A couple months ago I did a presentation at Productive Scholar about annotating digital documents. I didn’t talk much about GoogleDocs in that talk. Although their commenting feature was perfectly nice, it seemed a bit too simple and didn’t seem to really take advantage of the medium. Well apparently also a couple months ago, Google changed their commenting feature and it is worth taking another look at. They are now calling them ‘discussion’ rather than comments which makes perfect sense because they have added the ability to reply to comments much as you would in a discussion board or when commenting on a blog post. Each reply in a discussion has a picture of the commenter so it is clear who commented, and a timestamp so it is clear when they commented. The author of a comment can also be alerted by e-mail when someone replies to their comment. There is also a button labeled ‘Resolve’ in the discussion area. Clicking this button will hide the discussion from view. It can later be restored from a ‘Discussions’ menu in the upper right hand corner of the screen.
I recently came across a site called Enter The Group. It’s a free site that allows you to create private or public classroom webpages that have great features for students and faculty in regards to project management and collaboration. What’s cool about Enter The Group is that you can upload assignments, use a blog, create discussion boards, add events on a classroom calendar, conduct polls, and you can sign in using a Google account or Facebook. Continue reading
Many of you are well aware that the Blackboard Course Management System provides easy access to a syllabus, a facebook, a gradebook, a sectioning tool, e-mail lists, links to reserve reading, and other course documents. At OIT’s February 8 Lunch ‘n Learn, faculty members Keiko Kuriyama, Antonio Calvo, Ana Figueroa, Rena Lederman, Lee Mitchell and Lee Silver and Technical Staff member Laurel Goodell proved you can also use Blackboard to enhance the learning experience for students.
For example, you can now create reusable, automatically graded exams. With self-correcting questions, you can make sure that students keep up with the reading and lectures. And by using Blackboard’s discussion boards, you can extend the classroom discussion and sustain interest in key topics throughout the semester.