Confused between “THAT” app and “THIS” tool? We’ve got it under control for you

Greetings!  We’re nearing the end of the semester and if you’re like me, you might be pretty overwhelmed by that end-of-semester to-do list.  And, while you may have read or heard about some cool digital tools that you want to explore over the summer as you build or revise your courses…. darn it… you’ve forgotten the name of “THAT” app or… you’re confused between “THAT” app and “THIS” tool.  Well, ladies and gentlemen, we’ve put together some useful (or at least we believe they are) webpages that aggregate many of the digital tools that you might want to consider using in the future.   The tools are organized by function (e.g. curation, design, interaction) and are located in the “Tool Box” section of our website.


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While we can’t support EVERY app out there, the good news is that at least one member of our team has used each of the apps listed on these pages so we’ve got a good chance of being able to help you.  Each of the resource pages are listed below along with a short description of its’ functionality.  I hope you have fun exploring the potential with these tools but always keep in mind that your learning outcomes should guide you to the appropriate tool and not vice versa.  Ohh and don’t forget to “follow” each page so that you can be informed of updates and be “in the know” about the latest tools as we discover and use them.


CI Learn Instructional Videos:  There are soooo many resources and so much functionality of CI Learn that remains untapped by many faculty.  Did you know you can completely customize your left hand navigation menu and change the entire look and feel of your course (including colors, banner, and more)?  This page has some fantastic instructional videos that will walk you through the process of using CI Learn.  You may have seen these videos in the past but this handy page organizes them neatly in one spot for you.


Tools for Curation:  This page features a host of tools that will enable you and your students to curate and interact with digital resources (like websites, articles, etc.).  Faculty who create a curation activity often compare it to having students print out, and bring in, a newspaper clipping of a current event to discuss in class… same idea but entirely digital.


Tools for Design:  Want to make dazzling and learner-centered presentations that are way more cool than a boring PowerPoint?  Don’t have strong design skills but still want to make a professional and aesthetically pleasing course banner?  Check out this page which contains some useful and easy-to-use design tools.


Tools for Interaction:  There are many ways to encourage and facilitate student-to-student and student-to-teacher interaction and there are oodles of digital tools to make interaction possible. Check out this page that includes tools for web based interaction that would complement any face-to-face, blended or fully online course.  Oh… and this page has a whole section dedicated to student response systems which are designed to encourage student interaction using technology in the face-to-face environment.


Assessing Student Learning:  All good courses have clear learning goals or outcomes and a way to assess the achievement of those goals.  This page provides an overview of how to assess student learning and gives a glimpse about how this might be different using digital tools and in blended/online courses.


Online Activity Collection:  The various tools available for interaction, design, video making, etc. are great but you may want some ideas of how faculty ACTUALLY use them.  This page provides an aggregation of ideas for online activities…  it’s just a start so if you have ideas to contribute, let us know (please!) and we’ll add more.  This is definitely a page to “follow.”


Copyright Basics:  Copyright is important no matter the course delivery method; this page provides an excellent resource with the 4-1-1 about copyright and creative commons.


Making Vibrant Videos:  Featured on a previous blog post, this page provides important considerations for making learner-centered videos and provides an array of tools for video making and screen casting.


Hope this listing helps you feel a little less worried that you have to keep track of all of the tools out there… we’ve got it under control.


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