Gmail now has a button in the toolbar to add an email message to Tasks. Not only will it add to your Tasks list (conveniently in the right side panel of your Gmail) but it automatically puts a link to your email message so you can pull it up quickly from Tasks instead of rummaging through your emails.
Once you have the item in your Tasks, you can edit its title and put a due date (which puts an entry in your Google Calendar, too). When you’ve completed the task, click the radio button next to it to cross it off your list! ✔️
Create signatures for different situations or audiences such as: personal, professional, condensed, etc. The “Insert signatures” button is in the Gmail message window when you compose a new message, reply, or forward a message. [How-to create a Gmail signature]
Present high-quality video and audio
Google Meet is a video conferencing platform that many of us are using for remote meetings, office hours, and class sessions. Before you wouldn’t be able to share a streaming video in your session to your audience, but now you can! You can now share audio and video (with audio) by selecting the option to present an individual Chrome browser tab.
See up to 16 webcams in tiled view
Google Meet can now show up to 16 webcams on the screen in tiled view. By default, Meet automatically displays the most active content and participants. Usually if you have three or more participants with webcams in a session and are not presenting (i.e. screen sharing), you will have the tiled layout shown.
The new Google Sites is here! Classic Google Sites will be phasing out in 2021 so if you have any Google Sites you want to continue using, convert them to the new Google Sites before next year. The new Google Sites is modern and simplified with an adaptive interface allowing you to easily create professional-looking websites without having to code. [How to use the new Google Sites]
For those of you who have been using Google Sites as weekly or topic modules for your courses to present content, but use Laulima for assignments, quizzes, forums, etc., you may want to consider using Laulima Lessons, a tool to create/present content modules. Not only is Lessons easy to use and allows you to present your content in an organized and visual way (like being able to embed content), but the advantage over Google Sites is that it can integrate items you have in other Laulima tools. This allows you to pull everything together in Lessons. You can link-in specific assignments from Laulima Assignments, specific discussion topics from Laulima Forums, and more. Contact the Educational Technology unit for assistance.
This is a special guest blog post by Eric Matsuoka, Professor CC of Math and Math Coordinator at Leeward CC.
The spring 2015 initiative involved allowing and encouraging students to submit their statistics term projects using Web 2.0 tools instead of traditional documents. The Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy places creating at its top level. Web 2.0 tools facilitate both that highest Bloom’s level and also facilitates various forms of collaboration, which is strongly emphasized as a 21st Century skill.
Although some popular news reports suggest that today’s students are adept at creating artifacts using Web 2.0 tools, many students have not connected such experiences to their educational endeavors. While it was not practical to dedicate class time to demonstrating the use of multiple tools, half of one class session was led by Educational Technologist, Rachael Inake, who introduced students to creating a website using a Google Sites template developed by the Educational Media Center. Rachael also spent time creating a tutorial video for students who needed to review the directions given in the live presentation.
The intervention was an unqualified success. 16 out of 23 students submitting projects chose to use a Web 2.0 tool. One student created a video while 15 created Google Sites. The average project grade for those using Web 2.0 tools was 6 points (half of a letter grade) greater than those submitting traditional paper artifacts. The average grade for the spring 2015 Web 2.0 submissions were also 8 points greater than the average grade for fall 2014 projects submissions, which were limited to traditional documents. Student perceptions of the Web 2.0 option and project-based learning itself were unquestionably optimistic, as well:
Survey results (n = 23 in each case)
I liked having options for submitting my project
Choosing my own topic probably motivated me to work harder on the project than I otherwise might have with an assigned topic.
In working on the project, I could better see how topics covered in class are used in the statistical process.
Having the option to make a video, web site, or some other format other than a paper got me to think more about what I was doing and how I would present it.
The presentation and screencast tutorial by Rachael Inake led me to create, or at least consider creating, a web site for my project submission.
Unfortunately, offering the Web 2.0 option in the summer session was not successful. There were confounding factors that make it difficult to determine why students did not try the Web 2.0 option. One was undoubtedly the short duration of the summer session. Another is the lack of an in-person training session (although the spring semester video tutorial was made available). The intention is for the option to be available in the fall semester and, schedules allowing, to have another in-person class session with an Educational Technologist.
Anecdotal reactions from students were generally positive. The ordinarily-ubiquitous question of how long a report needed to be was virtually nonexistent in the spring. While students were only required to set their sites to be viewable by their instructor (me), several (links below) made their video and web sites publicly viewable, which is one of the first steps in virtual collaboration.
Susan Wood, Professor CC of English, was the first at Leeward CC and in the UHCC system to create an open, online course for English 100: Composition I, which provides students with zero textbook cost, and allows anyone to re-use and re-mix her materials under the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license. With assistance from the Leeward CC Library, Susan found and used Open Educational Resources (OER) and her own content for the content modules. I was fortunate to work with Susan in planning and developing the content modules, putting the content in a weekly modules format using Google Sites, and publishing it as a template site for other Leeward CC ENG 100 instructors (or anyone) to re-use and re-mix under the CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license. Susan also created a companion Laulima course site for instructors to copy to use with the weekly modules site and we created an Instructor’s Guide to help instructors put the course together.
The following is a guest post from Susan Wood.
I was fortunate to be granted a sabbatical for Spring 2015. Part of the project that I proposed in my sabbatical application was to create an online ENG 100 course using Google Apps for Education that would be available for lecturers (or anyone) to use if they were assigned to teach an online ENG 100. After that project was approved, I was approached by both Kay Caldwell and Leanne Riseley and asked to consider creating the course using Open Educational Resources (OER). I knew very little about OER but have always used textbook cost as a major factor when choosing a textbook, so I decided it would be a worthwhile addition to the project. I did not realize at that point what an adventure I would have in the world of OER.
My first exposure to OER was a video on the Leeward CC Open Educational Resources Guide. In the video, which has since been replaced by Jayne Bopp’s wonderful video, an instructor in social sciences effusively talked about how she decided textbooks were too expensive for her students, so she found a fantastic OER textbook, pasted the link to the textbook into her course website, and proceeded to teach her course from this free resource. She made it sound so easy… all I needed to do was find the perfect OER textbook for ENG 100 and I would be on my way!
However, after weeks of searching and reading, I realized that there was no perfect ENG 100 textbook. I did find some OER ENG 100 textbooks, but some were really long and cumbersome, some were poorly written (ironic, I know), some didn’t cover the range of material we cover in ENG 100, and some were incomplete. It was then I realized I would have to create the course using a re-mix of content from several of the textbooks.
My next step was to pick the best of the content from the textbooks I found. I bookmarked the three textbooks that had material that I thought would best fit in a Leeward CC ENG 100 course, and then I set to work. I wrote an outline of the course and then proceeded to search through the OER textbooks and pull materials that I then revised as needed to fit the course objectives.
Collecting course content was a mostly enjoyable process because I got to explore what others teach in first-year writing courses. It was also professionally invigorating to read through so many different approaches to teaching first-year writing. At times, though, collecting content was frustrating when I could not find what I needed– so I had to create some content myself. Luckily, I had Rachael Inake to help me with the technical aspects of creating Google Slides, YouTube videos, and PowToons, and I was able to use these tools and more to create content. All in all, the experience of choosing, re-mixing, and creating OER was a very positive one.
The ENG 100 course is now finished and I am very pleased with how it turned out. I am excited to use the course for the first time this summer and will use it again in the Fall. I am also really excited that my students don’t have to buy a textbook. In past semesters, some students would go for weeks or even the entire semester without a textbook because they could not afford all of the textbooks for all of their courses. I am thrilled that I can now offer a course that does not burden students with the cost of a textbook. OER makes that possible.
Below are a few screenshots of the ENG 100 OER course materials.
ENG 100 Laulima course site (Contact the EMC for access to the site.)
Please contact the Educational Media Center (EMC) if you’d like to set up an ENG 100 OER course site using Susan’s OER materials or if you’re interested in using OER materials or creating an OER course.
We can’t wait to hear how things turn out for Susan and her students next semester!