Technology Tools for Bad Weather

Winter is in full swing and sometimes the weather can wreck havoc to your class schedule and attendance.  Below we have compiled a list of some technology tools that will allow you to provide a meaningful learning experience for your students, while keeping everyone safe and warm at home.  The tools have been divided into Synchronous and Asynchronous Tools, with a special section on Group Work.

Synchronous Tools


WizIQ is a platform for anyone and everyone who wants to teach or learn live, online. With a virtual classroom, educational content and a session scheduler, WizIQ works best for anyone’s online teaching and learning needs.  Click here for WizIQ Documentation.



Skype is calling, seeing, messaging and sharing with others — wherever they are.  Skype is available on your computer, mobile, tablet, TV and even from your home phone.  Click here for How-To Skype Documentation.



Google Hangouts bring your conversations to life with photos, emoji, and even group video calls for free.
Click here for Hangout Documentation or here for Hangout Video Demo.


face-timeWith a tap, you can make video calls over Wi-Fi from your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac to someone else’s. You can even make FaceTime calls over cellular networks on iPhone or iPad. And be there in person, even when you’re not.  Click here for Facetime Documentation or here for Facetime Video Demo.



Lync is a messaging system, similar to Skype and Google Hangouts. Users can communicate via text, video, audio, share files, and gain operational efficiencies.
Click here for Lync Documentation or here for Lync Video Tutorials
embedded by Embedded Video

Moodle Chat allows for participants to have a real-time synchronous discussion in a Moodle course.
Click here for documentation on how to Setup Moodle Chats and here for learning how to Participate in Moodle Chats.


Asynchronous Tools

small-remind101_7324_0Remind101 provides a safe way for teachers to text message students for free.  Teachers use, the Android app or the iOS app to send texts to students and parents phones without ever having to share their own phone number.  Students also never have to share their phone number with teachers. Ever.  Want to try? Want to set up a class? Here is how to get started.



Twitter is an online social networking service that enables users to send and read short 140-character messages called “tweets”. Registered users can read and post tweets, but unregistered users can only read them.  Click here for more information – Ten Steps to Using Twitter in the College Classroom.



Panopto is a software designed for recording and live broadcasting presentations, lectures, screencasts and more.  Click here for Panopto Documentation and a Panopto How-To Video.



VoiceThread conversations are media-centric, which keeps the discussions focused. They also provide an opportunity to reflect, resulting in higher quality input.
Click here for Voicethread Documentation.



The Moodle Forums allow for an asynchronous exchange of ideas.  Both students and teachers can write entries, post pictures, embed videos, copy URLS and share documents.  Click here for documentation on how to Setup Moodle Forums and here for learning how to Participate in Moodle Forums.



The Moodle Glossary allows participants to create and maintain a list of definitions, like a dictionary.
Glossary can be used in many ways. The entries can be searched or browsed in different formats. A glossary can be a collaborative activity or be restricted to entries made by the teacher. Entries can be put in categories. The auto-linking feature will highlight any word in the course which is located in the glossary.  Click here for documentation on how to Setup a Moodle Glossary and here for learning how to Contribute to a Moodle Glossary.


Group Tools


Evernote makes it easy to remember things big and small from your everyday life using your computer, phone, tablet and the web. With Evernote, all of your notes, web clips, files and images are made available on every device and computer you use.  Share your notes and collaborate on projects with friends, colleagues and classmates.
Click here for Evernote’s Getting Started Guide.



Google Docs is an online word processor that lets you create and format text documents and collaborate with other people in real time.  Upload a Word document and convert it to a Google document, invite other people to collaborate on a document with you, giving them edit, comment or view access, collaborate online in real time and chat with other collaborators, as well as view your document’s revision history and roll back to any previous version.
Click here for GoogleDocs Documentation.


OneDrive is free online storage, get 15 GB of free cloud storage for your files that’s accessible from anywhere with access to free Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote in your browser.
When you save a file to OneDrive, it’s always with you—whether you’re working on a presentation on your laptop, sharing vacation photos on your new tablet, or checking your shopping list on your phone.
Click here for Onedrive Documentation.


Verbal Evernotes

My recent endeavor in to critical learning has led to my realization that I have a short attention span, wondering mind and the inability to type quickly when it is important.  I have also discovered that I am becoming a technology elitist.  I no longer want to use a laptop.  I want to be able to do everything on my iPad or iPhone.  It turns out that note taking on these devices can be quite cumbersome.  I am perpetually ‘fat finger’ typing and finding it frustrating to produce even a coherent note; that is until I found Evernote and the audio dictation feature.

evernote-logo-designEvernote is a web-based program that allows users to create, store and share notes across all platforms.  My new favorite feature of Evernote is its ability to take verbal notes and transcribe them, with a surprising amount of accuracy.

The first thing you will have to do is create an Evernote account.  The basic Evernote account is free and plenty sufficient for most basic users. Next you will need to download the app on your smartphone or tablet.  I know that Evernote has apps for both iOS and Android, however my experience is with the iOS app.

You will have to get yourself familiar with the app.  You will have to learn how to create notebooks and notes using Evernotes mobile app.  Here are some brief videos that will help with this process:  Evernote Guides

Evernote has two audio features that are useful on mobile devices.  One involves actually taking audio notes as sound files and attaching them to the note.  These sound files are saved as QuickTime files and can be listened to across most platforms.  The second audio feature of Evernote is my favorite, the audio dictation feature.

The audio dictation feature allows users to speak notes and then Evernote will transcribe them and add the text to the note.   This process couldn’t be easier.

First, you will have to create a new note and click the Microphone button next to the Spacebar:


Then you can speak you note.  You will notice that the sound wave responds to your dialogue:


The final step is to review and edit your dictations:








You will have to be sure to proofread your note.  I found the program to be quite good.  It got the words Machiavellianism and Deontological with no problems, but sometimes I slur my words or it doesn’t get a proper name and I do have to edit the note.

The Evernote dictation isn’t a flawless system.  You do have to speak punctuation, which takes some getting used to.  Here is a sample dictation and its output:

“Hello exclamation point my name is caps becky caps bush period I like to listen to podcasts comma the radio comma and nature sounds when trying to sleep period new paragraph This type of sound typically helps me sleep forward slash relax period

Textual Output:
“Hello! My name is Becky Bush.  I like to list to podcasts, the radio, and nature sounds when trying to sleep.
This type of sound typically helps me sleep/relax.”

I have found that even with the hassle of speaking the punctuation that this form of ‘on-the-fly’ note taking is quick and easy.  For more helpful punctuation dictations, please reference the following website: Siri User Guide

Happy Noting!

PollEverywhere PowerPoint Error Fix

The following documentation contains a walk-through to fix the PollEverywhere PowerPoint issue that won’t allow the polls to be viewed in PowerPoint and that prompts the following error message: “Some controls on this presentation cannot be activated. They may not be registered on this machine.”

To fix this issue, follow the steps below:

  1. Open Internet Explorer (note: you must use Internet Explorer. Using other browsers will not solve the issue).
  2. Navigate to this link in Internet Explorer: This link takes you to the Adobe Flash Player download page.
  3. Uncheck the box that says: “Yes, install Chrome as my default browser and Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer – optional.”
  4. Click the yellow “Download Now” box.
  5. After Adobe Flash Player is finished downloading, close Internet Explorer and open the download setup. Follow the install instructions.
  6. After Adobe Flash Player is installed, a window should pop up and take you to an Adobe page with a message that states that Adobe Flash Player has been installed.
  7. Check to make sure that the error has been fixed by going to PollEverywhere and downloading a PowerPoint presentation of one of your polls.

Getting Started with Panopto

1. If you don’t have an account, please send your request to this email. (Note: You will not be able to use your regular Chatham username and password to access the new server, instead you will receive an email with a new username and password.)

2. After you’ve received your account, go to to login.


3. Once you are logged in, click Download Recorder link in the upper right. Depending on your computer, download either the Mac or Windows recorder. Do not download the Remote Recorder. Follow the installation directions to install.







4. Once the recorder is installed, use the following to login:

Server address:
Login: username provided when account was created
Password: password provided when account was created











Using Panopto

Recording Tips

  • Look into the camera while you are speaking. Eye contact is still very important even though your audience is not in the same room as you.
  • Check the lighting in the room. Be sure you have enough lighting in the room and on your face.
  • Don’t read your presentation! Just as you wouldn’t do this in person, don’t read it for the recording. Relax, slow down, practice, use  inflection in your speaking, and be yourself.
  • Be aware of background noise. The microphone will pick up mouse clicks and other background noise.
  • Be aware of reflection on your glasses if you wear them. This can be distracting to the audience.
  • Be aware of distracting visuals behind you.
  • Watch yourself and practice, practice, practice!

Exciting new Panopto 4.2 updates

Many of you are using Panopto for a variety of reasons in your class. Recently Panopto hosted a pancast outlining the new features of the 4.2 version of the software. Below are some additional highlights of the upgrade.

iOS App for Mobile Devices

Panopto Focus Recorder Updates:

  • Added support for HDV devices
  • The recorder will now upload content in background while presenter is recording, resulting in much faster publishing times, especially for higher quality settings!
  • The ability to launch the Focus Recorder from directly within your Panopto site, quickly eliminates locating the Program within your Start Menu, or the shortcut on your Desktop. This allows for an easier workflow, with less distractions.
  • Delete Local button sends files to Recycle Bin (Windows)
  • Option to disable keyboard shortcuts (Windows)
    • F8 Key = Start Recording
    • F9 Key = Pause Recording
    • F10 Key = Stop Recording
  • New keyboard shortcuts: (Mac )
    • Option + Command + R = Record/Stop
    • Option + Command + P = Pause

Panopto Library (Web Interface)

  • New video podcast output types: Tile all streams mode, supports multiple primary streams
  • New high quality video podcast settings
    • Low: 720×480 / 15 fps / 250 kbps
    • Medium: 720×480 / 30 fps / 500 kbps
    • High: 720×480 / 30 fps / 750 kbps

Additional documentation can be found on the Panopto website. Let us know what you think of the improvements!

Information and Data Visualization: Making Information Easier to Understand through Visuals workshop

Today, people have abundant access to information and data online. Simplifying information and data in a visual way can be a powerful learning tool. This workshop will explore a variety of free and easy to use tools to make any type of information and data easier to understand.

Tools to Try:

  • ManyEyes – The site allows users to upload data and then produce graphic representations, from a variety of available templates and types.
  • Google Visualization Tools – Google offers a wide range of tools for information and data visualization.
  • - Infographics for any topic.
  • Dipity – Digital timelines for any topic.
  • Wordle – Word clouds for any topic.
  • VisualEyes – Web-based authoring tool developed at the University of Virginia to weave images, maps, charts, video and data into highly interactive and compelling dynamic visualizations.
  • Phrasr – Turn words into images.
  • Gliffy – Online diagrams and more.
  • InstaGrok – visual search engine.
  • Search-cube – visual search engine in the shape of a cube.

More Resources:


Technology Tools to Enhance Discussion workshop

Ideas to make class discussions more interactive:

Strategy: Poll your students during class to get instant feedback

Technologies to consider:

  • Poll Everywhere is a simple text message voting application where people vote by sending text messages (or using Twitter) to options displayed on-screen. The poll can also be embedded within a presentation or web page and update in real time.
  • Linoit is a free sticky note and canvas service that requires nothing but a Web browser. You can create an account, but it is not necessary to use. It can be used quickly

Strategy: Having a place online for students to expand discussion

Technologies to consider:

  • VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to navigate pages and leave comments in 5 ways – using voice (with a mic or telephone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam). It can be easily integrated into Moodle too.
  • Create Debate  is a social debate tool that helps people communicate and collaborate. Read arguments within that debate and vote them up or down.

Strategy: Use the classroom projector to project student responses during class. This also known as “backchanneling” or a secondary conversation that takes place at the same time as a lecture, instructor-led learning activity or conference session.

Technologies to consider:

  • Set up a Moodle chat and ask students to share their ideas during class. The projector displays all comments to help keep the discussion on task. In addition, the chat can be saved, which creates a record of the conversation and helps to extend discussion beyond the class session.

Student Workshop: Organize Your Research in One Location!

Working on research and have PDFs saved all over the place? Do you keep misplacing the articles you’ve found? There’s an easier way to keep track! Attend this workshop to learn more about two tools, Mendeley and Zotero, that you can use both to keep all your research in one location and to create citations.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012
11:30 AM to 12:20 PM

Compare Mendeley and Zotero

Mendeley How-To Videos

Mendeley FAQ and Getting Started Guide (PDF)

Zotero How-To Videos