Friday, October 31, 2014

Moodle Moment: Zoom

Our Moodle Moment focuses on a synchronous tool this time, as we take a look at Zoom.  Zoom is a lightweight videoconferencing and screensharing tool supported by the AEAs.  Similar to Skype, it allows multiple users and easy recording.

While there is a paid version that allows you to have longer meetings (> 1 hour), the free version also the same basic features.  It integrates with phone conferencing, and participants do not need an account to join a meeting (not even a free account).

Below is the complete overview of the video and all its features back when we first  started using the tool in March.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

AEA PD Online is Seeking an Online Community Facilitator

AEA PD Online, on behalf of the statewide AEA system and the Iowa Department of Education, seeks a part-time online community facilitator (25 hours per week) for the 2014-15 school year. The position will being immediately and will be working with the Iowa Department of Education and the statewide planning committee to support the development of the Teacher Leadership Compensation online community, in addition to other technical assistance activities.

This position will help maintain and support the Teacher Leadership Compensation (TLC) online community, which includes aggregating community content and events, supporting the user experience and maintaining the technical design of the community. Skills in website development, online community facilitation and management, social media, online technologies, marketing and promotion are necessary.

Minimum requirements include a bachelor’s degree in communications, English, marketing, web development or a related field. This person should be motivated to work in a team environment as well as to work with K-12 educators from across Iowa. Previous experience in K-12 education is a plus.

Apply online at the Heartland AEA website.  For questions about the position, contact Evan Abbey, Program Director.

TED Ed Lessons Worth Sharing

Have you ever used video in an online or blended class and wondered what students were getting from the video? Have you wanted to emphasize a specific part of a video or connect additional resources to the video? If you have, TEDEd Lessons Worth Sharing is for you. 

TEDEd Lessons allows you to wrap introductory text, short answer or multiple choice questions, additional resources and discussions around your videos. To find out how view the video below or click on the link here.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Graphical Representation of the Syllabus

Interesting idea--making a graphical representation of your syllabus. I came across this idea by clicking on a link within a Tweet from someone I follow on Twitter. It led me to this site:

The article is worth the read and isn't very long. It includes examples of what it actually could look like. It provides a clear reference to outcomes and connections of specific assignments to those course outcomes. The author of this article goes on to say that using a graphic display is a way to "keep student learning in focus". There are benefits for the students as well. "Graphical displays are clearer to visual learners, they show how a course is organized, and they function as a map to a course."

Note: Click on the link to the article to view examples of the graphical display.

How can this apply to your online course? Sometimes online students don't seem to "get it". They 
appear to just wander through the course without making the connections, in spite of our best efforts, to the course objectives/outcomes/essential learnings. Providing a visual representation of those connections to specific assignments may be enough to get the learner to focus their learning and they will see that "none of the course assignments are random or arbitrary."

Challenge: If you are thinking about revising your online course, think about adding a graphical image of your course objectives and assignments. It could be just what you and your online students need to move their learning, and yours, forward.

Talk to me. What do you think? Worth trying?

 Peggy Steinbronn, Ed.D.
AEA PD Online Instructional Designer

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Happy Digital Citizenship Week: October 19-25, 2014

October 19-25 is Digital Citizenship Week. The purpose of the week is to engage students, teachers, and
families in a conversation about what it means to behave responsibly and respectfully online.

AEA PD Online can help educators start these important conversations with students and parents. It offers 6 self-paced modules, which can be completed anytime and anywhere, that will prepare educators to assist students into becoming good digital citizens.
The modules are:
  • Digital Citizenship Introduction
  • Digital Citizenship: Cyberbullying & Online Safety
  • Digital Citizenship: Digital Literacy
  • Digital Citizenship: Netiquette
  • Copyright & Fair Use
  • Digital Citizenship: Digital Security

To access these modules go to and login/register.

Note: The modules are accessible to all Iowa educators. Individuals who are interested in renewal credit must complete all 6 of the modules and submit the summary activity.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Moodle Moment: PoodLL Audio Recordings (and more)

Our Moodle Moment today looks at a plugin within our Moodle systems.  This plugin is available free from the website.  It is called PoodLL, and it actually is a suite of plugins that allow you to do many different things, including audio recording and video recording.

The most common use of it is as an assignment type.  On our systems, when you add an assignment, you can make it accept PoodLL submissions, which means students can records themselves for their assignment instead of typing it out.  You can also do the same thing in forum posts and anywhere else in the site where students would normally have to type.

You can see more Moodle Moments here, on the AEA PD Online YouTube site.