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Instructional Technology Newsletter / Cowley College
March 2011 Volume 1 Issue 8
Cowley Westside Center, 8821 W. 21st St., Wichita, KS, 67205 www.cowley.edu email@example.com 316.721.7103
The Ide(a)s of March!
Julie Rorabaugh – Director of Instructional Technology INSIDE THIS ISSUE 1 1 2 3 4
The Ide(a)s of March Survey Says! Faculty Focus – Lisa Henshall | Twitter Tell Me a Story – Digital Storytelling Cool Tools!
With all apologies to Julius Caesar (and his salad that I won’t eat due to the risk of salmonella,) Brutus, et al, I’d like to change that venerable date (where everyone should have an itchy feeling betwixt their shoulder blades) and corrupt it into the “Ideas of March.” By the time that you read this, we will have had our Spring Break, and will be well on our way to coasting out towards the end of the semester. I always find that when I return from some time off, my batteries are recharged and my brain is buzzing with many plans and projects. I hope this is true for YOU! Every month I usually challenge you to try something new in the classroom. This month is no exception! Let’s try to use our spring renewal to bump up the technology in the classroom. Try something techy and new! In like a lion, and out like a lamb, Julie
Don’t you just hate answering survey questions and never finding out how everyone else answered? Ok, that could just be ME, but I’m betting it’s not. Last month I asked two questions about what you wanted me to feature in Tiger TechnoBabble, and what you enjoyed about reading this Pulitzer-worthy tome. Cool Tools and Web 2.0 applications for ANGEL were the clear crowd favorites. On the other end of the spectrum, mobile apps for anything “i” and Android did not rate very high in your priorities. Maybe the Please see Survey Says on page 3
Faculty Focus Lisa Henshall and Twitter
I can truthfully say that a “little bird” told me that Lisa was using Twitter in her online classes. A few days ago I received a cryptic “Tweet” from Lisa, informing me that “This Twitter thing seems to work via ANGEL.” Of course, I had to nose around in her courses and find out just what she was up to! What I found was so impressive that I immediately knew that I had my FABULOUS PRIZE WINNER for the month! A long-time adjunct instructor for Cowley, Lisa is always eager to try new techniques to foster community and communication in her online courses. Thanks, Lisa, for bringing the Twitterverse in and meshing it so seamlessly with ANGEL! When did you start using Twitter? Why?
I switched my personal account on Twitter - which I never used - to one strictly for Cowley and my students at the beginning of March. The social media revolution, including Twitter and Facebook, has completely changed the way we live our lives and conduct business - and our students are no exception. They expect the instant gratification that social media can provide, and I thought incorporating Tweets into my ANGEL portals would help meet some of those needs.
Lisa’s username is -
LHCowleyClasses Twitter Resources Page
http://twitter.com/about/res ources Twitter has several different types of “Twidgets” available on their Resources page. Lisa chose the Profile option, which gathers her tweets, and instantaneously feeds them onto the home pages of her classes. I’ve got an example of another type of widget on the home page of the Online Instructor Resources course in ANGEL. I selected Search, and entered “online learning” as the search parameters. I have it set to show 30 tweets at a time, and loop continuously. As new tweets containing the words of my search are posted on Twitter, the widget updates! Embedding a widget is very easy to do in ANGEL. I’ll be posting some written instructions and a Jing screen capture video in the Resources course…SOON!
Why did you decide to use Twitter to connect with your students?
I teach e-commerce and Web design courses, so I am always reading about e-marketing and other Web topics. I ran across the book Crush It!, by Gary Vaynerchuk, in which he discusses taking your passion and using social media to make a business out of it - using Twitter, blogs and the like. It shows readers how to utilize high-level and platform-specific social media and marketing strategies that can improve your career and the work you produce. So I decided to try it to build stronger connections and a community with my students. http://crushitbook.com/ if you are interested. I highly recommend it!
What types of information do you share with them?
Simple things - when I'm online I let them know so they can catch me for a chat in the chat room or an instant email exchange. I'll also post a short note about where I am in the grading process, or when I'm going to be offline for a day, things like that. Twitter makes you keep it short and sweet, and since I have my Twitter feed pulling onto the homepage of all of my classes, it's quick to update everyone. Occasionally, I'll post something that shows even online teachers can have a personality. For example, I Tweeted a comment about needing more caffeine early one morning while grading midterms, and received several teasing emails and jokes from my students in response.
What has the response been from students?
A few emails, as I mentioned, and some DM's (direct, not-public, Tweets) asking questions or to meet in the ANGEL chat room for a one-on-one and several have signed up to "follow me." In one month, I'm pretty pleased with the response. I think, if I begin Tweeting with classes from the beginning each term, then it will become more integrated into the classes’ communication routine and become a very helpful tool for all of us.
Survey Says from page 1
Page 3 Digital Storytelling Sites
timing’s not quite right? The middle of the pack, but still relatively high in popularity, consisted of the latest scoop from conferences, trending topics in education, and features about innovative Cowley instructors. I know the last one is due to the FABULOUS PRIZES that I’m known to bestow on honorees, isn’t it? My thanks to the people who gave their input. It always helps to get constructive feedback!
StoryChasers http://storychasers.org/ Celebrate Kansas Voices http://celebratekansas.ning.co m/
Tell Me a Story | Digital Storytelling
Anyone who has children is probably familiar with the first four words in the title of this article. When my step-son was small, these were always the first words out of his mouth when we’d start out on a road trip, most commonly the two-hour plus journey between Wichita and Lawrence, and vice versa. Of course, those were the days before he had an iPhone to keep him in constant contact with his friends, and to use to text me in the front seat, meticulously worded queries such as “r we thr yt?” By nature, we are storytellers. Everyone’s got one. Listening to and viewing these stories, not to mention helping in the creation of them, can be a very powerful learning experience. I attended the Mid-America Association for Computers in Education (MACE) conference early this month at Kansas State University. I’d been exposed to digital storytelling before, and had even mentioned a few creation tools in previous issues of TTB, so it was nothing new to me. What I saw at the conference, though, was a total dedication from teachers (and their students) and a drive towards unleashing creativity, by using the technology that we have so readily at hand to record and archive living history. Consider this fair warning. During the upcoming months, you’ll be hearing more from me about this topic. For a start, though, I urge you to visit the Celebrate Kansas Voices project. If you’d like to learn more in a guided setting, consider participating in the Celebrate Kansas Voices workshop, April 21-22 in Manhattan, KS. Details and online registration form are on the StoryChasers website.
Center for Digital Story Telling http://www.storycenter.org/in dex1.html
50+ Web 2.0 Ways to Tell a Story http://50ways.wikispaces.com/ Bring a tissue when you visit this one. Noted blogger Alan Levine (CogDogBlog) tells the story of his dog, Dominoe, using more than 50 Web 2.0 tools including comics, slideshows, pictures, and music videos. Since this wiki was created a couple of years ago, some of the tools that he used have come and gone, but there are still plenty of powerful Dominoe stories to view.
A Use Scenario for Digital StorytellingDavid’s sociology professor assigns the class a culture study to be completed over winter break. Based on what they have learned over the semester, each student is to create a project that captures something specific about either himself or his family. Project format is relatively open-ended, and David, a computer science major, decides to make his a digital story. After considering what seems like a thousand topics, David decides that what he should do is tell a story about his passion (aside from computers): blues guitar. He interviews his parents about the Buddy Guy record they used to play, the one that ignited his interest in blues guitar—the music that he loves and still plays as part of
Tell Me a Story from page 3 a weekend band. David digitally scans the record jacket, collects audio clips of Guy’s performances, and digitally records himself talking about what the music means to him and playing original compositions on his own Buddy Guy Fender Stratocaster. Working to make his digital story come alive, David teaches himself many of the ins and outs of graphics and audio-editing software. Unlike his usual sleep-late-every-day breaks from classes, David is up early every morning, working on his story, learning how to incorporate interactive elements, and getting feedback from his parents and others who know about his love for the guitar. In the end, David’s digital story includes many sophisticated multimedia elements, as well as a photograph of David and his parents meeting Buddy Guy backstage in Minneapolis when David was in high school. He finds himself relishing the opportunity to present a side of himself that many of his classmates don’t know. When they see his digital story, some initially wonder if it’s a joke. When they see the clips of David playing, however, and hear him talk about this music, they ask him where his band will be playing next—and if he can get them in for free.
Excerpt from “7 Things You Should Know About Digital Storytelling.” Used with permission from Educause. (Full article available at: http://www.educause.edu/ELI/7ThingsYouShouldKnowAboutDigit/ 156824)
process, and it doesn’t require user names and passwords. Use it for a classroom collaborative writing project. Google Art Project http://www.googleartproject.com/c/faq Can’t just hop on a plane to take your class to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam? Do so virtually! The Google folks have taken their “Street View” technology (raise your hand if you’ve ever looked up your house on Google Maps!) and applied it to several notable museums. The “Create an Artwork Collection” option could readily be used as an interesting class assignment. It allows a visitor to select works from different museums, comment and save, and then share with others. Of course I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about one of the most highly anticipated (hyped) technology releases that occurred in March…the launch of the (hyped) iPad2! Since I knew that they would be available in retail giants such as Walmart and Target, I didn’t worry about getting up in the middle of the night to order one! Instead, I decided to saunter into my local Target, AFTER the 5pm release, and just scoop one up. I. Don’t. Do. Lines. To my surprise, the towering stacks of iPad2’s that I had envisioned didn’t exist. Those crafty Apple people only sent five to my Target and only four to the Walmart by my house! Ah…but there’s a happy ending to this story (see? Storytelling!) after all. When I moseyed (albeit at a slightly faster pace than I had originally planned) into Target at 5:20pm, there were TWO left, and I snagged one of the coveted (hyped) gems of Apple goodness. So was it worth the effort? You bet! It’s incredibly thin and lightweight, and the camera is fantastic! Sometimes it’s just all about the thrill of the (hyped) chase… Cheers!
TypeWith.me – This is one of the easiest and quickest ways to foster collaboration with and between your students. There’s no signup
Director of Instructional Technology Cowley College
Julie P.S. Re “happy ending” – my “old” iPad found a new home with a good friend of mine. Win-Win!