Tech Dim Sum, Spring 2014

A round-up of favorite new apps, trends, and oldies but goodies in the world of technology for instruction and scholarship.

PDF Annotation

  • Preview – if you’ve only used it to read PDFs, check again. Look under the Tools menu for options to annotate your PDFs.
  • Adobe – the free Reader has some annotation features, the not-free Adobe Pro has even more. Just remember that if you annotate your PDF with a video file, tell your students to read it in Adobe Reader. Preview will not be able to show the video.
  • Resource doc – “Guiding Student Readings with Annotated PDFs

Annotations beyond PDF:



  • Screencast-o-matic – free or really cheap but full-featured screencasting tool. Limitations: records well from microhone but needs plug-in to capture system audio. Cannot import .mp4 files to edit. But for everything else it is easy, works well, and is well-documented.
  • Camtasia – more tools, good integration with PowerPoint (Windows only), imports .mp4, records system audio, Windows version can create embedded quizzes.
  • Explain Everything – iPad/Android app to build presentations with hand-drawing, typed text, pictures, and video, and record them as a screencast.

Digital Collection Building/Publishing at UVM



  • Hemingway to suggest ways to tighten up your writing
  • Write or Die, Selfcontrol – keep writing, don’t get distracted
  • iBook Author, Calibre – when you are ready to create your own ebooks

Continuing Trends to Watch

  • MOOCs – now that the “hype” phase is over (“MOOCs will save/destroy education as we know it!) how will MOOCs really impact traditional education. (lots of articles at
  • Flipped Classroom/Hybrid Courses – creatively rethinking how online can work with offline to improve learning (lots of articles at
  • Curating – aggregate, notate, and share your finds (see Delicious, Diigo, Scoop.It)
  • Learning Analytics – What can we learn from student assessment data that can help us tailor our teaching to those students? Should we? What about privacy (FERPA)?



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