All Connecticut College faculty are invited to join the Instructional Technology team for lunch on the first reading day this semester, Thursday, December 12, from 11:30am – 1:00pm in the Haines Room. We will exchange insights, strategies, challenges and successes related to integrating technology into the curriculum. You will leave with new ideas and inspiration for the upcoming semester. Feel free to come late or leave early as your schedule allows.
Thinking of coming? Please let us know by sending an email to Jessica McCullough or using this form to RSVP. Hope to see you then!
Image Credit: John Frederick Lewis [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons, The midday meal, Cairo, oil on canvas, 88×114 cm
Help students take responsibility for their learning by using the gradebook in Moodle. The gradebook allows students to keep track of their grades on individual assignments throughout the semester, giving them greater awareness of their progress and standing in a course (and potentially avoiding grade-related panic at the end of the semester). As we enter the busiest time of the semester, the gradebook can help you by heading off questions about grades and keep your grading organized. You can also add comments when entering grades that you can use to give prompt feedback, suggestions for improvement, and encouragement.
Questions about using the gradebook? Contact your Instructional Technology Liaison.
Image credit: John F. Kennedy Riverdale Country School Report Card February 25, 1930. This media is available in the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration, cataloged under the ARC Identifier (National Archives Identifier) 192826.
Technology can help people do amazing things. OpenStax College is one of those amazing things. Haven’t heard of it? OpenStax is a nonprofit organization founded at Rice University and supported by some big foundations (ex. The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation), that creates peer reviewed, high quality introductory textbooks and provides them online free of charge. To anyone. For free. Faculty who select OpenStax titles can also customize them to fit their specific needs. If students prefer a print copy, they can still purchase print copies for a small fraction of what other textbooks cost. Read a Chronicle article about this endeavor, or visit the OpenStax College page for faculty.
We anticipate more conversation surrounding the high cost of textbooks. Just recently two U.S. Senators introduced the Affordable College Textbook Act which aims to encourage the creation of free and low-cost textbooks.
Did you hear about yesterday’s ruling on Google books? Google’s book digitization project was challenged by the Authors Guild – this case has been in the works for 8 years! U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin in New York ruled in favor of Google by dismissing the case. In his opinion, he describes the benefits we all gain from having access to millions of digitized books – full text for books not under copyright, and snippets for books under copyright:
- Google books expands access to millions of people – to the underserved and disabled – around the globe who would otherwise not have access to these titles.
- Google books is an “essential research tool” by helping researchers find books (that otherwise would be difficult or even impossible to find), makes interlibrary loan more effective, and makes checking and finding citations easier.
- Google books promotes new digital humanities scholarship, allowing researchers to mine huge amounts of data at one time. This scholarship would be impossible without Google books.
- Finally, Google books “helps to preserve books and give them new life.”
This story is not over, but for now, we can be confident that Google books will remain a valuable research tool to which we all have access.
Image credit: Steacie Science and Engineering Library at York University. By Raysonho @ Open Grid Scheduler / Grid Engine (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
To continue our series on easy-to-use illustration resources, we’d like to let you know about Tellagami. This free app lets you create short animated messages (called “gamis”) that you can send in an email, tweet, status update, or text message. Choose a character, an emotion and a background, record an audio message, and your “gami” is ready to send. What a lively way to send information or assignments to your students! For more ideas, check out this sample:
We recently spoke with Page Owen, Associate Professor of Botany, about his use of technology in the classroom. In this video, Dr. Owen discusses his use of clickers in his introductory level Biology course. The clickers help him keep close tabs on student learning in a large lecture class, and allow him to modify his lecture on the fly as needed.
Interested in learning how to use these tools in your class? Visit the Technology Services website or contact your IT liaison.