Changing your password just got easier! ITS has implemented the ability for you to set up password recovery options. Setting up your password recovery options will allow you to recover your password on your own, whenever you want, from wherever you want, using three different recovery methods (email, text, and voice).
Although not required, we encourage you to start the process as soon as possible. It will make it easier to change your password as you near your password expiration date. You can access the new system from http://go.uis.edu/password. The process is very easy and should only take you a minute to walk through the set up process.
If you would like assistance in setting up your options, please visit ITS Client Services in the lower level of Brookens Library. We will also be having drop in help sessions in BRK 141B every day this week from 11am-1pm if you would like to walk through this process with an ITS staff member.
Today’s blog post is a little different—we are reaching out to you, our readers, to get the scoop on the information YOU want to see! What blog post topics are your favorites? What would you like to learn more about? Are you looking for tips on an educational technology or tool, specifically? Let us know! We love providing the latest tips and ideas to our readers on our blog, and would love to hear what you would like us to share!
Smartphones and smart devices have been around for a few years now, and it has been a challenge finding their place in the classroom, and deciding if they even belong there. We have definitely come far, and have found innovative and highly educational ways to incorporate these tools into the classroom. Checkout this great infographic we’ve found that details smartphones in education and the features that are best for education.
Some of our favorite features include the ability to turn a smartphone or device into a response tool to answer poll questions during lectures, the great apps that make everyday tasks easier for students and assist with studying, and how students and educators are taking these apps and tools to the next level, making them work for them in education, specifically! Let us know your ideas for mobile devices in the classroom and how you think they could be used!
Today, we are sharing a tool that has many implications in higher education, and is a great tool to use particularly during lectures. Message boards are commonly found on the web, but Tozzl brings the online message board to a new level! With Tozzl, simply create a new message board, set a password if you wish it to be private, and a URL will be assigned to your new message board. Simply distribute the URL to the users you wish to have access to the message board.
Aside from being a forum for discussions, with Tozzl sections can be added for YouTube videos, to-do lists, and file sharing.
One of our favorite ideas to use Tozzl is to use it as a backchannel tool during lectures. During a lecture, students can enter your unique Tozzl and post their questions and comments concerning the lecture! The ways to use Tozzl in the classroom expand beyond using it as a backchannel—it’s a great tool for students to work and collaborate together on projects, too! If you’d like to learn more about Tozzl and are interested in using it in your classroom but have some questions, feel free to reach out to us!
Posting videos on your Blackboard website and utilizing them to enhance and add to content related to your lesson is a great way to add an interactive component to your class and spark student interest in new ways. Want to take it even a step further? Make your videos interactive!
In the past, we’ve shared VideoNotes, a tool that allows users to make their YouTube videos interactive by adding questions throughout for viewers to answer. Today, we’re sharing Vialogues, a tool that does the same thing, only you are not limited to using YouTube videos!
Vialogue allows users to add questions or comments that are tied to specific moments in their own video. Vialogues can be made public or private, but to be posted on a website or blog, they need to be public. This would be a great way to incorporate multiple choice questions for knowledge checks or even insert comments to point out important information!
We always like taking a peek into the potential future of higher education and how technology may evolve! We can’t believe how much it has evolved in just over the last few years…tablets being utilized in classrooms, an endless amount of apps for smart devices targeted towards education, online courses becoming more and more common, and more. Checkout this infographic we found that delves even deeper into what the future may hold!
It’s mid-term time! Can you believe we are already half-way through the semester? Chances are, students are preparing for midterm exams or completing midterm papers. If a paper is not assigned as a midterm project, chances are a final paper is part of the final exam or final project. We want to share a resource with you to share with students (and use yourself!) when it comes to writing papers. The tool is Excelsior College’s Online Writing Lab, commonly known as OWL. You may have heard of it already, but it recently won a WOW award and underwent a website makeover, making it even more functional and easy to navigate!
OWL is a great place to check out how to incorporate a multitude of sources into a paper and how to cite these sources, grammar tips, and even ways to avoid plagiarism. This website is a great resource to utilize as educators, and to share with students, as they will definitely utilize this resource throughout their academic career, and even beyond!
Today we’re sharing a tool that is an absolute must if you find yourself creating instructional documents complete with screenshots and step-by-step instructions! The tool is called Clarify, and it is a free, downloadable tool that combines all the separate steps required to create instructional documents into one program, cutting down time and maximizing efficiency!
With Clarify, users are able to capture the images they need (with tons of options to tailor it to exactly what will work best for you!), place each image as a “step” in the document, and then add the annotations and text to that image…then you are able to put it all together creating an instructional document that is nicely formatted in just minutes! Utilizing several programs to put together these types of documents can be challenging…and formatting makes it even more difficult! Clarify is an absolute must for those of you creating instructional documents for your students and/or peers to describe processes and how-to’s!
We’ve blogged frequently about the flipped classroom, and hope the information we have shared in the past has inspired some of you to implement some of the characteristics of the flipped classroom into your classroom!
Today we’re sharing a tool that has made the entire flipping of the classroom easier, and possible! One of the primary concepts of flipped learning is to view lectures and learn content online outside of class, preserving in-class time for group activities, discussions, and face-to-face interaction. One of the best webtools to help in bringing the learning of content the internet to be done outside of class is Khan Academy. Not only are there tons of educational videos, there is a classroom management component for teachers which allows them to assign lectures and track student progress!
There are many tools that help to bring the lecture component of classes to the internet to be completed outside of class, but Khan Academy is definitely a great option! If you’re interested in learning more, be sure to follow our blog and reach out to us!
Online training is one of the top trends to watch out for this year, and today we wanted to share with you some of the training resources available to all UIS faculty, staff and students!
Whether you are looking to become more competent with Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Word, we have Lynda, a tool that can help get you the proficient in these programs, and tons more! Lynda is an on-demand technology training program, which means it can be accessed anywhere, anytime. Browse through tons of short tutorial videos if you are looking how to complete a specific task in the program, or view the entire training courses to learn the program as a whole!
Even better, if you are not on campus and do not have these programs installed on your personal computer at home (think Adobe programs, Microsoft Office, etc.), connect through Citrix and remote connect to a desktop that is equipped with all of these programs! This gives you the ability to utilize a program like Photoshop from your own computer.
Training in a program like Lynda is one of the best ways to expand interests and gain the skills to be efficient in different programs, but improving computer skills may also lead to future job opportunities/advancements!
We’re always sharing helpful tools for educators to use in their classrooms, but today, we wanted to switch things up! We came across a great tool for students, and because it is the beginning of the semester, we figured the timing is perfect!
The tool is called MyStudentLife. It is not only web-based, but apps are also available for iOS and Android devices. This app allows students to enter all of their courses, and then enter and update tasks as they are assigned, complete with due dates. This helps them track their upcoming assignments and plan for the semester!
Make sure you share this with your students right away! Being the start of a new semester, it is a great opportunity to begin using a tool like this and get started on the right foot!
Blogging has grown to be one of the most popular ways to communicate on the web! It is great–users are able to be creative, share ideas, and reach a variety of audiences. However, starting a blog can be a little intimidating, and it can be difficult to know exactly where to start and the steps to take.
Today, we want to share a resource we recently came across, firstsiteguide.com. This website contains tons of resources for all bloggers-new or expert! For those new to blogging, the How to Start a Blog guide is very valuable. It includes information on all steps to get started from hosting and themes to content, readers, and social media!
The website also includes other resources, including their own blog where they share a variety of of posts related to blogging. It’s a great place to check up on some of the latest tips and tricks for making your blog successful!
Here at UIS, we offer WordPress Blog Service. If you would like help in getting started, please feel free to contact us, and be sure to check out our website for more information on WordPress here!
Do you find yourself sharing many links with your students frequently? Perhaps links to audience response system URLs, blogs, articles, websites, and even URLs to some of your creations with the great webtools we share on our blog. Keeping all these links straight can be difficult enough, let alone ensuring your students have all the links and that they are correct!
The tools we want to share today is a tool that will make it easier to store and distribute all your links as an educator to all your students. Bitly and LinkBunch are both free web-based tools that allow you to “bunch” links together and send them out to the audience—this way it will ensure they are receiving the correct links! And an added feature of Bitly is that the sender can view how many times the links were clicked…so you can know if your entire audience was able to access and click the link, or if they have yet to access the links!
The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) took place in Nevada earlier this month, and we’re excited to share some of the awesome things that were presented at the show! From 3D printed dresses to RocketSkates and tons of new ways to light up your space, this show had just about everything you could imagine!
One of our favorites? A treadmill more high tech than you could ever imagine! This “treadmill” is actually a stationary machine, and the user puts on special shoes with plastic insets that glide over the base in a frictionless way. But that’s not even the beginning—the user wears gear so they are fully integrated in a game-and the moves they make on the “treadmill” translate to their avatar in the game. Check out more about it here! We can’t wait to see what comes of this in the future!
Check out even more highlights from the show here:
3D printing is everywhere now, and is becoming one of the most interesting technologies considering all of the potential for uses! Did you know we have not only a 3D printer but also a 3D scanner here at UIS?
The 3D printer and the 3D scanner are both available for use in the Media Lab in Brookens Library. The 3D printer will create a 3D solid product based upon a digital model. It does this by laying down layers upon layers of material to form the object. The 3D scanner creates models that are then ready to be printed on the 3D printer—the scanner and printer work seamlessly to help produce your creation!
To help design your model to be printed, the Autodesk software suite of applications is available on the computers in both the Media Lab in Brookens Library and UHB 2000.
So what exactly would you do with the 3D printer, and where do you begin brainstorming on ideas to take advantage of these great tools available right here at UIS? One of our favorite sites is Thingiverse. Find new ideas to help design your own creations or even download designs that are ready to print!
We are sure you have questions, and we’d love to answer them! Come visit us in the Media Lab where we can show you the 3D printing equipment and help you to get started!