Free Software Tools for the Classroom

Free Software Tools for the Classroom


Hello and welcome to today’s workshop
“Free software tools for the classroom”. Today we’re going to talk about a host
of fun interesting apps that you might find useful for your own teaching and
research or for your students. Today I’ll be giving this workshop
unfortunately my colleague Cameron wills who developed this with me had an
emergency he’ll be out today so I’m going solo on this one. If you do have
any questions about any of these apps later on while we can’t provide in-depth
support for everything that we talk about today some other units on campus
may be able to or we always don’t mind talking about best uses and practices
with these kinds of things so we’d be happy to follow up later on so you can
feel free to give us a email later on. Okay, today we’ve designed the slides to let
you know about a number of different apps which are free and have interesting
little technical uses so we’ve badged them here if there is any app which is
free but may have some kind of upgrade mechanism for more advanced features we
have labeled it with the freemium badge here and if there are mobile apps or a
web app or it’s available on your desktop or laptop computer we have
badges for those too we’ve tried to pick things that are as open and available as
possible otherwise we thought that they’re just
super outstanding so we wanted to talk about them and then last but not least
here is this open source badge one or two of the apps that we’re talking about
today actually have the code available for you so if you are very technically
inclined you could inspect that and verify that everything is kosher and you
could even what’s known as forking it taking a picture or taking a snapshot of
it and then creating your own app from it which is very cool. All right, so first off I want to start with office 365, I’m kind of curious here show of hands who all is familiar with office 365 in any capacity just feel
free to raise your little hand here or respond in the text/chat looks like a
number of the people here have used office 365. Excellent, okay good, so most
people are familiar with this particular app, office 365 is a very useful suite of
apps that are available to everyone here on campus. Once you have logged in at a
365.com you’ll notice that you have access to all the standard Microsoft
apps like Word, PowerPoint, Excel but you are actually online and you’re using
Internet ready versions of all of these things you can also get access to your
email calendar and a whole lot of more advanced ones now here I’ve taken a
screenshot of my own apps that I have you may not see all of these yourself
some are in testing on campus and I’m just helping DoIT kind of work out
kinks with some of them so certain things like power BI which is become
available recently you may see but other things like teams may not be widely
available just yet but we’re hoping that once those are working fine everyone
will get access to them. There are a whole bunch of different things that you may
be interested in one of which we’re going to talk about next is onedrive
which kind of acts as the glue behind all these different apps. So office 365
just something to kind of know about it is web-based but there are in fact also
mobile and desktop apps as you’ll see from that screen that I was just on here
above the window with all of the different app tiles is this install
office button, so if you do want the full desktop suite of everything once you’ve
logged in on your desktop or your laptop you can install them on that computer
then you have access to all the different features within the office
apps. However there are as well mobile apps for Android and iOS so if you’ve
got a Android actually or Windows Phone as long as it continues to exist or an
iPhone or Ipad or anything like that there are full
versions of all of these available on your devices so students have no reason
not to be able to create a Word document on the train right their research paper
from anywhere that kind of thing. It’s useful to note that you can install them
on up to five different devices, is it free for Android, yes it is it is
absolutely free for all the different platforms most of the apps though you
may have to pay to upgrade if you’re not part of NIU if you are a faculty member
or staff member or a student here you could access a full office 365 suite
it’s just part of the services that the institution provides. One nice thing with
office 365 because onedrive kind of undergirds everything you can easily
share and collaborate with anyone at NIU, will actually see how to look them up
within onedrive which is very slick. So as I mentioned uses creating and editing
documents from anywhere, sharing working on documents together with people it’s
just a fantastic feature if people are familiar with Google Docs the Microsoft
Office suite now works very similarly and just so everyone is aware you can
find that at O365.niu.edu to log into our version of it at NIU and this is a
o the letter o not a zero which is and can be a little confusing the first time
you see it that stands for office 365.
Okay so onedrive I wanted to talk about that as well it’s a part of the office
365 suite and at its most basic it’s a place where you can store files so
you’ll see here I have a number of different files and folders that I’ve
added to my onedrive I also though have a space for files for that have been
shared with me so if Dan or Janet here from faculty
development want to work on a workshop with me they can just share their
PowerPoint and I’ll be able to go to that shared
with me area and find those from them, if you’re part of any groups at NIU as well
you’ll also see that you have access to those group spaces which would also have
their own onedrive files so here we have our department files which is really
nice for again kind of collaborating on all these things. Once you are in any of
the Microsoft Office apps, you’ll notice here I’m in the a 365 Word online
version, I can begin creating my document just as I would has most of the same
controls here at the top and there’s this handy-dandy share button when I
click that this dialog box pops up and you’ll notice I can invite people to
share documents with so here I’ve looked for Stephanie Richter our assistant
director I just type in her name I click on her name and then I decide whether or
not she can view or she can also edit, if I want to make sure that being from NIU
she always logs in before typing on it to make it as secure as possible I can
require her to sign in and then hit the share button and we’re off to the races,
if you did want to collaborate with someone off campus like you have a
co-author on a research paper from another institution you can as well get
a share link for them one that doesn’t require them to sign into an NIU account
which is also very very handy, it is of course less secure if someone else gets
ahold of that they can edit as well so you want to be a little careful just let
your co-author know about that but that’s fine you know most people also can handle a little bit of internet security. Zoey asks what is the
individual capacity, are you asking for the number of people you can share with
if so I believe it’s a few dozen for what capacity for files ah that is a
good question I want to say it goes up to a gigabyte of files I’m not exactly
sure though I could definitely look that up later on I’d be happy to follow up
with that later because ideas handy to know especially if you’re giving like a
multimedia class if you upload a lot of the
files those can take up a lot of space, otherwise for standard documents it’s
essentially unlimited. Excellent! Okay so as with one drive I was mentioning the
basic features is just backing up your files since they’re in the cloud they’re
available everywhere you have a device and there are not only the web-based
apps but mobile apps for all of your phones or tablets or anything like that
as well so you can get access to files everywhere all of your changes are saved
everywhere it’s super convenient. As I mentioned this is kind of the glue
between the different office apps allowing you to start a word document on
your desktop, open it up on a phone, share it with a collaborator and work on the
documents at the same time which is highly highly useful for when you’re
wanting to do some kind of authorship together you could set aside a time on
your calendars with someone else and you could both log in and work on the same
research paper presentation what all else together which is very very handy. Alternatives for that I already
mentioned Google Drive and Google Docs again that works very similarly, it
doesn’t have the plug-in to NIU system though so you’d have to let each
other know what your emails are to be able to share documents, if you’re
looking for something that that’s just a very robust file sharing program though
I also would highly recommend looking into Dropbox.
I myself have used Dropbox for years I pay for their premium service to get
access to a lot of extra space I find it’s very robust solution the versioning
features of Dropbox have now been integrated into onedrive though so if
you save everything there anytime you make a major update to any file it saves
that new version for you too which is very useful if you’re looking for going
back to an older version in case you make some kind of mistake and that’s
also available again at o365.NIU.EDU or for any of the mobile apps you can just
go to the app stores on your phone or your tablet and look them up by name
there. All right diving into a few multimedia
things one common test that we have in our classes maybe posting a picture
maybe you’re at a conference and you meet up with an author of the paper that
your students read or some what you’re talking about or you’re taking picture
on location in the field so to speak we often have some need to take in
touch-up pictures one that I wanted to mention here is Pixlr, it is a very
simple web app although there are now mobile versions available it looks a lot
like Photoshop except without all of the crazy fancy features, it’s free, it’s
available on the web all you do is upload your photo and then you can do
things like oh crop it select pieces out draw over it erase all the kind of
standard features we’ve come to expect from basic and slightly more advanced
photo editors but it can also do things really fancy like layer images on top of
them and manipulate each one independently. So it is a very powerful
still you wouldn’t have to necessarily get an extremely advanced suite of tools
like the Photoshop suite. So it’s still very sophisticated but it’s very
accessible, it’s simple to use and easy you can use it right from the web which
is very handy as long as you have access to a computer you can just take your
files your photos upload them and work on them there, there is an optional
account you can make if you actually want to save your photos in the cloud
again most of us have access to some kind of cloud storage already so maybe
that’s not the most necessary and they’ve just made mobile apps available
so if you do like the tool on the web I definitely recommend checking their
mobile apps out also, different uses that you may have as I mentioned if you’re
going to a conference maybe you meet someone that’s kind of academ famous
out there, top author in the field or some that you are talking about in your
classes that can also always be really cool to like bring the outside world
into your class, any other uses people have for photos in your class, zoey
says that Rockstar moment. Yes, exactly you met them now you’re famous now all
of your students are two degrees from that famous person. Never wash your hand,
yes of course few alternatives to Pixlr one that you may want to consider, gimp
is an open source alternatives it is available for pretty much every
operating system out there because it’s open source people have taken it and
forked the code and built it for all the different systems
it’s another somewhat advanced lightweight suite of tools very useful.
If you’re looking for alternatives on phones or tablets though I recommend
either Photoshop Express or VSCO cam, VSCO cam. VSCO cam has become kind of a
leading industry standard for mobile photo editing out there very handy very
easy to use and powerful app. If you’re interested in Pixlr that’s just @PIXLR.com or PIXLR in the app stores. Moving on to a different kind of media
audio here occasionally we’ll have need of creating some kind of audio for our
courses whether or not it’s answering a question that our students email us and
just it’s a lot easier to kind of answer it just by talking through an issue than
by typing out an email or creating a narration for a document or a set of
slides anything of that sort audacity will serve people really well
again these are free software tools, so simple easy use they’re free out there
you don’t have to worry about paying any extra fees or subscription cost unless
you want to upgrade sometimes, it’s very very simple as you’ll see from the
interface here there are only so many buttons it looks a little complicated
but it’s a lot simpler than it looks since it is free and it’s supported by
its community of users it doesn’t look the nicest but it’s very useful. All you
need to do is just hit the record button and then you’re
off to the races and it’s recording everything that you’re saying while
you’re doing so you’ll see this nice little waveform here, form at the bottom,
once you’re done you can just hit stop or you could hit pause and keep going if
you want to take a sip of water, things like that. Once you’re done you can
replay everything start, stop all that good stuff and then you can actually
edit the audio as well so here in this screenshot we have the Select tool
available you could select audio and then say delete everything else it’s not
that if you want to cut off the beginning or ending or you could slice
it up and cut out some of the middle portions, in this particular screenshot
you’ll notice that this waveform is also very very tall so it’s someone here was
talking perhaps a little bit louder than they meant to you can also adjust the
speaker and microphone output in case you recorded yourself, play back the
recording and realize, ooh I’m a little loud let me go ahead and adjust that
very very handy. You can as well import audio from another source
so if you did save it from something else you could then bring it up in
audacity make your changes that you want to and then export it to whatever
version would best suit you. As I mentioned it is open source it’s
available on PC Mac Linux pretty much anything out there, easy to record audio
and exports to pretty much any format you can think of we definitely recommend
exporting to mp3 because it’s been around for so long any kind of device
can play mp3 files and now mp3 itself has just been made more or less
open-source as well you will have to install just a slight extra package with
audacity if you want to record to mp3 I’m hoping because it’s been made more
or less public domain that’ll become part of the standard install but right
now it’s very easy to export it to mp3 so I just recommend looking into the
extra plugin for that and of course just basic audio editing, something
you won’t get easily in most other voice recorders on a desktop without paying a
whole lot of money for that kind of thing. Uses, audio explanations or
tutorials I mentioned if your students have a question sometimes it’s just the
easiest to record yourself video or audio and upload that back into your
course, narrations for presentations I’ll talk about another narrated slide
possibility in a bit but this is one way of going about that that’s pretty simple
you can step through your different slides record yourself talking about
each of them giving your standard lecture and then place those in your
course it’s also very good for universal design in this specific instance so you
have your slides that you’ve uploaded your course if you expect your students
to review them you may people you may have people with visual impairments in
that case narrating with slides it’s very good idea and audacity serves that
purpose very well. Other alternatives, other than audacity pretty much everyone
has a phone these days and most of them have voice recorder apps, they usually
don’t come with as nifty features and sagacity so you may save down the audio
record from them and then upload into audacity before putting in your course
but certainly don’t forget that these are available on pretty much any device
everyone has these days. And audacity is available at the largest open source
repository on the net audacity.sourceforge.net. Any questions
about any of the multimedia stuff so far, Where does anyone else use them for
anything that they’d like to share, again if people would like to you can
use the text chat to talk or if or feel free to talk over the microphones as
well, always nice to hear people. Jacki says audacity is a good one
excellent glad to hear that you’ve enjoyed that and from Janet might be
correct office 365 home personal or university
subscribers no longer have unlimited storage, oh good to know
effective immediately subscription to those services will only include a
terabyte of onedrive storage. So a terabyte is a lot of space so you pretty
much don’t have to worry unless you’re doing something like a multimedia
production course in which case that might fill up though it’ll take quite a
while, so I was wrong it’s not a gig it’s one terabyte which is actually very
substantial for most people’s purposes. Bill Goldberg says, use audacity often as
musician. Oh yes music production courses very very useful for those obviously
it’s mostly based around audio. All right! Jackie asks “is one terabyte applied
to students”, yes I believe everyone here on campus does get that amount of space,
they’ll feel free if anyone finds differently just as Janet did feel free
to type in the text just to correct me. So, as far as narrated slides office mix
is a plug-in to PowerPoint available from Microsoft which does exactly that,
here I have the presentation from today, I loaded my slides up in PowerPoint as
usual, but there is this new bar up at the top which lets me once I’m done
creating my presentation, begin recording my narration over these slides and
here’s a zoomed in view of this bar here. So once I have gotten everything done
I’ve maybe made a transcript for what I want to talk about what I want to
narrate over the slides I just click my slide recording button and again I’m off
to the races and I can record over my slides, I can get through my slides it
still preserves all of the animations, videos because it’s
just PowerPoint itself, so whenever I get to one of those slides I can let it do its
thing and then begin talking pick up from that point. You’ll notice there are
also a number of other features here, inserting different kinds of things, more
video or audio anything else you may want to add to the presentation itself,
then once you’re done you can play it back to make sure it’s exactly as you
want and then you can export the video or you could save to the o365 video
using onedrive if this is for an online class in blackboard I would highly
recommend exporting the video and then uploading to the medial the media
library within blackboard that’s an extra multimedia suite that we have here
at NIU for streaming video much like YouTube it’s kind of like YouTube for
NIU, that way everyone gets access to the videos from any device you don’t have to
worry about someone not being able to play it back because they don’t have a
device that can play that a particular file type those kinds of things so this
is very versatile and useful for everyone, again it’s a simple plugin for
PowerPoint, right now it is PC only but we have heard they are working on a Mac
version, recording slides, narrating over them, exporting video for use anywhere,
super simple, very handy to use, you can use it for
just standard online lessons your lectures, one other thing I thought up if
you ever can’t make a conference presentation not a bad idea talk with
the other people on the panel and see if they wouldn’t mind you just kind of
recording your presentation maybe putting that out on the web for them,
using the office 365 video making it open in public and then just sending in
the link to it that they can play for everyone there, they wouldn’t be able to
ask questions but at least you’re still kind of presenting if you couldn’t
otherwise. Cynthia asks what is the video file output, that’s up to you there are a
number of different ones but we do recommend the mp4 file type that’s the
most universal if you’re here at NIU again if you’re teaching a class
I recommend the medial library known as Medial, uploading it there
then transcodes it to like half a dozen different file types so no matter what
device people are using to view that content they’ll be able to get a
streaming video source output for them which is super handy. You’re very welcome,
other alternatives to this if you’re looking for more advanced features, Adobe
presenter is a very useful one it also allows you to build in quizzes, that kind
of thing or if you’re looking for a very advanced video editing suite on top of
that you could export the vo from office mix or just originally record it within
something known as Camtasia that’s used by a lot of professionals in the field
we do have access to these here in faculty development we have a small
multimedia production suite we have soundproof room with a few computers for
recording these kinds of things and again I’d recommend reaching out to one
of us we can work with you sit down and show you how to use some of these tools
which can be very handy. If you’re looking for office mix you can find it
at mix.office.com and it’s a simple download and takes like two minutes to
install again it’s just a small plug-in to PowerPoint itself. If you’re looking
for an alternative though if you don’t want to record just PowerPoint lectures
here at faculty development we often use what’s known as Jing, it is a lightweight
free photo and screen capture tool so once you’ve installed it you’ll see this
cute little sunburst thing here at the top when you mouse over it you get
options to take a screenshot or to record your desktop
some people use Jing instead of office mix because it’s available for both Mac
and PC, once you start recording video you can record any part of your screen
so here I am I actually cut a small tutorial on using audacity at one point
so I’ve booted up audacity and I began running through how to use some of the
different features, once you’re done you can also upload it to the web or save a
copy down then you can use that flash file video output placing your course
send it to someone the link to it in an email that kind of thing. Again it’s just
screen capturing but again you could record over your slides using it this
way pretty simple and easy for the free version you can record up to five
minutes so it does have to be tight and snappy.
Zoey says jings, used it in the past forgot about it loved it very easy to
use yes glad you got you really liked that.
It is free for output in flash video format only so again it’s freemium you
can upgrade for more advanced features if you want to save it in different file
formats or you want to be able to record screen tutorials longer than five
minutes you could pay for those features otherwise for most purposes you know
five minutes is usually kind of a sweet spot for video anyway people begin to
tune out when it’s longer than five to ten minutes so it’s always good to kind
of keep things shorter, you can take a longer lecture and cut it up into chunked 5 min
sections perhaps. One thing to note is that there is no caption feature
so once you’ve output it you’ll probably want to add your transcript as well
again good for people with different kinds of impairments and if you want to
keep everything private if you’ve uploaded it to the web you can upload it
to screencast.com up there people can search them if you make them public
otherwise you can keep them private and people could only access them with the
link. We use them here at faculty development all the time just to show
how to do something within blackboard they’re very good for just demonstrating
new concepts, tools, software that kind of thing, if you’re talking about using a
piece of software in your own course maybe you cut a quick Jing video on how
to use that for all of your students especially if they’re online students
for an online class and you they can’t come to class and have you show it to
them this is a really good way to demonstrate that.
Alternatives as Jackie mentioned yes screencast-o-matic is an excellent
alternative again just kind of recording short video tutorials online this one
though does let you publish to a variety of different formats so depending on
your needs this may be another good one to look into and Jing is available at
techsmith.com/Jing. TechSmith also makes a number of other advanced
multimedia production tools, if you’re looking for screencasting on-the-go
though we mentioned Jing for desktop screencasting where you record your
screen you can also do the same thing or at least a similar thing with lensoo,
this is an app that lets you add a number of different slides
whether it’s ones that you create from scratch you take pictures and upload
those into it or you add a PDF you can then take those and then record yourself
annotating over the top so here’s one example from a chemistry course where
they’re balancing two sides of an equation and figuring out if these
chemicals are interacting and how, so that’s kind of neat they went through
and they talked about these different interactions what’s happening and why
that sort of thing, useful for pretty much every class though and if you’re
looking to demonstrate something but you’re out and you’re not at you don’t
have access to your own computer can fill that niche very well, if you’re
familiar with Khan Academy it’s a similar kind of thing you’re recording
handwritten narrated tutorials. Lenzoo is freemium it lets you save up to I
believe five videos any more than that and you will have to pay but if you’re
just looking to use it to fill a little niche once or twice or you don’t want to
keep the tutorials around forever it may be just perfect for your for your
purposes you create your you add your photos diagrams PDFs of slides, write or
sketch on top of them and then as I mentioned you can upload to the cloud
and then get a link and say post it into your class, very easy to use
visually demonstrating problem solving, I also knew other people who are interests
did for sports program talking about sports plays you could upload a picture
of say a line of scrimmage for football and then draw where the different
players are going during a specific play or for Bill Goldenberg here composing
music maybe you upload a picture of a musical
staff and then talk about some component of musical theory or actually sitting
down and composing your own original score, very useful very neat. A few
alternatives to these again mobile alternatives Educreations is another
one that’s available on both iOS and Android, very similar features to lensoo, showMe is one that’s iOS only, all these companies are competing very very
heavily so they pretty much all have the exact same features but feel free to
check them out maybe one gels with you a little bit better than the others. Lensoo
is available at lensoo create on the App Store’s, once you’ve uploaded any of
your videos, so you can find them at Lensoo.com. Comment from my colleague Dan
here. Ah! Okay, thanks Dan take care any
questions about screencasting or the apps I’ve mentioned so far? All righty, let’s move on to a couple of
alternatives presentation tools. Here we’re talking about an alternative to
PowerPoint itself known as Prezi now I’m kind of curious show of hands how many
people have used Prezi before or at least know about it. Zoey, Janet, John excellent! Okay, a few
have and a few haven’t. Cool, Prezi is a nifty one where instead of a standard
slide deck you create a number of spaces here as you can see there are these like
different boxes on the slide. In one giant slide or canvas you then decide
how your students flow through the presentation so here you can envision
moving from communication to content to assessment and even within them moving
from the main banner or header into sections of the sub canvas as well. It’s
a more interactive flowing, visually engaging
presentation style than PowerPoint is where it pops in one slide at a time
instead here you’re kind of moving through the canvas so it can be a little
bit more interesting and engaging than PowerPoint is in some ways, takes a
little while to kind of get used to its metaphor but once you do it’s a really
nice way of presenting content especially if you’re talking about
visual things themselves. Again it’s kind of doing away with the slide deck
metaphor and instead using a canvas that you draw your audience into with this
particular one it’s very good in representing hierarchical structures too
so we have our main concepts and our sub concepts even those may have sub content
associated with them so building this up and take your your audience from top to
bottom left to right can give a good sense of the overall logical structure
of your presentation instead of the standard PowerPoint content where we may
have headers and then on the slides we may have like bulleted
lists or things like that. You create presentations from the web and once you
do they do have iPad, iPhone apps available for present if you’d like to
present on the go everything is web-based so you will have
to use a browser from the desktop computer, but if you do and most people
do and it’s a very nifty way of making a different kind of presentation. One thing
to note is as well because it’s web-based cloud-based you can
collaborate with people very easily on this just as you might with PowerPoint
through office 365. One note of caution though it is good to ask your class or
your audience if anyone does have any kind of motion sickness I have known one
person before who did who wasn’t able to sit through a Prezi with a lot of
different motion so making sure to kind of keep it to a minimum or not having a
whole bunch of swooshes back and forth between things,
minimizing too much visual movement is a good idea. Prezi is available from Prezi.com and
if you do have an iPhone or iPad you want to present from with it
present with it on the go you can look for Prezi in the iTunes App Store. If
you’re looking for that kind of mobile presentation though one thing to note is
that there is the PowerPoint mobile app again available on all mobile platforms
and it can be used to present your slides, which is really useful so here’s
a screenshot I took from my iPad with just a dummy lecture from Microsoft just
to play around with things, here is my main slide this is what all my students
would see projected from the projector in the classroom I then also see the
next slide and if I had notes available for me I get to review those here so I
could have my prompts on these this can be a little bit nicer in some ways than
walking around a classroom just with a clicker while the clicker allows you
freedom of movement around the classroom now I also get access to all of my notes
so I can review those hear from my lecture if I’m
using the notes capability within PowerPoint. So again using a mobile device to
create and present is super useful and because it is PowerPoint itself it keeps
all of the animations, specialty fonts, graphics, videos or whatnot that you
embedded in your PowerPoint slides which you might not get from other mobile
presentation apps which can also use PowerPoint slides, again keep slide notes
in front of you which is sometimes extremely useful again presenting
on-the-go just be able to walk around the class more highly recommend looking
at that if you’re if you have a more active class that you want to get up and
walk around in it can be very handy. Other alternatives to this if you use
Google Docs heavily you can import, export powerpoints and you can present
from them if you have a way of casting from your device to the projector and if
you’re a user of the Evernote note-taking app they just added a
presentation mode a few months ago so there is a way of making really basic
slides and presenting from Evernote too. Again all you need to do is just look
for a PowerPoint on the different mobile app stores. All right, so I want to switch
switch things up a little bit instead of multimedia and presentation talk a
little bit more about academic day to day life, Zotero is a citation index app
it allows you to collect all those citations for different projects and
then easily export reference lists to word or other document formats, so here
we have, zoey gives a little heart emoji I see, someone uses it and loves it
yeah Mendeley, Zotero these are all really great apps to look into if you do
a lot of heavy research you’ll notice here we were recently working on a
research paper ourselves at faculty development and we added our co-authors
to it and then we could begin searching JSTOR, Google Scholar or whatever else
for different citations around the topic for the research paper so we could
build our literature review so here we have an LMS research folder for our
group a number of different topics and themes we were looking at and all the
different papers that we’d found on the web, there is a browser plugin for Zotero
so once you find any of these papers whether it be in one of the main
repositories or Google Scholar you click a button at the top of the browser and
it extracts all the journal article information so it saves all of that for
you and you don’t have to worry about saving it to a document having in the
correct format as long as you’ve got Zotero here it strips all of that
information out on the web and then you can tell it or using MLA, APA etc and
then export all of these citations out to whatever format you want for
whichever document you’re using. Super handy saves a lot of time and it
automatically can back everything up for you so you won’t lose any of this if you
lose if you instead like lost a document you don’t have to worry about that here. Here’s another screenshot, you’ll notice a citation and timeline tracker so you
can see who’s cited what over time which can be really fun and useful as well. So
features of it again basically it’s it compiles your references for research
papers saves references backs them up to the web for you and allows you to share
them with your group collaborators so it’s not just stuck with you or you
having to email out versions of files don’t have to worry about any of that
stuff you just create your Zotero account it syncs across all your devices
and keeps everyone else’s reference list as well.
Web-based so as long as you’ve got an access to a browser you can get access
to Zotero but there is also a more fully featured desktop app if you would like
to use that as well and that is available from zotero.org, again we highly
recommend this one alternative to that would be the Mendeley citation tracker I
have some people swear by one or the other we’ve just standardize on this one
here but all these are excellent options. Switching things up a little bit again
project management if you’ve ever looked for a good way to manage your own
projects or an app that you can recommend your students for their own
kind of group work or their own projects whether personal or group stuff highly
recommend Trello we’ve been using this one here at faculty development for the
past couple of years and we like that because it has a number of different
features that work well with the way that we think of working on projects,
here’s just one instance where we created a team this is just case out on
the web that I found they want to take a screenshot of some of our own stuff but
here’s just one case you can look at we created our team so there’s this Travie
ducks team here in this example and then for this team we have any number of
boards whether it’s one board to track multiple projects or one project per
board on this board it’s much like a bulletin board where we can break things
down into different kinds of tasks and then within those have the very discrete
tasks themselves assigned to people with checklists with attached files, there can
even be due dates on these kinds of things as you’ll notice here on the side
it’s very useful for kind of group work or even just kind of keeping track of
your own project workflow highly recommended again free front of software
so it’s very nifty because it’s well web-based all of it is saved for you and
there are a ton of different apps available again from the web from your
mobile device so pretty much wherever you are you can have access to all of
your project management stuff, you can check off things as you’re going and as
we saw you can go anywhere from very simple project tracking to much more
complex ones as that previous example showed us where we had multiple team
collaborators assigning different people of pieces of the project that kind of
thing, due dates, calendar support is a big one as well if you add due dates to
things there is in a calendar built into Trello, but
you can also export the calendar to be able to use those calendar events those
due dates on your mobile device or say an Outlook here at NIU keep track of
things from pretty much any calendar app that you have is very very useful. I’ve
used this for my own personal research before especially when I did some
editing for a journal just keep track of all the different papers that were
coming in and what stage the progress they are at but I do highly recommend it
looking into it and recommending it to your students as well because it may
help them keep on top of different pieces that they have their own group
work it’s very easy to get up and running with, add people too, all you need is
an email to add someone else to it and share things with and then you can
easily assign different tasks to people and stay on top of all your different
pieces. That’s available at Trello.com and the mobile apps are available in the
different app stores just by searching Trello, any
questions about that. Alright, if no questions hopefully everyone feels
interested and thinks it’s useful. An alternative to different kind of group
collaboration here is RABBIT, RABB.IT. If any one is familiar with Skype, this is a lot like Skype
unlike Skype however it’s based around sharing different media on the web or
just whole websites, very useful if you’ve ever had a group project where
you want to do some kind of brainstorm here I’ve booted up a YouTube video where
I’m talking about flipped classroom, me and my collaborators could be sharing
the space and talking about different aspects or avenues for our research,
browsing the web together talking about how we may want to design our class
anything like that so like Skype for business that we have access to at NIU,
you could use rabbit just to kind of collaborate using video chat features
but it’s also very useful to keep everyone on the same page so here much
like with blackboard collaborate ultra where I’m sharing my PowerPoint slides
we’re all in this same space and we’re able to share different resources that
we’re finding out on the web. So you can use video, audio, text chat just as we’re
doing here today and then share any kind of web content that you might find I’ve
used this one for watch parties for things like the presidential debates get
a few of my colleagues together and analyze things as they’re happening in
real time, it’s very handy because it does stream the same video content to
everyone at the exact same time unlike Blackboard Collaborate where you can’t
always watch stuff in the moment together rabbit will do that perfectly.
Up to 15 people on video at a time so it is smaller classes that this would be
useful for or again kind of group collaboration or collaboration with a
partner but sharing these kinds of things easy to get up and running you
don’t have to have a Skype account or you don’t have to be affiliated with NIU
if you were thinking about using a Skype for business. Alternatives to this you
may be familiar with Google Hangouts and of course as we’re using today
Blackboard Collaborate ultra and that’s available again at RABBIT, RABB.IT out on the web. Last but not least want to talk about a few collaborative technologies one of them
is telegram, so everyone has access to text messaging these days but sometimes
people don’t want to share their phone numbers with everyone else in the class
but you still want to be able to talk with everyone in real time a good app
that we’ve used for a number of years is telegram it’s just a simple text
communication piece of software you can have group chats so here we can see this
is the Deathstar 3.0 group chat and apparently they’re discussing building
of the Deathstar in this particular instance but I can also have a private
chat with anyone else on the service if I know their phone number or their email address or however they want to connect
with me, very easy, simple, intuitive and you can also share pictures, video or
even files with people so this is a good alternative for students who are looking
at being able to collaborate with one another may not be comfortable as
sharing phone numbers with everyone else but do want to be able to have real-time
communications and very securely. Telegram has some of the best security
for any of these kind of texting apps out there. Again very good for group
collaboration, it is anywhere anytime so if you’re thinking about using it for
your own class I would definitely recommend setting a some kind of policy
around it, there are features to tell it not to communicate with you after a
certain time of day or before a certain time of the day too which is very handy
it’s kind of like a do not disturb mode, if you’re thinking about using it for
yourself other alternatives I know become very popular recently here
on campus among students is Group.Me, but a classic one would be whatsapp, if
you’re looking for something more full-featured for team communication, slack is
available that’s also free and there it has a lot of plugins for different
services like Trello if you’re looking at being able to not only talk with
people but create and assign tasks within a communication app as well which
can be very interesting and handy or of course Skype for business here on campus.
That’s available at telegram org from the web or telegram in any App Store. Remind.com is another really good one
yes it used to be known as remind101, it’s an excellent idea if you’re looking
at getting people together in the same space or just for like mass
communications with your students and again it’s somewhat private in that you
don’t have to give them your phone number. Excellent choice, okay if people are looking at doing polling from within
their class one option you may want to look into is poll everywhere it does
really really simple polling only up to about 40 people are
so but if you have a large class maybe you just want to say take the
temperature of the room or get an idea about what your students are
understanding or misunderstanding within that, super easy you just create your
poles and then you give your respondents the URL to go to or they can even text
their answers into the service so people have an old feature phone they can still
communicate with the class very nice way of just again kind of taking a read on
your class keeping people engaged that kind of thing so here’s just one very
simple point where I asked how are you feeling about the basics anywhere from
I’m confused to hurry up to the hard stuff and most people had texted in or
chosen option D here loud and clears they got it but there are some people
who are lagging behind about 20% of the class so I may want to slow down a
little bit to allow them to catch up a little bit more. It allows you to create
simple polls on the fly in your class you don’t have to pre create them in
your PowerPoint slides for instance so it’s very useful and students get to
respond from as from anywhere as long as they have either an internet or a phone
connection, again it is available only up to 40 people so if you do want more than
that to respond you’ll have to pay for the service but as long as you’re just
looking for this kind of quick comprehension check from your class or
just keep your students attention this is an excellent way of just pulling your
class very quickly and simply, that’s available at polleverywhere.com and
there are those mobile apps available in the App Store. A little bit more complex
of a polling app, round out today’s list of apps is TRICIDER, this is a really
fascinating poll app you, don’t just ask a question, you ask a question and you
allow your students to respond with answers they think may be correct or
reflect on the question and ultimately vote on which one they think is the top
answer. They can if they want even post their
own discussions and argue about which answers are the best so here they’re
listing pros, pros or cons what they think of the pros and cons for each of
the different answers for the question you posed and then they can begin
discussing them within themselves kind of like the threaded discussion boards
within blackboard, so this is an excellent tool you might consider this
as an alternative if you’re looking for some kind of reflective, discursive
activity and you ultimately want your class to come to some kind of consensus
or maybe use this as a jumping off point for reflective papers later on, it’s a
really neat little web app here. You could too, if you wanted as well pose some
kind of open-ended question and list responses that you anticipate your
students may have and then let them discuss it so it’s very useful in a
number of different ways so again you you pose your question, you collect ideas
your students and their arguments and discuss amongst themselves and
ultimately vote on which they think is the most logical best correct answer
anything like that, incredibly interesting as an app I have not used
this one yet but we came across it and we thought that this could be very very
powerful in classes for different kinds of activities, you can use it for simple
polling of course or if you want recommend it to your students if they’re
looking for some way of like resolving disputes or doing some kind of group
analysis on some topic and there is a feature to time the discussion as well
so if you want to stop it on a specific day and time maybe you have your
students read the material on Monday and Tuesday reflect and debate amongst
themselves on Wednesday and Thursday and stop at Thursday evening and then come
back as a class to have some kind of debate on Friday you could go through
this activity and have some kind of discussion online where you might
otherwise have it in class if you’re transitioning from a face-to-face to
online class and that’s just available at TRICIDER.COM. All right so I know we are at our time right now but I was curious
um from today’s, what have you seen one of your favorites been, do you think you’ll
use any of these. Websites for poll everywhere, so thats just polleverywhere.com or at least I hope it is. I’ll verify this just to make sure, yes,
good, excellent. Yeah, so what are everyone else’s favorites everyone should have
microphone ask access if you want to sign in. Cynthia says officemix ah
interesting yeah and we’d be happy to follow up if you have any questions on
it. I think we may be giving a workshop on that later. Bill says rabbit sounds
useful so he likes officemix too. Excellent and Jackie you’re very welcome
for sharing software. Yes we love polling the open Internet and seeing what’s out
there and trying to figure out what may be useful for people here on campus. Alright anyone has questions about
anything I introduced today? Otherwise thank you again for joining us,
always feel free to follow up with us on any of these tools here again we can’t
be full tech support for all of them for all the little questions but we’d have
to be happy to play around with them with you and answer kind of the basics
and get a little bit more feel or intuitiveness with them and I hope to
see you next time, we have a number of different workshops coming up you can
always check for new ones at facdev.niu.edu/fsprograms, we will be talking
about breakout rooms in Blackboard collaborate tomorrow we’ll also be
looking at play in classrooms the following day and next week we’ll be
having a much more deep dive into zotero’s reference management so if
you’re interested in that haven’t yet seen it in like a little tutorial feel
free to come to that. Otherwise we will be sending out a survey for everyone so
please let us know what you thought of today’s workshop that always helps us
figure out what to offer in the future.

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