Monthly Archives: October 2012

“iPads in ESL Classrooms”

We recently completed a report on INTO Oregon State University’s iPad pilot. Here is a section of the introduction:

“In Fall 2011, INTO OSU invested in a classroom set of thirty iPads. Michelle Scholz and Jim Jamieson made the initial proposal, which was successfully funded by INTO. The project came at a time when according to the PEW Research Center (2011) approximately 11% of Americans were using iPads. People were using iPads to check email, read news, check social networking sites, play games, and to a lesser extent read books and watch videos. The average user was not using the iPad as a learning aide. However, the iPad group at INTO OSU saw numerous features which could be exploited for the purpose of language learning. Mitchell (2012) explained the features as follows:

+ Portability— This allows us to bring class materials and activities into settings that might be more interesting or authentic.
+ Connectivity— This allows us to access materials from around the web, simplifying dictionary searches, research, and so forth. It also allows us to publish on the web more easily.
+ Multimodality—This allows students to escape their black and white books for a world of interactive videos, pictures, and multimedia authorship. These features can help create meaningful learning opportunities, including creating multimodal digital flashcards and analyzing sources found online.”

The book outlines how these features were utilized in a variety of iPad activities and presents over 40 app reviews. If you’re interested in downloading it, it’s available in the iBook store here.


Audioboo and Screencasts

I am giving a workshop tomorrow at Willamette University for pre-service teachers. We are going to talk about giving audio feedback through screencast-o-matic and making audio recordings through audioboo.
The handouts from the presentation are below:

More Blackboard tips and tricks

Using the Test Student

Users and Groups > Users > Down chevron Change User’s Password > type your new password and confirm.

The username for this student is represented by bb_xyy_nnnnn.

  • x is either f(fall), w(winter), s(spring) or u(summer) term.
  • yy is the last two digits of the calendar year.
  • nnnnn is the course CRN.
  • Example: bb_f01_14771 is the test student id for the course MTH_111_010_F2001.

Log in to see the student’s view of your Bb site.

Setting up Weighted Columns in Grade Center

You will first need to create categories that you will select for weighting your total column.  For example, Presentations, reading assignments, tests etc.

Grade Center > Full Grade Center > Manage Categories > Create category > Fill in name and Description and then click Submit.

To make a weighted total column (or running total), use the categories outlined in your syllabus.

Grade Center > Full Grade Center > Create Calculated Column Weighted Column.

Fill in the column details and select the categories that you wish to include on the left and move these to the right hand side by clicking the “>”  in the center.

Add the percentage in the * box on the right hand side.  Click on the blue circle to weight the contents proportionally rather than equally.

You can decide if you want students to view this column or not and whether to include it in the grade calculations (obviously not for a running total column).

Click the blue Submit button.

Get the link to the tutorial here and the video link here.

Making an Attendance Sheet

Grade Center > Full Grade Center > Work Offline  Download > Full Grade Center > Download

This will generate an Excel Spreadsheet that you can use to cut and paste names.

You can also see a list of names by choosing Tools > Roster  Not Blank

The latter is not as easy to manipulate as cutting and pasting results in two very wide columns (you will need to go to Table > Convert > Convert table to text).

There is a huge amount of information and tutorials on making wikis, tests etc. to be found at this site.


TESOL 2014

logoDid you know that the 2014 TESOL Convention is going to be in Portland, Oregon? I couldn’t be more excited. It’s going to be a great convention. Here are some numbers we learned at the preparation meeting this week:

  • 6,500 attendees
  • 700 education sessions
  • 150 exhibitors
  • 300 volunteers

That last number is actually a little frightening. 300 volunteers. Luckily, we live in a great state, and I know so many people will be willing to help. If you’re one of those people, keep your eyes out for emails from ORTESOL about volunteering before and during the convention.

Tagged ,