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Session 34: Engage Them from Day 1 with Easy Tech Tools

Page history last edited by mary.mcglasson@... 10 years, 6 months ago


We'll be doing some recording later in today's workshop,

so we need to be sure that your headset is working properly.


Plug in your headphones -- can you hear this video?




You know, getting (and keeping) their attention doesn't necessarily mean that you have to be super-adept at technology; sometimes it just means taking advantage of technologies that they love . . .



ACTIVITY: please use your cell phone to answer the following question:






Small Group Discussion: What do you think you need to do in the first few days of class to ensure student success this semester?


When your group has come up with a master list of your best ideas, have your group recorder go to http://pollEv.com/mjmfoodie, then enter your group's response(s).  Then watch the chart on the right, as the responses update live:



Here are just a few examples of technologies that facilitate student engagement right away.

Think about how each of these tools could be used to support your student-success strategies that you came up with above:



Wordle allows you to create beautiful word clouds from a website, from student discussion, or from a text file (like a speech, or a student's paper!). I've had a faculty member suggest running the course syllabus through Wordle, to see what words were really emphasized - are you sending the message that you think you're sending?

How might you use Wordle for your courses?

  Wordle: delicious bookmarks
Here is wordle's version of my del.icio.us bookmarks. Here, I just copied the embed code from the Wordle website, then included it on this webpage.




And here is a different example - I compiled comments from my youtube channel and pasted the text into wordle. Instead of using the embed code, I took a screenshot of the wordle and saved the image.


Now it's your turn . . .

Create a Wordle of your own! Be ready to share - where did the words came from? how you might use this tool for your class(es)?


Resources for learning to use Wordle:



  • Ask about student expectations
  • Let students suggest some of the rules
  • Ice breaker
  • Student questions
  • Student feedback (includes expressing concerns about the course)


Need resources to get started?


  • Note: At this time, Polleverywhere does not integrate perfectly with Blackboard 9.  The "Live chart" widget works, but the "Web-voting" widget (which would probably be more useful in the context of Bb) does not.





Give a short set of instructions (used SnagIt to create the screenshot images)

Introductions/learn students' names (just passed digital camera around, and used file folders for tent cards)

What to expect this semester (created the flyers using Word)


Need resources to get started?



Normally, I use Jing for my video tutorials -- it's free, with a 5-minute limit on the recording time (so plan accordingly!), but it does require a download. The tool we're going to show you today - Screenr - is a very simple screencasting tool that is entirely web-based.


Why is Screenr a good tool for a beginning screencaster?

  • Extremely easy to use
  • No download required; everything is web-based
  • 5 minute recording limit (some tools have less than 5 minutes)
  • Video displays within the Screenr player
  • You can re-size or move the Screenr recording frame, so you have the flexibility to record only a portion of your screen
  • You can send straight to Twitter or YouTube at no cost
  • You can get the URL or the embed code (i.e., allows you to easily include/share video via Blackboard, social networking sites, or other webpages)
  • Works with Mac or PC
  • Screenr started life as a Twitter client, so you can sign in to Screenr with your Twitter login -- but you can also use your Facebook login, or Yahoo account, or gmail... including your MEID@maricopa.edu account (see handout below).
  • We haven't seen anything that stipulates storage space limitation within Screenr -- I used my account to create about 40 screencasts within a couple of days (average about 4 minutes each), and had no problem.


Downsides to Screenr?

  • The video is one-shot - no editing after the fact
  • Although Screenr videos are not searchable by others, your screencast will appear in the Public Stream (shows "Recent Screenr Activity") for a few hours after you have posted it.


Here is a sample Screenr video that I created to give feedback to a student on a website that he was building for class:



Need resources to get started with Screenr?


Screenr Tips:

  • Because Screenr records everything in one shot, with no post-recording editing options, you want to :
    • have an idea in advance what you want to say. Five minutes goes fast, so plan accordingly!
    • if you are going to go longer than 5 minutes, leave some time at the end for a "to be continued" sort of a statement, then start another video.
    • if you don't like the finished recording, don't fuss about it - just delete it and start again. Remember, it only takes a few minutes.
  • The player size never changes, so the more you try to fit into your capture screen, the smaller it will look on playback; however, there is a fullscreen mode that you can use for playback, and you will get everything in clear detail, even if it looked small in the regular player:



"What kind of microphone will I need? Is it going to cost a lot?"






In the workshop, we used Cyber Acoustics AC-850 headphones that were provided by CGCC Media Services.  As of January 2012, Amazon had these headsets for $26.31 -- but feel free to shop around.



Click here to complete the workshop evaluation survey!



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