Friday, August 30, 2013

MOOCS and Beyond: My Experience

Well, I have to admit the MOOC course wasa worthwhile endeavor.  While I participated in many of the activities, I did not complete the course.
It was a great way to learn about the subject matter (“Exploring Irish Identity”). I was able to experience various aspects of Irish Identity, including: History, Literature, Film, GAA, Art, Music, etc.
Offering free courses via the MOOC format is an opportunity to broaden your knowledge at no financial cost to you. The only thing you will spend is your time.  You can check out the range of MOOCs available across the Internet at the MOOC List website.
The course ran for 8 weeks and began about 5 weeks before my trip.  What I found is that before I took my trip to Ireland, I was dedicated to completing the course.  I would log in when I could, listen to the lectures, complete the discussion boards and do the quizzes.  While some days I wouldn’t be able to do the necessary assignments I would make sure to catch up when I did have the time. Through this, I learned a great deal about Ireland and its Identity.  However, once I was in Ireland I did not have access to WiFi and couldn’t get online. Many of the things I learned about in the course made me have a better experience.  I heard about the great many literary figures from Ireland and was able to see where some were born.  I heard wonderful Irish music and appreciated where some of it originated. I would see the GAA advertised in the different pubs and know what it was all about. I saw where the great Irish song, “Danny Boy” was written. 
Once I returned from the trip, my interest dimmed though.  I found the desire to complete the course was not there.  What I have determined was that a MOOC course is very beneficial as long as you have the time and desire to learn the subject matter.
Go ahead, find one that interests you and go for it!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Preparing your ANGEL Courses for the Fall Semester

As you start to think about your fall courses, we wanted to share with you the following important information that will help you prepare your course site in ANGEL.

Please review the “Preparing your ANGEL Course for a New Semester” checklist for directions on getting your course site set up for a new semester.

If you have any questions, please contact us at

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

MOOC, MOOC, and more MOOC

I guess that is the buzz lately. What is a MOOC and what is it all about and is it a worthwhile endeavor?

According to Wikipedia: "A massive open online course (MOOC) is an online course aimed at large-scale interactive participation and open access via the web. In addition to traditional course materials such as videos, readings, and problem sets, MOOCs provide interactive user forums that help build a community for the students, professors, and TAs. MOOCs are a recent development in distance education.

I have been hearing about MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) a lot lately.  There seem to be pros and cons and I wanted to find out more about it.

What a coincidence to see that Hibernian College in Dublin was offering a MOOC course in “Exploring Irish Identity”.  It just so happened that I visited Ireland in July and to explore my Irish Identity.  It seems like destiny!

I joined the course and found it amazing when I saw where the enrolled students were from.  It was truly a massive course with countries like Tanzania, Netherlands, Canada and Belgium represented, just to name a few.  I look forward to reporting back on my experience.  But it's great to see that there are such a variety of MOOCs out there to learn just about anything. 

Have you tried a MOOC?  What was the subject?  What was the experience?  

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Best Apps for Teaching

In May, I went to a 1-day conference on by "Tablets, Handhelds, Smartphones; Oh My: Challenges and Solutions in Supporting Mobile Devices and on Campus" by NERCOMP.  In one session, they spoke about great apps for teaching that are certainly worth sharing:

Poll Everywhere
Platform(s):  Any device with internet access.
Cost:  Free account with limitations on size of polls.
This a classroom response system that uses mobile phones, Twitter, and the web.  This is similar to clicker technology except online and without having to use clickers.

Platform(s):  Works on all platforms and web-enabled devices.
Cost:  Free with registration.
This is a smart classroom response system that empowers teachers to engage their classrooms through a series of educational exercises and games via smart phones, laptops, and tablets.

Platform(s):  Apple & Android Devices
Cost:  Free with registration.
With the latest version of this (2.0), you can not only look at the news that you care about but you can save and collect things that you love into your own magazines.  Examples: "Cars I Like" "Best Vacation Offers."

Platform(s):  Any device with internet access.
Cost:  Free with registration.
This is a suite of software and services that allows you to take notes and archive.  It supports many operating platforms.

Cloud On
Platform(s): Apple & Android Devices
Cost:  Free with registration.
This brings Microsoft Office to your iPhone and iPad and links it to your Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and SkyDrive accounts.

Air Sketch
Platform(s): iTunes
Cost: $9.99
This allows you to turn your iPad into a wireless whiteboard.  You can also annotate PDF documents and images live.
1-2 Educational Uses

What apps to you use in the classroom to help with student engagement?