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Plan ahead for a Thanksgiving listen

October 10, 2017

a cell phone and people telling stories

Once again this fall, the Great Thanksgiving Listen will happen in family rooms and breakfast nooks all over the USA. Why not ask your students to add their families’ voices to the collection at the Library of Congress? It’s all part of a national effort to collect oral histories. The website explains everything you need to know, including how to get the StoryCorps smartphone app for recording a story,

New for 2017, Adobe is partnering with StoryCorps to help take the narratives to the next level with images and other visual elements. Go to the Adobe Education Exchange, get a copy of the “Extra Credit with Adobe Spark” lesson materials, and learn how to emphasize special moments in a recording using Adobe’s free Spark tools — Post, Page, and Video.

Adobe Education Exchange courses

August 24, 2017

I just finished my fourth online mini-course through the Adobe Education Exchange (EdEx*). Use this link to join the EdEx and learn more — it’s free!

My latest course, “Train the Trainer” (video below), lasted 8 weeks, but another was only 4 weeks long. EdEx courses are based around Adobe products – Photoshop, Premiere, InDesign, etc. – and there is always an emphasis on how they are used in teaching. The instructors are a mix of practicing teachers, professional trainers, and Adobe staffers. The participants are nearly all teachers at some level.

EdEx courses consist of

  1. Videos and readings that you complete independently;
  2. Weekly webinar (30-60 minutes) with tutorials and guest speakers;
  3. Weekly “make” where you create a video, image, or other digital artifact;
  4. Participation in online discussion;
  5. Weekly entry in an online learning journal; and
  6. Comments on other participants’ work.

Those who successfully complete all of the requirements receive a certificate and a digital badge. The weekly task organization and (to a lesser extent) the badge appeal to me. Faculty at some institutions can use the certificates to meet professional development requirements.

Adobe also offers open-ended courses without badges or certificates. They have fewer requirements and you can start and finish at any time. I really enjoyed Exploring Creativity in Today’s Classroom (image at left) and its follow-up courses.

For me, this has been a great way to review skills I have and learn new ones. The courses also expose me to excellent resources  I can use in teaching undergrads or consulting with faculty. I have discovered lots of new videos, articles, and other material.

Here are a few of the courses that the EdEx is offering in fall 2017:

  • Graphics & Publishing – Photoshop and InDesign – starts Sep 4, 2017
  • UX2UI – User Experience Design software – starts October 2, 2017
  • Games Design – create characters with Adobe’s Mixamo and Fuse, and learn basics of Unity – starts November 2 -, 2017

Again, you can use this link to join the EdEx for free.

*This EdEx has nothing to do with the edX learning management system.

Self-assess your Sakai course

April 3, 2017

Assessment was the topic for the final week of the BlendKit course and the reading included a great list of rubrics to help participants examine their own work. My favorite rubric came from Blackboard’s Exemplary Course Program. It was developed for a contest but can just as easily help instructors directly examine course materials for a blended or hybrid course in Sakai (or another LMS). In such a situation you could ignore the point values and gauge a course against the “exemplary” level alone. With those points in mind I created a streamlined version of the rubric (3 pages instead of 6). Please let me know if you find it useful.

streamlined rubric

11 ways to collaborate in real time

March 27, 2017

Photo by Alejandro Escamilla on Unsplash

This week’s topic in the BlendKit Course is “Blended Content and Assignments.” In that vein I was thinking about ways student groups can work online, and it occurred to me that readers might not be aware of the wide variety of collaboration tools that are available. We’ll start with the basics and save the coolest stuff for last.
Read more…

Assess blended learning with student media

March 16, 2017

Remix project gallery

Week 3 of the BlendKit Course deals with assessment and one topic is the use of projects and authentic tasks as evidence of students reaching learning goals. For me, that translates readily into assignments where students create media. Such projects are the focus of the Remix project at Notre Dame (image above) and they are one of the main topics on this blog. To learn more, watch the video and check out the links below it.

We have lots of material to help blended course instructors explore the possibility of student-created media. Below is a sampling of articles to start with, and there are many more on the projects page.