Learning with Technology

for Teaching

September 18, 2017
by Brent Hirata
0 comments

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Have you ever stared into the engine compartment of a vehicle and been fascinated by all those moving parts?   Now imagine being a student in the automotive field, building your professional knowledge of parts and terminology is an important first step toward being successful.  This week we are featuring Nolan Miyahara an Instructor of Automotive Technology  here at Leeward Community College who recently conducted a Nearpod activity with his students to review and reinforce their learning of basic parts.
 Nearpod Annotated Picture
Activity
Nearpod is a formative assessment tool for delivering engaging presentations. It does require an internet connection but does not require a Smart Classroom projector.  Each student sees the presentation on their own mobile device (phone, table, laptop) and the pace is controlled by the instructor.  Students’ interactions can be shared with their peers for class discussion or captured for easy reporting.  Nolan’s activity used Nearpod’s draw slide feature to allow individual students to match terms with images (engine parts) he provided.  Nolan thought the Nearpod draw activity worked well, he also took time to build a few Nearpod slides following a more traditional yes/no format.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Following the activity Nolan thought “the variety of ways you can put up questions and how the students can answer in different ways” was a strength.   Student feedback seemed to infer that students “didn’t feel challenged because there was no timer”, a problem which can be addressed in the future by simply having the instructor implement a time limit for each slide.
In Summary
Overall Nolan felt the Nearpod review activity went well based on learning and engagement.  When asked for tips or advice for other instructors interested in using Nearpod, Nolan said “I would recommend it.”
If you are interested in learning more about Nearpod and how a Nearpod lesson can be integrated into your rotation of activities please contact Brent Hirata (bhirata@hawaii.edu) at the Educational Media Center.

September 11, 2017
by Rachael Inake
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EMC’s Chromebook COW for Classroom Use

The following is a guest blog post by Junie Hayashi, Librarian, at Leeward CC.

Ever wanted to do an activity with your students that required everyone to have a computer (laptop, tablet, or smartphone) but didn’t have a computer classroom? Reserve the EMC’s Chromebook COW (classroom on wheels) that includes a set of 20 lightweight Chromebooks. The Chromebooks use Google Chrome browser for internet browsing and have both keyboards and touch screens. Although you cannot download software onto the Chromebooks, numerous apps are available from the Google Chrome Web Store.

chromebook cart

I provide library instruction sessions for various classes including English, Speech, Psychology, and Women’s Studies. Using the Chromebook COW, I am able to provide sessions in the classroom instead of having the class come to the Library. This is especially helpful when we have multiple sessions during the same class period. In addition, my sessions often include group work which is very difficult to do  in a traditional computer lab setting. Using the Chromebooks makes it easy for students to work together in a meaningful way. The COW is much smaller and easier to navigate than the previous one. Students have even told me that the Chromebooks were “cool” and way better than other laptops. Definitely check out the EMC’s new Chromebooks!

chromebook user

Looking to reserve/checkout the Chromebook COW? Visit the Intec window at LC 116 or request online. (Note: First time using the request form? Please contact the Help Desk so an account can be created for future reservations.)

August 21, 2017
by Rachael Inake
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Making your syllabus viewable in Laulima

The Syllabus tool in Laulima allows you to post your syllabus for your students to access.

To add the Syllabus tool:

  1. Log into Laulima.
  2. Click on your course site in the blue tabs across the top.
  3. Click on Site Info in the left menu of tools.
  4. Click on Edit Tools.
  5. Checkmark the Syllabus tool and click Continue and then Finish.
  6. Click on the Syllabus tool in the left menu and add your syllabus.

By default, the Syllabus tool is not published to students. To make it viewable to students, you’ll need to click the lightbulb icon ‘on’.

publish syllabus animated gif

And now to check/preview as a student, click the drop-down menu, “View site as:” at the top-right of your screen and choose “Student”. You should be able to see it. When you’re done, go back to the drop-down menu and select “Instructor.”

August 21, 2017
by Rachael Inake
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Highlights from Tech It Out Day 2017

We had another great Tech It Out Day on August 14, 2017. Thank you for sharing part of your day with us in exploring how technology can enhance teaching and learning in the classroom and online. Sessions were a short 30 minutes to keep things light and fun, and spark interest and curiosity. Participants were able to “test drive” different tools and apps and see how fellow colleagues are using technology in their classes. We had sessions for formative assessment apps to make learning interactive, tools and ideas for communication and building community in your classroom, and even 3D printing.

Special thanks to the EMC and Library staff for facilitating sessions and helping at the event and the Leeward Staff Development Funds who provided funding for food.

tech it out day photo two participants

tech it out day kahoot photo

View all photos here.

Participants commented:

This was the most accessible and most useful Tech It Out Day ever.

I always enjoy Tech It Out [Day] and learning from colleagues’ ideas and experience.

I like the small group learning environment and all the presenters were enthusiastic and encouraging. Another fun morning, thank you.

tech it out day photo group

tech it out day photo of library staff

If you would like to follow-up your learning for more, please check the website for additional resources and the presenter’s contact information. See you next year!

August 1, 2017
by Rachael Inake
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Highlights from the “Course By Design” Workshop During PRLS 2017

course by design workshop group photo

Each summer, the Educational Media Center (EMC) hosts the Pacific Region Learning Summit (PRLS) at Leeward CC, a week-long professional development opportunity for instructors. During this past PRLS (May 15-19, 2017), we offered a new workshop track, Course By Design. We were fortunate to have eight dedicated instructors who registered for our track:

  • Christina Mende (Math & Sciences Division)
  • Faustino Dagdag (Business Division)
  • Darci Miyashiro (Math & Sciences Division)
  • Eric Matsuoka (Math & Sciences Division)
  • I-Chia Shih (Math & Sciences Division)
  • Nolan Miyahara (Professional Arts & Technology Division)
  • Reina Ojiri (Math & Sciences Division)
  • Ross Higa (Business Division)

In this track, we guided the instructors through using our four-step course design process for in-person classes. This process helped them to systematically organize and structure their courses to align their course outcomes with appropriate learning activities. And then put together their lesson modules on a website. Doing so helps students to navigate through the course, identify the expectations, and identify activities they need to complete to be successful in the course.

During the week we led participants through our four-step process using a mix of methods and activities to:

  1. Identify student learning outcomes.
  2. Create specific learning objectives.
  3. Create activities to meet the learning objectives.
  4. Build your lessons on a website.

Participants used a planning document (Google Doc) and learning modules website template (Google Sites) which we designed and developed for the four-step course design process. Some started creating lesson modules for their courses, while others chose to create supplemental lessons and activities for their courses. By the end of the week, participants were able to go through one cycle of the process to create at least one lesson module on their website. Now they have the knowledge, skills, and tools to continue creating the rest of their lesson modules.

All participants earned the “Course Designer Creator” badge of achievement for planning out their course and creating at least one lesson module during PRLS. These badges are helpful to use as evidence in tenure/promotion dossiers.

Participants Have Said

“I learned how to design a google site and how to create pages with activities that focus on helping students meet the learning outcomes. After taking this workshop, I have a starting template that is ready to be used for my future courses. And that is a wonderful feeling! I would recommend this program to other instructors who wants to develop their course sites for face-to-face or online courses.”

“I learned about best practices for my lesson and activity planning; how to clearly connect them with our SLOs and Learning Objectives; and how to present them in a professional looking page!”

“As for advice, I would say the best thing a participant to do is to keep an open mind.”
course by design 2017 group photo

Register for Course By Design (Fall 2017)

If you’re interested in re-designing your course, consider joining us in the six-week “Course By Design” workshop series which we adapted for the fall semester. It will be on six consecutive Tuesdays from Oct.10 to Nov.14. For more information and to register, visit: https://course-by-design-fall-2017.eventbrite.com

Rachael Inake and Brent Hirata
Educational Technologists
Educational Media Center

April 6, 2017
by Leanne Riseley
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Information and Computer Science Microbytes Revealed

Leeward Community College Information and Computer Science MicrobytesInformation and Computer Science Faculty: Blanca Polo, William Albritton, and Pete Gross are leading the effort in creating and sharing OER materials!

They created 78 short videos on a variety of computer science topics. The topics range from general information such as PowerPoint to more technical ones such as network security. Feel free to browse through the videos, which are available on the playlist.

The videos are licensed with a Creative Commons (CC BY NC ND) license, allowing anyone to use the videos as long as they are properly attributed. These videos may be linked to or embedded in your online course materials. If you need help with this, use our Technology One-on-One request form and one of the Educational Technologist will assist you.

If you are interested in creating your own microbytes or short videos, we encourage you to take advantage of the services of the Educational Media Center Video Production team who will work with you to create high quality OER resources for your students!

April 5, 2017
by Leanne Riseley
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Smart Classroom User Tip: Quickly Zoom In (and Out)

Do you teach in a Smart Classroom? At times, do you find the text on the screen is a little too small for your students to read? If so, this tip is for you!

Increase Text Size: Command Key and Plus Key

Decrease Text Size: Command Key and Minus Key

Apple keyboard with control key and plus and minus keys highlighted in red

The Command key is located next to the space bar on a Mac keyboard, and the + and – keys are located near the delete key, both next to each other.

This tip should work for all web-based applications.

___

Image from Change the Font Size of Text in Safari on Mac with Keyboard Shortcuts. (2014, June 25). Retrieved April 05, 2017, from http://osxdaily.com/2010/06/29/change-the-font-size-of-text-in-safari/

 

March 24, 2017
by Rachael Inake
0 comments

National Open Education Week

This concludes Leeward CC’s Open Education Week! Thank you for reading our blog posts and getting involved whether it may be in spreading awareness, inquiring for more information, using OER materials in your courses, or other things. Feel free to contact the friendly librarians on campus if you’re interested in utilizing open and/or OER materials in your courses.

If you’re interested in more, you can also check out how UH Manoa celebrated Open Education Week:

UHM Open Education Week Summary: Students at the Front

Lastly, if you’d like to get more involved, nationally, visit the Open Education Week’s website for other events – https://www.openeducationweek.org/events.

Mahalo, on behalf of the Leeward CC OER Committee!

March 23, 2017
by Wayde Oshiro
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What You Should Know About Publishers and their Amazing Discounted Prices

According to Pearson’s website, 64% of students surveyed are opting out of buying course materials and this “decision is having a negative impact on [their] choices,” which include “taking fewer courses per semester, not registering for a course, dropping a course, failing a course.” Leeward students reported similar, though, slightly lower percentages in our own textbook survey back in 2015. Our students are making the same hard choices as college students everywhere, even when the choices they make are detrimental to their academic success.

Pearson provides a complex diagram (to view, click the link and scroll down the page) showing the many decisions students make before they actually get their hands on a textbook. The interesting thing about this chart is that it leaves the obvious out of the picture – purchasing a textbook from the bookstore. It’s been clear for a while now that many students avoid the easiest way to get their textbooks because they can’t or won’t pay the retail prices.

Publishers are responsible for this situation. Their sky-high prices enabled by captive markets have allowed them to gouge students year after year.  Students are going through extraordinary means to acquire textbooks at more affordable prices and the publishers are with them every step of the way, erecting barriers to protect their revenue. Is this endless cat and mouse game helping us create the ideal climate for learning?

How is this impacting the publishers and why you should care

The current system is breaking down. Students are choosing not to buy their textbooks and the publishers are feeling the pinch. Revenues for the largest textbook publisher are down by double digits in 2016. According to Coram Williams, CFO, Pearson PLC:

[O]ur US higher education courseware business declined an unprecedented 18%, driven by three factors.

Firstly, enrolments were again weaker than our expectations, driven by pressures in the for-profit and community college channels.

Secondly, we saw a bigger-than-anticipated impact from rental.

And thirdly, and largest of all, at around two-thirds of the total, or 12%, we saw a significant inventory correction in the sales channel.

To recap, enrollments fell, alternative textbook acquisition models rose, and students are not buying textbooks from traditional retailers.

The publishers are responding to the changes in the marketplace. At a February 2017 conference call with investors, Kevin Capitani, President, North America, Pearson PLC, said “the year is shaping up fantastic,”

So we’re actually expanding what we’re doing in terms of how we’re going to attack the market at an institution or an administrator level, in addition to adoption level selling, which will remain incredibly important. But also, more direct to the consumer or the customer and the student. And if we set the business unit in higher ed particularly in that manner, we’ll be able to attack it a lot better, more comprehensive, and drive, let’s say, additional revenue at different points in the year, rather than just the adoption selling at two key intervals at each semester.

Beware of publishers bearing gifts

The digital direct access (DDA) strategy adopted by Pearson North America is one attempt to recapture revenue lost when students acquire textbooks through alternative methods and/or decide to not purchase them at all. The promise is affordability and access, but at what cost?

The language used by OER proponents and the publisher’s is becoming disquietly similar, but clearly the objectives are not. We are educators seeking to impart knowledge and help our students succeed in life. Ultimately, publishers are in the business to make a profit and students are the market. Students become even more valuable customers when they aren’t given a choice. You might say they don’t have a choice now when an instructor requires a textbook, but of course they have choices with used books, textbook rentals, book sharing, course reserves, etc. However, individual freedom to obtain lower priced course materials vanishes with the digital delivery model. Digital course materials are available only through a publisher’s proprietary (closed) platform. They control the content, the delivery, and the access. Sure, they might offer discounted prices, but you have to wonder why they couldn’t offer the same discounts in the first place with print textbooks. And just how long will the low prices last?

DDA programs automatically charge students for course materials at the time of enrollment. It’s not an opt-in, but an opt-out model. The opt-out is presented as a choice, but is it a real one? What happens when a student decides to opt-out? There is no secondary market for used digital textbooks or access codes. Without access to course materials, the student is in same bind as before trying to succeed when one of the essential requirements for succeeding is not available to them.

The sole purpose of DDA is to ensure steady, guaranteed revenue for the publisher. Minimum enrollment requirements ensure that the model also preserves the existing print textbook market. With DDA, publishers promise a near 100% sell-through rate for the program. Let’s say the e-text and platform access is priced at $50 (50% off the price for the print).  For a course with 100 students this will generate $5,000 in revenue.  The print version of the same textbook priced at $100 with a 50% sell-through rate (only half the students purchase it retail) generates the same revenue. The discount offered will never jeopardize what remains of the print market.  In other words, the discount received is in exchange for guaranteeing 100% sell-through rates to the publisher. What kind of bargain is this?

So what now?

Ultimately, the choice is yours. Just know that other options exist for course materials besides the traditional publishers. OER doesn’t require negotiating prices at all.  There are no access codes and the material is available to students indefinitely. You can even customize the material to better suit your students and your teaching needs. OER is developed by dedicated educators who decided that reliance on for-profit companies to develop educational materials leads to unaffordable prices, questionable practices, and lack of innovation. With OER, you are in control of the material, the teaching, and the learning.

If you looked for OER before but were not able to find materials that were satisfactory to you, don’t give up! Ask a librarian for help, they’re excellent searchers. And if nothing is available today it just means someone is hard at work developing great material they will share with you tomorrow.  That’s the beauty of OER, it’s a global collective of educators working for the common good. Lastly, don’t forget to ask your colleagues who made the switch. They are the best people to address your questions and concerns.

OER is becoming a greater threat to the publishing industry, John Fallon, CEO, Pearson PLC:

We’re also dealing with some potentially very disruptive threats. Currently, the negative impact that we’ve seen from OER is small, but it’s growing.

Indeed, OER may still be small but it’s a quickly growing movement. OER enables educators to collaboratively develop and distribute the materials needed to ensure affordable and equitable access to education for all students without compromise.

March 22, 2017
by junie
0 comments

OER Saved My Life

The following is a guest blog post by Borjana Lubura-Winchester, Geography Lecturer, Leeward Community College.

Aloha, my name is Borjana and I am a Geography lecturer at Leeward CC and the UH Manoa. Originally, I am from Sarajevo, Bosnia and a proud Leeward CC/Manoa graduate. First time I have learned about OER was last semester from our librarian Junie Hayashi. My students complained about high cost of the textbook I was using for one of my classes. In addition to high cost, I was using a very small portion of the book and could not find any alternative. I was constantly ‘bombarded’ with different publishers and offers via email or knocking on my office door, but nothing even close to what I wanted. Finally, I decided to create my own textbook and asked Junie for help. During our first meeting, Junie started telling me about OER and creative commons, licenses, copyright, etc. Oh boy, it was so overwhelming to me. I did not understand anything. I ‘jumped’ into compiling the resources week by week. Pretty soon I learned how hard process that could be. The OER workshop saved my life!

Participation in the OER workshop made a whole difference for me and my students. From the early start, the students did not have to worry about the textbook. There were no complains about ‘late Amazon arrivals’ or waits for the financial aid to ‘kick in.’ The material was immediately available online and ready to use. I cannot say that I was not skeptic at first about credibility and availability of the sources. However, the OER workshop and its facilitators Leanne, Junie and Wade helped me to get on a right path of finding sources I never knew existed before. The facilitators were patient with many of my questions and always willing to provide guidance for my subject matter. I discovered a well of available pictures, podcasts, documentaries, lectures, textbooks and various articles. Also, I realized that there is a completely new world of the community of authors who put hard work into creating these materials, yet enable them for anyone to use. At first, I did not want to share MY hard work, but (after participating in the workshop) I changed my attitude. Once my textbook is complete to the standard I feel comfortable with, I will upload it for use in the OER.

Finding sources is not an easy job. Giving the appropriate credit and using the appropriate attributions is crucial. Weekly homework and in-class activities with my colleagues helped me understand the process better. The teamwork cleared up any confusion and gave me the confirmation of how to find/attribute sources correctly. The facilitators had ‘easy to follow’ weekly assignments with the list of compiled instructions, links and directions for us to successfully complete the task.

Throughout the OER workshop I created my ‘road map’ toward OER courses. Because of the OER workshop, I am able to offer the rest of my classes with the OER for upcoming Fall 2017. I must admit, I am glad that there is the summer break coming up where I can spend a lot more time searching and building my source bank. My advice for instructors who plan on converting their classes to OER is to do it over the summer break where they might have more time. In the end, no matter when an instructor decides to take this journey, the OER is worth her/his time. I feel liberated and much confident in my classes and material I present to my students. It suits better the student learning objectives and their success in the classroom. It enables me to teach what matters the most in my discipline. Thank you OER team!

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