Category: eLearning

More server space… moved the videos

After a Blackboard folder copy lost all of the video files and images last week, and running out of free screencast space simultaneously, I decided to just take the plunge and buy my own server space for video media on screencast (50GB). I’m moving all of my calculus videos there so that next time Blackboard is “glitchy” (which seems to be a lot), I don’t have to reload 45 10-MB files again. Well, the reason I’m telling you this is that when I bought the space, I reorganized my existing material into folders. And when you do that, all the links change (which I didn’t realize). So if you tried to watch a WebAssign video in the last 24 hours, the links were broken. But now I’ve repaired all of those links to insert the new links. The moral of this story… start with organized folders from the first time you load new media, or you’ll regret it later. : ) How am I justifying this investment of $129.50 a year. I don’t think we’ll be using Bb forever, in which case I’ll have to move all that content again. It’s really my content, and if I was to switch jobs I would want to take it with me. It took my 8 hours to reload all the videos from one chapter. If you do the math ($129.50/8) that...

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AMATYC Drafted to Present…

Although I wasn’t supposed to give a presentation today, I found myself in the right place at the right time, and was drafted into talking because there was a room full of people and no presenter. Dan Petrak and I gave the impromptu presentation about Tablet PCs, creating Camtasia videos, avatars in online classes, Wolfram Demonstrations, Jing, SnagIt, etc. Here are some of the links if you were at our wild ride this afternoon and want to do some further investigation (of course, you’ve found your way here, so you’re doing pretty good!) TechSmith Camtasia and SnagIt Jing Wolfram Demonstrations Sitepal Avatars MathType More on Tablet PCs Link to Calculus Flash Videos Link to LineRider Favorites Here’s a good deal… Techsmith emailed me this morning and they will give you guys a “AMATYC conference price” of $169 for the bundled Camtasia+Snagit. You need to send Dave McCollom an email to take advantage of this. I assume he’ll want to know what school you are teaching at and how you plan to use the software. Possibly Related Posts: Contemporary Algebra Collection (new resources 2/4/2019) Teaching in Higher Ed Podcast about ESIL Lens Add Graphs In The World to Courses ESIL: A Learning Lens for the Digital Age Bringing the Real World to Your Math Class Every...

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Links to Calculus Flash Videos

A few people asked if I would create links to some of my Calculus videos. I use a variety of software to produce the videos… Camtasia, SnagIt, TI-SmartView, the Internet, Wolfram Demonstrations, PowerPoint, and whatever else happens to be helpful at the time. I’ve selected three of them (pretty much at random) for you to see. Please keep in mind that these are not “professionally produced” … I do not have time to go back and edit a word if I misspeak (although I could with the software I use, I just don’t have time… it’s hard keeping up with online calculus). These video lessons are my version of what takes place in the classroom, and just like on a whiteboard, I may occasionally make a mistake and correct it… well, hopefully I correct it! 🙂 Using Secant Slopes Limits and Vertical Asymptotes The Falling Lexus Example Before you watch the Falling Lexus Example, you ought to watch the “Falling Lexus Commercial.” The files are all zipped. When you unzip the file, choose the LARGEST file (the swf file) to run. You will need to have a Flash Player downloaded to watch. [Update 5/6/12: My videos are now all loaded on, recorded live with a Tablet PC, and produced with Camtasia Studio as an MP4.  I’m leaving this post here for perspective.] Possibly Related Posts: Contemporary Algebra Collection...

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Keeping your Online Classes Straight

If you’ve ever taught several different courses in the same classroom, you understand the problem. At some point, all the classes start to blend together until you can barely remember who is in which class or what you’ve said where. This problem seems magnified for online classes, as you do not see the faces of your students when you are “in” each class and there is, therefore, no visual cue to keep them straight. So, as I am teaching three classes with major online components this fall, how will I keep them straight? I especially want to avoid posting the wrong assignments or announcements in a class. I decided to give each class it’s own unique look, with a different banner and different buttons so that when I am navigating the three classes, it is obvious which one I am in by the color schemes. The result of my customization: Here are my three classes with their three schemes: Possibly Related Posts: Add Graphs In The World to Courses Understand in learning objectives – it’s the forest, not the trees Learning at Scale Slides from ICTCM The Importance of Findability for Learners Why prototype a digital...

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Playing with Avatars

Well, I’m trying to get my Online Calc class up and running this week and at some point I became obsessed with getting an avatar to make the announcements in the course. Why use an avatar? Let me tell you a story… When I was in 8th grade, I took Geometry from a guy named Mr. Allison. He had the most bizarre colored pants (to this day I can still remember Mr. Allison’s famous red pants). Every day, it was worth it to go to class just to see what color his pants would be. As a consequence, I never missed a day of class and I really did enjoy learning from the guy. My current thinking is that if the avatar changes pretty often, the students will at log in to class often just to see if the avatar has changed. Then, when they see the avatar, it will remind them out loud (in 60 seconds or less) what is about to be due or any other important announcements (“schedule your next test” comes to mind). Is that silly? Yes. Might it work? Also yes. It could. (Really… have you tried it? Can you tell me for sure it won’t work?) So, all evening I’ve been experimenting with the avatars on SitePal. The only major problem I’ve encountered is that all the female avatars are pretty “busty.” I...

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