T4LT - Maps

Maps are often under-appreciated learning tools. In this episode, we visit a few sites that will potentially inspire a second look at the usefulness and potential maps offer teachers and learners.

Sites featured in this episode:


T4LT - Social Networking

Facebook and Google+ are often thought of as distractions to learning, but they can be used for good. Educators are tapping into the popularity and reach these networks have into their students' lives. Communication is the heart of the social network and communicating is a natural way to learn and share.

Sites features in this episode:


T4LT Interview - DJ Hennager on the Back-channel

D.J. Hennager, Math/Science Dept Instructor at Kirkwood Community College, joins Alan in the studio to discuss tapping into the back-channel to engage his students.

Sites Mentioned in this Episode

T4LT - Blogs & Cover It Live!

Yes, we know blogs have been around for quite some time. There is an entire blogosphere already. Still, the topic is worth exploring in how it applies to teaching and learning. Blogs are feature-rich and free publishing tools. If you are already a seasoned blogger, try live blogging with Cover It Live!

Sites mentioned in this episode:

and http://www.perezhilton.com :-)

T4LT Interview - Nicole Forsythe

Nicole Forsythe, Digital Services Librarian, joins Emily in the studio to discuss LibGuides - a relatively new service and digital product supporting student research and assignment resource management.

Sites mentioned in this episode

T4LT - Discussions

The discussion forum is a staple of online instruction and learning. Depending on the objectives of the forum, styles and expectations vary widely. In this episode we suggest three main principles for successful discussions. Here they are in brief: Purpose, Prompt, and Instructor Involvement.

We also suggest giving students guidance on how they can formulate productive and thoughtful responses.
  • Your example helped me understand ___ because ___
  • Your post made me think about ___
  • I have a similar example to share ___
  • Your example helped clarify ___ but now I am wondering about ___
  • I wonder if you could expand on ___
  • I have a counter example I'd like to share ___
  • While I totally agree with your post, I want to toss out this possible different perspective ___

T4LT Interview - Phil Brown

In this T4LT interview episode, instructor Phil Brown discusses his use of YouTube in online courses. Phil Brown is an associate professor of Film studies and English at Kirkwood Community College in the Distance Learning department. You can find Phil's YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/pbrown. Thanks Phil!

Other sites mentioned:
Vimeo (http://vimeo.com)
Google Video (http://video.google.com/)
Dailymotion (http://www.dailymotion.com/us)

T4LT - Behind the Scenes

We take you behind the T4LT curtain and reveal all our secrets. This process might be more than you want or need for your own video podcast -- so feel free to start small and grow.

T4LT - Online Lectures

We are often asked how to replicate the lecture in online courses. Naturally, we have some thoughts on the subject. We believe lecture materials for online courses are best when short, focused on the students' needs, and created explicitly for the online course.

Video Editing for Everyone

Pinnacle Systems, owned by AVID, offers a FREE program called Video Spin. This is a very hand program for those interested in video editing. It's no Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere, but it is a great stepping stone for the beginner to intermediate editor. It's definitely a step up from Movie Maker.

For more information or to download the program, visit the Video Spin website.

T4LT - Texting

Texting has become an important form of communication and some instructors are beginning to explore how and when to use sms messages with their students.

Resources mentioned:
Txting: The Gr8 Db8 by David Crystal

Poll Everywhere

T4LT - Online Exam Security

"Online Security" is often thought of as a bit of an oxymoron. In this episode, we examine some typical LMS (Angel) settings that can help instructors increase test security and integrity efforts.

T4LT - Image Editing

Pixlr.com is an online image editing program with an impressive array of tools and features. Fundamental image manipulation skills are essential for teachers and learners. And beyond the fundamentals exists a world of creative and productive possibilities for course assignments and assessments.

Other free imaging programs you might find useful:

Angel Features You May Not Know About

In this episode of T4LT, Alan and Emily challenge each other to further their knowledge of the Angel Learning platform. You too can explore section headings, customizing icons, macros, grading rubrics, milestone calendar links and more!

If you would like more hands-on experience, sign up for the Beyond the Basics Angel training offered through KCELT. Open to all Kirkwood faculty and staff.

T4LT - Open Textbooks

Emily talks with Kate Hess, Library Coordinator for Kirkwood's Iowa City campus, about open textbooks.

Links Mentioned in this episode:

Flat World Knowledge

Kirkwood Library

T4LT - Google Sites

Google Sites provides the tools to create your own websites quickly and creatively. Sites can be collaborative, instructional, informational, fun, interactive and the list goes on. Several sites were visited in the making of this T4LT episode. Links are below.

Google Sites

ePortfilios with GoogleApps

Honors Physics Parish Episcopal School

Iowa AEA

Foundations of Western Civilization

Mr. A's Class

Learning Almanac

Group Project - African American Culture on Pop Culture and Stereotypes

The Noun Project

I am a fan of clean and simple design. I also like collections of parts of speech. And so thenounproject.org speaks to me. You might also find it to be a nice resource for elegant icons and imagery. Many of the graphics are public domain or available for download and use with a simple attribution to the creator.


Tripline.net combines maps, trip animation, location annotation, pictures, background tunes and all the elements of the social web. It strikes me as a clever and useful tool. I'm using it for the study abroad program I will lead to China this summer. Check it out:

Google Cloud Connect

Since we recently covered Google Docs, I feel compelled to mention Google Cloud Connect is available for PC users. The add-in makes it possible to sync files directly from Microsoft Word, Powerpoint and Excel to your Google Doc cloud. Nifty!

T4LT - Online Student Engagement Tips and Strategies

10 ideas to begin the sharing of student engagement strategies in online courses. Some low to no-tech ideas are included in this episode. And while we mention online courses specifically (we work in the distance learning department), many of the techniques apply to on-ground and blended courses as well. Join in the conversation and post a comment with your own thoughts on engaging students.
  1. Call/Text Students
  2. Require Regular Logins
  3. Act on Report Data
  4. Create Meaningful & Relevant Assignments
  5. Explain Your Expectations
  6. Assess Online Learning Readiness
  7. Time Management Training
  8. Assignment Variety & Ownership
  9. Add a Live Element
  10. Personalize Communication

Is Online Learning Right for You?

Managing Your Time

More File Types Supported on Google Docs

Some good news and nice timing from Google Docs. They have added more supported file types that can be viewed online. Receive a .pages file from a student? Now you can load it to Google Docs for viewing and reviewing.

From: http://googledocs.blogspot.com/2011/02/12-new-file-formats-in-google-docs.html
Today we’re excited to launch support for 12 new file types:
  • Microsoft Excel (.XLS and .XLSX)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 / 2010 (.PPTX)
  • Apple Pages (.PAGES)
  • Adobe Illustrator (.AI)
  • Adobe Photoshop (.PSD)
  • Autodesk AutoCad (.DXF)
  • Scalable Vector Graphics (.SVG)
  • PostScript (.EPS, .PS)
  • TrueType (.TTF)
  • XML Paper Specification (.XPS)

T4LT - Google Docs

Google Docs
We use Google Docs for all our collaborative script writing for T4LT. Google Spreadsheets, Forms, Presentations and Drawings complete the suite of Google Doc tools.

These collaborative document creation tools offer many advantages for group projects or for the individual who wants access to files in the cloud - no need to worry about lost or broken external jump drives (but you will need access to the Internet).

Documents in Google Docs can be private or public, shared, exported in a variety of formats, edited in real time by all those who have access, and more. Check out Google Docs for yourself!

Google Docs

Sample Presentation - The Many Ways to Use Flip Video Cameras in the Classroom

Google's Art Project

Google does it again (Google Art Project). A fantastic application of their existing street view technology applied to some of the world's most amazing art collections and museums. I know, it still isn't the same as being in the same room as these works, smelling the sterilized air, pushing past crowds and searching for the restroom, but it comes close.

Sign in and you can create your own art collections from their works and share your collections with your students.

Now I am thinking Google should apply their street view to the skies (astronomy) and the microscopic - DNA, molecules, the dust mites under my couch.

T4LT - Animation

Let your imagination run completely wild, but still within the boundaries of good pedagogy. Tools such as GoAnimate and XtraNormal make it incredibly simple to produce impressive animations at low to no cost. Most of the interface is drag-n-drop, so drawing skills and coding know-how are unnecessary.


Hybrid Course Explanation on GoAnimate


Adobe (Flash and After Effects)

Take a Test to Learn! -NYTimes

The NewYork Times ran an article on January 21, 2011 on a study that demonstrates benefits of test-taking as a learning strategy (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/21/science/21memory.html). I find the study interesting though not terribly surprising. When the outcomes involve remembering facts and formulas, my best studying comes in the form of self-administered mini-assessments. And if you are looking for a quick flashcard type program to help you with this, check out cramberry.com (I just really like the domain name).

Naturally, the study leaves open just how much taking tests might contribute to deeper understanding or one's ability to connect different knowledge sources. Still, these connections aren't likely to happen if the memorization of key terms and concepts never happens. There is a balance for everyone.