Tech Dim Sum, March 2013



WordPress Blogs

What? You’re looking at it now! If you have a UVM account you can have a blog. In fact, you can have multiple blogs.
Why? You might want to use blogs for your courses, for posting resources, for posting your own to-do lists or projects. All Blackboard courses can have internal blogs which are private to the course and only available as long as the course space is open. UVM’s WordPress blog is not tied to a specific course and can remain open after the course is over.
Considerations: Students can create their own blogs or sub-blogs, or you can create a sub-blog and add students as authors.




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


Omeka icon

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 can create individual exhibits at:
Chronicle article: Jeffrey W. McClurken “Teaching with Omeka.
Talk to CTL for more details.



dSpace 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.



UVM MediaManager

What? A utility for UVM affiliates to upload and store videos in their “zoo” accounts, then generate a link or an embed code that can be used to link that video to a website or their Blackboard space.
Why? Video files tend to be large. Uploading a video to Blackboard or other web sites can sometimes be problematic. In addition, Blackboard courses are removed on a fixed schedule. Storing your video resources in your own space ensures that they will be available for reuse at a later date.
How? Login to the site with your UVM NetID. Upload your files, then click the file name to find the link or embed code. Full directions on the site.




What? Capture whatever occurs on your computer screen and turn it into a video.
Why? To show demos, steps, processes, for example, how to solve a math problem, or add an image to a web page, or use a particular software program. Add a voiceover, even captioning (with Camtasia) or add pauses in the video to add a Quiz (Camtasia for Windows). Do you typically write, draw, or diagram things on the classroom board? Do it on a tablet instead and capture that as a video. For more ideas see: “Screencasts and Education” by Paul McGovern.
Where? Camtasia ($$), Jing (free), Screenr (free), or Screencast-o-matic (free). (Can also use the built-in screen recording feature in Quicktime/Mac.)




What? A free online image editor that can also make collages and banners.
Why? Because PhotoShop is expensive and more than you often need.
How? Go to the web site, upload your picture(s) and follow the easy prompts and icons. Where can you get copyright-legal images and learn some search tips? Check out the CTL’s “Images, Videos and Audio Resources” page.



Google MyPlaces (was MyMaps)

Why? To pin notes and images to a Google map, then share it.
How? Instructions at Google or at this document from Carleton.
Education Examples:
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)



PBWorks wikis

What? A non-UVM public/private wiki site.
Why? For individual or collaborative web projects that combine text, audio, video.
Another popular wiki hosting site is Wikispaces. Both PBWorks and Wikispaces have a free and a pay version. Check the sites for which features are covered in each.



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)




What? An application that animates dialog. 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
Why? To make written information auditory and animated. xtranormal gives you and your students a different way to present information. Use for digital storytelling, explaining concepts or policies, explaining processes, expressing contrary opinions, or building an argument.
How? Onscreen prompts help as you create the movie. There are also several tutorials in YouTube.
One idea: Jason B. Jones article “Using Xtranormal Against Straw Men.”







What? Two completely different sites that do similar things: keep your web bookmarks in a central place that is accessible anywhere, searchable, and shareable.
Why? So you never lose a bookmark again.
How? They both have plug-ins for a variety of browsers that make them “click and go” easy to use.


 icon ngram

Google nGram

What? A site where you can compare the frequency of occurrence of words or phrases that appear in the entire Google books corpus.
Why? To follow (and enjoy!) changes in language and the popularity of topics.
How? Type in the words or phrases separated by commas. Narrow the search parameters to see details.


zotero icon

  Zotero and Zotero Groups

What? Zotero is a bibliographic management program. 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.




What? Create materials to be read on smartphones, iPads, or even big laptops. There are several apps for this (ex. Sigil).




What? Concept or mind mapping software for brainstorming ideas and diagramming how they connect.
Why? To provide a graphic visualization of ideas. Can also be used for visualizing project management.
How? Sign up for a free account (limited number of maps) and sync across other mobile devices.


 Shared, or Requested, By You!

C-mobile: Officially licensed Craigslist app for iPad/iPhone.

UrbanSpoon: Restaurant reviews. Here’s the Vermont page:

Switchboard: Online phone book also has reverse lookup and zip codes.

Aroundme: Uses your GPS location to let you know what services are nearby, like hospitals, banks, coffee shops, gas stations, etc.. For iPad or iPhone/Android/Windows phones.

StadiumVIP: Order food at the game, have it delivered to your seat. iPhone/Android/Blackberry. (I haven’t tried it but what a neat idea.)

Sliding Ruler + Tape Measure: Slide the app alongside the item to be measured. Measures in inches or centimeters.


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