10 Tech Tools I Used in Week 1

I just finished the first week of the fall semester. I have given myself the task of trying to incorporate as many tech tools as I can into the way I think about my material and address the various needs of my students. Here’s a short list of tools that I used this week along with a brief description of what I did with each of them.

  1. Jing – I’m trying to offer audio assessments of students’ papers this semester. Jing allows me to capture a screencast of a student’s paper while I narrate. I trotted Jing out to help me respond to a couple of student information sheets. I’ll really be using it first in ENGL 111, my Comp and Rhet class, which has their first draft due in a couple of weeks.
  2. Slidebean – This subscription site offers well-designed slideshow presentations. I’ve been using it more for my Tuesday/Thursday classes (Comp Rhet and ENGL Renaissance), but having these well-designed slides has come in handy for the next tool I’ve used.
  3. Keynote – This is Mac’s version of Powerpoint. Its difference? You can record a slideshow with your narration. I’ve been importing the slides I made in Slidebean and then trying to work through my mini-lecture before I head into class.
  4. Kahoot – You can create online quizzes and surveys with this resource that capitalizes on the fact that almost every student I have owns a smartphone. You project the quiz/survey, the site gives students a pin to enter, and BOOM we have a group survey that students can respond to with their phones. I trotted this out yesterday as a way to gauge how much work students had done on their paper proposal. I think I’m going to turn this into a weekly thang (Friday is Kahoot day).
  5. Youtube – I know this one is boring, but I did use it this week to check out a 30 minute feature called Masters of Illusion which did a great job explaining linear perspective (I showed a clip in my ENGL 358 class) and to watch some Thomas More related lectures (the one from Georgetown University was particularly good).
  6. YouTube Converter – I never like to go into class counting on our school’s internet connection to work re: a youtube video I’ve called up. This site helped me get a digital copy of the Masters of Illusion clip so that I could play it with confidence in class.
  7. Quicktime – I wanted to keep audio clips of my lectures this semester for possible screencast videos or mini-lecture segments. Mac’s built in recording program is Quicktime, and it’s served me well this first week, mostly because my voice is loud enough that it can capture me wherever I am in the room.
  8. IMovie – This program allowed me to edit a new screencast that included audio from my classroom and slides from my Slidebean account and then upload my new creation to Youtube.
  9. Text Aloud – This old standby allowed me to listen to articles and student writing by taking text and having its very smart robot voice Paul read it back to me.
  10. Spreeder – This speed reading device came in handy as I worked through possible articles for my classes or just to help me focus my skimming habits a little bit more.
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10 Tech Tools I Used in Week 1

Experiment: Recording Keynote Presentations

Thanks to a tech grant, I received a Mac Pro from Charleston Southern last week. Mac’s Keynote program (a rough equivalent of Microsoft’s Powerpoint) allows you to record presentations and upload them elsewhere. This is my first attempt at the project. Obviously my voice over could be louder. I think the slides themselves look good, however.

Experiment: Recording Keynote Presentations

Rap Genius: Learning to Annotate

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Rap Genius: Learning to Annotate

Sigma Tau Delta Summer Book Club Invitation: Boxers & Saints

I am a faculty co-sponsor for our university’s chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the undergraduate English Honors Society. This summer, I wanted us to read some books together and (perhaps) figure out how to use some online tools to facilitate that conversation.

Yesterday I sent out the call for our first selection: Gene Luen Yang’s graphic novel Boxers & Saints. Below the jump I’ve included my invitation and a description of the novel from my faculty co-sponsor. I’m excited about it.

Continue reading “Sigma Tau Delta Summer Book Club Invitation: Boxers & Saints”

Sigma Tau Delta Summer Book Club Invitation: Boxers & Saints