Instreamia is a new MOOC that focuses on learning a language. Instreamia offers free courses in Spanish, English, Italian, Japanese, and Portuguese. Instreamia uses common YouTube videos from pop artists or other sources (like TED lectures) in the language you are learning from a native speaker. There are listening exercises and flashcard exercises. In the listening exercises, you can keep the translation option on so you can start to pick up words to build a vocabulary. You can ask questions as you work through exercises in your class and other members and a teacher for the course will answer them publicly so others can learn from it in the community. On Instreamia, you can friend others including other members in the course or other native speakers of the language you are learning. Having pop culture materials to learn a language has usually been seen as a plus in the language learning community and now this MOOC, Instreamia has that feature built into it.
You can sign up and try Instreamia here: http://www.instreamia.com/
When capturing a lecture, an instructor would like to use a whiteboard app to demonstrate a particular point or theory using freehand markup right inside the app. Another bonus when using a whiteboard application is having the ability to add images to your whiteboard so you have the option of annotating and marking up the image. A free iPad app called ShowMe has these features and also an added bonus, you can record audio (using the internal mic of the iPad) and the app also records a video of your whiteboard session that you can freely share with students. Continue reading
Sometimes, you would like to capture audio coming from different applications on your computer. A question we sometimes get at the ETC is, how can I capture audio that is playing from my web browser? They would like to record the audio and save it for teaching purposes. If you’re on a Mac, a free tool called Soundflower can help you capture audio playing on a web browser. Other people have used Soundflower with other built in applications on the Mac, like Quicktime Player, to capture both audio and video in the web browser.
You can download Soundflower for free here: http://code.google.com/p/soundflower/.
When using Soundflower, you will have to configure the output and input options for your audio to capture audio using Quicktime Player. When capturing audio, you will not hear the output of the audio through your normal speakers, but you can always open the Soundflower software to hear what you are capturing. This application will capture any sound on your computer, including notification sounds and audio adjustments you make on your computer, so just be aware what you are capturing when using this application. You may want to disable some sounds on your computer before capturing audio.
To see a comprehensive walk-through on how to use Soundflower with Quicktime Player, check out Christopher Breen’s Macworld post here: www.macworld.com/article/1159440/soundflower_capture.html
In this Productive Scholar Session, Angel Brady of the Educational Technologies Center, presented OpenScholar, an OIT-supported web page creation service that allows for faculty and graduate students to create personal, professional academic sites. OpenScholar can host personal CVs, current publications and information about past and current research. The OpenScholar system is very easy to use and is focused on the types of information presented on academic profile websites. Continue reading
Timothy Recuber, lecturer in the Writing Program at Princeton University, spoke about using WordPress as a platform for student writing in his WRI 128/129 courses. The course, entitled ‘Witnessing Disaster’, investigates media depictions of disaster and human suffering. In the assignment for which WordPress was used, Dr. Recuber asked students to “envision an alternative way of representing the suffering of others by creating a website, online memorial, or blog devoted to the disaster or tragedy that you research this semester”. The students, having chosen and written about significant events previously in the semester, expanded upon their research by posting writings, videos, images, and sound recordings to the course blog. As a supplement to the more formal writing done during the semester, the blog was intended to provide a more creative outlet for the students. Continue reading