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In Focus Student Edition: Collaborating on the Go

In Focus, Student ContentElizabeth Rodrigue

A big part of success for college students is keeping up with the work of communicating with professors and fellow learners. This is even MORE important if you are enrolled in online or hybrid courses, since group projects, content questions, and grade inquiries are more challenging when your audience is not right in front of you! Sometimes managing your schedule and workload can feel stressful.

Worry no longer...Educational Technology has your back! Join us for In Focus: Student Edition, where we discuss adding your FSCJ email and calendar to your mobile device and show you some tools for collaborating with classmates efficiently and effectively. 

Technologies covered in this video:

Blackboard Collaborate

Blackboard Collaborate is a web conferencing tool that is used by professors to connect with students. As a student, you can use Blackboard Collaborate to meet with your peers for a group project, attend a webinar, or share and work on documents. There are also tools to share your screen, review a PowerPoint presentation, and write on a digital whiteboard. Blackboard Collaborate can be accessed in courses, if your professor has enabled the Tool. Please ask your professor if it is not visible within the course’s menu on the lefthand side of the course shell.

For more assistance with Blackboard Collaborate, submit a ticket at help.fscj.edu or visit the Blackboard Help site.

Microsoft OneNote

OneNote is a virtual notebook tool that can be used to store photos, documents, links, and audio memos. Notebooks are stored in the cloud, update automatically, and can be shared. There is also a mobile app for OneNote that allows you to take photos, videos, and record audio files. OneNote is Included in Office 365 Suite and is FREE for all FSCJ faculty, staff and students.

For instructions on how to download Office 365: https://fscj.service-now.com/esp?id=kb_article&sys_id=049dc4794f108200e67c76601310c722

For more information on OneNote from Microsoft: https://support.office.com/en-us/onenote

Dropbox (and Paper)

Dropbox is a tool that allows you to store and share digital files with others. The basic version of Dropbox is free and gives you 2GB of space to use. You can write, comment, and embed media in Dropbox and access those Documents from anywhere, even a smart phone!

Click the link below to sign up for the FREE version of Dropbox.

https://www.dropbox.com/register

Google Drive / Docs / Hangouts

Google Drive is a FREE cloud storage service that provides 15GB of space for its users. It accepts all file types and allows for collaboration and sharing with others. Google Drive integrates with the Google Productivity Suite, which includes these free, cloud-based apps: Google Docs, a word processor, Google Sheets, a spreadsheet program, and Google Slides, a presentation program. These are very similar to the Office365 Tool Suite. 

Google also provides a great communication and conferencing tool, Hangouts. It  allows users to text, make FREE calls, or video chat. The video function uses your computer's webcam, but also has screen sharing capabilities, so that you can show someone else what you are working on. You can use it to communicate one-on-one or in a group. It can also be used anywhere, via the Mobile Hangouts app, which is available for iPhones, IOS, and android devices.

For more about the features offered in Google Drive:
https://www.google.com/drive/using-drive/#start

Find out how to get started with Google Docs: https://support.google.com/drive/answer/2424384?hl=en

Find out how to get started with Google Hangouts: https://support.google.com/hangouts/answer/2944865?hl=en

Thanks for watching! If you have any questions or would like to suggest topics for future episodes of In Focus, please email us at et@fscj.edu.

How to Google Like a Pro

The Chat, Student Content, EdTechBrandi Bleak

Today on The Chat, I discussed a few features of the popular search engine many people aren't aware of.  Did you know that you could build with Legos right from your Chrome or Firefox browser?

Here's a list of the other tips I suggest:

SET A TIMER

Type in "set a timer for [x] minutes" and then get to work. I use this often to limit my social media time or to really focus on a task without interruptions. There's something about a countdown that makes you want to work faster! I actually set a 15 minute timer to finish this blog post - so, let's see how it works. You can also make this full screen, which could be useful for timing a speech, for example. It works in reverse if you prefer the stopwatch option.

SEARCH FOR FLIGHTS

What I like about the ability to search right from Google is that it uses your location for quicker search and suggests dates; for example, an upcoming Thursday to Sunday trip.  Now, just select where you would like to travel and you're all set. The calendar shows price differences on varying days if your plans are flexible, or you can view a map of your route which shows prices for flying into alternative cities for comparison. I didn't feel like there were as many options available as some other search sites, but they did offer the same low prices I was able to find on my usual sites. 

GOOGLE DOES MATH

From equations to conversions, it's there when you simply don't want to use your seventh grade math skills. When cooking, try using Google to help by typing "convert ten ounces to cups." When shopping for the best deal try, "What is 15% of $67?" It works at a restaurant too, when you may not know the perfect amount to tip. "What's 20% of $83?"

GOOGLE LIKE A BOSS

  • Be specific. Use keywords strategically and on purpose. You can leave out extra words to complete the sentence.
  • Google can answer many questions. Try searching nutrition facts like, "How many calories are in a Jimmy Johns turkey sub?" or "How long does it take to get to Dayton, Ohio?" The answers are 514 calories and 13 hours and 31 minutes, respectively.
  • Use quotation marks to search exact phrases. Otherwise, it will search those keywords, in any order with an article. Sometimes that matters!
  • If you keep getting searches that include a word you do not want to be a part of the search, use the minus symbol. Add it before any words you don't want to appear in your search. 
  • Use .. to search a date range. Add two periods between a date range to only search within those dates. 

And finally...

BUILD WITH LEGOS!

You can do practically anything on your computer, so why not build something with virtual Legos? This works with Chrome & Firefox browsers and is actually pretty fun! You can change the colors of the Lego bricks or choose from extras like doors or windows to add to your creation. Visit the site here to build!