Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Socrative Interactive Student Engagement for BYOD Mobile

Explore a new way to engage students using interactive quizzes and activities using Socrative. 

"Socrative holds incredible potential to capture real-time student or assessment data to inform instruction. With the emergence of Bring your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives and mobile technologies in schools, Socrative uses the same digital tools students use outside the classroom for hours on end. The best part- it is free for teachers. Please read on and contemplate using this amazing and powerful app.” Emerging EdTech

How Socrative Works

Here is how Socrative works and why you should use it: Students go to the app store and download the free app to their phone or tablet. You – the instructor – go to the app store and download the app, which is also free. You will need to set up a profile and enter your room number at http://m.socrative.com/lecturer.

As the instructor, you’ll need to add and edit content. While this may seem like it would take an excessive amount of time, it moves very quickly once you get the hang of it. I like to copy-cut-paste quizzes from MS Word. There are some recent features like adding a picture and graded short answers that are worthwhile, but I want to get back to that idea of saving time!

First, as you edit content, you have three basic question types: multiple choice, True/False and short answer. These options really don’t need much explanation, other than knowing that they will offer you the option to grade your short answers (note that and the student submitted response has to be identical to what you enter.

Second, as you edit content remember, this app provides real-time feedback. Meaning, students will get a pretty good idea how they are doing. As a learning professional, it is valuable to put in an explanation for right/wrong answers, which for the purposes of graded formative work, is important.
This idea of real-time feedback is what really ramps up the level of student engagement with this app. Check out the videos below for more information or visit http://www.socrative.com.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

UNTD Unveils SMART LightRaise™ Touch Projectors

In Steve Spielberg’s futuristic film, Minority Report, touchscreens become embedded in every aspect of daily life and are controlled with the wave of a hand. Well the future has arrived at UNT Dallas and it will eventually touch every aspect of instruction.
On Friday, October 11th, faculty from Education and Human Services had a first-hand look at SMART’s LightRaise™ touch projectors.

Glenda Moss uses projector while Johnson, Narayan,Columbus
and Johnson look on. Photo: Ted Sanders
The event was hosted by the Office of Distance Learning and Instructional Technologies and featured training from Summit Integration Systems Education Manager, Patti Postel. Postel stated, “The LightRaise™ 60wi projector is the only interactive projector that provides touch and pen-enabled input, enabling two people to simultaneously write, draw and manipulate content in SMART Notebook™ software or a standard PC operating system.”

According to SMART’s website, the LightRaise™ enables educators to deliver engaging and collaborative content and gives students the ability to interact with material in richer, more engaging ways.

The projector can turn almost any surface, including a dry-erase whiteboard, into an interactive, small-group, collaborative learning space. The projectors have been installed in two classrooms in building one with possibly more in the future.

Johnson, Narayan and Moss Photo
(L-R) Johnson, Narayan and Moss Test the projector. 
Senior Technologist, Ted Sanders, who coordinated the project installation said, “This is an exciting time in technology, because we are on the verge of touch-enabled products edging out the traditional mouse and keyboard as the preferred way to engage digital content.”

Associate Professor, Dr. Ratna Narayan and Assistant Professor, Dr. Gwendolyn Johnson, will be the first instructors on campus to use the new SMART-enabled classrooms. Narayan said, "I enjoyed it (the training) and am looking forward to using it with our students." Teacher Education and Administration program chair, Dr. Glenda Moss also attended and expressed the importance of integrating technology future teachers will use into the instructional program. She stated, “We know our teacher education students will encounter this technology in the future, so it’s important for them to be comfortable using it today.”

Patti Postel looks on while Dean Santos-Hatchett
uses the projector. Photo: Ted Sanders
Dr. Yolanda Columbus, Distance Learning Director said, "This is definitely a game changer. It was evident in our faculty members’ excitement about the potential impact on the learning experience. They are already planning a professional learning community to explore the possibilities.”

Dr. Sheryl Santos-Hatchett, Dean of Education and Human Services also had an opportunity to try out the product. She said, "It can be used to teach content lessons, create new materials on the spot, conduct group conversations with input that can be easily edited, proofed, and even printed from the Smart Board. It is an amazing teaching tool."

For more information on SMART LightRaise, visit: http://smarttech.com. For more information on Summit Integration Systems, visit: http://summitintegrationsystems.com/