Posted in Ideas & Reminders

Best Sources for Free Digital Textbooks and More [ Campus Technology ]


Lesson 1: Part 1 – Language Instruction

Posted in Uncategorized

Use of Open Educational Resources in Online Courses: Advocate, Adopt, Adapt, Author, AND Maintain…

I noted one of the program sessions here ( ) which did not include the “AND Maintain…” notation.

Several years ago, I found an online OER for an Introduction to Psychology.  I asked the author if I could port the content over from his format into a WordPress site.  It ported fairly easily.

At a later date, I came across course materials for a different course and over time realized that one of the pitfalls of using OER, or developing OER content was that it is exciting when you first start developing the materials, and even so the first time you teach with it, but then boredom sets in… the second or third time you teach, and then you need to start updating those once exciting materials, and then it is not as exciting anymore, so you start looking for a graduate student to perform the task of updating existing materials.  *That may be jaded, but pay attention and I think you will find that at least some developers of OER content will repeat this pattern.

So, what if your institution adopts OER materials.  Maybe, you are part of a group at your institution who are responsible for choosing, adopting and adapting OER content.  If two faculty teach with this material, do you control any new content they might specifically add to their course?  When it comes time to update these OER materials, who gets assigned the task(s) of content maintenance?


Posted in 21st Century Ed, Ideas & Reminders

New Horizon HE Report? NMC Belly-Up!

I’ve been focused on the administrative web at our institution for the last year and a half, but just noted a surprise regarding the New Horizon HE Report.  I was looking for the 2018 edition, which should have been out by now, and see that the non-profit organization NMC had financial problems that have forced them to end.  EDUCAUSE apparently will publish the 2018 version of the New Horizon HE Report.

Not sure if the 2018 CHLOE 2 Report will provide some insights into the future of and not just the changes to because I just came across the report last week and haven’t had time to read it.

Posted in Uncategorized

Class Polling via “Plickers”

Plickers combines high-tech (one smartphone with the recording application) and low-tech (printed on paper, cards for each student – 40 to 63 cards, and different sized cards for smaller classrooms or auditorium settings).  The instructor creates questions, and then puts them in a queue, and performs a “Live View” which projects the question on a screen (project to a wall for your student audience).  The audience can remain anonymous or you can create a class roster and Plicker will record the answer from each student.

“You print the Plicker cards in advance, one for each student
and record student responses
via your smartphone.

*I’m not sure if the application “bogs down” when there are a bunch of students, but it is supposed to record from 40 to 63 responses from all the cards being held up simultaneously.  There does have to be a “line of sight” between each card and the phone recording the responses, so conceivably someone or something could block another student’s response.


Each card these students are holding has a unique outline.  Each side of the card is lettered from A – D, and the student must hold the card so the correct answer is at the top of the card.  *Scanning the responses takes a fraction of a second, so you don’t have to go up to each student to record their response.  Also, you could record the responses from the back of the classroom, with students facing forward, holding their cards, facing backwards, and looking at the projected questions (from the “Live View” screen).

plicker-answer-choicesHere is a Plicker card #1 rotating through the various answers, A, B, C and D.  Remember, the answer displayed at the top is the chosen answer.  The smartphone screen capture below has recorded 7 responses, all “D” and the card numbers are in the upper left.  Look closely and card 17 and 26 were being recorded with their response in the class picture.


Posted in 21st Century Ed, Ideas & Reminders

ENGL 345 Technical Writing: Bill Session 10/25/17


  • Knowledge is Power!?
  • Use Jing for screen capture or Snagit (Techsmith)
    • To record image stills
    • To record brief, narrated videos (using a program, etc.)
  • Organize your materials with a WordPress site ( free at )
    • that way you can use
      • categories
      • tags
      • and the search function to search for materials easily
    • Create multimedia articles
      • you can write something
      • you can add still images
      • you can add video, embed video
      • you can create links to other web articles explaining more fully or from a different perspective
      • or you could embed audio
    • Don’t recreate the wheel
    • Google it
    • Some places to go for ideas regarding technology (education/instructional)
    • If you’re watching training videos see if you can speed up the play speed because that way you can listen to them a lot quicker
    • Be specific in defining your problem
      • Don’t just say, “Canvas isn’t working,” or “I can’t upload an assignment in my class.”
        • What part of Canvas isn’t working?
        • Which class? Which assignment?  Provide an error message.
    • Take a look at a conference and see who the conference speakers are
      • then Google for their materials that they have online
    • If someone that you are following has a reading list and says, “This is what I’m currently reading,” then you should start reading what they are reading, because that’s the material that that person is going to use for their next big thought.


FETC Conference Flyer

FETC – Future of Education Technology Conference

“Digital Consumption and Creation in a Changing Literacy Landscape”  Steven Anderson, Digital Learning and Relationship Evangelist, Web20Classroom

“…Being literate in today’s world means more than just being able to read.  Constant access to information and the digital tools used to access that information is changing the definition of literacy and what it means to be literate…”

Steven Anderson


Posted in Web 2.0 Tools

Social Media Wall

I’m not sure what led me to this MIT Connect – Social Media site, but it looked interesting.  After I looked at it, I thought, “I wonder if someone has developed a WordPress plugin that could do this.”

Pretty quickly, I found a couple of WP plugins:


Social Stream


I have often wanted to embed, via iframe, a WordPress page within an CMS, LMS or portal page (Canvas, Ingeniux, LookingGlass) to take advantage of someone’s coding without having to recreate it outside of WP.  I think I’ve found something like the following before, but the result must not have been as successful.

How to create a WordPress page without header, menu, sidebar and footer?

I copied the PHP coding found at the above link and pasted it into a Notepad ++ page, saving it as suggested.  I then used some Terminal program to login to our WordPress application on a Linux system.  I transferred the PHP file into the root folder of one of our themes and then went to create a new page, using that theme.  Sure enough, there was a “Clean Page” option in the drop down for Page Templates.  The page displayed perfectly, with no header, sidebars or footer, just the application that was embedded.

Here is the result of the WP page being displayed in an Ingeniux page via an iframe:


The same displayed in a LookingGlass Portal Channel:

I also tried this using Mobirise to create a page and it looked great there also.

I have only played with adding Twitter, RSS feeds, and YouTube.  I’m not sure this would be easy, or that sometimes changes on the media source won’t break the various social media streams being displayed in these programs.

Posted in Uncategorized

Movo Photo MTP-10

I finally decided to get back to the Google Cardboard Camera and to try and create a 360 degrees video tour.  The Cardboard Camera software was free and I was able to create a panoramic image relatively easily, but I was having to manually rotate the camera 360 degrees.  If I rotated too quickly the recording would fail.  It probably took about 3 minutes to complete the rotation.

I have just ordered a Movo Photo MTP-10 Motorized Panaromic Time Lapse Tripod Head with Variable Speed, Time and Direction with Built-in Rechargeable Battery to hopefully automate the process.  The slowest time is 5 minutes, which may be too slow for the software… but we will see.



Looks intuitive for a high tech egg timer;-)


Posted in Uncategorized


Someone recently pointed me to the UTK web site which was displaying several demographic graphs on a page.  I found that the graphs were being generated by an application called Highcharts.  I visited their site and was able to download their free app for creating these, interactive, web graphs.  There is also an online version of the app.


The impressive functionality of the graphs on the web page is that the viewer can click on certain elements to turn them off or on.  If you are viewing the graphic data for four cities, you can choose to turn one or more of the cities off/on and this regenerates the graph on the page.

Not sure if I can paste the coding into this page, but if so, be impressed;-)


Do you want to use Highcharts for a personal website, a school site or a non-profit organisation? Then you don’t need the author’s permission, just go on and use Highcharts…


Posted in Uncategorized

I think I used the free Google Cardboard Camera app to produce the panoramic 360 degree view of the room. *The image displays fine in the WP editing window, but does not display on the page, when viewed from the browser.  If you can get to the following location, there are hotspots in the view that take you to more info.

I created the above 360 degrees image using my old Samsung SIII phone on a tripod.  You could piece several of these 360 images together to make a virtual tour.  One nice feature is that you can add sound to the images, so that the sound plays when the viewer is looking at a certain part of the image.  In one of the example tours, a rooster crows loudly when the viewer is facing the image that has chickens in the yard, but when the viewer has panned the image and has his/her back to where the chickens were located, a rooster crows again, but this time, the audio level is lower, giving the impression of being further away from the sound.  *That is just good tool manipulation on the part of the tour creator.