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Wesch podcast launch is a must-hear

August 29, 2016

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Make good decisions, but make better stories

That’s a quote from one of the students featured in Life101, Michael Wesch’s new podcast. The words are particularly apt, as the program takes a sort of “reality radio” format, intertwining student stories with insightful commentary from the mellifluous Dr. Wesch. In his words:

I started sitting down with my students to hear their stories …  This is where you get to hear some of those stories, and hear stories about my latest endeavor of becoming a student again.

A Chronicle article/podcast about the program says Wesch was trying to get to know his students better, but in this podcast I hear someone grappling with a midlife crisis. Looking through the lens of a participant observer, he compares his personal struggles with what students face outside the classroom in their college years. I found the program moving. It’s perfect for a college faculty member at the beginning of a new school year.

Listen to the podcast >>

Student-created media: stop motion animation

August 23, 2016

Kubo Stop motion is an animation technique where objects are moved in small increments and frames are shot like individual photos. Audiences have been enjoying the results for over a century. Some of us remember TV’s Gumby Show from the 1950s and 60s. More recent Hollywood examples include Wallace & Gromit, and Nightmare Before Christmas.

Many people thought computer graphics (CGI) would kill stop motion, but plucky animators continue to create unique films with clay, sand, paint, paper, and other materials. Laika Entertainment’s Kubo and the Two Strings (2016) is a current example.
Learn more and view samples >>

A baker’s dozen from Lynda.com

August 18, 2016

Lynda.com playlist imageLynda.com is probably the best-known provider of self-paced online training for computer software, web development, media production, and related areas. Our campus recently acquired a large number of accounts for faculty, staff, and students. Folks at Notre Dame who want to purchase a VERY inexpensive license can learn more at the OIT website.

Read more…

3 new Poll Everywhere features

August 16, 2016

Poll-EverywhereNotre Dame recommends and supports Poll Everywhere for instructors who want to incorporate polling and other clicker-related activities into their classes. One reason why we like this tool is that the vendor is constantly adding features and improving the user experience. Below are three features you may not have tried.

  1. LaTeX – use it to incorporate formulas and other symbolic material in a title bar, a question — or anywhere else! (image at right)
  2. Surveys –  create self-paced sets of questions that participants complete on their own — great for questionnaires or assessments.
  3. Ranking polls – let students rank the options you provide (image below). Responses appear on a bar or column graph.

Poll Everywhere ranking poll example
Learn more


NOTE for Notre Dame instructors: our go-to resource person for Poll Everywhere is Kevin Abbott.

New semester to-do list

August 8, 2016

most interesting man - no syllabus week

Quick ideas for the beginning of the term (for more information click one of the highlighted titles or another link in red text).

Full disclosure: that’s not me in the photo. Although I can understand your confusion, I don’t have a beard.

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