Tag Archives: new ideas

Bookmark freeeedom

I’ve been an avid user of Delicious.com for a while, and I love it. Delicious is a free online tool that allows you to bookmark your favorite websites from any computer, and access them from any computer. It also allows you to tag (mark with keywords) those bookmarks, and see what other people are bookmarking with similar tags. It’s a community of interesting and useful links on every subject you can imagine. I don’t use the favorites or bookmarks feature in Internet Explorer or Firefox anymore, because they are stored only on that particular computer. There are numerous applications for such a tool, as well.

But after hearing the recent news that Yahoo! is “sun setting” Delicious (whatever that means), I’ve decided to shop around a bit. I’ve found a few alternatives that are very interesting and feature-rich! Continue reading

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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“Flip” out!

In case you haven’t noticed, we have some cool technology in the CTL. Oops, sorry, I meant to say cool AND useful! The cool and useful instructional technology item that I’d like to highlight today is the FlipCam!

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PowerPoint Comedy

It’s the oldest teaching trick in the book… and it never fails to bring your students [back] to life. And that trick is humor! Sometimes, as educators, we take ourselves a little too seriously (what?! never!). Find cartoons related to your subject, bring in some crazy props, and try something new! Your students will appreciate it! We are, after all, “on stage” while we’re teaching.

Speaking of humor, I’ve stumbled upon an interesting video that I think we can all appreciate. It’s a stand-up comedy routine by Don McMillan, a PHD-holding comedian, called “Life After Death by PowerPoint.” His bit on PowerPoint is hilarious… and also very true. Enjoy!


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!

Wake your students!

How many of us have suffered through classes that follow this pattern?

Go to class, listen to lecture, stare at PowerPoint slides  –  go home and (sort-of) read the book  –  return to class and take multiple-choice test  –  repeat until the end of the semester.

And more importantly, how many of us are still teaching this way?!

One of the most challenging tasks for an educator is to create classroom exercises that mirror the big, bad, scary real-world, which also engage students in the learning process. Enter… the group project! Through our interactions with faculty here in the CTL, we’ve learned that group projects are actually quite challenging to administer and monitor. How do you, as the instructor, ensure that each student’s group learning experience is meaningful? Continue reading

Are textbooks dying?

If you’ve been to a college bookstore lately, you know how expensive textbooks are, and you also know how much students love to drop $200 on a book they’ll use for 6 weeks! With e-textbooks becoming more common, and new technologies like the Kindle and iPad for easier reading of digital materials, traditional text books should be on their death bed, right?!

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Sister blog!

Our “Instructional Technology at Macomb” blog is relatively new to the blogosphere (don’t you love made-up tech words like blogosphere?!). We’re still settling into the neighborhood, but we’re already making new friends!

Susan over at Adelphi University in New York is our newest friend, and we appreciate her kind words about our blog! Their Faculty Center is like our Center for Teaching and Learning, and they run an excellent blog, so check it out!

And if you enjoy free stuff like we do, be sure to read their entry on “Free and Public Domain Multimedia for Classroom Use!”

Design Inspiration

Yes, I know, this is very strange. Two posts in one day?! This could mean one of two things; I’m either procrastinating and avoiding my other duties, or I’ve found something really cool and just had to share it right away! Or… it could be due to both reasons (*cough*).

Note & point” is one of the coolest blogs I’ve found in a while. If you’re looking for PowerPoint or Keynote presentation design ideas, this is the place to start. You can even download PDFs of the featured presentations. If you’re like me, and always trying to create more interesting presentations, check it out!

Presentation Zennnnn

I’ve been doing it wrong all along, and so have you!

Garr Reynold’s approach to presentation design is fresh and effective. As referred to in this previous post, we follow many incorrect conventions when creating our instructional material. The madness must stop! Here are a few ways to find the path to presentation zen:

  1. Attend the upcoming instructional technology workshop.
  2. Regularly read the presentation zen blog.
  3. Read the book.

And, of course, consult with your campus Center For Teaching and Learning for assistance!