Try pencasting – it’s really easy!

I was extremely flattered to be a guest speaker on the Teaching In Higher Ed podcast where I spoke about my YouTube channel and pencasting. Pencasting is a style of video where the ‘teacher’ is writing on the screen so it looks like a whiteboard or blackboard. I made a video to explain how I make these videos.


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Do you teach online? Try being a student!

Photo credit: Keith Williamson

If you teach online, or a hybrid type class, do your students a favor and take an online course!

I recently completed an online course on a subject I’m extremely interested in, using technology in education. The instructor was helpful, the subject matter was engaging, my classmates were extremely willing to offer feedback and help, but still I found myself leaving things until the last minute and getting distracted by life.  Taking classes online is hard.

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Educational videos on a budget: Meet PowToon

I host a YouTube channel for my students and most of my videos are made using “pencasting” which is a fancy word for writing on the screen. For my Media Enhanced Learning class that I am taking through VCC, I decided to try another media type for my video project.

As you can see, PowToon has great animation and fun cartoons to captivate the audience. They have various themes so you can choose whether you want your video to have a professional or comical feel. (The static in the voice over is from my mic, not from PowToon!)

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Academic YouTube Stars exist! Meet Dr. Claudia Krebs

Any educator looking to be inspired by forward-thinking teaching techniques need look no further than the UBC department of Neurology.

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Can publishers compete with open-source textbooks?

Photo credit: Unsplash

This month, Pearson announced that it is cutting the prices of its ebook rentals and is rolling out a pilot rental program for paper textbooks.

We have been inundated with stats in the past few years about how textbook costs have risen more than 1000% in the past few decades. Most student union groups have campaigns to push faculty to adopt open resources in their classrooms. It is so easy for students to type in their textbook name into Google and have numerous resources available for leaked textbooks. Pearson is hoping that by reducing the cost that more students will go the ethical route and rent the book. Continue reading “Can publishers compete with open-source textbooks?”

Experiential Learning: Meet Riipen

Photo credit: Greg Anderson Photography

Students often graduate university with little to no real world experience. These students are then required to start in an entry-level position to gain any experience at all. (how many degrees does your barista have?) Experiential Learning has become a hot topic recently as schools try to prepare students for the real world. There are two ways to achieve an experiential learning component in a degree: 1) co-op/internship terms for students, and 2) class projects that require the students to work with companies. Experiential learning isn’t going anywhere – New York state and Ontario are attempting to mandate this type of experience for all students. So how do schools bridge the gap for their students? Meet Riipen. Continue reading “Experiential Learning: Meet Riipen”

Online office hours: ooVoo

I tried out ooVoo last night as part of PIDP 3240 to chat with my instructor, Brian Cassell. ooVoo is a software that allows you to video chat with students (well actually with anyone but this is an education blog). ooVoo allows up to 12 people on a video call at a time and can be accessed through a PC, Mac, or smart phone. Continue reading “Online office hours: ooVoo”