Showing posts from 2015

Audio on Blogger

I have done some searching for instructions on how to incorporate audio on the Blogger platform. Most solutions are obtuse and kludgey. The best solution I have found so far is to use SoundCloud to host the file and then embed into a blog post. SoundCloud is easy to use although free accounts are limited to 3 hours (per month I assume, as the site does not say) and a 5GB file size max.

As a test, I have uploaded and embedded a recording of an interview I posted back in May of last year.  The interview is with Amy Briggs about using a game in an upper level biology course. The recording quality is not that great as there was mechanical noise in the background, but hopefully this will lead to more and better audio in the future!

Spring 2016 Courses Available

Courses for Spring 2016 are now available to instructors in Moodle. Please feel free to begin adding materials and getting them ready for the spring. If you have questions as you work, please feel free to contact Instructional Technology and/or check out our documentation.

Courses are hidden from students by default when they are created. When you are ready you will need/want to show the course to students.

To do so:
Open your course in Moodle. Click Edit settings from within the Settings block. Select “Show” in the Visible drop-down menu located in the General (top) section. Save Changes at the bottom of the page.

Update: Hashtag ToDo

UPDATE: After using this tool for almost a month, I am back to using Google Tasks. The thing that I found was that I have tasks that I want to list, but that are not urgent for a particular day. This meant that I had a long list of tasks in the 'all-day' event section of my calendar which pushed the rest of the calendar down on the page. While I could mark something as done, doing so did not remove it from the calendar.

I recently came upon a tool that allows me to use my Google Calendar as a To-do list, called HashtagToDo (#todo). I have been using it for a couple of weeks now. You can see how it works with your calendar here. So far I like it. It is nice to be able to put to-dos directly into my calendar. I really like that any tasks that I don't complete are automatically moved to the next day. I actually made a separate "to-do" calendar so that 1) I could make it a different color from my regular calendar, and 2) so that I could hide it if I want. This also …

170,000 images from Depression Era America: Yale Photogrammar

Yale has released 170,000 images of Depression era America. The tool, Photogrammar is a visually pleasing and easy-to-use interface for searching through the database of images. Click the link below to check it out.


Moodle: Styling Issues with Safari

I recently helped an instructor who was having an issue in Moodle. The instructor was running a Mac laptop with the latest version of Yosemite and accessing Moodle through the Safari browser. She was using the newer Atto text editor in Moodle.

The symptom of the issue was that the WYSIWYG text editor was not applying a style (color, in this case) to some text. The instructor selected the text, selected the desired color, and then nothing happened. The same thing attempted in Google Chrome was successful. As always, Firefox is the preferred browser for accessing Moodle. Google Chrome seems to be stable as well (I primarily use Chrome).


I recently came upon a tool that allows me to use my Google Calendar as a To-do list, called HashtagToDo (#todo). I have been using it for a couple of weeks now. You can see how it works with your calendar here. So far I like it. It is nice to be able to put to-dos directly into my calendar. I really like that any tasks that I don't complete are automatically moved to the next day. I actually made a separate "to-do" calendar so that 1) I could make it a different color from my regular calendar, and 2) so that I could hide it if I want. This also allows me to not share all my to-dos with anyone that has access to my regular calendar.

This tool is very easy to set up and use.

To connect the tool to your calendar, just sign up with your Google account. The settings allow you to determine which calendars work with HashtagTodo.To create a To-do just add "#todo" (without the quotes) to any calendar item. This will create a check box for the item. Once the to-do has b…


One of my colleagues (Meghan Dowell - thank you!) shared this site with me. I haven't had much time to try it out, but it looks very promising. It appears to be free (they do accept donations) and the site supports drag-and-drop. Click the conversion type you desire and then drag and drop the file into the designated area.

Click the link below to try it out:

Japan Cities in Transition Blog

I was reminded again today of the awesome work that is occurring on (and off) the Beloit College campus, in particular on the Japan Cities in Transition blog, In Search of Modern Japan. This is the second year for this blog with a total of eight students studying abroad in three different universities in Japan.

The purpose of the blog is to:
"help them [students] explore the city as concept, the city in practice, and the city as imagined by its inhabitants. Through the experience of writing this blog, we hope all students in this class can understand more fully the rich diversity of experiences that await them." It is a great privilege to read through the students experiences and see them process, analyze and evaluate those. Please check out the blog and/or, better yet, comment and interact with the students. I know they would enjoy the feedback and interaction.

In Search of Modern Japan

Copyright Course

Duke University, Emory University and  The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are offering a free, on-demand course titled, "Copyright for Educators & Librarians," through Coursera,  You may pay for a certificate if you wish after completing the course. the course is hosted by:

Kevin Smith, M.L.S., J.D., Director, Copyright and Scholarly Communication at Duke University Libraries
Lisa A. Macklin, J.D.,M.L.S., Director, Scholarly Communications Office Robert W. Woodruff Library, Emory University
Anne Gilliland, JD, MLS, Scholarly Communications Officer, University Libraries, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

This is a great opportunity to learn about copyright and how to it pertains to teaching and learning. The course consists of four main sections:

A Framework for Thinking About CopyrightOwning RightsSpecific Exceptions for Teachers and LibrariansUnderstanding and Using Fair Use This is a very informative and helpful course for anyone in the educati…

Skype - Group Video calls

It used to require a Premium account to make a group video call on Skype. Not so now. Both of the most recent versions of Skype will allow users to make a group call over audio or video. Check out the links below for instructions on how to make group calls.

Skype Group Video Calls (Mac)
Skype Group Video Calls (Win)

Google Drive: Adding Files to Multiple Folders

When Google updated Google Drive, it became a little less apparent about how to move a single file into multiple folders. Doing so may or may not be necessary depending on your workflow, but it can be handy if you need a file accessible from more than one location.

A favorite edtech blogger of ITEC, Alice Keeler outlines how to add a file into multiple folders in a post of tips for Google Drive on her blog.

Contact Us Form

We recently discovered that our contact form was broken. We were not receiving notifications about any form submissions.

We have resolved the issue and are now receiving copies of submissions. Please accept our apologies and do use the form if you need/want to contact us.

As a result of the work we did, we can recommend an Add-on for Google Forms that will create a mail merge from a form submission. the addon is called FormMule. It is fairly intuitive to setup.

Moodle for 2015-2016

Moodle for 2015-2016 is running version 2.8. This version contains a number of updates. A lot of work has gone in this version to make it as user-friendly as possible. A few noteworthy changes are listed below. Click here to see the full list.

Enhancements for everyone:
Text autosave - The Atto text editor will automatically save your text as you type, keeping your content secure before you publish it. New user menu - A new user menu gives quick access to personal pages such as My home and profile settings. 
Enhancements for students:
Subscribe to discussions - You can now subscribe to individual forum discussions and get email copies of just the replies you want! See Forum settings
Enhancements for teachers:
Gradebook improvements - Many improvements have been made to the gradebook, with the grader report now functional across all devices with smooth scrolling. Cells can be quickly edited without reloading. Single view - A new Single view allows you to make quick edits to one item…

Free Conference: Education on Air

I came across an opportunity for a free online conference centered around enhancing teaching and learning through technology. The conference is hosted by Google and will take place May 8, 9.

Click here if you have questions about the event.

Click the link below to register for the event:

Update to DMT

The Audio Tools page of the Digital Media Toolbox has been updated to include many more tools and resources for finding and creating audio that you may use for media projects. Most of the tools listed on this page are free or are reasonably priced. There are a number of notable additions to the page that are listed below.

Finale Notepad
From the website, "Create orchestrations of up to 8 staves, and enter notes by clicking them into the staff or importing MIDI or MusicXML files. Once your music is in NotePad, you can hear it play back, see it on the printed page, and share it with other NotePad and users of other Finale family music notation software." This is free software.
Incredibox -
Incredibox is a set of fun loop generators. You select from a set of beats, effects, choruses, and voices to create your loop. In the second, third and fourth version of the generator it is possible to record you…

Gamification in Moodle

I was forwarded a link to a Moodle course on gamification created at NC State University. I will be investigating this soon. I am curious about who on the Beloit Campus is interested in gamifying a course?

If you are interested in this and Moodle check out the course. Enrollment does require that you create an account on their system, but participation is free.

Qualitative Research tool - Dedoose

I was recommended this tool by a faculty member for anyone who would like to, or needs to do qualitative research. The faculty member mentioned that the tool was very intuitive and that the support was great. The subscription fee is very reasonable as well.

Moodle: Read-Only Forums

I recently became aware of an easy method for making a Moodle forum read-only. This is great if you want students to still have access to the forum, but not add anything new.

The solution involves changing the students' permissions for the specific forum you want to be read-only. Read through the instructions below to see how. Click this link to see the full instructions with images.

On your course page, click the link to the forum you want to make read-only. The forum page will open.With the forum page open, go to the Administration block and click Permissions (not Check Permissions). The Permissions in Forum screen will open.In the Advanced role override drop-down menu, choose Student.
> Reply to posts
> Start new discussions
Do not change any other permissions.
Tip: You can use the filter to quickly focus the list on the permissions you want to change.
Scroll to the bottom of the list of permissions and click Save changes.  Students will immediately lose their ability to post,…

Video Feedback

This article discusses the benefits and drawbacks of using video for student feedback. I wonder how many faculty would be interested in this method?

It is possible to do this directly in Moodle. Any HTML editable area may be used to record audio or video, using the Poodll plugin. Instructions for setting it up are here. Please contact Adam or Jedidiah if you would like to set this up in your Moodle course.

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