Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Spring Term Countdown

Spring semester begins on Monday, which leaves the remainder of this week for opportunity to make progress on my continuous to-do list. Prior to the holiday break I placed orders for the juvenile collection and did a quick inventory on other collections and supplies. While I still have to create the physical orders, I know what needs to be purchased and will have time this week. Opportunity to teach an online technology course this spring meant a big part in today's list was updating materials in the content management system.

What to do, what to do? Links and syllabus updated, due dates changed, instructional videos uploaded to YouTube and then embedded within assignments (it's simpler than worrying about real player, quick time and windows media player options), and a bit of verbiage "tweaking" took most of the morning. I've been considering using Google Docs Spreadsheets for an Excel assignment, and after lunch I decided to move forward with the change.

The university uses Gmail as the student email provider, so general access to necessary apps is simple. I started my quest with a paper handout, complete with screen shots, but determined a series of short video tutorials would be a better option. Luckily the handouts were easily interpreted as a story board and I was able to produce a set of videos using Camtasia and subsequently post and embed them with the assignment; the most challenging aspect was getting audio in place without interruption (phone, questions, and patrons).

I am considering developing a set of short overview podcasts to introduce each assignment. Since they don't all have to be done prior to the start of the course ...

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