Monday, October 26, 2009

InSync Training

InSync offers free online trainings through WebEx sessions. Take a look at the link and see if there is something that you find interesting. They have several sessions on adult learning, effective assessments, and e-learning. Also, if you cannot attend the live session, there are links to recordings of some of them.

Friday, October 16, 2009

YUDU Publishing is an ePublishing library & marketplace that helps you create, enhance, share, promote and sell digital publications with the world.

Share your interests and expertise with the world.

Find interesting digital documents, magazines and ebooks - many for free and others that you can buy - and save them to your own free library. Add photos and music and bookmark your favorite websites. Start an Interest Group to share your passions and expertise or create a private group online for your club or class. Invite friends and other users to join your group and allow them to add relevant content of interest.

Be your own Publisher.

Upload your Word, Powerpoint and PDF files and convert them automatically into page-turning digital editions, ebooks, ezines and e catalogues which are hosted by YUDU for free. Add YouTube videos and other multimedia with a Plus account. Keep your publications private or share them with the world - YUDU publications are searchable by Google, Yahoo and others. Self-publishing with YUDU is quick and easy!

In addition, upload podcasts, MP3 and photos and bookmark your favourite websites with thumbnail screenshots, so you can remember them easily and encourage others to view them. Organize your published items within albums in your library and promote your digital content on your own site via embedded libraries or embedded single digital publications.

Carbon Neutral Publishing

It's not difficult to imagine the environmental benefits of publishing online with YUDU. Their system was designed with energy efficiency in mind. Each page has the lowest electronic footprint possible, whilst maintaining the highest quality viewing experience - YUDU publications use very little energy.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Use Jing for a variety of things!

I've been playing with a product called Jing. It allows you to make videos that capture your desktop with audio. It's free, easy to use, and allows you to create 5 minute videos. You can then send students links to the videos, or embed them into your coursepages or webpages.

Typically, a professor would use this product for recording content. It's good for showing step-by-step processes. Here's some other ideas that you might not have thought about...
  • Have students record a short presentations on the key insights of an article they are reading this week. They can easily share the links in their discussion boards and forums.
  • If students don't understand how to work a problem in Excel, have them send you a video, showing them working through it, and you'll be able to see exactly what they are doing wrong. (or right!)
  • Rather than having students send an excel file with their answers to a test, have them actually record a video solving a single problem on the test.
  • Give students audio feedback on assignments, rather than typing in everything you want to say.

Here's a sample video, so you can see how it looks:

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

NPR and PBS Lectures online

Today's Chronicle has an article about the new lecture videos made available from PBS and NPR. These videos highlight a number of different topics, and can easily be linked into course pages to add additional content.

Click here to browse the Forum Network Business Lectures.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Lectures and Distance Learning

This video from The Chronicle had some pretty interesting points about the need to take the lectures out of the classroom, and put them into podcasts, and then use the classroom time to engage in student Q&A and discussion. (I liked his idea of requiring students to view them before class, and give them a quiz as they walk in the room.)

What really excites me about this video is that distance learning already does what Dr. Bowen is suggesting. He says that we should filter down lectures to the core points that students listen to before 'attending class', and then devote professor's time to the interactive engagement of students in discussions and activities. At Thunderbird, professors often record their lectures to use for 2-3 terms, and then can devote their teaching time to responding to online discussions, providing feedback, and creating collaborative learning environments.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Using Social Media to Connect

Yesterday Thunderbird hosted Warren Adelman, President and COO of GoDaddy. He spoke about customer service and social media. I found a lot of the information to be very appropriate for the relationship between professors and students. He mentioned that customers have extremely high expectations for customer service, and when polled, they generally will say the customer service they received was adequate at best. He also mentioned the demand by customers for instantaneous responses and personalized support. He believes that if businesses want to keep customers, they must perform better in the customer service area.

Thunderbird's distance learning students are working professionals, with little time to waste on slow communications, like GoDaddy's customers. They are using social media like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to connect with colleagues and look for more opportunities. How can the academic world take advantage of that?

Professors should have Facebook and LinkedIn profiles. If for nothing else, they allow you to be seen, and your accomplishments to be easily found. Many professors use these tools to publicize their research and recent publications. For classes, it allows students to see you in a different and more personal role. Facebook and LinkedIn are also great resources for connecting with guest speakers. You can search industries and companies to find CEOs and Managing Directors that might be willing to have online discussions with your students or record a video about their experiences.

Twitter is a way to give your students insight into what you are thinking and doing. Let them know you are attending a conference and what issues are being discussed, reading a great article in today's Financial Times, or having an 'ah-ha' moment when meeting with a student. It's all about connecting them to you in a way that might be missed in asynchronous classes.

Here's a good blog on using Twitter for Business and an article from The Chronicle about a professor that started using Twitter.