Ahh yes, February. The days are short, the weather is dreary, and the only thing that may be on the minds of your students is the fact that there is only one month until spring break. It’s that time of the semester where you may find yourself going above and beyond in an effort to stimulate your students. We have put together a list of things you can do to add a little pizzazz to your lectures and keep your students motivated and focused!
- If you are tired of using PowerPoint as your go-to presentation tool, check out Prezi. This free web-based tool will put a unique twist on your presentations and still allow you to add images, videos, and more!
- To get students more involved in your lecture and keep them focused, try TurningPoint! Each student has their own clicker and can directly respond to questions and you will be provided with instant feedback!
- Check out TED.com for speeches across the world on any subject you could imagine-a TED video could be a great addition to your lecture! If you like the idea of using educational videos to enhance your lectures, check out Snag Films, Academic Earth, or YouTube EDU for some more great videos.
- If you like to walk around your classroom during lectures (or like to roam around making sure students aren’t spending the hour browsing Facebook) try out Engage. This tool is an extension of your computer and lets you navigate whatever is on the screen from anywhere in the classroom!
Posted in Hardware, Helpful Tips, Software, Web App, Website
Tagged Academic Earth, Audience Response System, Clickers, Lectures, Pizzazz, Prezi, Snag Films, TED.com. Engage, Tools, TurningPoint, YouTube EDU
Summer is quickly approaching which for many means sun, fun, and relaxation. It also is a great opportunity to further explore educational interests that may have been put aside during the busy school year. I am presenting you with a “Summer Bucket List”, if you will, to get more familiar with the great technologies available to UIS faculty that can be utilized during the school year. All of these resources can be used to greatly enhance the educational experience for students and educators alike.
Establish new ways to communicate
This spring, UIS launched WordPress Blog Service. Faculty, staff and students are now able to create their own blogs. This summer, dabble into the blogging world and try creating a blog for your fall courses! Blogging is a great way to maintain communication with students throughout the semester, and can be integrated into several aspects of course material. Upload lecture notes, create discussions about topics, post updates frequently, and share current news related to class materials.
Learn how to use an Interactive White Board
Remember that big whiteboard behind the screen in your classroom? It’s not just a whiteboard-it’s Interactive, and everything about it is just that. This summer, check out everything these boards can do, and get familiar with using them. They are simple, and a great way to increase involvement in the classroom with students.
Get familiar with TurningPoint
TurningPoint is another tool that can be very valuable to your courses. It is software that integrates with your PowerPoint presentations or other lectures that allows you to “poll” your class. Through clickers, your students can respond to your questions and you are able to receive instant feedback. Stimulate discussions, conduct quizzes or tests, take attendance, or receive general feedback on students’ understanding of the lecture material. This easy yet innovative tool will be sure to keep students focused and on track.
Be sure to get in some good R&R this summer, but to also check out these great tools! Questions? As always, feel free to contact us!
Now that Spring Break is over, you may find that your students are a little less interested in their schoolwork and a little more interested in rushing to the finish line to kick off their summer plans. If you are in need of a magic tool that will keep your students alert and on their toes during class, checkout TurningPoint.
TurningPoint is an audience response system that integrates into your PowerPoint presentations. You can integrate slides into your presentations asking questions, and then instantly receive the results from your audience’s responses, which they submit via a clicker. It’s a great way to gain insight from your audience and stimulate discussions. Another useful way to use TurningPoint is to assign students to a specific clicker and track their individual responses-a great way to incorporate pop quizzes or participation points into your lecture! The points from the quizzes can even be imported directly into Blackboard’s Grade Center.
Not a fan of PowerPoint? No need to worry! Turning Point AnyWhere allows you to get audience input from any application.
For more information about clickers, including how other universities are using clickers in the classroom, visit our Audience Response System webpage.
If you would like any assistance in using TurningPoint, feel free to contact us and we would be glad to help!
Posted in Hardware, Helpful Tips
Tagged ARS, Audience Response System, Blackboard Integration, Clickers, discussion, PowerPoint, Quizzes, Turning AnyWhere, Turning Technologies, TurningPoint