Your Ticket to the Smithsonian!

Interested in visiting the Smithsonian but not sure when you’ll get there? Smithsonian X3D is the tool for you! smith

While this tool is still in Beta, it’s a great way to check out some of the neatest historical artifacts up close! Navigate through tons of different tours and get so up close to the various artifacts and learn the history and background of them—it’s almost like you’re there!

This is a great tool to share with your students because it’s a fun, educational tool for them to check out when they have some downtime. Even better, incorporate it into a multimedia project!

Audience Response Systems: So Many Tools, what do I Choose?!

Audience Response Systems are the new “it” tool for use in higher education. They have definitely become popular for their ability to engage students, gain instant feedback from the audience, and for giving educators the ability to reach and interact with even the quietest of students. We are always sharing the newest audience response system tools that we find, but it can be challenging to know which tool is right for you!

Check out this great comparison chart we’ve found. Compare 9 tools, including Socrative, Infuse Learning and Padlet! Check out which tools contain the features you want most! Get the scoop on the devices these tools work on, whether students can reply anonymously, teacher moderation abilities and more!

If you’d like to get started with any of these tools but have some questions, let us know! We would love to help you get started using these great tools in your classroom.

Simple, Beautiful Timelines Created in Just a Few Clicks!

We always encourage the use of webtools and multimedia in classrooms, which is why we love sharing tools on our blog. Webtools can be used for all different subjects and courses–and with a little creativity and thinking outside of the box, you won’t believe what your students come up with!

Today we’re sharing Timeline JS, which is a simple tool that creates beautiful timelines after a series of dates are entered. Follow the extremely simple steps to enter the dates to be included, descriptions, and even add media. Then, when finished, embed the timeline into a website as you would a YouTube Video!

Check out a great example of Timeline JS here: http://world.time.com/2013/12/05/nelson-mandelas-extraordinary-life-an-interactive-timeline/.

This is a great tool to share with students if they are creating a website or blog, or even put it to use in your own presentation, and create a timeline that relates to class material! This would also be a great concept to include in the flipped classroom-perhaps in a presentation for students to navigate!

Plagiarism: Know the Facts

As we approach the end of the semester, students are wrapping up many final projects and papers. As educators, it is likely that concerns surrounding plagiarism are more present during this time, so it is important that we know what resources are available to help prevent and identify plagiarism.

A great resource for both educators and students alike to learn more about plagiarism and how it can be avoided is the Purdue OWL website. Learn how to identify plagiarism, safe practices for avoiding plagiarism, and more! We also recommend plagiarism.org, which is another great website with answers and resources to your questions surrounding plagiarism. index

To detect plagiarism, TurnItIn, a tool offered by UIS, is a great resource. TurnItIn integrates with Blackboard. Students submit their paper through the TurnItIn icon on the class blackboard page, and TurnItIn will scan the paper, compare the text material against different resources (over 10 billion web pages, student papers, articles, journals, literary texts, and more!), and the will provide the instructor with a Match Overview. Prior to submitting an assignment, students can upload their paper to be scanned, and the Originality Report feature will identify areas that need to be correctly cited.

If you are looking for more information about plagiarism, or have any specific questions, please reach out to ITS Client Services so we can help!

ITS Launches FormBuilder Event Registration

ITS just announced the roll out of a new service developed by AITS, FormBuilder Event Registration! This new service makes it so simple for departments to easily set up and manage their event registrations through designing their own custom forms with defined fields.

This new service allows departments to independently build and maintain their own events, complete with setting capacity limits, generating emails to participants, and the system even integrates with Enterprise Authentication Service so payments can be collected in a simple and quick manner!

If you’d like to learn more about the new FormBuilder Event Registration service, click here, and feel free to contact ITS Client Services at techsupport@uis.edu!

A Great Tool for Image-Based Presentations!

While PowerPoints may seem monotonous at times—there is a reason we always are drawn to them—having a presentation helps guide your lecture/discussion and get your points across. We love sharing alternative tools that help do the same thing as PowerPoint, like Prezi and Slideshare. Today, we thought we’d share another great tool with you to help give you options when PowerPoint isn’t an option or you are looking for an alternative way to present your information!

Haiku Deck is a unique and free webtool that is so easy to use and works on both the iPad and the web. Users first choose a photo from their stock of millions of high quality images—or they can upload their own—choose from tons of beautiful themes, add your text, and then present on the go!

Haiku Deck is definitely a great way to showcase images with smaller amounts of text—it would be great for students to showcase a multimedia project based on various images! Check out Haiku Deck with this great video, and let us know if you’d like to learn more or need assistance getting started!

The Easiest Way to Expand your Vocabulary!

Today, we’re sharing an innovative and extremely helpful tool that just may become one of your new favorites! The tool is Professor Word, and it’s meant for anyone who is interested in expanding their vocabulary and learning new words and their meanings. Studying vocabulary can be difficult—whether it’s for an exam like the GRE, to better write papers, or to develop yourself, learning the meaning of new words can be a tedious task. That’s why we love Professor Word—this tool integrates with your browser, so when you are surfing the web and reading articles and other information on websites, you can look up the meaning of the word in a simple click. What’s even neater, is all vocabulary words appearing on the ACT or SAT are highlighted on the page—mPWaking it easy to pick them out and learn their meanings! Professor Word is free and also available for iPad—simply save Professor Word as a bookmark, and when you are at a website and want to use Professor Word, open the bookmark and it automatically launches to help identify the meanings of the words on the page!

Speed Up your Favorite Moments and Movies

We love a good app, and this week we’re sharing one that you might have seen a lot of lately! The app is called Lapse It, and it allows both iOS and Android users to create time lapse and stop motion videos.

Watch the sunset, watch the stars move, and watch a 3 hour drive in minutes! Lapse It allows users to get creative and put the video recording feature on their mobile devices to great use! Speed videos up to 240x, add a song to the video from your library, choose from over 50 filters, share directly on Instagram, Facebook, and more! The tool is free and can be downloaded from the Apple iTunes or Google Play.

Besides being a fun way to capture videos daily, Lapse It is a great tool to share with students to integrate into their multimedia projects!

Unlimited Cloud Storage? It is not too good to be true!

Have you heard? Google recently announced the news of providing unlimited Google Drive storage for Apps for Education! Google is rolling out this change at no charge to the users. So, for all you UIS Google Apps for Education users out there, this is great news! And for those of you who have not yet accessed your Google Apps for Education account, perhaps you should soon!

Google-Drive

A Great Resource for Creating your Apps: App Inventor

If our post last week about creating your own apps sparked your interest, then this week’s post is meant for you! You can never have enough learning resources about creating your own apps if that is something that sparks your interest—it can be a very complex and intimidating process. So, this week, we wanted to share another great resource out there that helps answer your questions, spark ideas, and get you started creating your own apps!

The website is App Inventor by MIT. This website is full of tools to get you started—everything from guides to tutorials to forums! App Inventor has great resources to get your questions answered while you’re using the product including a multitude of troubleshooting guides and FAQ.

What do you think? Are you going to try out creating your own app? We’d love to hear!

Develop your Own Apps–with a Tool that Makes it Simple!

Often times, technology presents exciting, yet intimidating ideas. Ideas that allow us to make our own creations, and learn how to use a new program. With all the apps out there, perhaps you’ve wondered how they are created…and maybe even how you can create your own!

TouchDevelop is a tool that now only allows individuals to create their own apps through coding, but also offers “Hour of Code”—lessons where users can follow a tutorial to learn to write and create an app! The “Hour of Code” program is a nationwide initiative to help students better understand and become involved with Computer Science and Programming—and it’s a great webspace to share with your students to help them explore their interests and learn something new!

We highly encourage you to check out TouchDevelop’s website and navigate through the scripts, tutorials, and discover the ideas of people all over the world just like you!

 

Engage your students with this new tools!

We always love sharing tool that get students involved in lectures and convert a regular lecture into an interactive discussion. Today, we’re sharing a great tool that turns mobile devices into interactive responders, and gets students answering questions and responding to discussions at any point during lecture!

GoSoapBox is a tool that works similarly to InfuseLearning—instructors can create their own space, also known as an “event”, where they can create polls, discussions, quizzes and q&a for responders. Students then will join the event with an access code from their device—the instructor can choose to have students enter their name (so only they can see them) or students may remain anonymous.Capture2

A great feature of GoSoapBox is the Confusion Barometer—insert a simple toggle asking students if they simply “get it” or don’t understand—you will then get instant feedback and are able to identify which areas need to be discussed further!

Be sure to check out GoSoapBox, and let us know what you think! If you have questions about using this tool, let us know and we can help you get started!

The Best Music Resources for your Projects

We’re always blogging about places where students and educators can find free for use images for their websites, blogs, projects and more. Today, we thought we would share some places where users can find music for the same purposes. We do not always recognize music the same way as images when it comes to multimedia projects, but music can be very impactful and offer a unique effect.

As with images, it is important to ensure the music used in projects is used appropriately, with permission. Check out a few of our favorite resources to find music to use with permission.

  • Freeplay Music: Free access to over 15,000 music files for students and educators!
  • Musopen: If classical music is what you are looking for, check out Musopen, where users can download up to 5 recordings each day, or stream music for free.
  • The Free Music Archive: Search for tons of music across many genres and types—The Free Music Archive is a hub of creative and unique content that can be used in multimedia projects.
  • Soundbible: If your audio needs consist of sound clips, specific noises or various effects, then Soundbible is the place to check out and explore—you’ll be sure to find something to fit your needs!

It is important that when you obtain music from any of these websites or others that you are familiar with the specific licensing for the music you are using—licensing differs for projects posted publicly on YouTube vs. those that remain in the confines of school. If you question whether it is safe to use your particular piece of music, feel free to reach out to us to better understand your permissions.

Pictures for your every need!

We have definitely touched on the topic of free use images in the past, and thought it would be a great topic to blog about at the beginning of the year. Finding Public Domain images is important in higher education–pictures are often an essential part of presentations, projects, and other forms of multimedia we create. But, it’s equally as important that we understand what images are appropriate to use and where we can find them.

We wanted to share Pixabay, a great resource that has recently been improved, making the searching process for images seamless and even offering different sizes of the same image to fit your needs!

This is a great tool to not only utilize as an educator but to share with your students for all of their future projects throughout this school year.

The Easiest, Quickest way to Record Voice!

Quick recordings added to blogs, pins, class websites, and emails are great additions to connect to the audience and share information that cannot simply be shared through text. If creating recordings quickly with a simple online tool is something you’ve been wanting to do, check out Vocaroo!

vocarooSimply go to Vocaroo’s website, click to record, create your recording, and then choose how you wish to share it—email, Facebook, Pinterest, and more! Or, choose to instantly download it. No sign in, no registration—just instant, easy recording!

This is one of the simplest tools to use, with so many applications. One of our favorites is that you can create your recording, and then it can be instantly transformed into a QR code. You can use this QR code in activities, and create various recording to associate with them. This would be so neat for scavenger hunts, student projects, etc.

How do you want to use Vocaroo in your class this year?