Category Archives: Digital Living

Alex Joppie

Send Students Out on a GooseChase

metal compassFor as long as I’ve been interested in mobile learning, I’ve been on the lookout for apps that allow instructors to use mobile devices to structure student learning experiences outside of the classroom. Maybe you want students to go the Art Institute, look at three paintings in person and answer questions about them. Maybe you want students to visit seven buildings downtown with different architectural styles. Maybe you want students to go to the Bird and Butterfly Sanctuary and take pictures of migratory birds. Or maybe you want students to visit a few different ethnic neighborhoods, and you just want verification that they actually went.

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Veronica Johnson

Digital Story Telling

Silhouette cartoon figures listening to a storytellerDigital story telling is an instructional practice that is used to tell stories by using computer-based tools. For example, individuals or groups may tell a story by using a variety of multimedia such as audio, graphics, voice, text, and video. For centuries, many people have learned messages from stories that were either passed down orally or written in a book. We now live in such a technological advanced society that learners can now comprehend an intended message by using technological products of the 21st century.

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Bridget Wagner

Managing Appointment Schedules: A Brief Review of 10to8

Cartoon drawing of man attempting to herd catsThe Central Support Team at FITS offers one-on-one appointments for faculty and staff as a D2L training option. We offer face-to-face appointments and online appointments where we meet faculty and staff via Zoom, a video conferencing platform. These 30-minute or 60-minute appointments are booked online, via the FITS website.

The Central Team has been offering one-on-one appointments since I started at FITS a few years ago, and the process of managing these appointments—especially as the Central Team grows, and we bring in graduate assistants to help out with the appointments—is something we are frequently revising and hoping to streamline.

As a part of that constant revision, we adopted a new online booking system, 10to8, about a year ago. I want to briefly review that system for you, and explain our motivations for choosing it in the first place. Then I’ll share some other (hopefully) helpful tidbits we have learned along the way. (Unfortunately, some were learned the hard way.)

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Cari Vos

Tried and True Technologies, Part 2A: Google

In August, I posted the first of this “Tried and True Technologies” series. That post focused on how you can use mail merging in Word to make life a little easier. This time around, I figured we should just go for a big one: Google.

Google has a ton of apps—not just Mail, Docs, and Sheets either. They have a full repertoire of tools, called the “G Suite.” From this suite, there are two tools that I love and find incredibly easy to use. In this post, I’ll cover the first tool: Google Keep.

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Josh Lund

Ockham’s Razor and Online Learning

Rube Goldberg's Self-Operating NapkinI’ve always loved Rube Goldberg’s drawings. They lent a certain sense of the absurd to everyday tasks, creating a ridiculously complicated machine to handle something most of us could do without even thinking about it. Like many young people, I also delighted in building machines similar to Goldberg’s, using every toy at my disposal to produce something that, let’s be honest, may have been more satisfying to design and build than to actually deploy most of the time. A few hours’ work for ten seconds of payoff? Not a big deal, when you’re a kid.

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Sarah Brown

Spectre and Meltdown and The Art of Communicating Bad News

Newspaper headline "Bad News"In 2017, consumers were frequently on the receiving end of bad news: Wells Fargo continued to grapple with the fallout from fake accounts. Equifax compromised data. Apple slowed down phones.

And to kick off 2018, there are vulnerabilities in computer chips that will affect “almost all computers, servers, cloud operating systems, and cellphones made in the past two decades.” Disheartening, no?

I’ve been thinking about the nomenclature employed in this case. Calling the two vulnerabilities “Spectre” and “Meltdown” accomplishes a couple things. Taken together, the names seem appropriately technology-adjacent, but I was most interested in Spectre, which evokes something elusive, ghostlike, and therefore understandably difficult to detect—which explains how the vulnerability went undiscovered for more than 20 years.

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Sharon Guan

Manipulating Learning with Tools and Rules

Three months ago, I published a blog entry called “Summer Math Class with Khan Academy: A Case of ‘Manipulated’ Learning”. Ever since then, I have tried a few more rounds of manipulation on my IRB-free research objects—my two kids. As a proud mother of manipulation, I’d like to report on a couple of cases of manipulating learning—and behavior—with tools and rules.

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Lori Zalivansky

Crowdsourcing: Good or Bad?

The first episode of Wisdom of the Crowd premiered on October 1st and I had to check it out. Being a lover of crime procedurals and someone who works to bring content to the masses through the use of online platforms, I thought this show would be right up my alley.

The main concept of the show is that a Steve Jobs-like character (Jeffrey Tanner played by Jeremy Piven) has decided to take crowdsourcing to the next level by creating an app, called SOPHIE, where people around the world can share and evaluate evidence to help solve crimes—more specifically to help solve his own daughter Mia’s murder. Everyone has a phone these days, and everyone wants to be a part of something bigger than themselves, so why not create a platform where people can connect with each other and help solve murders without leaving the comfort of their homes?

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Josh Lund

Ditching the Laptop for a Tablet: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Some folks out there would say that a tablet can do what a computer used to, and others argue that while they are always improving in capabilities, tablets are still not occupying the same space in terms of computing power. Desktop computer sales in general have been on the decline for several years now, and tablets keep trying to further bridge the gap. As someone who spends many days testing, evaluating and re-evaluating software and hardware, this situation begs me to answer the question: can I really ditch the laptop?

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Cari Vos

Tried and True Technologies, Part 1: Microsoft

In my college English 101 course I was assigned to write a persuasive essay. Initially, I wanted to write a paper about the purpose of technology. I started doing research, but couldn’t find anything helpful. So I abandoned that and picked a different topic. Lately, I’ve been thinking again about it. In my role here at FITS, I try to find ways to make technology help our office do tasks smarter, faster, and more efficiently. These tasks often take me back to tried-and-true technologies from Microsoft.

One of my projects lately has been working with the Global Learning Experience team, preparing for the upcoming Global Learning Conference in October. This was my first time being on the development side of a conference; let me be the first to say that it is no easy task. My role was specifically on the technology end.

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