December 2015 Meeting – REVEL & Echo Analytics

We had two presentations to finish out our Fall User group meetings two weeks ago.  The first was from two representatives from Pearson about a new tool called REVEL.  And to finish things up our very own Tony Soares gave us the rundown of how Echo 360 analytics work.  Lets get right into it.

According to Pearson, REVEL delivers immersive learning experiences designed for the way today’s students read, think, and learn. Click on the picture below for a short video to give you some more insight into what REVEL is.  REVEL

REVEL was created after lots of feedback and interactions from faculty and students alike.  The demo we saw showed how interactive and engaging this new product can be.  Through highlighting, notes and more the Professor-Student relationship can be taken to a whole new level.

REVEL has many features for both students and faculty.  A few of them include:

  • Interactives and videos
  • Quizzing
  • A fully mobile learning experience
  • Familiar learning and study tools
  • Assignability and tracking
  • Assignment Calendar
  • Performance Dashboard

One of the key features is that the tool works seamlessly on both your laptop and tablet so that you can use it wherever and whenever.  In many cases it may also save you some money because it is more affordable than a printed text.  You can access some “How Do I?” Videos by clicking here to give you a better overview of what you can do with Pearson’s REVEL.

One of our resident Echo 360 guru’s, Tony Soares, gave us a presentation on Echo 360 and how the analytics work.  On the surface Echo 360 is a great lecture capture recording tool that has many benefits to students and professors.  When you dig a little bit deeper, you can truly gauge its impact.

Your course Echo Center is where it all begins.  It gives you statistics on unique viewers and cumulative views by each Echo recording.  It breaks it down by the actual recording and allows for open discussion as well as the option of creating bookmarks at important points in the recording.

Need to see how many students viewed a particular lecture?  Echo analytics can do that.  Want to see a heat map of the sections of your recording that the students watched the most?  Echo analytics can do that as well.  Need to build a report and see exactly which students viewed which recording?  Echo analytics can do that.  This tool is truly beneficial in helping make students more accountable.

echo-360

Overall Echo 360 is a great tool that all faculty should at least try to implement in their course.  Not only will it improve student accountability, but it will enrich their learning experience by giving them another avenue to grasp the material being presented.

That does it for the Fall user group meetings.  Spring dates will be posted soon.  Have a happy and safe holiday season!!

 

Active Learning Classrooms and eSign

Our meeting on November 18th was very productive and full of exciting and new technology.  As a break from our usual VC set-up between Miller 16 (PLV) and E319 (NYC), we had this meeting in Miller 21 (PLV) so the features of the brand new active learning classroom could be shown off.  Beth Gordon of ITS led the discussion and over the 2016 January Intersession, NYC will be getting similar upgrades to these active learning classrooms.  After this discussion, Rich Miller from Dyson IT gave a presentation on Adobe eSign (formerly Echo Sign) which has been piloted for the past year now and is really starting to take off, as it safely, securely, and seamlessly brings the tedious process of collecting signatures on a document into the 21st century.

alcThe new active learning classrooms in Pleasantville give faculty the resources they need to engage their students in a more unconventional learning environment.  This new classroom is not structured like a traditional classroom.  For starters, just about everything in the room can move allowing for lessons to flow dynamically.  All of the student chairs with attached desks swivel and move easily on the floor, so the room can be configured in the way best suited to each discussion.  There is a lot of connected media in this classroom (including 3 large TV screens) allowing faculty to present digital content in addition to connecting with student devices.  This new classroom is really state of the art and it is exciting as faculty begin to discover the new possibilities these rooms offer.  For further information on the ALC classrooms, please contact your campus Ed Media department by clicking here.

esignAdobe eSign is a fantastic tool as it provides a fast cloud-based document signature solution to faculty and staff at Pace.  Anyone with an e-mail account can receive and sign documents and they only need to type their name or sign with their finger (which works best on mobile devices as the program is mobile friendly).  The process of sending out documents for signature is very easy too, akin to sending a simple e-mail.  Any form can be used in eSign and Rich has put together a repository of all sorts of forms as a shortcut for users.  This tool allows multiple signature to be collected in a timely fashion and give users controls so they can track all of their documents out for signature.  An eSign account is only needed to initiate documents for signature, so if you are interested in this, please contact Rich Miller: rmiller@pace.edu.

If you have any comments or questions on this meeting or would like to suggest topics for future meetings, please comment below.

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.

Fall 2015 Mobile Tech User Group Meetings

We hope everyone had a enjoyable summer and is looking forward to the exciting semester ahead.  The mobile tech meetings for this semester are scheduled for the following dates and times:Pace_app_tap

  • Monday, September 21st 12:10pm – 1:10pm
  • Tuesday, October 13th 11:30am – 12:30 pm
  • Wednesday, November 18th 12:10pm – 1:10pm*
  • Tuesday, December 8th 12:10pm – 1:10pm

All meetings take place in E319 on the New York City campus and Miller 16 on the Pleasantville campus, *EXCEPT for the November meeting which will take place in Miller 21.  Note that this location change only applies to Pleasantville.  As always, all are welcome to attend. If you would like to suggest future meeting topics, please comment below.

Zaption and Lynda.com – The Power of Video Learning

At our last user group meeting for the Spring semester, we saw presentations on two incredible platforms that harness the power of video learning and seek to improve the way it is used in the classroom.  Our first presentation was given by Renee Bruner from Zaption, a website that gives instructors tools to enhance online videos with interactive components.  Following that, Heather Askildsen from ITS presented Lynda.com, a website with hundreds of quality  video lessons on subjects ranging from Software Development to 3D Animation.

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Zaption offers instructors tools to enhance video learning with educational videos that may be found on YouTube, vimeo, or other similar platforms.  Instructors are able to create tours which can combine multiple videos and pictures together in a single lesson.  Tours can have additional interactive elements added like multiple choice, free response questions, or a discussion board.  Some of these interactive elements are self-grading and Zaption’s Analytic Center can feed grades into Blackboard and other Learning Management Systems.  Instructors have control over the way the content is presented to students and they are able to trim clips, pause videos, and enhance content.  For example, an instructor could pause a video that is displayed to include a definition.

It is free to sign up for a Zaption account, but it includes access only to basic features among other limitations.  A paid premium account can unlock more advanced features.  For more information on Zaption, you can check out their website, or consult this video for a more thorough overview.  If you are interested in using Zaption, please let us know by leaving a comment on this post.

LyndaMoving on to Lynda.com, this is an incredible platform that everyone at Pace should check out when they have the opportunity.  Lynda.com was created by a teacher by the name of Lynda who believes that it is essential to provide high quality video lessons to industry professionals and students in this rapidly changing digital age.  All of the videos are organized into fully searchable courses, so users have the option of working their way through an entire course on a unfamiliar subject or just watching a single video on an aspect of a program with which they are unfamiliar.  Lynda.com even offers video tutorials on advanced Instructor features in Blackboard.  These videos and courses are available through both the website and the companion mobile app.

Unlike Zaption, Lynda.com only offers paid accounts, however it is available through ITS for free to anyone (faculty, staff, and students) with valid Pace credentials.  You can access Lynda.com using your Pace username and password at this link.  More information on Lynda.com mobile access and classroom uses can be found on this ITS page.  You can also check out and browse the courses that they have available by checking out their website.  If you use Lynda.com, we encourage you to share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Glogster in Practice

The following post written by  Dr. Claudia Mausner details her  experience using the Glogster application in the classroom:

An Example of a Student Created Glog: Full PDF of the Glog (pictured below)

Glogster

My friend calls me the technology wiz who really dislikes technology.  I accepted the iPad loaner challenge, recognizing that it behooves me to join the 21st century and explore the world of tablets.  I attended the monthly user group meetings and learned about the Glogster app from Education department professor Peter McDermott.  My understanding was that students could use this website to create multimedia posters online.  Little did I know introduction to this app would mushroom into a major class assignment!

Each semester for the last few years I have arranged a Sustainability Tour on both NYC and Pleasantville campuses for my videoconference course ENV 235, Sustainable Living in Our World.  This year I would be unable to attend, as I was organizing an environmental conference in Washington, DC.  I wanted to be certain that students participated in the tours despite my absence and I also wanted students to share experiences with their classmates on the “other” campus.  My “aha” moment came when I realized students could create posters with Glogster and, to increase the excitement level, I could turn the assignment into a contest.  One of the students needed extra credit and thus volunteered to create a Survey Monkey questionnaire allowing her classmates to rank the posters and provide evaluative comments anonymously.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about technology, it is to expect the unexpected.  The complexity of this assignment grew at every step.  I hadn’t realized that Glogster required the professor to open an account, but when students couldn’t access the software I went ahead and purchased a relatively inexpensive 1-year account that provided space for 30 student posters.  Only to learn after-the-fact that a more limited free version was also available.  In order to post the completed glogs on Survey Monkey they would have to be in PDF format, but Glogster is designed for online use only.  With guidance from the company helpline, I downloaded freeware from Bullzip to convert the glogsters into PDFs.  Since the Sustainability Tour posters were beautiful and students spent far more time on the assignment than I had anticipated, I decided to have them printed.  The posters were hung and admired at the new Environmental Center in Pleasantville during a recent party introducing the new Environmental Studies and Sciences Department.

All of my original goals were met, and then some.  Students loved using Glogster.  The full version has many exciting tools, including built-in survey software.  Students did not include videos in their multimedia posters because this was not compatible with Survey Monkey, but in the future that would certainly be an option.  There was 100% attendance for the tours despite my absence, and I could determine by reviewing the posters that they listened and learned.  And students had an opportunity to share their experiences with classmates on the “other” campus.  New technology has many challenges and can often be time-consuming . . . . but it offers incredibly rich surprises to strengthen the learning experience in wonderful ways!

Fall 2014 Mobile Tech User Group Meetings

Below is the schedule of meetings for the Fall semester.  All meetings occur in Miller 16 (Pleasantville) and E319 (New York)

  • Monday October 6th 12:10pm-1:10pmPace_app_tap
  • Thursday November 6th 3:25pm-4:25pm
  • Tuesday December 9th 12:10pm-1:10pm

 *Please note the date change for the December meeting.*

All are welcome to attend.  If you are interested in presenting on a topic please leave us a comment below.  We look forward to seeing you.

iPad Meeting Highlights

“If you focus on a tree you may miss the forest” stated Dr. Alison Terry, a Higher Education Apple Executive, who guided the discussion at our final iPad meeting of the semester. Through a thoughtful conversation she challenged us to think of the big picture instead of focusing our attention too narrowly on the technology. If you have a goal for your course,   department, or organization, what challenges prevent you from achieving your goal? After carefully considering your goals and challenges you can then work towards the best solution.  For instructors, in some instances there may be an app that can help you to disseminate your course materials in an exciting way that works for both you and many of your students, but far too often finding feasible solutions will require more thought and effort.
If we begin to think about collaborating across schools we can harness the knowledge, wisdom and experience of our faculty and students to perhaps resolve some of the common issues that abound in the  classroom. Our final meeting was certainly a departure from our typical iPad discussions, but I believe it left many of us thinking. If you have any ideas that you would like to explore, please feel free to email me at mblackwood@pace.edu.

Thank you to all of the presenters and attendees of our spring semester iPad meetings. We look forward to meeting with all of you in the fall. Please take a moment to complete the iPad meeting survey that you have already received.

Have a wonderful summer!

iPad 4 vs. iPad Mini

“What is the difference?” is the famous question many customers ask when going to purchase an iPad. One would say there is no difference; it is simply just a miniature version of the iPad with the same functions and performance. However, don’t let the smaller size fool you. Though both iPads deliver the iPad experience, there are some differences that people will overlook.

In this blog, I will help you better understand the differences of these products by discussing the advantages and disadvantages of an iPad and iPad Mini. However, some of these differences are based on user preferences, so you can decide what product is best fit for you. The iPad 4 is “bigger, faster, and stronger,” better for productivity, has better photo and video manipulation, and better for web browsing. It has a 9.7-inch “Retina Display,” (you can’t see the pixels) and has more than four times the graphics power. The iPad Mini, 7.9-inch screen, does not have retina display so you can see the pixels; the screen has the same pixel count as the first-generation iPad (1024×768). This means the graphics on the iPad Mini will have a fuzzy display.

Here’s a screen comparison to illustrate what I mean:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, rumor has it by next year the iPad Mini 2 will have an even better retina display than the iPad 4. Next, the iPad 4 has twice the amount of processor power than the iPad Mini, and is much stronger as well. With the bigger display on the iPad 4, it makes it better for getting tasks done because an individual can comfortably view web pages without having to zoom in, like they would have to with the iPad Mini. Many customer reviews claimed that the iPad Mini was hard on the eyes. Also, the bigger display is good for software like Pages or Numbers because there is extra space to get work done and a great way to replace laptop use. The smaller display on the iPad Mini is fine for many tasks like watching movies, reading books, music, or playing casual games. Aside from productivity software, the bigger display really helps out if you are planning to do a lot of photo or video editing with the iPad, and with the retina display it allows the user to work with higher resolution photos.

Nonetheless, the iPad Mini does have its advantages as well, those being cost, size, and weight. The iPad Mini is small enough to hold with one hand comfortably, and only weighs 0.68 pounds compared to the 1.44 pound iPad. Many customers complained that the iPad is heavy, which makes it tiring to hold for extended periods of time. Additionally, with a smaller size it is a lot easier to type with, and many people have said this is helpful with emails. The iPad Mini is more mobile than the iPad, easily fitting into a purse or the side pocket of a backpack, making the iPad better for traveling, especially since one will not have to feel like they are lugging around extra weight. Furthermore, the iPad Mini even has access to Siri, Apple’s “intelligent assistant.” However, the number one reason to go with an iPad Mini is the cost. The iPad 4 starts at $499 while the iPad Mini starts at $329, which is $170 in savings or about one-third off the price. For those who want an iPad but feel the price is just a little too high, the iPad Mini is a good choice.

There is no clear perfect choice when picking out the right iPad. For many people, the iPad Mini will do everything they need an iPad to do and they will barely even notice the difference between the two tablets. For others, the bigger screen, sharper graphics and faster processor will make all the difference in the world.

 

September 18, 2012 iPad Meeting

Hello iPad users! We are back in the thick of things and it’s starting to get really exciting. If you missed our last iPad meeting, fear not as we have a recap of what we discussed.

We first received a demonstration of the new Pace University app which was described in our last post; please read it for all the latest news on Pace’s new app.

Our guest presenters discussion began with an introduction to an app called Nearpod. There are two versions: one for a teacher and one for a student and both are free. This app is great for instructors who want to find a way to integrate iPads in the classroom. Nearpod takes any lectures or slideshows you might want to show your class and shows them synchronously on the iPad. The great thing about that is you have total control over the presentation on not only your iPad, but the students as well; so you are notified if they “leave” the presentation.

How do professors get started? You can create a free account at the Nearpod website. Once you do that you can download the free app via the app store. After that you can sign into your account through the app. Then that is where all the fun begins as you start to create your lecture slides. You can even interact with students by putting some response questions or even some quizzes. Now you can really know if they are really paying attention.

Each time that a Nearpod presentation is launched a new PIN is generated. The PIN can be located on the Nearpod Teacher app, at the very top of the screen. This PIN is distributed to all of the students who will be participating in the presentation, and those students enter the PIN into the Nearpod Student app to interact with and view the presentation.

Another great feature for professors is to monitor their students. You can take attendance and see who stays throughout the entire lecture and who has left as well. This will make it a lot easier for professors to track who is participating in class.

Lastly, a bit of exciting news was released regarding the new iPad Cart that is now available on the Pleasantville Campus for Professors to use. Up to 30 iPads are now available for professors to use during classes!  You can submit your order for it through the Ed Media classroom order form on the Pace Help Desk system.

Our next meeting will take place on Tuesday, October 23 2012 from 3:30-4:30! All meetings will be held via video conference  in Miller 16 in PLV and Civic E 319 in NYC. Be there or be iPad less!