Wednesday, November 28, 2012

End of Term Record Keeping

It's that time of year again - finals!

Did you know that you can create detailed user activity reports in MyHCC? You can also download your grade book to save in Excel. Creating both of these reports is an easy way to keep a digital record for yourself and can also be helpful in financial aid reporting.

Follow these tutorials to create your reports:
Creating an End of Term Activity Report

Creating a Grade Center Report

Friday, November 16, 2012

HCC now has NBC Learn for Blackboard!

NBC Learn has archived video content (dating back to the 1920s) that can be used in your MyHCC course. The video collection is updated regularly to include current content being broadcast on NBC news programs.

Interested in using NBC Learn content in your course? Check out this how-to video

Want to see how other faculty are using NBC Learn? View this testimonial from Grand Rapids Community College

Finally, here are some fast facts on the collections

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Call for Proposals: 20th Georgia Conference On College & University Teaching

The 20th Georgia Conference On College & University Teaching
February 15 - 16, 2013
Kennesaw, GA 30144
Click here for more on the conference

Call for Proposals
Submission Deadline: Friday, January 11, 2013 no later than 11:59 pm
Notifications of acceptance or rejections: Friday, January 18, 2013

Keynote Spearkers:

Improving College Teaching: What Really Works Today?

Peter Seldin

Peter Seldin is Distinguished Professor of Management Emeritus at Pace University in Pleasantville, New York. He has been a consultant on higher education issues to more than 350 colleges and universities throughout the United States and in 45 countries around the world. He was named by the World Bank as a Visiting Scholar to Indonesia, and he was elected a fellow of the College of Preceptors in London, England. For his contributions to the scholarship of teaching, he has received honorary degrees from Keystone College and Columbia College (South Carolina).

J. Elizabeth Miller

J. Elizabeth Miller is Associate Professor of Family and Child Studies at Northern Illinois University. Previously, she was the university Director of the Teaching Assistant and Training Development Office, where she established and ran the training program for more than 800 teaching assistants. She is a consultant in higher education and has mentored hundreds of faculty on portfolio development in the United States and abroad. She is the recipient of several teaching awards, and her research focuses on the interplay between feminist teaching and learner-centered teaching. They are the authors of the The Academic Portfolio, 2008 and The Teaching Portfolio (2010, 4th edition) along with Clement Seldin, published by Jossey-Bass. Their work together focuses on portfolio development and implementation, faculty evaluation, improvement of teaching, and building strategies for maintaining institutional integrity.
Behind the Fig Leaf: Faculty Preconceptions of Student Achievement

David A. Green

David A Green is Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and affiliated faculty in International Studies at Seattle University, WA. Before becoming a faculty developer, David was chair of Languages and International Business at Birmingham City University (UK) and has taught at the graduate and undergraduate level in foreign language, literature, cross-cultural management, communication, and higher education. He publishes on academic identity and faculty perceptions of both student characteristics and the field of higher education pedagogy. David is co-editor of the International Journal for Academic Development and co-author (with Celia Popovic) of Understanding Undergraduates: Challenging Our Preconceptions of Student Success, published in the USA and UK by Routledge (Behind the fig leaf: Faculty preconceptions of student achievement).

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Blackboard Service Pack 8 Upgrade

During the 2012 Winter Break MyHCC/Blackboard will be upgraded to Service Pack 8 (SP8). At first glance, MyHCC/Blackboard will look very different from what you are currently seeing. The interface has been redesigned to make navigation more clear and easier to use. The location of all of Blackboard’s tools and menus, however, are exactly where they are now.

For an overview of the new features in Service Pack 8, check out this video

For print tutorials on the changes coming with Service Pack 8, click through the resources on this page.

Finally, CITT is hosting live previews of Blackboard's Service Pack 8 upgrade on all campuses. These previews will be held Friday, November 30th and Friday, December 7th. Service Pack 8's new features and mechanics will be highlighted. To join us for a session, please register

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The New Liberal Arts

By Michael Staton for Inside Higher Ed

Up to half of new graduates, by some estimates, are finding themselves jobless or underemployed. Why? As Andrew Sum, the director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University said, "Simply put, we’re failing kids coming out of college." Recent pieces in The Atlantic and The Weekly Standard (claiming that the proponents of the liberal arts have "lost the war" and the liberal arts has been "killed.") and elsewhere place much of the blame on liberal arts programs.

Let it be known, I was a student of the liberal arts (geography, Asian studies) at a liberal arts college (Clark University) and I founded and run a technology company in Silicon Valley. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I want our so-called "soft" studies (humanities, social sciences) to show some spine and create a response. The typical defense of the status quo involves spinning the value of a liberal arts education, pitching the curriculum as promoting the ability to problem-solve, learn to learn, and thrive in a knowledge economy. If the curriculum is teaching such skills as adapting to a knowledge economy, why can’t the professors that teach such great skills to thrive in a changing world employ them with some grace and poise? How can the liberal arts, itself, adapt to a changing world?

Simply put, we need to rethink what our students do to demonstrate their understanding. I’m not suggesting that we stop teaching literature and history and economics and psychology – or that students stop majoring in these fields. But we need to ask students to create, to experiment, to be bold and possibly fail with projects and deliverables relevant in today’s world. We’re too limited by Blue Book short essays and term papers -- in which success is easily measured and bell-curved. If we shift the way we ask students to demonstrate their knowledge within liberal arts fields, we can prepare students for employment by advancing the liberal arts.

We can achieve this revitalization by asking students to acquire and demonstrate 21st-century skills as the activities and assessments within the liberal arts curriculum. No longer can we assign formats that are isolated exercises; they need to be projects that communicate with and potentially affect the wider world. While peer-reviewed journal articles and regression analysis may be the way that professors communicate, the rest of the world has updated its formats. Academe, and in particular liberal arts programs, may be on the verge of being left behind.

What skills could we teach and measure in a new liberal arts?

Read more:

Journal of College Science Teaching Call for Papers

The Two-Year Community section of the Journal of College Science Teaching, edited by Dr. David M. Majerich, invites submissions on aspects of teaching and learning of special importance in the community college environment. Coordination of science education efforts in the community college classroom with subsequent educational and/or workforce expectations and professional issues of science instructors at community colleges are of particular interest. Some broad topics of interest include the following:
  • Programs aimed at promoting college completion
  • New approaches to measure college readiness
  • Coordination efforts (across secondary and two-year communities, and two-year and four-year communities)
  • Developmental, remedial, and online course development, implementation, and assessment
  • Gender and diversity issues in the classroom
  • Industry and professional organization partnerships and programs
  • Novel STEM course development, implementation, and assessment
  • Professional development for two-year faculty
  • Research on STEM teaching and learning outcomes
  • Unique programs that address retention and attrition
  • Science standards adoption
  • STEM outreach programs
  • Technical certification course development, implementation, and assessment
  • Innovative technology adoption and curricular integration in the classroom or laboratory
  • Improving transfer and articulation agreements between two- and four-year communities
  • Undergraduate research experiences and learning outcomes
  • Workforce development
Prospective contributors are encouraged to contact the column editor by e-mail to discuss the suitability of a given idea for this column. Submissions are limited to 3,000 words exclusive of tables, figures, and references. Submissions reporting on investigations or those that review other literature will be double-blind peer-reviewed. Editorial submissions will be assessed for their level of novel contribution. Accepted editorials will be designated as such (and therefore nonpeer-reviewed) in the journal and should be limited to 1,000 words.

Inquiries concerning the suitability of possible contributions to the Two-Year Community column should be sent by e-mail directly to:

David M. Majerich
Science Educator and Research Scientist II
Design and Intelligence Laboratory
School of Interactive Computing
Georgia Institute of Technology
85 Fifth Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30342 

For more information:

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Faculty Spotlight - Janet Willman

English Instructor
SouthShore Campus

“Memorization is what we resort to when what we are learning makes no sense.”
Picture of Janet Willman
Capital Course:
I enjoy teaching ENC 1101 the most. I enjoy having students tell me that my instruction is helping them succeed in other courses. I also know that I am making a difference when a student tells me that he or she wishes my class was taken first because what I am teaching would have helped.

Ideal Ideology: Learning occurs when students feel safe, when students are not afraid to give answers even if the answer might be incorrect. As an instructor, it is my job to provide that safe atmosphere. Once that atmosphere has been established in my classroom, learning can occur. In this environment, I provide students with instruction that will help them succeed in any course and in the business world where oral and written communication is a necessity.

Teachable Moment:
I had a student in my ENC 1101 class who plagiarized a paper. I talked with her, and she admitted it was a student’s paper from an earlier class of mine. I gave her a zero for that assignment, and advised her to do all of her own work in the future. I was very surprised to find that she signed up for my ENC 1102 class this semester. On the first day of class, she told me that she had signed up for me again because even though she had done the wrong thing in the previous class, she was completely comfortable with me. I had treated her with the same respect I had before she had cheated. She said she knew I didn’t hold grudges and would not hold it against her in this class. I think this demonstrates the safe environment I referred to early. She felt safe enough to return to me even though she knew I would be checking everything she wrote.

Student Success:
In my ENC 1101 class, on the first or second day of class, I give students a topic for a sample essay. I make comments on them just like I would any other essay written in that class. But I keep them. Near the end of the semester, I give the students the same topic again as an in-class writing. Once I grade them, I staple them to the first one they wrote and hand both back. The students are thrilled to see their progress. There are such drastic differences in the two pieces of writing. I have so many students thank me for doing this because they say it really shows their progress and it builds their confidence for future classes.

Techno Tool:
I use Blackboard to post PowerPoint presentations, missed notes, tips of the week for writing assignments. The students complain when I forget to post.

Optimized Advice:
Be active in the course. When I teach an on-line course, I am in the course shell five days per week. I have a discussion board every week which forces students to be active weekly. Because I am present in the course on a regular basis, fewer students are skipping out on assignments. If there is nothing for me to grade or respond to, I find out who has not logged in that week, and I send them a friendly email. Many instructors will put complete responsibility on the student. But I find myself encouraging students in my face to face classes to be on time, participate, be timely with assignments, and online, is no different in my mind.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Submit your Proposal Now – ET4Online Symposium 2013

A Joint Symposium of the Sloan Consortium and MERLOT
April 9-11, 2013
Planet Hollywood Resort, Las Vegas, NV
Twitter hashtag: #et4online
Follow us on Twitter @et4online

A conference devoted to the emerging and innovative uses of technology designed to improve teaching and learning online.

We invite you to submit a proposal for the 6th Annual Emerging Technologies for Online Learning International Symposium in Las Vegas.

The Emerging Technologies for Online Learning International Symposium, a joint Symposium of Sloan Consortium and MERLOT, is designed to bring together individuals interested in the review and evaluation of online teaching and learning technologies.

Faculty, students, instructional designers, instructional technologists and academic administrators are encouraged to submit proposals which are engaging, informative and interactive. These sessions can be targeted to all attendees or beginners, intermediates, or experts.

The symposium, focusing on the technologies, networking and systems that drive online learning effectiveness will accept presentations that offer attendees “real solutions.” Symposium tracks highlight and demonstrate research, application and effective practices and noteworthy technological tools in the following areas:

  • Learning Spaces and Communities
  • Open and Accessible Learning
  • Evidence-based Learning
  • Faculty and Student Development
  • Innovative Media and Tools

Proposals must be submitted by December 10, 2012 at: 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Be a Speaker at the Enterprise IT Leadership Conference

When: April 16–18, 2013
Where: St. Louis, Missouri

The Enterprise IT Leadership Conference 2013 will focus on the trends and provide insights into IT leadership in an increasingly BYOD and cloud-based service environment. Your perspectives and experience will add value to the discussion.
The Enterprise IT Leadership Conference 2013 program committee welcomes proposals on any of these conference themes:
  • Governance and Data-Driven Decisions
  • Institutional Strategic Planning and Technology
  • IT Service and Systems Management
  • Leadership

Submit your proposal by November 14, 2012

Propose a Session to Convene IT Leaders on an Enterprise Security Issue
The Enterprise IT Leadership Conference and Security Professionals Conference programs feature a half day of combined sessions on Wednesday, April 17. You’re invited to submit a proposal for one of these combined sessions using either conference’s proposal submission form.

For more information, visit the conference's website:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Congratulations to Dr. Susan Miletta!

Please join us in congratulating soon to be retired professor, and League for Innovation award winner, Dr. Susan Miletta! Dr. Miletta has been selected to speak at the Innovator Spotlight Virtual Conference!

Every year the League honors outstanding innovations through the presentation of its Innovation of the Year Award. These innovations represent significant achievements at member colleges and the continuing renewal of the spirit of innovation and experimentation upon which the League was founded. Award-winning innovations, along with other best practice projects and Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) grantees, will be presented in collaboration with Teaching Colleges and Community (TCC) by some of the brightest minds in the community college world.

Dr. Miletta’s Winning Innovation: Online Lab Review Materials for Biology and Anatomy + Physiology

Conference Date/Time: Wednesday, September 19th, 2012
*Dr. Miletta will present at 1pm

For more Conference Info:

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Faculty Spotlight - Kristin Heathcock

Librarian, Plant City Campus

Techno Tool: iPads in the Classroom/Library

Ideal Ideology:
Technology plays an increasing role in our lives. In the library realm, technology is a tool that makes many things easier and more complicated simultaneously! For example, students have access to more information today than ever before. Though they have this access, they are frequently unaware of how to access information in an efficient and effective manner. Instead, they are overwhelmed by information. Their instructors often bring them to the library for library instruction, yet my instructional area is a standard “Smart Classroom” – so I do not have any computers for students to use during the instruction.

My dean and I explored the idea of a mobile classroom, and eventually decided to go with an iPad Classroom. This classroom is mobile, easily stored, and fun!

Teachable Moment:
I am my best with students when we are working collaboratively together to solve a problem. The iPads in the classroom allow me to do just this. Rather than being the sole person in the room doing a “show and tell”, the students and I work together to locate information, troubleshoot and more. The iPads allow us to do it all at the same time.

Librarians often work one-on-one with students, and the iPads allow me to do just this. Rather than addressing one student’s question or problem with the entire class, students are able to work independently on their iPads. I rove around the room assisting them as they need help.

Instructional Collaboration:
Librarians and classroom faculty are ideal partners. I’ve had tremendous success in collaborative efforts that focus on addressing the research needs of students.

One English faculty member and I collaborate on the research and writing components for her course each term. This allows the faculty member to have an assignment that meets the needs of the course, while ensuring that the library has the required resources for students to successfully complete the assignment. Additionally, it ensures that students are provided library instruction that truly addresses the requirements of the assignment.

Another faculty member allows me to participate as an embedded librarian in her online courses. This allows me to have direct contact with the students in the class, access to their assignment instructions, and a discussion board for library related questions.

The library databases are the very best resource that we have in the library. There are over 100 databases available at HCC. Many of the databases provide access to more than just printed materials – several have videos and audios! These are such a great resource for faculty to use, as they can show them in their classrooms, require them for student assignments, and direct students to them for additional assistance.

Technological Success:
The classroom set of iPads that I have in the library are very popular. I use them as the “hands-on” component of my library instruction sessions. This allows students to get an active learning experience, while also ensuring that they know and understand how to use the library resources. Students are excited to use them because they’re cool; faculty are excited for them in class because it allows students to use and interact with the databases; and I like them because I find that students really do use them to do in-class research! The recent classes I’ve had use them have stayed in the library instruction area long after the instruction was over – because students were still using the iPads to do research!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Turning PowerPoint into an Interactive PDF

Contributed by Don Modesto
EAP Faculty - Ybor Campus

To distribute Powerpoints to students:
  1. allowing them to fill in blanks
  2. without allowing them to edit the Powerpoint file (to prevent confusion re: which is the teacher’s and which are students’ revisions)
  3. that they can print efficiently
  4. ie, four slides to a page so as not to waste paper (I was appalled once to see a student had printed a 30-slide Powerpoint one slide to a page)

Google turned up PDFill ( Downloaded, PDFill puts an option in your Powerpoint Print dialogue allowing you to “print” to a PDF file (which can then be uploaded to Blackboard.) In your Powerpoint presentation, you select Print and then choose PDFill, as below:

After that, you configure for the layout, color, etc.:

When you tell it to “print,” PDFill converts your Powerpoint into a PDF file. I’ve used it several times now, and it works as described.

When students download and open the pdf file, they will have to click the Add Text icon in the tool bar in order to add text to the page. The implementation is a little clumsy, but it works. As below, there are several formatting choices on the floating Add Text toolbar.

I have previously distributed Powerpoints as “Powerpoint Shows” (Save as, Save as type: Powerpoint Show) which open immediately to a full screen presentation with no opportunity to edit or, alas, print. This is fine should you choose to distribute your entire Powerpoint. I no longer do this. I save my lesson in a students’ version and then replace critical terms with blanks to encourage active learning and then, as above, save and distribute it as a PDF.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Blackboard Mobile Learn

The Blackboard Mobile™ Learn platform takes interactive teaching and learning mobile, giving students and educators access to their courses, content and organizations on a variety of devices including iOS®, Android™, BlackBerry®, and webOS® smartphones.

With Blackboard Mobile, you'll have access to the following features:
  • Push Notifications
  • Announcements
  • Grades
  • Discussions
  • Content
  • Blogs
  • Journals
  • Rosters
  • Tasks

**WARNING: There is also a Mobile Test feature. Please DO NOT allow students to take exams via their mobile device.**

You can learn more about Blackboard Mobile here:

MyHCC Resources Added to MyHCC Dashboard

If you logged into MyHCC today, you may have noticed a new module on your MyHCC dashboard. This module, titled MyHCC Tutorials, provides MyHCC "how-to" instructions and videos.

Remember, you can also always access these MyHCC resources, plus many more, from the CITT website:
CITT home > Tutorials and Trainings > MyHCC

Monday, August 20, 2012

Safe Assign is Here!

SafeAssign compares submitted assignments against a set of academic papers to identify areas of overlap between the submitted assignment and existing works. Safe Assign is used to prevent plagiarism and to create opportunities to help students identify how to properly attribute sources rather than paraphrase. SafeAssign is effective as both a deterrent and an educational tool.

After a paper has been processed, a report will be available detailing the percentage of text in the submitted paper that matches existing sources. It also shows the suspected sources of each section of the submitted paper that returns a match. Instructors can delete matching sources from the report and process it again. This may be useful if the paper is a continuation of a previously submitted work by the same student. Because SafeAssign identifies all matching blocks of text, it is important to read the report carefully and investigate whether or not the block of text is properly attributed.

Want to start using Safe Assign in your classes? Click the link for a step-by-step tutorial on activating Safe Assign and setting up Safe Assignments:

Call for Papers

Call for Papers for the New Learning Technologies 2013

Key Dates:
Deadline to Submit Abstracts: September 28, 2012
Notification of Acceptance: October 2012

Abstracts for presentations from knowledgeable professionals in industry, government, military, and academia are solicited to provide presentations which would be part of a comprehensive conference program on the latest learning technologies as they are being applied to training, education and job performance improvement, including ways to implement technology, descriptions of education and technical skills applications, e-Learning, Enterprise Management, Instructional Systems Design, Mobile Computing, Gaming and Simulation for Training and Job Performance Improvement, New Technologies & the Marketplace, together with Knowledge Management systems.

For more information, visit

The New Learning Technologies 2013 will be held at the
Caribe Royale Hotel
Orlando, Florida - March 6-8, 2013

Friday, August 3, 2012

25 Ways Teachers Can Integrate Social Media into Education

From edumedic.

A great information graphic on integrating social media in education was posted on edumedic.

For the full article (and a larger version of the graphic), visit 25 Ways Teachers Can Integrate Social Media into Education.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Completion Agenda

The Completion Agenda focuses on a commitment to student (quality) degree/certificate completion. At this year's League for Innovations Conference, Terry O'Banion discussed a working set of Six Principles of the Completion Agenda. These six principles are:

  1. Every student will make a significant connection with another person at the college as soon as possible.
  2. Key intake programs including orientation, assessment, advisement and placement will be integrated and mandatory.
  3. Every student will be placed in a "Program of Study" from day one; undecided students will be placed in a mandatory "Program of Study" designed to help them decide.
  4. Every student will be carefully monitored throughout the first term to ensure successful progress; the college will make interventions immediately to keep students on track.
  5. All decisions regarding policies, programs, practices, processes, and personnel will be based on evidence to the extent it is possible to do so
  6. Professional Development for all college stakeholders will focus on student success and completion as the highest priority.

Do you agree with these Six Principles? Which would you revise? What would you add? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Additional Resources on the Completion Agenda:

Thursday, June 7, 2012

180 Free Technology Tips

The website, 180 Free Technology Tips, boasts, "15 hours of free training in just 5 minutes a day." The site is indexed by topic and offers tech tips on the following:
  • Microsoft Windows Operating System
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Internet
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Computer Hardware
  • Microsoft Word
  • MS Outlook Email
  • Additional Resources

Get started on your tech training by visiting the site:

Fall Full-Time Faculty In-Service: Call for Presenters

The theme for this year's Fall Faculty In-Service is "The Completion Agenda." We are soliciting proposals from instructors, administrators and staff for presentation topics related to the theme. Topics addressing the following are especially encouraged:

  • Teaching strategies or class activities supporting student success
  • Classroom methods that help students' reach their goals
  • Services and resources that help students complete programs or degrees

Proposals for a limited number of presentations on topics in other areas will be considered.

Please complete the HCC Faculty In-Service Presentation Registration Form at:

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Upcoming Conferences

Interested in attending a conference? CITT can sponsor faculty to attend a conference, especially if you submit a conference proposal and are selected to present.

Here is a listing of upcoming conferences:

League Learning College Summit:

Bb World 2012:


2012 STEMtech Conference:

For more conferences, visit the conference listing page on the CITT website:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Free Technology Toolkit for Universal Design

Universal Design is a design approach that gives all users equal opportunities to learn, regardless of age, ability or situation. Universal Design presents environments and materials in manners that are not stigmatizing to non-average users and results in easier use for everyone. Universal Design especially aids students with cognitive disabilities. The Wiki, Free Technology Toolkit for UDL in All Classrooms, is a comprehensive listing of different technologies that speak to the principles of Universal Design. The technologies are grouped by category:
  • Free text to speech
  • Graphic organizers
  • Multimedia and digital storytelling
  • Study skills tools
  • Literacy tools
  • Writing tools
  • Collaborative tools
  • Research tools
  • Math tools
  • Tools That Compensate for Handwriting Issues
  • Helpful Apps
You can access the Wiki by clicking the following link:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Elite Universities' Online Play - from Inside Higher Ed

From Inside Higher Ed

Elite Universities' Online Play
April 18, 2012 - 5:00am
By Steve Kolowich

Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor have teamed up with a for-profit company to offer free versions of their coveted courses this year to online audiences. By doing so, they join a growing group of top-tier universities that are embracing massively open online courses, or MOOCs, as the logical extension of elite higher education in an increasingly online, global landscape.

Princeton, Penn and Michigan will join Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley as partners of Coursera, a company founded earlier this year by the Stanford engineering professors Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng. Using Coursera’s platform, the universities will produce free, online versions of their courses that anyone can take.

The move is perhaps the most coordinated foray into online learning by high-profile education institutions since early last decade, when Fathom (a Columbia University-led for-profit venture into online education that also involved the London School of Economics, the University of Chicago, and Michigan) and AllLearn (a nonprofit collaboration between Oxford University, Yale University, Princeton and Stanford) became casualties in what was then a relatively underdeveloped online learning sector.

Online education, and the technology universities are using in that medium, has matured significantly since then. And brand-name elites, this time with little or no emphasis on making profit or even breaking even, are making a new push toward finding their place in the constellation of Web-based higher education.

Read more:

Monday, April 16, 2012

20+ Active Learning Techniques

Dr. Bonnie B. Mullinix created a website with 20+ Active Learning Techniques. The site lists the techniques, along with their advantages and instructions and ideas on how to use them in your courses.

You can find the list here:

Use to CloudOn to Access MS Office Products on iPad

Taken from The Ledge (


If you're one of the about 50 million people who use an iPad and want to use it to review, edit or create documents using the Microsoft Office suite of products, then CloudOn just may be your answer.

CloudOn works by employing the combination of application hosting and web service to deliver Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint to your iPad, meaning you need to be online to use it. Since the application is running on the CloudOn servers, you must also have access to your files. Right now, CloudOn seamlessly integrates with Dropbox (set up a free Dropbox account at

After creating your online account, you're asked if you have a DropBox account through which you can store your online documents. If not, you can create one on the fly. CloudOn then opens to reveal any documents you already have stored on DropBox. Beyond editing existing documents, you can create new ones in all three Office applications. And since the documents are automatically saved and synced with your DropBox storage, you can access them locally to edit on your PC as well as your iPad.

CloudOn offers the closest experience to working in Microsoft Office on your desktop that is available for the iPad. However, there are items to consider when using CloudOn. First, you cannot open password-protected files via CloudOn. Second, there are rumors that CloudOn will not remain a free app. So I would suggest downloading CloudOn while it's free.

[ Kevin Wing is director of managed services and Data Center Network for Lakeland-based DSM Technology Consultants. ]

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - "A Community Effort to Grade Education Apps"

If you have an i-device or a smart phone, you're probably not a stranger to the App Store. You download books, games, and in your downloading, it's crossed your mind that it would be great to also use your device for educational purposes. Well, now you can! I Education Apps Review is a website dedicated to finding and reviewing educational applications.

Want to create voice-recorded flash cards? iVoc Audio has you covered.
What about streamlining your note-taking? Sling Note and Note Shelf have your back.
Have trouble tracking your references and citations? Try Easybib
Need student response systems? There's an app for that too!

For the above apps + many more, check out I Education Apps Review.

Microsoft Launches Windows 8 Consumer Preview With Free Apps

Microsoft has just launched the consumer preview of Windows 8.

Microsoft said, "There are more than 100,000 changes to the OS since the Developers' Preview released in September 2011...Plus, for developers, the big news is that the Visual Studio 11 beta is now available as well."

Download the Windows 8 Consumer Preview App:

Check out Visual Studio 11 Beta:

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Little Libraries

Todd Bol, of Hudson, WI, is the creator of Little Libraries. These makeshift structures sit on lawns and house books. People are invited to browse the Little Library's selection and then take a book/leave a book. Bol's friend, Rick Brooks, an outreach program manager for the Division of Continuing Studies at the University of Wisconsin, caught wind of the idea. Together, the two have been working to launch this growing movement.

To learn more about Little Libraries, click here.

Monday, February 27, 2012

"Online and Engaged" - From University Business

University Business published a great article about the steps Pitt Community College is taking to ensure their online courses are successful. The article, "Online and Engaged; How to help ensure student success in online courses—despite research pointing to disengagement of distant learners at community colleges," discusses the system created by Pitt Community College that emphasizes preparation by students and instructors in an online setting.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Prezi Viewer for iPad

by Prezi Inc.
Open iTunes to buy and download the app

Description from the Developer:
View and present your prezis anywhere with simple, intuitive multitouch gestures. Drag to pan and pinch to zoom in or out of topics, just like you do in any map apps. Revise and retouch your prezis, correct typos and adjust your presentation on-the-fly. Prezi Viewer is the perfect companion to your Prezi experience.

What's New in Version 2.7:
  • Facebook login
  • Correct typos and edit existing texts
  • Drag, scale and rotate any object on your canvas
  • New show mode with simple path navigation (tap to go next)
  • Import Prezi Desktop files (.pez) through iTunes file sharing

Monday, February 13, 2012

Seminar on Copyright, Distance Learning & Open Access Overview

Hosted by the USF-St. Petersburg, the January 2012 Seminar on Copyright, Distance Learning & Open Access explored the educational impact of copyright legislation with two dynamic speakers. Dr. Kenneth Crews, Director, Copyright Advisory Office, Columbia University examined the legal implication of fair legal usage as applied to college libraries and distance learning courses. In contrast, Dr. Michael Geist, Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law of the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law provided a synopsis and evaluation of international anti-privacy legislation – SOPA and PIPA. Both speakers agree that international forces will impact future legislation. They speculate litigation will prompt colleges to re-examine e-reserves, library photocopying, video streaming, and course packs. To explore the how SOPA legislation impacts HCC, review the Chronicle at

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Escape Your Search Engine Filter Bubble

When you do a web search, the results are tailored to what the search engine thinks you would like to see based on your past internet history (past internet searches, things you 'liked' on Facebook, ads you've clicked, etc). While this 'customization' seems useful, it does raise the question, "what are you missing?"

The website Don't Bubble Us explains this phenomenon, as well as a solution.

Check out to learn more.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Introducing CITT Interact

CITT Interact is a brand new message board tool was developed to give HCC faculty an opportunity to share ideas. HCC faculty can post messages after logging in, using their HCC NetID. There are 6 forums in which to browse information.

Forums Include:
  • Announcements
  • Assessment
  • Miscellaneous
  • MyHCC
  • Teaching and Learning Strategies
  • Technology

Click here to access CITT Interact!

Introducing the Adjunct Faculty Online Orientation

Transitioning to the role of an adjunct faculty member is exciting. However, it also presents its own set of challenges. To help ease your transition, CITT has developed an Adjunct Faculty Online Orientation.

The Adjunct Faculty Online Orientation covers the following topics:
  • Transitioning into Teaching at HCC
  • HCC Syllabus Resources
  • Engaging Your Students
  • Student Evaluation and Grading Policy
  • Starting and concluding a course
  • HCC Faculty Resources

The Adjunct Faculty Online Orientation can be accessed here:

Faculty Spotlight - John Bacheller

Biology Department
Dale Mabry Campus
Course Range: Traditional, Blended, Hybrid, Online

"I teach for success, not mediocrity."

Capital Course:
Bio 1 (BSC 1010) is the gateway course to the cell and molecular side of Biology. As a survey course it builds the foundation upon which many higher level courses are constructed. For many students this course either stimulates their interest in the content area or scares them away. I enjoy the challenge of providing the spark of passion to fight (work) for understanding (instead of watching their flight from the seemingly impossible to learn).

Optimized Advice:
Start with the basics and add as you go. Your courses should evolve as you learn new techniques and software, and as you learn how your students learn. Utilize the resources available through CITT and your colleagues. Never be satisfied with what you have (course wise).

Teachable Moment:
Student questions that make me think or that show me the student is thinking beyond the basics. Memorizing the content is only the first step in the process of learning. Understanding what you know and applying the knowledge for greater understanding is the true measure of success. These types of questions provide me with the opportunity to encourage this type of behavior, and to model critical thinking and problem solving skills.

Teaching Philosophy:
Teaching is doing the best I can every day to reach every student through a wide variety and combination of learning modalities and pedagogies. In non-school of education language this means challenging each student at their level, and through their learning style(s), to work as hard and as effectively as they can to learn and successfully demonstrate their understanding of the content.

This requires:
  1. establishing clear and consistent instructor expectations
  2. presenting content in a clear and logical manner, through multiple learning modalities when possible
  3. assessing student and class understanding (assessing learning outcomes “on the fly”) and adjusting lessons and re-teaching as necessary
  4. working with students on an individual or small group basis to find the correct explanation of a concept that leads to understanding
  5. providing students with the skill set necessary for success in an academic environment, and hopefully the “real” world at large

Techno Tool:
I utilize a wide variety of technology tools but my current “best tool ever” is SCORM based learning modules uploaded to Blackboard. SCORM stands for Sharable Content Object Reference Model and is a collection of standards and specifications that allow learning modules generated with 3rd party software to integrate into several LMSs including Blackboard. I am currently using Lectora Inspire to build visually and intellectually engaging learning modules with embedded quizzes that record the student grades in the Blackboard grade book.

Student Success:
Highly detailed lecture notes (PowerPoint) with links to animations, videos, and more detailed/alternative explanations of course content. Students find these notes to be visually stimulating and to provide them with multiple layers of information on content in one, easily accessible location.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Tutorial: How to Hide the Previous Semester's Courses in Blackboard

Want to hide courses that are no longer active/available?

Then, follow these quick and painless steps:

Hiding the course does not compromise the course's content. You can re-show courses at any time.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Microsoft Innovative Educator Trainer Developer Program

Trainer Professional Development Program

The Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) program provides teacher trainers the opportunity to deepen and expand their skills on integrating technology in their training to positively impact teaching and learning. MIE participants will leave the two-day event with tools and training materials that support engaging, hands-on professional development. These seminars are designed for trainers who have responsibilities for training educators on the integration of technology in the classroom.

What you will learn
  • How to maximize the benefits of Microsoft Office in the classroom with special emphasis on Microsoft OneNote and the new cloud-based Office Web Apps.
  • How to take advantage of the numerous free tools including AutoCollage, Mathematics 4.0, Partners in Learning School Research that Microsoft makes available for educators and students to inspire creativity
  • How to take each component of the training and make it relevant and useful for your training needs.

In the words of recent attendees:
  • “Fantastic training. The time to connect with peers and work around the shared vision of incorporating these tools into the educational frameworks of our districts was valuable.”
  • “Excellent, well put together, enjoyed all trainers and all aspects, wasn’t bored like most seminars.”
  • “This was one of the most informative and productive workshops that I have ever attended. I can’t wait to begin training our staff!”

Seminar benefits
In addition to learning new project-based, student-centered activities for K-12 classrooms, attendees will receive:
  • Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) certificate
  • Free access to MIE professional development curriculum for your use in your district
  • Eligibility for clock or credits hours (will vary by state)

To see the agenda and register go to:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

5th Annual International Symposium for Emerging Technologies for Online Learning - Call for Proposals

MERLOT and the Sloan Consortium will partner again for the 5th Annual Emerging Technologies for Online Learning International Symposium – The Call for Papers is now open!

We invite you to submit a proposal for the 5th Annual Emerging Technologies for Online Learning International Symposium, July 25-27, 2012 at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, NV.

The 5th Emerging Technologies for Online Learning International Symposium, a joint Symposium of Sloan Consortium and MERLOT, is designed to bring together individuals interested in the review and evaluation of online teaching and learning technologies. Faculty, students, instructional designers, instructional technologists and academic administrators are encouraged to submit proposals which are engaging, informative and interactive. These sessions can be targeted to all attendees or beginners, intermediates, or experts.

The symposium, focusing on the technologies, networking and systems that drive online learning effectiveness will accept presentations that offer attendees “real solutions.” Symposium tracks highlight and demonstrate research, application and effective practices and noteworthy technological tools in the following areas:

  • Digital learning Environments & Communities
  • Accessible Learning for All
  • Evidence-based Learning and Reflection
  • Learning And Data Analytics
  • Faculty and Student Development
  • Innovation in Media and Tools

Proposals for presentations must be submitted by March 5, 2012

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Helpful Blackboard Tips

Don’t forget that by the first day of class, all courses need to be made available to students. Access the Course Availability tutorial at

Test Students do not copy over to your new course sections. To add a test student to each of your courses, access

Are you making the transition from Campus Cruiser to Blackboard? These can help!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Apply Now for the 2012 Innovation of the Year Award

The Innovation of the Year Award is designed to recognize League college staff members who have designed and implemented a significant innovation. Each year the League recognizes “Innovations of the Year.” Only one award will be presented to each of the League Alliance member district or college.

We encourage you to participate in the 2012 competition for the chance to represent HCC!

Interested candidates should submit the following information to CITT Faculty Professional Development ( by February 6, 2012:

  • Names, titles, and college of the individual team members who created the Innovation of the Year.
  • A brief description (1000 characters (with spaces) or less) of the innovation being recognized. The description will be posted on the League website and should include names, titles, college, and district (if different) of those responsible for the innovation and a concise summary of the innovation. If longer descriptions are submitted they will be edited for use on the website.
  • One recent color or black and white picture of the creator(s) of the innovation that is suitable for publication (at least 150 dpi and have a 72 resolution with a size of at least but no smaller than (width 400 pixels). Please be sure to provide one group photo if the innovation was created by two or more people.

An innovation should meet one or more of the following criteria:

  1. Quality
  2. Efficiency
  3. Cost Effectiveness
  4. Replication
  5. Creativity
  6. Timeliness

Please visit the League website for more information

Faculty Spotlight - Johana Melendez

Biology Department
Plant City Campus
Course Range: Traditional, Web-Enhanced and Hybrid for Microbiology and Laboratory

Capital Course:
Microbiology and human disease. When I was in high school I went on a field trip to a University to explore different careers. A Microbiology Professor there showed me an agar plate and some bacteria and I was so fascinated that I knew I wanted to learn more about those little creatures that sometimes make us sick. I have a passion for science and medicine and this class gives me the opportunity to expose my student to both. Here they can know the science behind the diseases people get and gain a better understanding of why sometimes, our body’s defenses lose the battle against microbes. This class gives me the opportunity to be very creative when teaching it and use examples that students can relate to. Subsequently, I find it fun to teach and intriguing to learn.

Optimized Advice:
I advise any new person desiring to teach an on-line or hybrid class to start slow. Get familiar with the technology you will be using first and get organized! You need to have a clear vision of how you will be presenting that topic and what are the learning objectives, so students know what is expected of them and by when (time frame to complete tasks). Students need to know the here to read more