Tech Dim Sum: The List

Tech Dim Sum: “Bite size” introductions to a variety of applications that you might find useful for teaching. You might use them to provide information for your students or for assignments you create for them.

If using for assignments, consider:

  • What are your goals for the assignment?
  • How will you tell whether a student has met those goals?
  • Does the use of this tool add to the possibilities of the assignment?
  • Are there copyright, FERPA or administrative considerations related to using this tool?
  • Will you need help supporting your students as they use this tool?

For our first Tech Dim Sum session we’ll be taking a look at the following:

What? create or participate in online meetings and presentations.
Why? To have multiple people on one space communicate and share presentations.


icon-camtasiaCamtasia or Jing: capture what you do on your computer, add a voiceover, even cationing (with Camtasia). Do you typically write, draw, or diagram things on the classroom board? Do it on a tablet instead and capture that as a video.
Screencasts and Education by Paul McGovern’s article “Screencasts and Education.”


icon-dspacedSpace at UVM:
What? A UVM-based digital collection site.
Why? To build an online public/private searchable database of digital objects, usually images.
Talk to CTL for details.


eBooks: icon-sigilCreate materials to be read on smartphones, iPads, or even big laptops. There are several apps for this (ex. Sigil).


icon-google-mymapsGoogle MyPlaces (was MyMaps):
How? Instructions at Google or at this document from Carleton.
Literature: mapping a character’s route (sample assignment: Candide Maps)
GEOL197 places mentioned in lecture
CCT335 Technology and the City, assignment:  (additional note: they have put the class materials in Wikispaces, a free wiki tool)


What? One of many non-UVM web site and social networking sites. Included because several people have asked about it.
Why? If you want a site that is not addressed as “” and that offers social networking plugins and easy design.
Where? (small fee for a small site: $2.95/month)
Omeka at UVM:
What? UVM-based digital collection and exhibit site.
Why? To pull together digital materials (with metadata) and build an exhibit with narrative.
Where? or you or your students can create individual exhibits at:
Chronicle article: Jeffrey W. McClurken “Teaching with Omeka
Our most recent Omeka project is HST095. The report is here.
Talk to CTL for more details.


icon-pbworksPBWorks wikis:
What? A non-UVM public/private wiki site.
Why? For individual or collaborative web projects that combine text, audio, video.
Pros and cons of Blackboard wikis vs. PBWorks:
Bb: all students are already in course; PBWiki; must manually add/invite students
Bb: once semester is done, wiki is gone; PBWiki: stays until you close it, can reuse or augment. If the wiki is created by a student, they can keep it after the semester is over and control who can see it.
Bb: very rudimentary interface; PBWiki: works as expected, easy, robust
Bb: definitely FERPA compliant; PBWiki: can be open or hidden, your choice


Twitter: who are the “must follow” tweeters in your discipline? Follow your favorites or post your own tweets. Search for hashtags to find tweets on specific subjects.


icon-uvmwordpressWordPress Blogs: you’re looking at one now. If you have a UVM account you can have a blog. In fact, you can have multiple blogs, any number of which can be used for your class to create posts. Unlike the blog tool that you have access to in Blackboard, this blog can be made public. It can also stay active once a course is over so you can continue contributing to it from one semester to the next.
Considerations: Students can create their own blogs or sub-blogs, or you can create a sub-blog and add students as authors.


icon-xtranormalxtranormal: Write a script, choose your avatars and voices, make a movie. Tell a story, argue two sides of a question, explain a challenging topic succinctly: xtranormal gives you and your students a different way to present information.
What? An application that animates dialog.
Why? To make written information auditory.
How? Onscreen prompts as you create the movie. Also several on YouTube.
One idea: Jason B. Jones article “Using Xtranormal Against Straw Men.”
…or use for:
digital storytelling
concepts or policies
explaining processes
expressing contrary opinions/building an argument


  Zotero and Zotero Groups
What? Zotero is a bibliographic management progem. Zotero Groups is a space to share bibliographies with others.
Why? To collect, manage, and use (in Word or other word processor) citations and create bibliographies.


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