Tag Archives: Blog

Even More Ways to use iPads in the Classroom

iPads in the classroom are no longer a new thing—they have been established as valuable tools in the classroom, particularly in higher education. We love coming across new ways to use iPads in the classroom, and are sharing a few of the  best things we’ve come across lately!

1.       Dragon Dictation: Share this one with your students: with this app, speech is converted to editable text. Students can speak out loud practicing speeches, reciting definitions, or even recording lectures or discussion in class!

2.       Lights, Camera, Action! Did you know your iPad could double as a teleprompter? Go to www.teleprompter.com and your iPad can double as a teleprompter—create newscasts, videos, and get your students comfortable with public speaking!

3.       Collaborate together on whiteboards: If each student in your class has their own iPad, they can each use it as a whiteboard and collaborate together. When one person writes something, everyone else can see it! Just download Whiteboard Free and start today. This can be a great tool for discussions, to make all students accountable for being involved and sharing with their classmates!

4.       Ease Class Communication: Traffic Light, an app, is a great way for students to share how comfortable they are with a particular topic. This is a great way for you to better read the class and know whether or not it’s time to move forward.

5.       Be the master of the blog—and get your students involved! Create your free WordPress blog, then download the app to the iPads. Students can upload their work (text, images, movies) to a new blog page, and the instructor can decide what is going to be published on the blog!

The “5” Series is Back-with Blogging!

A few months ago, we launched a “5 ways to use a…” series, giving you new and creative ideas to utilize some of the fantastic tools we have available for your use! To refresh your memory and keep you inspired, here is a “flashback” of…

5 ways you can use… a Blog!

The internet has started a new era of educational tools that have great capabilities to be an effective addition to your classroom.  One of the most versatile and useful tool is the blog. Blogs are a great way to communicate with students outside the classroom in an environment which is both easy to update and easy to navigate. Blogs lend themselves to be useful in various aspects of class including writing and journaling, collaboration, classroom management, and tutoring.  Here are 5 ideas to get you started:

  1. Promote collaboration and reflection among your students by posting a meaningful quotation, excerpt from a novel, or a news article, and ask them to reflect in writing and relate the piece to the material being covered in class.
  2. Blogs encourage participation in discussions, which can be particularly effective with shy students. Post a question weekly to your blog requiring students to respond and comment on their peers’ responses.
  3. Assign a project requiring students to create their own blog and use it as a portfolio of their work and career goals. The blog will become a valuable tool they can use to build connections and network.
  4. Easily incorporate sources from the “real world” such as news articles, videos, or websites to relate class material to the current events in the world.
  5. Try hosting a debate on your blog. Post a question or controversial topic and have students make their points and debate with one another. This encourages collaboration, discussion, and critical thinking.

UIS’ newly launched blog service, WordPress, is available for all faculty, staff and students for free. It is simple to navigate and update, and a great communication tool for educators and students alike. Checkout our WordPress Blogging Service informational page to start your blog today!

Welcome Back!

We would like to take the opportunity to welcome you all back! We hope you enjoyed a nice, relaxing summer and are as excited for the new school year as we are!

The beginning of a new semester is always a great opportunity to try something new, so check out our blog for some ideas that you can use in your classroom. This summer, we introduced a new series, “5 ways you can use…” Be sure to stay updated on the blog and check out past posts to get some new and creative ideas on ways to use the tools we offer.

Our weekly workshops will begin at the start of the semester. Check out the Workshops we will be offering and their scheduled times. These are a great opportunity to learn some new software or get some new tips on software you may already use!

Feel free to contact us whenever you need assistance or have any questions.

5 ways you can use…A Blog!

The internet has started a new era of educational tools that have great capabilities to be an effective addition to your classroom.  One of the most versatile and useful tool is the blog. Blogs are a great way to communicate with students outside the classroom in an environment which is both easy to update and easy to navigate. Blogs lend themselves to be useful in various aspects of class including writing and journaling, collaboration, classroom management, and tutoring.  Here are 5 ideas to get you started:

  1. Promote collaboration and reflection among your students by posting a meaningful quotation, excerpt from a novel, or a news article, and ask them to reflect in writing and relate the piece to the material being covered in class.
  2. Blogs encourage participation in discussions, which can be particularly effective with shy students. Post a question weekly to your blog requiring students to respond and comment on their peers’ responses.
  3. Assign a project requiring students to create their own blog and use it as a portfolio of their work and career goals. The blog will become a valuable tool they can use to build connections and network.
  4. Easily incorporate sources from the “real world” such as news articles, videos, or websites to relate class material to the current events in the world.
  5. Try hosting a debate on your blog. Post a question or controversial topic and have students make their points and debate with one another. This encourages collaboration, discussion, and critical thinking.

UIS’ newly launched blog service, WordPress, is available for all faculty, staff and students for free. It is simple to navigate and update, and a great communication tool for educators and students alike. Checkout our WordPress Blogging Service informational page to start your blog today!

Create your own Avatar


Today I came across a free online tool that kind of blew me away with its implications in learning. It is not something that will revolutionize higher education, but it just might revolutionize your Blackboard, your blog, or your website.

Voki is a website that allows users to create their own avatars, and then add voice to relay messages. Voice can be recorded by phone or microphone, can be uploaded as an audio file, or can be entered in text and converted to a selected speech.  The avatars can then be uploaded essentially anywhere-to your Blackboard, to your course website, your blog, etc. Imagine relaying your messages to your students with your very own avatar-the “virtual you” can remind them about due dates, assignments, whatever you wish!

So try your hand at making your own avatar today! From creating someone who looks just like you to creating the alien version of yourself, Voki will keep you busy for a while!

Communication is the key to success!

We have all heard this at some point in almost any situation, but in college, good communication between educators and students really is essential. Not meeting face to face on a daily basis can be a disadvantage when it comes to students keeping up with assignments and current issues related to the class, and utilizing resources.

Students are always online. Most of them actually have the web at their fingertips at any given point of the day. For this reason, it is clear that the internet is one of the best forms of communication with college students. There are many ways to utilize the technology that is everywhere to easily communicate with your students and enrich their educational experience in your course. Here are a few examples of ways to keep your students updated on announcements, assignments, and current issues that you find relevant to class.

Blog!
Blogging is something we have all heard about, but most of us remain wary about it. I, myself, was one of those people until I started doing it, and realized it’s fun!

Blogging is a great way to establish consistent communication with your students. Post updates about current issues that are relevant to what is being discussed in class, and use incentives for your students to post back. It’s a great way for them to be involved in the class without actually being in class. Try Google’s free Blogger, or a blog meant to be used for educational purposes, like Edublog.

Wikis

Wikis are another great way to promote student involvement outside of the classroom. A wiki is basically a website where visitors can actually participate in creating and editing information. There are a variety of ways you, as educators, can incorporate this into your class; post and brainstorm different topics, give students a place to collaborate and share assignments and materials, assign each student a small part of a large, ongoing project, or create a student-published online resource center. Try the wiki feature in eDocs, Wikispaces or Wetpaint.

Twitter

Twitter may seem as though it has no purpose in a college classroom, but professors utilizing Twitter often have a good following by their students. Educators are able to share events as soon as they occur. Again, this is a great way to establish and maintain a connection outside of the classroom and keep students updated on issues relevant to class!

You will be surprised how much feedback and participation you receive from students when you prove yourself technically savvy and incorporate these tools into your class. I know I appreciate when a teacher of mine actively posts updates on their website or via other easily accessible forms of communication. If you have any questions or need any assistance incorporating these tools into your course, we would be happy to help!