the setup process for assignments, there’s a simpler way to track what your students did when. Every Digication portfolio has a site map, accessible in the upper right of the portfolio below the BU logo. You can look at this site map to see all the pages in the portfolio, when they were last updated, and which student last updated them.
The process of reporting program assessment is about to get easier. After a long process of faculty consultation, the office of Program Learning Outcomes Assessment, in conjunction with the Educational Technology office, has selected the Planning module from Campus Labs to assist in coordinating program outcomes assessment. This fall, instead of sending Word templates back and forth, we will have a streamlined web-based cloud interface for entering assessment options. This will make it easier for departments to record their processes as required by NEASC, BU’s accreditor. It will also allow departments to generate reports about their own learning goals in order to improve their own teaching, if they wish.
Are you interested in Turnitin, for academic integrity or the time-saving GradeMark features, but do not want your students’ papers added to the company’s proprietary database? There is a simple way to accomplish this. When creating a Turnitin assignment within Blackboard, press the Optional Settings button, and then select Submit papers to:. Change the drop-down option to no repository and papers will no longer be added to the database.
Turnitin, BU’s platform for checking academic integrity with a vast database of papers, will soon be moving to a new and revamped system called Turnitin Feedback Studio. Feedback Studio offers a streamlined user interface that integrates Turnitin’s well-known academic-integrity features with the lesser-known GradeMark features, which allow faculty to speed up their grading by dragging and dropping frequently used comments, and adding rubrics. The system will continue to integrate with Blackboard within a frame. We expect to change to the new system in late August. You can try a demo of Feedback Studio on their site, and browse a user guide for more details.
The EdTech Blog now has a Facebook page as well as our Twitter feed. New posts are now automatically pushed to both these pages, so you can keep up with the blog via your preferred social media site. And you can still get our posts in your email inbox or on an RSS feed, as before. There are now lots of ways to keep up with educational technology at BU.
In addition, we now have Share This options at the bottom of every post, so if you’re excited about a particular new edtech development you can share it on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, or by print or email.