Academic Technology - Florida State College at Jacksonville

Academic Technology

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Tools for the Millennial Student Training Materials

EdTechRobyn Reese

As a part of the Office of Training and Organizational Development's One Step Program, the Educational Technology team presented a workshop on teaching millennials with technology, focusing on a series of learning methods that were cited as the most useful by the Adobe Creativity Study.  The video below provides a summary of the information covered in the training. 

Those who are interested in taking this training (or others) through the Office of Training and Development should visit training.fscj.edu.  

Virtual Reality on a Budget!

Student Content, EdTechRobyn Reese

Interested in getting your students out of the classroom and into the circulatory system, onto the grounds of Versailles, or even circling the moon? Virtual trips like these used to be more akin to Star Trek than the real world of learning, but in the last few years more economical and abundant technologies have made it possible for anyone to have an impressive VR experience for very little cash!

Last week at the Academic Technology Open House, our student assistant Elizabeth Rodrigue provided a demonstration of Google Cardboard, a fifteen dollar headset that uses your smartphone as the conduit for a pretty impressive 360-degree video experience. Here's what she had to say about it: 

Google Cardboard is a headset apparatus with two lenses that uses your phone to create an immersive 360 experience. Though there are tons of apps that work with Google Cardboard, at the Academic Technology Open House we chose to showcase Google Expeditions, an "adventure" app that allows instructors to take a class to almost any place in the world they can imagine. "Expeditions" range from underwater scenes to ancient ruins or large cities. You can even take a look at different careers! The instructor uses their personal mobile device to work as a "guide", and the app provides the guide with a paragraph about what is being seen, three questions to ask the students, and key points that can mark certain areas in the scene for students to look at when clicked upon. The students are the "explorers" and are immersed in the experience with the headsets. After some initial skepticism, the Google Expeditions presentation was well received, and by the end of it many faculty and staff were excited about how they could utilize it.

The Cardboard headset is quickly becoming a logical choice for those looking for an entry-level VR experience, and recently sold their ten millionth headset.  Google Cardboard can also be used as a viewer to access any of the thousands of 360-degree videos that are housed in YouTube by using the youtube app in iOS or Android, and setting it to "Cardboard" mode by clicking on the goggles icon in the bottom right. An example of such a video can be seen below, which allows the viewer to experience a current art exhibition at the Hirschhorn Museum at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. This was created by the New York Times as a part of The Daily 360 video series, through which the NYT releases a different 360-degree video each day on a topic of cultural, social, or political importance. The whole series can be accessed here

Taking Notes with your Mobile Device

Student Content, EdTechRobyn Reese

When I got my first iPad five years ago, I had grand dreams of how it would allow me to streamline my life by allowing me to have all of my work, play, and family resources in my tote bag whenever and wherever. My original iPad (and the iPad mini that replaced it), went a long way towards meeting this goal, but over the years I found that there was perpetually one specific functionality that was never quite perfect: notetaking.

I could, of course, take detailed notes and draw complex pictures on my iPad relatively easily. There have been a number of great styluses on the market over the years, some of which have the ability to write on the screen like a pen (we recommend the Adonit Jot Pro for writing) and draw like a pencil (we use 53's Pencil for drawing with touch sensitivity). The problem was always the app--I was never able to find one that allowed me to use the notes in another format.

The ideal note taking app should integrate with the other tools that you use for productivity, and allow you to share your notes with others who may not have access to the same apps or equipment that you have. In order to do that, the app needs to be able to translate your handwriting into text. Enter: NEBO! 

As shown in the video above, MyScript's Nebo app uses a technology that they have dubbed "interactive ink" that allows you to easily manipulate notes and text by using intuitive gestures on your tablet. You can mark up text to create headings, bulleted lists, diagrams, and mathematical notation. Double tapping on the content turns it into standard text and illustrations that can be exported as a .pdf, word document, or html! 

Nebo is the note taking app that I have always wanted, but it does have one drawback: at this time, it is only available for iOS and Windows devices. MyScript currently offers a beta version of its Stylus app, which offers more a more limited interface that also utilizes the interactive ink technology. 

For those lucky notetakers who have an Apple or Microsoft mobile device, click here to learn more and download the app for free! 

Qwickly on Blackboard

EdTechElizabeth Rodrigue

Qwickly is a free program offered on Blackboard's home screen for teachers. It's a quick and easy way for teachers to manage their classes by setting course availability, posting announcements, and sending emails collectively. Teachers can toggle course availability to their students with just the click of an on-off button. The posting announcement portion of Qwickly allows teachers to type an announcement and click which courses to send it to automatically all at once. Sending emails has never been simpler because Qwickly allows teachers to type up an email and mass send it to all of their students or only a select few with just the click of a button.

The Qwickly company offers four different products: Qwickly Platform, Qwickly+, Qwickly+Cloud, and Qwickly Attendance. If you would like more information about Qwickly their website is: https://www.goqwickly.com/