Tuesday, January 29, 2008

New Resource Page for Teaching and Learning Online

The Office of Lifelong Learning is pleased to announce a new resource page for teaching and learning online, available at http://twuid.pbwiki.com

This new resource page contains information about the following topics:
· General Information on Distance Education
· Promising Practices
· Teaching and Learning using Blackboard
· Quality Matters
· Taskstream
· Information from past presentations
· Your suggestions and feedback

This resource will be continually updated so check for new information as your schedule allows. This resource is searchable and tags have been used to help you find the materials you need. We invite comments and suggestions on materials that you would like to see on the site.

Monday, January 28, 2008

3rd Annual eLearning Lecture

Please join the Office of Lifelong Learning for the 3rd Annual eLearning Lecture, featuring Dr. José Bowen, Dean of the Meadows School of the Arts and Professor of Music at Southern Methodist University.

Friday, March 7, 2008
10 a.m.

Live in Denton, ACT 301
Videoconferenced to Dallas and Houston, rooms TBA

Dr. Bowen will share his experiences using technology in a blended learning course. For more information about the speaker and to register, please visit the eLearning Lecture website at http://www.twu.edu/dl/eLearning/index.htm.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Copyright and the World Wide Web

Are we setting a good example of Copyright and the World Wide Web in our online classes?
Copyright issues in education have always been a tenuous topic. What is fair use? If this isn’t confusing enough, now let’s add the World Wide Web to the mix and we have a real grey area the size of Texas. It is important that we be good stewards of all laws regarding copyright, whether it is text, images, video or audio.
I am as guilty as the next person on right clicking an image, or cutting, copying and pasting information to save a handy item to my desktop to refer to it at a later date, but when it comes to giving credit to ideas and quotes I’m toast! I have to go back into the web and research the topic, if I can remember the search term to find the information again, and look further into the site to see how to obtain permission to use the image or text. I am starting to use OneNote from Microsoft as a virtual notebook to keep small items for future use. The beauty of OneNote is that is captures the web addresses as a hyperlink if I am clipping a website. Now, when I need to use the information in a class or paper, I can go back to the site and find out if there is a disclaimer for use of the material copied, or a point of contact to gain permission for the information that I want to use. If you are restrained by time or have not received permission to use the information from a web source, then you may want to use the hyperlink feature within your course to send your viewer directly to the source of the information. Selecting the option to open a link in a new window is another way to make it obvious to your students that this information is being provided by an outside source. Make sure to check your active links for accuracy, linking to a specific blog can be problematic for a long term solution. Also, information from the web needs citations like any other borrowed source to include images, video or audio.

Helpful Links
Chicago Stylehttp://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html
TWU Libraryhttp://www.twu.edu/library/search/citing.htm
Copyright infohttp://www.whatiscopyright.org/
US Copyright Officehttp://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html

Monday, January 14, 2008

Student Presentations

A frequently used teaching strategy is for students to give presentations to the class, either face to face or online. Presentations allow students to create assignments and allow for feedback from peers. There are a number of tools that allow students to give presentations in an online class.

TeacherTube provides students the ability to easily stream digital video just as YouTube does. If your student has access to a digital video camera, TeacherTube is one way he can make a presentation to the class.

Another option is SlideShare. With SlideShare, users with a free account can upload PowerPoint slides. Recently, the ability to add audio to a PPT turning it into a Slidecast has been added. The only problem with Slidecasting at SlideShare is that the audio must be recorded separately with a program like Audacity, and then uploaded and synched with slides.

VoiceThread is a free new tool where registered users can upload images and add audio commentary right from their web browsers. It's simple to use and you can create audio asynchronous discussion. Other users can come along and add comments to your image and comments. Follow this link to see an example of a presentation where folks all over the world introduce themselves. It's a free and simple way to handle online student presentation projects. You can't upload PPT slides to VoiceThread, only images. However, you can easily save a PPT presentation as .gif or .jpg files. VoiceThreads can also be embedded into other webpages like the SlideShare Slidecast above. If you decide to use tools like these to facilitate online student presentations, the easiest thing would be to set up a course blog or wiki where students will embed their presentation into their respective pages.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Educational Refresher Courses

DE Faculty, please tell your students about this new offering from Lifelong Learning...

Do any of your students need to relearn, or maybe learn for the first time, some common computer applications like Microsoft Word or Excel? Or, maybe they need some pointers about study skills or good grammar. The Continuing Education unit of The Office of Lifelong Learning is now offering online, refresher courses. They are non-credit so they do not count towards a TWU academic degree, but they are a great way for students, or anyone, to brush on up old and new skills. For more information, please visit http://www.twu.edu/o-ll/refresher_courses.htm.