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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Flipgrid is now FREE for all U of M faculty, instructors, and staff

Through an exciting collaboration between the LT Media Lab (LTML) and the College of Education and Human Development (CEHD) at the University of Minnesota, The Flipgrid video-based online discussion and reflection environment is now for free to all university faculty, instructors, and staff.

In the past 11 months since the launch of Flipgrid in CEHD, more than 100,000 video responses have been recorded, viewed, liked, and shared within Flipgrid! In addition, Flipgrid has journeyed far beyond the traditional classroom walls and has found a new home with community groups, research organizations, corporations, MOOCs, youth groups, religious settings, creative firms, hospitals, conferences...and many more new users each day.

Flipgrid is an online and mobile (free iPad App now available in the App store) environment in which teachers create grids of short discussion-style questions that students respond to through webcam-recorded videos. Flipgrid boosts community and social presence in face-to-face, hybrid, and online classrooms by bringing the back row to the front, ultimately giving your students a voice. In addition, Flipgrid is a wonderful tool for online research groups, student discussion groups, and creative new uses that are sparked each day. To learn more about Flipgrid, visit http://flipgrid.com.

To sign up, visit http://flipgrid.com/umn and review the free license terms. Then, enter your name, your email, and select your academic department to activate your free Flipgrid account for the 2013-2014 academic calendar year.

Lynda.com at the U of M: Technology Tutorials Aid Students, Faculty, & Staff

In April 2013, University of Minnesota IT negotiated a University-wide license for Lynda.com technology tutorial videos. The service has been embraced by students, faculty, and staff for just-in-time knowledge and professional development needs. Available 24x7 and accessible from mobile devices, Lynda.umn.edu is the University's gateway to a library of more than 2,000 courses from Photoshop to Excel to MATLAB.

Since its launch, more than 6,000 University constituents have logged in to use the service and in November alone, there were over 16,000 total video views by UMN users. The Lynda license clearly fulfills a previously unmet need for a variety of University audiences.

Students can get 24x7 just-in-time help on an application, or dig deeper into a course series to gain greater proficiency with applications they need to use in their academic career or in their future work lives.

In addition to developing their own skills with applications, faculty can confidently assign coursework that relies on applications such as Microsoft Excel or the Adobe Creative Suite knowing that they can point students to Lynda's technical tutorials.

For faculty who would like to offer a list of course-relevant tutorials to their students, Technology Training & Usability services offers help in curating Lynda courses. To request this service email it-training@umn.edu.

Staff can gain efficiencies by learning new tips and tricks with the applications they know, develop professionally by taking courses to build and grow the work they do, or test their interest in a new field such as programming, videography, or photography.

To begin using Lynda on your computer, log in with your University Internet ID and password at lynda.umn.edu. To access Lynda.umn.edu via your mobile device, log in at m.lynda.com or download a free app for your iPhone, iPad, or Android tablet.

Announcing Academic Technology Workshops

Academic Technology Support Services (ATSS) is thrilled to announce its new portfolio of hour-long workshops available to faculty, staff, and teaching assistants. There are two ways to engage: as an individual, you can register for our scheduled workshops; as a group of five or more, you can request a customized workshop experience.

Facilitated by academic technology experts, Academic Technology Workshops are intended to spark the imagination and spur further experimentation and growth in using technology in teaching and learning. All levels of technical skill and experience are welcome.

A sampling of the workshop titles include:
  • Make Wise Technology Choices through Integrated Course Design
  • Making Things Easier: Organize and Manage your Site in Moodle
  • Plan an Engaging Online Presentation: Identify, Gather, Sequence your Content
  • Making Things Easier: Digital Storytelling Assignments
  • Creating Instructor Presence in the Online Learning Environment

To see the full workshop portfolio (including descriptions, dates, times, and locations), to register, or to request a custom workshop selected from the portfolio of workshop offerings, visit https://z.umn.edu/atworkshops.

Friday, December 6, 2013

TandemPlus Turkey Bowl


On Friday, November 22, TandemPlus hosted the TandemPlus Turkey Bowl at Goldy's Gameroom in Coffman Union. In the Thanksgiving-themed Turkey Bowl, participants tried to bowl three strikes in a row (referred to as a "turkey"). Anyone who bowled a turkey would win a plush turkey prize from Goldy's

Although none of the participants managed to bowl a turkey, everyone had fun bowling and talking with each other about language and culture, and getting a crash-course in bowling-related second-language vocabulary.

This was the final Fall semester TandemPlus event. Stay tuned for more information about Spring registration and Spring TandemPlus events!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Room Reservations: Declining an invitation means canceling it

When instructors decline a​ ​Google Cal ​invitation ​for their reservation of a Jones Hall small room or classroom, the Main Office has previously been following up to confirm that they really meant to cancel the reservation before we officially make the space available to someone else. However, in every case so far, the instructor did intend to cancel the room. So, to simplify communication going forward, the Main Office will, from now on, treat every Google invitation declined by an instructor as the cancellation of the corresponding reservation. Room reservations for a group will not automatically be canceled when one member declines, but rooms reserved by an instructor for a class will be considered canceled when the instructor declines the invitation. The instructor will receive an email confirming the cancellation.