Tag Archives: online technologies

ANGEL upgrade teaser

In May, we will be upgrading our ANGEL learning management system from version 7.2 to 7.4. I know, a 0.2 upgrade doesn’t sound like much, but trust me, there are some very significant enhancements in the new version that will undoubtedly make your ANGEL experience more enjoyable… not that it wasn’t already enjoyable, right?!

Click on the adjacent image for a sneak-peak at the new features. Just keep this on the down-low, because this is highly classified information and I don’t want any trouble! Ha.

CTL Idea Exchange – Episode 3

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX0ms7knCWc]

Thank you to Matthew for his time and participation! We covered a lot of ground in the interview, and Matthew brought up a number of interesting and important ideas. Please share your thoughts with Matthew and other Macomb faculty by leaving a comment below!

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The online courses debate

Ever since Macomb’s own Mark Champagne provided his insights on the future of online learning, the whole country has been buzzing (we kid because we like Mark)! Take, for example, this article from the New York Times “Room for Debate” column, in which experts and readers weighed-in on the hottest topic confronting higher education today.

Put on your gloves, step into the ring, and let us know what you think! Specifically, which of “The Editors” do you most agree with, and why?

PS: Thank you, Matthew Cross for providing the link. If you have any ideas for a blog post, send it my way!

Skinny Files

If you missed it, we just added a new workshop to our Professional Development offerings. What are “skinny files,” and why should you care?! Well, I’m glad you asked, because I placed the workshop handout online for your viewing pleasure. Click on the image below!

PS: Thank you to “C-Weck” (one of our favorite blog readers and a member of the CTL team) for discovering Issuu.com, the online file/document hosting service that we used to host this Skinny Files PDF. It’s Pretty slick, isn’t it? Can you see uses for this service in your classroom? Look for more useful documents on the CTL’s Issuu page soon!

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

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RTPDUV9oX0]

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 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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Group projects with Google Docs

Group projects are an invaluable learning tool, there’s no denying that fact. When incorporated into a balanced lesson plan, group work helps to nurture many skills that students will need in the real world, such as:

  1. an understanding the dynamics of a team and member roles
  2. professional behaviors like meeting deadlines and taking responsibility
  3. ability to work with others through complex problems

Great, so let’s assign some group projects! But hold on just a minute, there are a few issues that we’ll have to deal if this is going to work. First of all, what if the students in some of the groups have difficulty syncing up their schedules to meet outside of class? Or, worse, yet, what if you’re teaching an online class? What then? Well, those multicolored, search-crazy folks over at Google may just have an answer for you!

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