Inspired by Faculty Focus’s “Back-to-School Shopping List” for Faculty, here are a few digital tools I think faculty can add to their list of things to consider for the coming semester:
There are a number of applications that the North Institute traditionally support. You can find more description from our Applications page which describes some of the most frequently used tools we support.
- Blackboard: our learning management system to post content and conduct some class activities for your traditional as well as hybrid or online courses. You do not have to do anything to download it. Just log in to http://bb.oc.edu to see your course shells. You can use your Blackboard course to post course documents, discussions, assignments, tests and manage student grades.
- Respondus: a really handy test creation and management tool. OC has a site license and you can download it to your computer from \\judah\dist\software\respondus. Click here to learn more.
- Lockdown Browser: a special browser for conducting secure tests. It’s available to students and faculty. Most students have it installed on their computer already, but you might want to download it yourself just to see how it works. Click here to learn more.
- Turnitin: It is a web-based service to check plagiarism in student assignment. Click here to learn more.
- EndNote: a Bibliography management tool for your or your students’ research needs. Click here to learn more.
- Survey Monkey: a survey creation and management tool. Click here to learn more.
- Course Media Manager: a tool to help you upload and mange course media. Click here to learn more.
- OC App: (Formally Intouch) OC’s mobile application that students can use to retrieve course or school information. Click here to learn more.
- Here: an application to help you take class attendance using students’ mobile devices or laptops. Click here to learn more.
- Sign up: a tool to make signing up for class activities or office hours easier. Click here to learn more.
Free Web Tools:
There are also many free web tools which may help you in your teaching, and here are some of them:
- Jing: This tool allows you to create a 5-minute screen-casting session, such as narration for PowerPoint presentations, or instructions for your syllabus or a demonstration on how to navigate your online course. It is available for both Windows and Mac users. (http://www.jingproject.com/)
- Delicious: A good tool for online bookmarking, most useful if you use different browsers or computers, as all bookmarks will be stored on the web (http://www.delicious.com)
- Voki: An avatar kind of of tool to create 1-minute instructions. This is especially good for giving short class instructions. If you do not want to record, you can type and the Voki tool can turn your text into audio. (http://www.voki.com/)
- Photostory: If you have a series of photos or images to demonstrate, this is probably the best tool to use. You can record your narration over each image individually. It is available only for Windows users. (http://tinyurl.com/4f869)
- AcademicEarth: Online video lectures (http://academicearth.org/)
- Google Forms/Docs/Calendar /Translate: Google forms allows you to create easy online forms. Google Docs allows you to share online documents that multiple users can collaborate on if needed. Google Calendar is a web-based calendar. Google Translate is a very handy tool to translate documents from one language to another. You can Google these applications out.
- Diagrams: This is a tool to create some quick diagrams (http://www.simplediagrams.com/)
- Photopeach: This is an easy tool to showcase a series of photos. You can add background music from its recommended music or youtube. However, with the free account, you cannot add your own music. (http://photopeach.com/)
- Diigo: This is an online clipboard for you to bookmark places you visited and to take notes as you browse the web. (http:///www.diigo.com)
- Slideshare: This is an web site for you to share your slides online. Once it is shared you can email or embed the slides without having to attach them every time. (http://www.slideshare.net)
Professional Development Resources:
Here are some web sites that may provide more information about educational technology tools and best practices. It’s a good idea to subscribe to their RSS feed, if available, to get their updates pushed to your feed reader.
- Faculty Focus: provides articles on innovative strategies, best practices and fresh perspectives on what works, and what doesn’t, when it comes to teaching, learning, and leading in higher education today. URL: http://www.facultyfocus.com/
- Free Technology for Teachers: provides free resources and lesson plans for teaching with technology. http://www.freetech4teachers.com/
- The Teaching Professor: has a blog, newsletters and conferences to “provide ideas and insight to educators who are passionate about teaching.” http://www.teachingprofessor.com/
- Prof Hacker: A Chronicle of Higher Education blog that “delivers tips, tutorials, and commentary on pedagogy, productivity, and technology in higher education, Monday through Friday.” http://profhacker.com
- The Speed of Creativity: Oklahoma educator and innovator Wesley Fryer’s blog to document his ” journey of learning and collaborate with other educators and lifelong learners around the globe.” I constantly find useful tools and inspiration from his posts. http://www.speedofcreativity.org/
- Tech Tip of the Day: provides weekly tips from Tammy Worcester, Educator, Author, and Presenter. http://tinyurl.com/2vxz48
- Tech & Learning: Tech & Learning magazine’s web site that has rich resources on best practices, tips and tools related to technology and teaching. http://www.techlearning.com/
- Open Culture: provides interesting cultural and educational media information on the web. http://www.openculture.com/
- North Institute Website: last but hopefully not the least, you might bookmark the North Institute site and subscribe to our RSS feed for tips, resources and best practices that may help you in your teaching: http://ni.oc.edu
Please feel free to suggest additional tools and resources to us if you find any that would help other professors.
Note: Person in photo is not Jimmy Young or Berlin Fang. Photo was taken from Mr. Roger Woodward (April Ford’s brother)’s amazing woodwork workshop.