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: http://udltechtoolkit.wikispaces.com/Home

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: http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2012/04/18/princeton-penn-and-michigan-join-mooc-party

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: https://gvltec.blackboard.com/bbcswebdav/orgs/GTC_UYF_GUI/Teaching%20Resources/20%2BActive%20Learning%20Techniques-BBMullinix.pdf

Use to CloudOn to Access MS Office Products on iPad

Taken from The Ledge (www.theledger.com)


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 www.dropbox.com).

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. ]