Tag Archives: blogs

A New Year, a New Semester

Happy New Year! Winter break is flying by, and we are quickly approaching the beginning of another new semester. With these new beginnings, there is no better time to try something new and step out of your comfort zone. Here are a few fresh ideas for you to try in your classes this semester:

Use the Interactive Whiteboards

Those whiteboards in every classroom are more than just a fancy projector screen-they are interactive. Project your computer screen to the whiteboard, then directly interact with whatever is on your computer from the whiteboard. Use the markers to highlight, annotate, and write on the screen, and use your finger to navigate the web or whatever you wish. Take snapshots of the screens and then upload them to Blackboard to share with your students. The possibilities are endless with these interactive whiteboards, and they can definitely make a huge impact in any course. If you would like to learn more about the whiteboards, do not hesitate to contact us!

Create a Class Blog

Last semester, we introduced WordPress Blog Service to the campus, which is available to all faculty, students, and staff. Creating a blog is a great way to share information and stay connected with others. Students are very well connected today, so a blog could be a great way to keep them connected to the class and material even when they are not physically in the classroom.

Encourage Creativity

In the Media Lab, we offer so many tools for students to utilize for class projects. From Flip Cams to video editing software, students have the tools they need to create creative, elaborate projects. This semester, think about encouraging your students to express their creativity with a project utilizing Multimedia tools. If you would like to discuss the tools we have or have any other questions, feel free to come see us in the Media Lab in BRK 180!

Using social media tools to voice your thoughts!

What if a student in your class started a campaign on Facebook sharing their opinions about issues that reached thousands of people across the world? What if they created a YouTube video being viewed by people everywhere at any given moment? College students are sharing their knowledge through Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, blogs, etc. and making a difference by reaching people in other cities, states, and continents.

As I write constantly on this blog, technology is changing the way the world interacts. Years ago it would not have been possible for a student starting a campaign on AIDS awareness to reach thousands, even millions of people across the world, but technologies like Facebook make that possible today. Share a page with 10 people, each of those people share with 10 more, and it goes on and on. Within days, a page dedicated to AIDS awareness is reaching an extreme number of users. As an educator, inspire your students and encourage their involvement in using these social media tools by incorporating them into your class. What may start as an assignment may evolve into something much more impactful.

Visit UIS’ Sights and Sounds page for links to UIS’ official Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other social media applications. Click here to view a list of all the great Facebook Pages or Twitters for UIS departments and groups. These are a great way to stay updated on events at UIS and also see how others use these social media applications in education!

The Power of Multimedia

The other day we introduced a class to various multimedia tools available for use in the Media Lab to help assist them with their final project for the semester, where they are instructed to get creative and use multimedia. Going over all of these fun tools even got me excited for their final project, even though I am clearly not a student in the class.

The Media Lab offers wonderful resources for students to use both within the lab and for checkout to use on their own time. From Flip cameras to microphones and movie editing software, students are provided with an area where they can utilize tools and also get assistance from student workers and full-time staff.  They are provided with all the tools needed to create videos, blogs, documentaries, audio essays, or anything else their creative minds can conjure up.

Utilizing the tools available for students in the Media Lab is the perfect opportunity to get your students more involved in class material and evoke their interests in technology. Instruct your students to get creative using multimedia tools for projects and perhaps they will gain more from the project than they would writing a typical paper. Be sure to visit us in the Media Lab in the lower level of Brookens Library and we will be happy to help you and your students!