NBC Learn and the Virtual Presence Checklist

The Fall 2015 semester is now well underway and our first meeting occurred on Monday, September 21st.  This meeting focused on a great new video tool that instructors and students alike will find beneficial called NBC Learn.  John Blackwell from ITS showed us the technical ins and outs of this tool, while Associate Dean/English Chair/Professor, Bette Kirschstein, showed us how she is using it in her course(s).  After discussion of this tool, the new Virtual Presence checklist was presented by Heather Askildsen from ITS.  This is a great tool for all faculty as it will help them to increase the use of available technological resources in their courses.

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NBC Learn Higher Ed is a fantastic resource provided by NBC to higher educational institutions.  It contains a large library of archived NBC news coverage and stories spanning a magnitude of historical events.  The tool includes options to search for videos and to create playlists.  Anyone with Pace credentials can register and sign in to the site, by visiting this web page.  NBC Learn has the potential to aid in student research in addition to enhance course content.  The videos can be embedded into Blackboard as NBC Higher Learn now appears on Blackboard as a Course Tool.

To demonstrate the way that these videos can be used in the classroom, Bette Kirschstein showed us how she used NBC Learn in her courses.  She emphasized the importance of giving historical context when teaching literature.  To demonstrate the uniqueness of the tool, she highlighted two different videos from different times periods to show how collective views change over time.  She pointed out that having the content right in Blackboard helped to enhance her course.  We hope that many more faculty and students are able to get the most out of this tool.

vp_checklistFinally, Heather Askildsen showed us the new ITS website in addition to the Virtual Presence checklist that ITS and Academic Technologies worked hard to put together over the summer.  The new ITS website makes it easy for faculty and students to find the resources they need and it can be accessed here.  Areas of highlight include the digital toolkit which makes finding educational resources easy. This portion focused on the virtual presence checklist of the website; which can be found here.  Going beyond just uploading a syllabus, the interactive version of this checklist gives faculty the resources and information they need to build robust Blackboard content and use other resources.  The hope is that by encouraging faculty to use these tools that the teaching of Pace courses, both online and face to face, will be brought further into the 21st Century.  This will help to create a much more pleasant experience for both students and faculty alike. The site also provides a paper version of the checklist.

We certainly kicked the semester off with a very full meeting.  Please leave a comment if you have thoughts to share on the content of this meeting.  If you have suggestions for future meetings, you can leave a comment too.