DE Tech Tips

UHWO Distance Ed Tips

Infographics

Infographics can be an engaging way to deliver information to your audience. This style of presentation is designed to be clear, concise, and visually appealing. Creating an infographic may be a fun way for you and your students to share information. It may even provide a great opportunity for right and left-brain thinkers to collaborate creatively. If you are in need of inspiration or a beginner’s guide, a good place to start is this blog entry by Learning Solutions Magazine: http://goo.gl/wIBvMz.

Student Laulima Tools Video

 We would like to share a resource that might be helpful for your students. The following link, https://youtu.be/iM9X5CMdv20, is for a video designed to help your students better understand some of the most commonly used tools in Laulima. The video is designed for student use, but the Resources folder in the UHWO Online DE Laulima site has plenty of links for tutorials designed for faculty.

4 Tips on Collaborative eLearning Activities

  1. Base each collaborative eLearning activity on measurable learning objectives.
  2. Make learners aware that this particular activity is an inseparable part of the eLearning course they attend. 
  3. Create a collaborative eLearning culture.
  4. Stress the importance of individual accountability for the success of the collaborative eLearning activity. 

Office 365

Did you know you can get Microsoft Office for free? You can receive access to Office 365, install the software on up to 5 PCs or Macs, install the apps on your mobile devices and this offer will provide you 1 TB of storage on Microsoft’s One Drive cloud storage system. Check it out by visiting: www.office.com/getOffice365, click on the Teacher tab and then the “Find out if I am eligible” button. You will be prompted with instructions.

Keyboard Shortcuts for YouTube

You can use keyboard shortcuts to navigate through YouTube videos. You might have already known that you could tap the space bar to play and pause your videos, but did you also know that the K key works too? The Left and Right Arrow (as well as the J and L keys) will help you skip forward and reverse. Also for more effective search results: you can find videos for a particular account by typing @ before the name in the search bar.

PollEverywhere

An easy way to facilitate class discussions and create a more interactive session is to ask questions and gather responses through polling. PollEverywhere.com offers a way for you to collect instant feedback via audience voting. You can create a question and your students can respond by voting through the website, Twitter or even by texting from their phones. Responses can be single choice or open-ended. Best of all, you can use it for free using your school email.

Bibliographic Software

How do you keep track of your digital research sources? It can be difficult to organize and recall reference material gathered from websites, ebooks, and PDFs, but bibliographic software can make the task much easier. Reference management software can allow you to sort, group and annotate text collected from databases, journals and the web. There are many choices, but two examples can be found at Zotero.org and Mendeley.com. These programs allow users to collaborate with others and they’re free.

Social Media Integration

Have you considered integrating social media into your pedagogy? Recently Facebook reported having experienced a new milestone: a billion users in one day. Chances are most of your students are familiar with social networking. Creating an online learning space, like a Facebook page, can be an easy way share ideas, announcements as well as providing a convenient platform for students to ask questions outside of class. This extra level of communication can be helpful in developing class culture and digital skills.

Rubric Creator

Feedback is an important part of assessment and student learning. Rubrics can be a great way to help students to understand expectations and help instructors evaluate work. Rubrics can help educators provide feedback that is precise and informative. The following link is an evaluation of five different rubric generating sites that may help you plan your next semester: http://elearningindustry.com/the-5-best-free-rubric-making-tools-for-teachers.

Screen Recording

Sometimes it can be really helpful to show exactly what is happening on your computer. Screen recordings can be a helpful way to virtually guide your students through procedures or explain steps in solving a problem. Screen recording applications like CamStudio (camstudio.org) and Jing (techsmith.com/jing.html) are free to download and use. These applications enable users to record their screens and create videos. This may be helpful for students learn more easily through visual demonstration rather than textual description.

Mind Mapping

Mind mapping is a very helpful way for students to sort ideas and generate trains of thought for presentations, papers, or even personal matters. This cognitive skill is one that many begin to learn in elementary education but can become more useful as issues become more complex. There are many different online tools that allow users to create mind maps or thought webs online. Here are a few for you to consider for your future classes: MindMup.com, Bubbl.us, and Coggle.it.

NYPL Digital Collection

As the spring semester begins and you continue to plan your lesson and class presentations, it may be helpful to know about resources that offer open access to public domain collections. These types of resources will allow you to use materials without infringing on the rights of others. One example would be the New York Public Library, who just recently released more than 180,000 digitized items for digital access. You can learn more about the collection from their blog site: http://goo.gl/FUjIYg.

Tiered Learning

An instructional design concept that may be helpful while planning future courses is Tiered Learning. This approach includes 3 levels of information distribution to create easier learning. These are: 1. High-level audio-visual information (such as a quality introduction video) 2. Detailed text-based information (this should include the details, strategies, and tips) 3. Opportunities for interaction and skill application (this part should include an activity to engage the learner, increase retention and help them meet the learning outcome).

Micro e-Learning

The Langevin Learning Services team blog offers helpful tips for instructional design and online learning. One post includes tips for simplifying online learning. Below are four visual/audio tips for designing your next class:

  1. Use lots of white space
  2. Use simple graphics, pictures, and shapes
  3. Avoid using more than two different colors or font types
  4. The same concepts apply toward audio as well - keep it simple! Be cautious of the rate of speech, and avoid using jargon and slang.

Building Community Through Feedback

Building community in an online class can be difficult when students engage asynchronously. One way to create bonds and involve your students is to solicit their feedback. This can take many forms such as class feedback, small group analysis, or online surveys. A survey can be created through Google forms and include open-ended or Likert scale response questions designed to engage students. Surveys may also be submitted anonymously in order to encourage more honest feedback.

Slide Presentations Tips: Font

Whether you’re using PowerPoint, Keynote, or Google Slides, it may be helpful to review a few tips for creating better presentations:

  1. Use sans serif font – using clean typefaces will offer greater legibility for your message.
  2. Use appropriate font size – font size between 28 and 32 for text and 36 to 44 for titles is appropriate for presentations.
  3. Use contrasting colors so your text is legible against the background you choose; such as black backgrounds with white font.

Slide Presentations Tips: Text and Bullet Points

When creating presentations, you don’t want to overwhelm your audience with information, you have to allow time and space for processing.

Try not to use more than six lines of text per slide. Your audience should be paying attention to you and what you are saying, not reading all the information from the slide. Also, limit your bullet points; instead try to share one idea per slide. People probably won’t remember twelve bullet points but may remember twelve captivating slides.

Write a Script for Your Slides

Although it may seem like extra work, one of the best things you can do create a slide presentation is write a script. Putting your ideas down before you actually start the presentation can help you organize what you want to say and begin visualizing the graphics you want to include. Make sure your presentation has a beginning, middle, and end. You can even duplicate your last slide as a self-reminder that you are at the end of your presentation.

Citation Managers

Let’s talk about organization. Everyone has their own way to organize research materials. Programs such as Mendeley (mendeley.com) and Zotero (zotero.org) are free programs that can help you take sort, cite, and even share notes from your sources. These programs will allow you to collect the information necessary for citations and then automatically paste APA or MLA formatted citations into your bibliography section. Both citation managers will allow you to download a standalone program to organize your downloaded files. You can sync these libraries with your web account to gain access to your files from any computer.

Mendeley

On Friday, February 10, the Office of Distance Learning offered an online workshop about Mendeley. Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network design to help you organize your files, collaborate with other academics and even discover new information. One of the main features of Mendeley is that their reference manager can be downloaded for free. You can use the program to keep of citations and notes for articles you have read. The system also automatically generated bibliographies is a multitude of styles including APA 6thEdition and MLA 7th Edition. If you are interested in viewing the session, please click here.

Zotero

This month we are learning about new ways to organize reference material. Zotero is a free, open-source application that helps researchers manage references. You can create notes and formatted bibliographies with Zotero. Some of the notable features of this application include web browser integration, online syncing, and ability to create in-text citations, footnotes and bibliographies. Additionally, the program integrates with word processors like MS Word and Libre Office.

EndNote

This month we have been learning about different types of free bibliographic software. Another option to help your organize your reference material is EndNote. This software is not free but Information Technology Services (ITS) has a established a site license for the UH System. So you can purchase an individual license for $35.00 that will allow you to use the system for the duration of the UH Fiscal Year. One of the big features of EndNote is that it works with unusual or complex citation styles. This program is also preferred for citing unusual document types or in situations where you have created your own document type. If you are interested in the program please visit: hawaii.edu/sitelic/endnote/.

Quality Matters Website

Whether you are building a new course or reflecting on a course you previously taught, the Quality Matters checklist might be helpful for designing a quality online class. This checklist is based on the Quality Matters standards, which were developed from a compilation of best practices in the field of distance education. The checklist may serve as a point of reflection or inspiration for your course design. You can find the checklist here: http://go.hawaii.edu/j6g.

Gamification

This month’s tech tips are going to share information about gamification in elearning. Gamifying a course involves the process of including game mechanics in course design and teaching. These techniques can add another level of engagement for student learning. Elements of gamification include levels, goals, badges, points, leaderboards, continuous challenges, competition and cooperation. As with any other educational tool, gamification is not for everyone; the instructor must decide what works for the course.

Gamification

Gamifying a class involves using game mechanics to encourage students to explore and learn in a class. Some of the more popular mechanics include the use of points, levels and badges. Some instructors allow students to collect points for completing different activities during the class. Points can then be used to achieve badges or some sort of recognition of accomplishment. Badges, which can be indicators of achievement or experience, are often displayed publicly for class members to see. Levels in a gamified class can refer to the structure of content. Some classes can be structured to require students to achieve a certain number of points or achievements before the next content level can be unlocked and accessed.

Laulima Tips

Announcements Tool in Laulima

The Announcements tool in Laulima serves the purpose of communicating with your students in a way is quick and simple. Announcements will appear in your students’ workspaces and on the homepage of your class site. You can add links to things within the site or outside of Laulima. As the instructor, you will also have the option to send an email to alert your class to the announcement, which can be helpful in providing reminders or information.

Adding an Avatar to your Laulima

Adding an avatar to your Laulima course site can be helpful in creating familiarity and establishing a connection with your students. To do so, first open your Discussion tool then click on the My Profile link. Next you will scroll down until you see the Avatar Control Panel. From here you can either upload a photo from your computer or add a URL to an image from your photo-hosting page. Be sure to click Submit and your image will be added.

Creating Hiddle Folders within Laulima

You can create a hidden folder within your Laulima course site. This might be helpful if you plan to keep material on your site but would like to prevent your students from seeing it. You can do this by opening the Resources tool, clicking “Add” then “Create Folders”. You’ll name your folder and then click on “Add details for this item”. Be sure to tick the box entitled “Hide this folder and its contents” to ensure the folder remains hidden then click “Create Folders Now”.

Student View on Laulima

While planning your Laulima site, you might find it helpful to view certain tools as your students will view the page. To do so, simply click on the tab at the top right section of your screen that says “View Site As:”. The default is the "Instructor” view, but when you click on the tab, you can change it to "Student " view. This will enable you to see the site as your students do. To exit student view, simply click on Exit Student View. 

Embedding Videos in Laulima Modules

Although you have been advised against uploading videos directly to your Laulima class site, it is possible to embed videos in a Module. This may be helpful to show class concepts in action. First, you will need to copy the embed code, then select “Add Content” in your Module tool. Under the content type make sure to select “Compose content with editor”. Next click the “Source” button, paste the code, and click “Add”. You can select “View Section” to see your changes.

Changing Order and Title of Tools

You can change the order and as well title for each tool in Laulima. First go to your course then select the Site Info tool; next choose Page Order. You will see all the tools you have enabled for your course. You can click and drag each tool to change the order of the tool bar. To edit the title, click on the pencil and paper icon then type in a new name. Be sure to Save changes once you have completed.

Laulima Communication

Laulima provides multiple tools for communication. For example, Mailtool will allow you to contact all site members through UH mail. Discussion and Private Messages allows for group conversations as well as direct communication. The Forums tool enables open discussion areas for online interaction. While Messages permits you to send messages privately to other members. These options make it convenient to connect, but can be overwhelming, so choose one tool for communication and one tool for discussions activities.

Laulima Schedule

Laulima offers multiple ways to strengthen communication in your class. The Schedule tool is essentially a calendar you can use to help keep your class on track with due dates for assignments and events. When adding events to your calendar you will have the option to add links, images, and even documents. Once entered in the tool, the event will appear on your class home page and will also appear in your students’ My Workspace.

Laulima Homepage

The Homepage is an important part of your Laulima course site because it is often the first place that students will see when they log on to your class. It can be helpful to display announcements and calendar events on your homepage so your students can easily access information about your class. Adding your contact information, pertinent images, or links to popular sites may also be helpful creating familiarity for your students in this virtual space.

Resources Tool

Resources is a tool in Laulima that allows you to store files, Web links, and other items for your students to access. Be sure to check off the "This folder and its contents are publicly viewable" option, so students are able to see the files. The designation "public" means it will be available to all members of your Laulima site, not the general public. During the process, you will also have the option to notify students  of new uploads.

Assignments, Tests and Surveys Tool

There are many ways to create, distribute and collect assessments through Laulima. One of the most versatile tools is Assignments, Tests and Surveys. A big advantage to using this tool is that you can authorize access for specific students. For example, if a particular student needs more time to complete a test, you could go into that assessment in Laulima and click on the Special Access icon, which looks like a person in a red shirt with the green plus sign. These settings will allow specified students to receive accommodations.

Lessons Tools

Lessons is a tool in Laulima that allows you to organize text, resources, links, media, assessments, and other content all on one page. This tool will allow your students to access information from different tools or websites in one area. You can think of Lessons as a giant board with all of the information for particular topic or unit. Every lesson does need to be added through Site Info and Edit Tools, but afterwards will be available in the toolbar on your site.

Import from Site

As the fall semester and 2016 comes to an end, you are probably making preparations for the next year. In preparations for the spring semester it might make sense to use some of the material from previous courses. You can do this in Laulima using the Import from Site process. First make sure both sites have all the same tools. In Site Info select Import from Site. Next choose “replace my data” and then select the tools you’d like to see in the new site. Newly imported announcements and assignments will be saved as drafts, so you will have to post them. Also in the Discussion and Private Messages tool, only postings that were checked “I’ll re-use” will be imported.

Laulima 10.7

Laulima 10.7 has a few differences that have made using the system more instinctual and convenient. Today we are highlighting Workspace Setup. You can change the order of your sites listed in the tabs in your Laulima by clicking on the More Sites tab and then Preferences. You can click and drag the courses to change their order and placement. Just remember to click on Update Preferences when you have finished.

Web Content Tool

If you are interested in embedding outside websites in your Laulima course site, you can do so with the Web Content Tool. After enabling the tool, you will be asked to enter a title for the link as well as the URL. Once you have saved the changes you will see a link to the website in the left hand toolbar in your site.

Statistics Tool

If you are curious about the amount of traffic in your course site, consider trying the Statistics tool in Laulima. This tool can provide information such as the number of visitors, the most active tool, the most active user and even the number of files that have been opened. You can find out how often specific students have visited your site and what tools they accessed on your site.

Google Tips

Voice Typing in Google Docs

Google recently released a new feature in Google Docs: Voice Typing. This feature allows you to speak into your computer’s microphone while the system types what you speak. It can be accessed through the Tools menu in Google Docs. However, you cannot access this tool through your hawaii.edu account; you must use a Gmail account and you must use the Google Chrome browser to gain access. .

Using Google Docs Offline

Did you know that you can use Google Docs offline? You can create new docs and edit current ones then sync your work when your Internet connection resumes. To access this option, you will need to open your Google Drive on the computer with which you intend to travel. Then open Settings (click on the gear icon and select Settings). Next tic the box next to “Sync Google Docs”. To access your files offline, you will still open your Chrome browser and type in drive.google.com.

Video Hosting and Google@UH Consumer Apps

If you plan to use videos in your course, please upload them to a video hosting site, like YouTube.com and then post the link to the video in your Laulima site. To gain access to YouTube via your Google@UH account (your hawaii.eduemail) you will need to turn on Google@UH Consumer Apps. You can find more information about the apps and how to turn them on by visiting: http://www.hawaii.edu/askus/1649.

Adding Collaborators to Google Docs

One of the highlights of using Google Apps is the ease of collaboration. For example, when using Google Docs, you can add collaborators by clicking on the “Share” button. You can then type in the email addresses of your collaborators and decide which type of editing privileges each user should be able to use. Clicking on “Get shareable link” will allow you to share the document with many people without having to add each. Be sure to carefully read the details for each privilege leave.

Google URL Shortner

Sharing a website while teaching or in a presentation can be difficult if the website has a long URL. If you have ever been in this situation, you might benefit from a URL shortener. Google offers their own shortener service at goo.gl. At this site you can paste in your long URL, click on the blue tab entitled “Shorten URL” and then receive a shorter URL that will be much easier to write on the board or paste into your presentation.

Google's Advance Search Function

Searching the web for information is an everyday activity, but maybe you could do it better. This week’s Tech Tip is about using Google’s Advanced Search function. First you have get there, go to: www.google.com/advanced_search. This page will allow you to focus your search by exact phrases, languages, file types, latest updates, and even excluding specific words to help clarify your target. This sort of filtering may be very helpful while scouring for specific information.

Adding Fonts in Google Drive

Did you know that you can add more fonts to your documents and presentations in Google Drive? To do so, you will open a document or slide in Google Drive and then look for the font tab. Click on the arrow to see a drop down menu. Look for “More fonts” at the bottom and click. Another window will display font choices; the ones in blue are ones that you already have. Make your selections, click OK and your choices will be added.

Editing in Google Docs

This week’s tech tip is about editing in the Google productivity suite. Collaborators can make changes to the doc, but a less invasive option is to Suggest Changes. Selecting this option, by clicking on the Editing tab at the top of the doc, will allow the owner to decide to accept changes after consideration. Another helpful tip is to make use of the Revision History feature, which can be accessed through File. This feature will let you undo changes.

Google Research Function

Google Docs has many features that can be helpful to your writing process. One example is the Research function, which can be found in the Tools Menu. Through this tool you can easily add images, quotations, even citations to your document. You can also search the web, access a dictionary, and create tables, all within the same window as your document. The Research function may be very helpful in keeping the flow of your work and preventing you from breaking focus from your task.

Google Calendar Gadget

Google Labs is a neat feature of Gmail Settings. You can access your settings by clicking on the gear shaped icon in the top right corner of your Gmail page. This area allows you to test features of Gmail before they are official. Right now, one neat feature is the Google Calendar gadget. Turning on this setting will allow you to a preview your Google Calendar appointments while you are using Gmail.

Google Labs

Google Labs is a great way to test Gmail features before going live. Access your settings by clicking on the gear shaped icon at the top right corner of your Gmail page. This area allows you to test Gmail features before they are live. The Google Calendar gadget allows you to preview your Google Calendar appointments while using Gmail. 

Google Docs Template

Did you know that Google Docs has a Template Gallery? Your UH email address will give you access to many applications in the Google suite, including Google Docs. The Template Gallery within Google Docs can be used as a tool to enhance your workflow by providing ideas for document designs. Some designs have been created by Google Docs, while others have been created by UH system users. The Gallery also provides space for you to create and save your own designs for future use.

Google Calendar

One of the perks of having access to Google@UH apps is that you have access to Google Calendar through your UH email. Google Calendar can help you keep track of your academic life by allowing you create events and set reminders. The calendar app can notify you for upcoming meetings through emails and even text messages. To access your calendar, type in google.hawaii.edu into your browser the next time you are logged in. Additionally, you can also download the Google Calendar app to your mobile devices. 

Sharing with Google Calendar

Google Calendar makes it easy for you to share events with others. You can make an event in your calendar and invite others to participate through the Add Guests feature in Event Details. You can also allow guests to modify the event, invite others, and see the guest list. Google Calendar also allows you to share your entire calendar with others through Sharing Settings. As the owner of the calendar, you can decide the limits of viewing and editing privileges of those you invite.

Multiple Class Calendars

Did you know that you can create multiple calendars in your Google Calendar? This can be very helpful for keeping track of assignments and projects for different classes. Clicking on the triangle next to the calendar name will allow you to access the details for color coding, sharing, notifications and settings. Within settings you can find the embed codes for your calendar. This can make adding a calendar to your site or blog very easy. 

Color Coding Google Calendars

One of the best features of Google Calendar is the accompanying apps that can be accessed from a mobile device. Within the app, you can add multiple calendars and track different events, courses or schedules in the same place. To avoid confusion, you can color-code calendars within the "Settings" menu. To access these options in the web version, click on "My Calendars," then click on the triangle next to the desired calendar.

Google Calendar Labs

Within the Calendar Settings of Google Calendar are a few features that might help with your organization and workflow. To check it out for yourself, click on the gear icon on your Google Calendar, then click on Settings, and next look for Labs. These options are new ideas that haven’t been fully released yet but might be helpful. For example, you can turn on the World clock setting, which will allow you see the times for other cities right in the corner of your calendar so you can more easily schedule events.

Google Drive - My Drive

Every Hawaii.edu account has access to Google’s Core Apps, which include Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Sites and Groups. Google drive is place online where you can store documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and photos. Your drive provides you with unlimited space for storage. Google drive can be used for collaboration and editing by uploading documents to your drive and then opening them within the Google App. Once you have opened the Google App, you can invite others to work with you.

Google Drive - Shared with Me

One of the best features of Google Drive is that you can share documents with others and collaborate on presentations, papers, or even spreadsheets. This can be helpful when you live in different time zones or have conflicting schedules or just don’t want to see each other. Your “Shared with Me” folder is where you can find all of the documents that others have shared with you. You can bring these documents into your drive by right clicking or control click and selecting Add to my drive.

Google Drive - Share with Others

One of the best features of Google Drive is that you can share documents with others and collaborate on presentations, papers, or even spreadsheets. You can share individual documents by clicking on the blue Share button at the top of your screen and entering the email address of the person with whom you would like to share. You can also assign editing privileges (i.e. Can edit, Can comment, Can view). Entire folders can also be shared with others by right clicking on the folder and selecting the Share option.

Google Drive - Private and Secure Information

Although Google Drive allows unlimited storage options for courses, group work, etc., please do not use Google Drive for storing and/or sharing secure data files such as files that contain student , employee and/or credit card information. If you need to share secure or information sensitive files, use UH File Drop (www.hawaii.edu/filedrop). For more information or help, please contact UHWO IT at uhwohelp@hawaii.edu.

Blackboard Collaborate

Introducing Blackboard Collaborate

Blackboard Collaborate is a web conferencing tool that will allow you to meet with students without coming to campus. Blackboard Collaborate can be useful for online class meetings or for individual student conferences. To get started, you will need to request a Blackboard Collaborate account. You can do so by filling out the form found here: http://go.hawaii.edu/LN. If you are interested in learning about the program, the Office of Distance Learning will be offering a workshop on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 at 10 a.m.

Requesting a Blackboard Collaborate Account

Blackboard Collaborate is a browser-based web conferencing system that you can use, with your students, to collaborate synchronously online. This system could be helpful for online classes, hybrid classes, or communicating online with your face to face students. In addition to creating a virtual classroom space for meeting, you can also use the system to record meetings and allow other students to view at later times. To request a Blackboard Collaborate account, please fill out this form.

Slide Sharing and Slide Uploader

Blackboard Collaborate is a browser-based web conferencing system that you can use to collaborate synchronously online. Two features that aid collaboration are application sharing and slide sharing. Application sharing will allow you to share a live view of your screen with your students. While slide sharing will allow you to upload presentation slides to share in the Blackboard virtual room. The system will also allow students to share through these features when enabled.

Web Tours in BBC

While teaching in Blackboard Collaborate it is possible to lead tours of websites. To do so, you would first have all student log in to your BBC virtual office. Then you click on the Web tour icon, which is a screen with a globe located at the top of your screen. Be sure to check the “Follow me” box. This will ensure that your students see the same information as you travel through the web. The next step is to type in the url of the site you would like to visit. This feature will use Blackboard Collaborate’s internal browser to display websites to your class and have your students virtually move along with you.

Whiteboard in Blackboard

One of the neat features in the Blackboard Collaborate virtual office is the virtual whiteboard. The whiteboard allows you to write on your presentation slides and it allows your students to write too. You can use the tool as a way to annotate slides or to collect student input for a particular topic or question. You can also drag and drop image files on to the whiteboard for discussion.

Creating Breakout Rooms

Blackboard Collaborate, the web conferencing system, offers many features to encourage online collaboration. One feature of the system that can help facilitate small group collaboration is the use of breakout rooms. Breakout rooms allow members to have their own private audio, video, whiteboard and application sharing features, which can make it easier for small groups to communicate during a class session.

Using the Whiteboard

The first space you see when you enter Blackboard Collaborate is the whiteboard. Typically, it is used as a slideshow space, but it’s also a space in which to write, draw, and collaborate. The toolbar is found on the left and contains the selection tool, a pointer, a pen tool to draw, a text tool to add words, a line tool, a screen capture tool, and a clip art tool. Tools are available to moderators and participants for interactive discussions. All members also have to open to save whiteboards for future reference.

Blackboard Collaborate

This month (March 2017) we will be learning about Blackboard Collaborate. One of the neat features is that there are many different ways to communicate within the conferencing system. You and your students can use the video feature, which will turn on your camera and allow it to record your face. The system also includes an audio feature, as the instructor or moderator you can decide who can use this tool. It allows you to use your microphone to speak to your class or for members of your class to speak to you. Blackboard Collaborate also has a built in chat feature to allow for both public and private chats. The chat function is also a great way to gather feedback during your presentation or to have a quick word without having to include the entire class.

Breakout Rooms

Blackboard Collaborate is a web conferencing platform that you can use to meet with students online. There are many different features of Blackboard Collaborate. One feature to help facilitate small group collaboration are breakout rooms. You can create separate rooms with in Blackboard Collaborate to allow smaller groups of students to work together. Students can use the whiteboard to document their discussions and afterwards share with the larger class.

Chat Functions

Blackboard Collaborate is a web conferencing platform that you can use to meet with students online. The system allows you to speak to your students while also allowing your students to speak to each other. Students can use the chat function to ask questions during presentations and you can answer them as you go along. The chat function allows the use of emojis, which can be helpful for quick feedback and it also allows the use of private chats so you can have a conversation with certain members out of view of the entire class.

What's Blackboard Again?

Blackboard Collaborate is a web conferencing platform that you can use to meet with students online. There are many different features of Blackboard Collaborate. One feature to help facilitate small group collaboration are breakout rooms. You can create separate rooms with in Blackboard Collaborate to allow smaller groups of students to work together. Students can use the whiteboard to document their discussions and afterwards share with the larger class.