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Textbooks

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Textbooks

Textbooks

Every instructor has struggles with students getting a late start because of textbook prices. Today I would like to share a few resources I have collected for free and inexpensive textbook alternatives. There are a number of sites out there like Merlot (http://www.merlot.org/merlot/index.htm?action=find) and Open Stax (http://openstaxcollege.org/books) that have alternatives to the pricey traditional book publishers.

Although it may be too late to incorporate these resources into this semester, now is the time to start thinking about the future. If you are looking to design a new online class or substitutions to your current course offering, please check out this list alternative solutions for your classroom.

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Written by Dr. Sherri E. Ritter

September 1, 2014 at 9:00 am

This Link Will Self-Destruct

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This Link Will Self-Destruct

This Link Will Self-Destruct

Here is a cool little webpage, it allows you to create a temporary link that will self-destruct. The site This Link Will Self Destruct (TLWSD) is a free public temporary URL service. You can set the link to expire after a number of uses and number of days. The site also has a password protected feature, but it didn’t work well for me.  It consistently allowed the first user to access the site, but prevented all other users’ access. The site did work well using only the Uses and time limit options.

As the creator you will need to provide a URL. It can be anything from a website you designed to a site you want your students to visit. Once the link is created, you can copy and paste it into an email to your students. When the student clicks on the email link it will bring them back to the TLWSD website and give them a link to the site you want them to visit. After the allotted days and uses, the TLWSD link will self-destruct. If the student or person with the email tries to access after that period the link will no longer be displayed for them to use.

This site could be used to help students stay focused and check their email on a regular basis. It could also be used to inspire students engagement by offering time limited extra credit activities or exam review notes. Check it out at https://tlwsd.in/.

Written by Dr. Sherri E. Ritter

April 14, 2014 at 9:00 am

Posted in Web 2.0

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instaGrok | A new way to learn

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instaGrok

instaGrok

Do I have a cool tool for you this week, it is called instaGrok. instaGrok gives you a visual relationship of a topic along with key facts, websits, images, and other important fact pertaining to the subject. This is a web 2.0 tool that allows the student to not only search facts, but keep notes and even be quizzed on the topic.

As a faculty member, you can create student assignments and add students. You can also set the difficulty level of the topic you are presenting. This is a great tool for the visual learner. Check it out at http://www.instagrok.com/.

Written by Dr. Sherri E. Ritter

January 27, 2014 at 9:00 am

Posted in Web 2.0

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Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age

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Connectivism

Connectivism

Presented on Jan 9, 2014 by Sherri E. Ritter, Ed.D. and Kathleen Phillips, MLIS

A learning theory is an attempt to describe how people learn. Three broad learning theories are Behaviorism, Cognitivism, and Constructivism.

  • Behaviorism is a theory of learning based upon the idea that all behaviors are acquired through conditioning. Conditioning occurs through interaction with the environment.
  • Cognitivism has a premise that humans generate knowledge and meaning through sequential development of an individual’s cognitive abilities, such as the mental processes of recognize, recall, analyze, reflect, apply, create, understand, and evaluate.
  • Constructivism says people construct their own understanding and knowledge of the world, through experiencing things and reflecting on those experiences. When we encounter something new, we have to reconcile it with our previous ideas and experience, we are active creators of our own knowledge.

Connectivism

Connectivism was founded in 2004 by theorist George Siemens. The theory address to role technology plays in the learning process. Technology has increases the speed at which individuals have access to information and creates a learning community.

Connectivism

  • Connectivism is driven by the understanding that decisions are based on rapidly altering foundations.
  • New information is continually being acquired.
  • The ability to draw distinctions between important and unimportant information is vital.
  • The ability to recognize when new information alters the landscape based on decisions made yesterday is critical.

Examples of Connectivism

  • Have you ever been in a meeting and a question comes up that no one can answer and a couple minutes later that guy that never seems to be engaged in the discussion (because he is always surfing the web) speaks up with the answer… well that is connectivism.
  • Have you ever listened to a speaker and thought to yourself, “I want to know more,” and used technology to verify the facts… well that is connectivism.

Why is this important to you?

This is the new reality in the digital age and you are training students to work in this environment. The ipad was released in April 2010 and it has changed the way we learn and do business. Mobility is the new reality.

Examples of iPads in Business

Local Examples Health Care Professionals: Hospital Use

  • Find-A-Code – Medical Coding made easy.
  • Medscape – Medscape from WebMD (medscape.com) is the leading medical resource most used by physicians, medical students, nurses and other healthcare professionals for clinical information.
  • Structured Dictation – Dictation allows users to create dictations on-the-go.
  • Epocrates – Access Epocrates’ trusted clinical resources faster and more conveniently than ever from your iPad, iPad mini, iPhone, or iPod touch.
  • UpToDate – With an individual subscription to UpToDate® you can get the clinical knowledge you need from any computer, tablet, or mobile device. Choose the solution that’s right for you!
  • 103 FDA Regulated Mobile Medical Apps
  • Metronic CareLink Mobile

Business Apps

  • MicroStrategy Mobile for iPad – Quickly Build and Deploy Information-Driven Apps.
  • Roambi Analytics – Roambi Analytics™ re-designs the way you interact with, share, and present data from a completely mobile perspective. Take data from anywhere and transform it into a simple, engaging, and intuitive experience that helps you understand, present, and share your numbers.

Sparkvue

  • Sparkvue – Keep the focus on the science, not the software. Lab software for the classroom.

Sparkvue Sensors

Other Apps

  • Remind101 – Safe way for teacher to text students.
  • Skyview – SkyView™ Free brings stargazing to everyone, and it’s totally free! Simply point your iPhone, iPad, or iPod at the sky to identify stars, constellations, satellites, and more!
  • Frog Dissection – is a greener alternative for teaching dissection in the classroom.
  • Side by Side – Open up to 4 documents in one window.

  • ScratchWork  – ScratchWork allows you to take notes and browse the web at the same time. 

*Image from http://rutraining.org/2011/06/13/a-new-learning-theory/

Written by Dr. Sherri E. Ritter

January 20, 2014 at 9:00 am

9 Word Cloud Generators That Aren’t Wordle

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Word Cloud

Word Cloud

Edudemic has develop a list of 9 generators to develop your own word clouds. Word clouds are artistic displays of words for visual learners. The most popular generator is Wordle, but there are often problems using it because of the Java requirement. This list of generators may help the Wordle restricted users.

There are 9 generators reviewed and many allow additional features not available in Wordle. One such case includes Tagul, which permits personalized shapes and multiple fonts. Check it out at http://www.edudemic.com/2013/08/9-word-cloud-generators-that-arent-wordle/.

Written by Dr. Sherri E. Ritter

November 11, 2013 at 9:00 am

Posted in Cool Finds, Fun, Web 2.0

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VISUWORD

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VisuWords

VisuWords

A few weeks ago I shared the Visual Thesaurus, this week’s website is very similar. VISUWORDS is an online graphical dictionary and it is great for the visual learner. Moving your mouse over the word creates a popup giving the word and definition. Words are also color coded, which identifies them as nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. In addition connections between words are diagrammed for the user.

Unfortunately this website does not work well on the ipad. On the plus side it is a perfect tool for the visual learner. Check it out at http://www.visuwords.com/.

Written by Dr. Sherri E. Ritter

October 21, 2013 at 9:00 am

Posted in Web 2.0

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Learnist Board

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Web 2.0 Tools for the Classroom

Web 2.0 Tools for the Classroom

Here is a great Learnist board for educators looking for Web 2.0 technologies.  Chrissle Flanagan, the developer of the board, gives links to such great tools as EasyBit, Edshelf, and many more tools for the educator.  Check her out at http://tinyurl.com/n7lrr34.

Written by Dr. Sherri E. Ritter

September 2, 2013 at 9:00 am

Posted in Web 2.0

Tagged with ,

Math Rap

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Math Rap

Math Rap

A few months ago I shared a website that deals with music called Flocabulary. It used hip-hop to cover vocabulary, language arts, social studies, science and math. Here is a new site that deals with rap for math and science. This site was created by Joe Ocando. Joe is a math and science teacher at a community college in New York. He uses word associations so that a term or fact is easier to recall later.  Check it out at http://rhymenlearn.com/math-rap/integers/.

 

Written by Dr. Sherri E. Ritter

August 19, 2013 at 9:00 am

Posted in Web 2.0

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WVNet K-12 Conference 2013

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The Big Bloom Theory

The Big Bloom Theory

The Big Bloom Theory Presentation at 2013 West Virginia Statewide Technology Conference on July 30, 2013 at the Waterfront Place, Morgantown, WV. Kathleen and I enjoyed our time in Morgantown and want to give a shout out to all of our old and new friends. Thanks for attending our presentation and for all your support. You can review the session at http://prezi.com/kr-lyh8xyby3/the-big-bloom-theoryapps-version-wvcca/.

Written by Dr. Sherri E. Ritter

August 2, 2013 at 10:46 am

EasyBib

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EasyBib

EasyBib

EasyBib is a website that generates citations and bibliographies. You simply paste in the website address and fill in the blanks to create a perfectly formatted citation. This generator allows you to create citations for websites, books, newspapers, journals, databases and many other sources. It will create in MLA, APA, or Chicage/Turabian, although only the MLA is free.

In addition to the creator, the website also contains a nice citation guide and educators blog. Lots of great things are happening on this site. Check it out at http://www.easybib.com/.

 

Written by Dr. Sherri E. Ritter

July 29, 2013 at 9:00 am

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