Learning Centered Technology

Technology for the Educator

Archive for January 2013

Multiplication Table in Your Hands

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Multiplication Table in Your Hands

Multiplication Table in Your Hands

My brother is an owner/operator of a trucking company. Years ago he took me on the road with him for a few days. It was a wonderful opportunity to see another profession at work and learn a couple of things. I learned that driving an 18 wheeler involves a lot more than keeping the wheels between the white lines. In reality, truck driving is an ongoing exercise in mathematics. Drivers spend a large amount of energy calculating time, distance, weight-load, fuel cost, and what seemed like dozens of other items the casual observer could never imagine.

Often he was forced to calculate various costs without the aid of a calculator. He showed me a multiplication trick he uses to help him quickly calculate numbers on the go. I was reminded of this trick today on the Handyman website, so I thought I would share: The Tables of 6, 7, 8, and 9. http://www.instructables.com/id/Tables-of-6-7-8-and-9-in-your-hands/?ALLSTEPS

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Written by Dr. Sherri E. Ritter

January 29, 2013 at 9:52 am

Posted in Cool Finds, Fun

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FutureMe

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FutureMe.org

FutureMe.org

Last January I came across a website that seemed interesting, but I saw no real potential for classroom use. I decided to play around with the site. The site is called FutureMe.org. It allows you to write emails to your future self.

At that time I was in the mist of completing a degree so there were a lot of ups and downs. Some days I felt like I would never complete the process and wondered why I was putting myself through the trauma. As an experiment I decided to write my self of the future with a word of encouragement.

Fast forward one year. The website is forgotten. The degree is completed.  I wake up to find an email from the past in my inbox. Upon opening it I found that I was congratulating myself on the completion of my degree and the fact that the world had not end on December 21. It was in that moment that I realized the true power of the site, it showed me the faith I had in myself.

Today a student stopped by my office to talk about what a difficult semester he expected. He told me it was his last and if things work out he would walk for graduation in May. He was concerned that he may not complete. I encouraged him and reminded him how far he has already come. I also told him of my experience with the website and encouraged him to write his own note to self.

Sometimes classroom technology is not about technology to assist in the studies, but about technology that encourages one to continue the journey.  Teaching is about inspiration. FutureMe.org, if used properly, can be that inspiration to students. Instructors can encourage students to set goals and celebrate victories. FutureMe.org can help people remember why they started the journey. Check it out at http://www.futureme.org/.

Written by Dr. Sherri E. Ritter

January 23, 2013 at 4:40 pm

Posted in Cool Finds, Fun

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Blackboard 9.1.10 Discussion Issue Alert

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Recently someone told me that I needed to learn that a step forward and two steps back is not a setback, but a waltz. Please keep that in mind with this announcement.

With the upgrade to BB SP10, we have experienced our first campus bug. It can be found in the Discussion area. Most of you have been using Discussions for a while and have gotten use to using the Availability function to release the forum at the appropriate time.  That function does not work properly in SP10.

From the Instructor view you will see a message similar to the one below on your Discussion list, but from the student view you can still access and post to the forum.

BB Discussion Message

BB Discussion Message

What that means to you is that you will need to manually restrict access. Go to the action link beside the forum and click Edit. Change Available to “NO” and click Submit.

BB Discussion Settings

BB Discussion Settings

You will need to manually change Availability until BB comes out with a patch for this issue. I will keep you updated.

Written by Dr. Sherri E. Ritter

January 18, 2013 at 4:09 pm

Posted in BB9 Essentials, BB9 How Too ...

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Blackboard 9.1.10 Calendar

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Blackboard 9.1.10 Calendar

Blackboard 9.1.10 Calendar

Last year due to several complaints from faculty concerning the BB9 calendar, I submitted a trouble ticket to blackboard with several feature requests. Today I received an email from blackboard informing me that some of our request made it into the SP10 release.

We updated to BB9 Service Pack 10 over the break, so these features are now available to us. If you have not had the opportunity to play around with the new calendar, some of the features are pretty cool. If you abandoned the calendar in the past, it may be time to take a second look.

  • Access the calendar from My Blackboard, and the Tools link on the My Institution tab and within the course.
  • The new calendar tool is available everywhere the old calendar was accessed as well as My Blackboard. All existing calendar links from the Blackboard Learn calendar continue to work with the new Building Block.
  • Students and instructors can also view items that are past due, due today, or due this week by navigating to the overview capability in My Blackboard (Bb home icon).
  • Manage institution, course, organization and personal events in the same calendar view. Calendar events are color coded to indicate which place/entity they are associated.
  • Toggle between day, week and month views of the calendar.
  • Easily add calendar events by clicking on a date and adding an item.
  • Items with due dates automatically appear on the calendar. Instructors can move calendar events by dragging and dropping them to a new date. The due date on the associated item is automatically updated.
  • Instructor and students can click through calendar events directly to the associated item.
  • Calendar honors adaptive release and availability rules.
  • External calendars can subscribe to events created on the Blackboard Learn calendar through an iCalendar feed.
  • When reusing content through course copy, archive/restore or import/export, the course calendar events are propagated to the new course.

As always if you notice problems, please report them to me as soon as possible. Thanks

Written by Dr. Sherri E. Ritter

January 15, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Posted in BB9 Essentials

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