Engaging Students with Geddit

We’ve blogged about student response systems before—we love them! They are great ways to keep students involved and attentive during class, and a great way to gauge how they are following along and understanding class materials. An added bonus—because they don’t require out-loud feedback, it encourages even students who normally remain quiet during class to easily provide their opinions.

In the past, we have shared tools like Socrative and TurningPoint, and today we are sharing another new web-based version we have come across called Geddit. This tool is similar to Socrative in the sense that the educator can send questions to a student’s device, and the student can respond using their own device. The added bonus of Geddit is really the ways to receive the responses and view the results.

Ask questions and see how specific students respond in a cool interface that highlights the individuals who may not necessarily be grasping a concept as well as others.

If you are interested in learning more about Geddit or student response systems in general, we’d love to work with you! Come visit ITS Client Services in the lower level of Brookens Library!

The Future of Higher Education

The way education is evolving with ever-changing technology is really booming these past few years, so when it comes to thinking about how it will be in the future, it can be quite overwhelming! Check out this infographic we found that looks at different approaches and opinions of how technology may effect education in the year 2020.

Is technology going to grow to be an even more integral part of education? What do you think?

Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

Building a Digital Portfolio = Building for a Successful Future

Have you ever considered/tried having students create a “digital portfolio”? It’s an electronic collection of student’s work—from blog posts to papers to images, videos, and projects.  This is a great way for students to store, collect, and track their accomplishments throughout the semester (and their entire academic career!). Check out a few of our favorite free webtools to get students started with creating their own portfolios:

Google Sites:
We are huge fans of Google Sites because it is so easy to navigate and simple to use! Create a website in seconds and instantly begin uploading photos, adding videos and text, and embedding other neat features! Google Sites is great because it integrates with other Google Apps, making it a great tool for UIS students.

educlipperWe like this tool because it’s unique in the way it allows users to select clippings from articles, websites, and other items they have bookmarked online, stored in their cloud space, or items they have saved.

Want to learn more about how portfolios are great for students to begin building upon for the future? Contact us, and we can share more ideas!

And then there were 8 weeks…

Can you believe it’s already half way through the Spring semester? Where has the time gone!? If you actually can believe it and can’t believe we’ve still got 8 weeks of class left, maybe you need a way out of that mid-semester slump! Perhaps a way to get your students more involved in class and more interactive with the classroom material—we’ve got the perfect tool!

It’s nothing brand new—we’ve blogged about it many times—but we like it so much we’re sharing it again! It’s Socrative, and it’s the tool that turns students’ mobile devices into an interactive clicker, allowing them to provide real-time answers and feedback to educators during lecture! Engage students by creating open ended questions, prompting quick, “spontaneous” quizzes, hosting racing games, and more! Not only is Socrative entertaining, it is such a great tool to help students grasp concepts and the class material!

A New Way to Look at Lecture Capture

Camtasia Relay, a lecture capture tool offered at UIS, is one of our favorite tools for so many reasons! An essential tool for online courses, Camtasia allows educators to capture both audio and visual, aiding in the creation of recorded lectures, presentations and more!

There are so many uses for Camtasia Relay that extend beyond the online classroom, and we’re sharing one of our favorites today!

How about using Camtasia Relay as a tool to help in creating short “how-to” videos? Students may have difficulty with specific topics in lecture, need more visualization of how to solve particular problems, or simply could use some clarification on assignments, etc. Creating short videos with Camtasia Relay is the perfect solution! Create short videos and post them on your Blackboard or other course website to share with students so they can watch them quickly and on the go, whenever they need to!

More Google Fun

We wanted to follow up our post about Google Documents and Google Drive from last week with a new tip we came across that we wanted to share! Another way to put Google Apps to use in the classroom, only this time with the drawings feature of Google Drive! google

You may not know exactly what we’re talking about here—within Google Drive, users can create documents, spreadsheets, etc. One of the items they can create is a drawing. Time to get creative! There are so many ways drawings can be used within Google Drive. For starters, users are able to collaborate on the drawing, just like they are documents. So, a number of people can add to a drawing with labels, photos, their own drawings, and more!

The sharing features of Google Drive apply to all document types including the drawings, making this a great basis for projects, study guide/labeling work, and more!

Adding Voice Comments to your Google Documents

Google Docs IconWe’re always blogging about Google Apps, and all the great tools they offer—mostly because they continue to expand the functionality and features of these, making them even more awesome for use in higher education! Today, we’re sharing with you a tool that allows users to add voice comments to their documents in their Google Drive!

The tool that integrates allowing users to do this is called Kaizena. Directly through Kaizena’s website, users log into their Google Drive account, and can select a document to provide feedback on and start recording. It’s very simple, wonderfully integrates with Google, and offers an entirely new dimension to grading, collaborating, and providing feedback!

Be sure to follow us regularly, as finding these neat tools that integrate with Google Apps are some of our favorite topics to share!

Have you checked out ITS Client Services lately?

ITS Client Services

Stop by to get assistance with computer problems you may be having, learn more about software programs, and check out workshops that are offered weekly, free for faculty, staff and students.

UIS faculty, staff, and students can also check out tools like flip cams, recorders, laptops, digital cameras and video cameras, and more! The perfect way to get creative with a class project or expand your tech skills by learning how to use a new tool.

This space also offers a media lab for students to take advantage of some great software like Adobe Photoshop, iMovie, Flash and more! There is even a room designed specifically for recording and sound editing.

Check out more about ITS Client Services here and here!

Revisiting Google Apps at UIS!

Google Apps Logo smallerHave you checked out Google Apps lately? Here at UIS, all UIS faculty, staff, and students have access to Google Apps through logging in with their NetID and password. Check out some of the best tools Google Apps offers!

  • Google Drive and Google Docs make storing your documents and information easy and accessible from anywhere. When it comes to group projects, these two apps are a must! Ensure everyone is working on the same draft, collaborate live on documents, and track version history!
  • Google Groups is great for maintaining communication with groups of people, and easily sharing emails and other information through group topics and threads. Members have a central location to discuss issues and keep up to date with everything going on in the group.
  • Google Sites is one of our favorite Google Apps. Users can create their own website within minutes, complete with different page formats, uploaded documents, YouTube videos, images, plenty of text and more! A great foundation for any project, Google Sites is one of the most versatile apps!

Make sure you check out even more of the apps that Google offers!

Emerging Tech Trends in Higher Education

Technology in higher education has greatly evolved over the past several year, and we’ve really seen these changes recently. The constant creation of new tools, improved methods, and new ways of student learning has made the use of technology a crucial part of higher education.

Evolution TechThe higher education community has become open and adaptable to change, incorporating the methods of learning that impact students the most. Online courses, social media, and collaborative learning have all skyrocketed in popularity and effectiveness in higher education over the past few years. Check out more in this article we found that focuses on the top emerging tech trends that we are going to see continue to impact higher education. We love hearing about how technology has evolved in higher education, and why it’s here to stay!


Insight on Social Media in the Classroom

There is no doubt that social media has a place in Higher Education! From admissions offices to college sports teams, even in the classroom, social media has a wide variety of applications in higher ed.

Check out this infographic we found that really maps out how social media is being used in the classroom! In particular, we like the uses in the classroom—extension, facilitation and research—and the promotion of social media for fostering connections!


Some of our favorite tools to make life easier!

It’s the beginning of the semester and we thought we’d share some of our favorite tools that are perfect to get the semester started on the right foot! These tools are great for faculty, staff and students alike, and make working from anywhere so much easier.

Citrix Virtual Desktop:

If you haven’t heard about Citrix, this tool is an absolute must. It is offered through UIS at no charge to faculty, staff and students. Citrix allows users to connect from any computer to a virtual desktop. This allows them to access programs available on UIS computers that may not be available on their own computers. This is the perfect solution for those without Microsoft Office programs, statistical software, and more!


Box is a storage system that provides all UIS faculty, staff and students with 50GB of space to store documents and other files in a cloud. This can be accessed from anywhere, and even better, makes it easy to share, collaborate, and access files from anywhere.

Lynda & Atomic Learning

Have a question about a software program? Or how to do a specific task in Word or Photoshop? Even if you are looking for a general training in a program, Lynda and Atomic Learning are the on-demand training tools you can turn to. All UIS faculty, staff and students can also access these at no charge, and they can be utilized from anywhere.

These are just a few of the many services we offer at UIS. If you’d like to learn more about these, or check out some of our other great resources, check out our website, contact us, or come visit ITS Client Services in the lower level of Brookens!

Just a Reminder…

We hope everyone had a smooth transition into the Spring Semester and you are all staying warm! Now that we’re a little settled in, we wanted to take the opportunity to remind you that ITS Client Services, now encompassing both Technology Support and Media Services, is located in the lower level of Brookens Library! We offer so many great services including:

  • Workshops
  • Printing Services
  • Technology Equipment Checkout
  • Tech Support
  • And tons more!

Be sure to visit us with all of your technology needs!

Spreading the Word!

DigitalSignDigital signs are available throughout campus – and are a great way to spread the word about campus events and activities, helpful information about campus services, and much more.

Submitting content for the signs is easy! Check out the Digital Signage webpage for details, including a downloadable template compliments of our very talented Campus Relations department.

Turning your mobile device into a whiteboard

One of the most valuable capabilities of using a mobile device during lecture and for group projects is utilizing it as a whiteboard. Whiteboard apps all offer different features, ranging from communication features to live collaboration. There are so many options, so you are sure to find at least one that will fit your need!

Realtime Board

This is a tool that focuses on brainstorming sessions. Collaborate with a team live, and draw, add images, post videos, work with PDFs, add notes, and add comments via post-its to assist in communicating with other team members.


Stoodle is an online whiteboard allows users to create a collaborative whiteboard space where they can type, draw, and upload images. Another feature of Stoodle allows users to talk to collaborators through their computer’s microphone. Simply log in to Stoodle, launch a classroom, and share the URL to enter with whomever you wish to collaborate with!


Pixiclip offers all the great features of the previous tools—drawing, uploading images, marking up, and typing around the board. However, PixiClip also allows users to add audio, or even record  video of themselves. Share clips via social media, or even embed it into a blog.


This tool is a great one for lecture! Students can connect from any device with a web browser. Teachers create an account, create a list of students, and then the students can join the drawing that has been created by their teacher. This tool aids in collaboration and communication between teachers and students.

These are some great options for collaboration—if you are interested in using tools like these in your classroom, we can help you out in finding the tool perfect for your needs!