Tag Archives: free tools

♪ Video Killed the Telephone Star ♪

It’s a holiday week, so homages to great 80’s songs are allowed, right? Whatever happened to The Buggles, and who knew they would be so right? And… what does this have to do with instructional technology?! Today we’re going to talk about online video chat, how it can be used in higher education to enhance the learning process, and wonder if it will someday kill the “telephone star!”

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Files files everywhere!

I’m a busy guy, and frightening as though it may seem, most of my professional (and personal) life is digitized. Sometimes I work on my laptop, on my home desktop, on the computer in my office, or even on my smart phone. Sometimes I work in a computer lab, or at the library. I have files stored on flash drives, external hard drives, network drives, and in my email account as file attachments. I have digital files floating around all over the place. Ahhhhhhh!

So, when I need to work on something, I always have to think ahead to make sure I have access to the files I need, at whatever location I’m going to be working from. If I’m not on top of things, I can end up wasting time. But I’m sure this problem is exclusive to me, because I’m special. Right? Riiiiight.

How can we easily and efficiently share files between multiple computers and maintain a high level of productivity, without creating duplicates and confusion?

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We know what you want

We know you better than you think. Even if you’ve never been to the CTL at Macomb, called us, emailed us, or even heard of us, we do know something about you. To prove it, we’re going to tell you something about yourself right now…. ready?

Ok, here goes: you understand the importance of using visuals in your classroom presentations, and you love free stuff.

See, we do know you!

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Facebook for Academia

Annnnd, we’re back! The mad dash at the beginning of the semester has subsided, and we’ve got some new bits of instructional technology goodness to share with you. To kick things off today, let’s take a look at www.Academia.edu, which has been affectionately referred to as the “Facebook for academia!”

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Why care about instructional technology?!

The “internets” are full of great resources for educators. After a little searching, I’ve found another sister blog that is packed-full of great info. It’s called Emerging Ed Tech and it’s managed by the Director of Institutional Info & Tech from The College of Westchester in White Plains, NY. Check it out!

Specifically, this article caught my attention: 5 Reasons Why Educators Need To Embrace Internet Technologies. If you’re still unsure about technology and the internet’s place in the classroom, the points in the article may change your mind.

And as always, if you find any good resources, please share them with us in the comments section below!

In 140 Characters or Less…

As the CTL Blog takes shape and gains in popularity, I will be inviting guest bloggers to join the party. This week, help me welcome Deb Armstrong, Assistant Director of the CTL, as she shares some interesting thoughts on the Internet’s latest superstar. We are, of course, talking about Twitter! You may be surprised to learn that Twitter has a number of educational uses. When a website’s name becomes a verb (as Google did), you KNOW it’s time to take notice! Do you “tweet?”

Is it true that we don’t deeply understand something until we can explain it succinctly? If so, Twitter is a great tool to help students summarize and share concepts, theories, and even stories in your discipline. Consider this: In early 2009, subscribers to Twitter (the microblogging tool that supports quick-hit communication in 140 characters or less) were challenged to summarize Shakespeare’s plays in Tweets…

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CTL Idea Exchange – Episode 2

Thank you, Mark, for participating! If you’d like to try out Skype (which is one of the most popular communication tools on the web), check out the Skype website to create a free account, and let us know if you need help!

Do you agree with Mark’s views on the proliferation of online learning? Let us know what YOU think. Join the conversation by leaving your comments below!

PDF Power – part 2

This is a continuation from the previous post, and includes an exciting conclusion to the “unofficial guide to everything that you need to know about PDFs… For Dummies… Cliff Notes… abridged edition 1.0! ”

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PDF Power – part 1

I’ll just come right out and say it- the PDF is one of the most useful yet misunderstood concepts in instructional technology. Well have no fear, because the CTL Blog is here to shed some light on the subject! (Insert nostalgic, superhero theme song here.) To make this as painless as possible, I’ve created the unofficial guide to everything that you need to know about PDFs… For Dummies… Cliff Notes… abridged edition 1.0!

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Free alternative to MS Office

I’m not exactly sure when it happened, but at some point in the last decade, Microsoft’s army of desktop applications conquered the PC world. Since then, the productivity suite that includes Word, PowerPoint, and Excel has been reigning over us with an iron fist. Does it have to be this way? No! Set me free!

Oh… wait… sorry about that. Where was I? Ah, yes, I was talking about desktop publishing application alternatives. Well, it just so happens, there IS a very functional, very free alternative to MS Office available right now!

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